Microsoft announces the HoloLens 2

Microsoft announces the HoloLens 2

Yesteday Microsoft announced the next generation of HoloLens, the HoloLens 2. Last night I watched the keynote (via my HoloLens), being a HoloLens user I was very interested to see what Microsoft had in the HoloLens 2.

The field of view has been doubled so you will see twice the holograms in front of you (52 degrees). HoloLens 2 has full hand tracking and eye tracking. So you can control virtual object just as if they were real objects, that means finger control as well as gaze control. This is a big step forward from the original HoloLens which just had finger control. Microsoft say the new HoloLens 2 is much more comfortable than the 1st gen device.

Some of the features will be available with the Windows Mixed Reality headsets, there is a new follow me control where a window will follow you as you move around your environment.

The HoloLens 2 is powered by a Snapdragon 850 processor running “Windows Holographic Operating System” which is probably Windows 10 Core OS with a shell for HoloLens.

From the keynote it is pretty clear that Microsoft are aiming the HoloLens 2 at commercial customers and not at consumers. There is even a HoloLens 2 customisation programme for commercial sales.

Consumers are covered by Windows Mixed Reality headsets which shares much of the codebase of HoloLens, but this device is not aimed at consumers, there isn’t a dev kit available yet.

HoloLens 2 is an extremally interesting device which a combination of many technologies. The HoloLens 2 is expected to ship later this year from around $3500. I can’t wait to give it a try.

Here are the tech specs:

Display
Optics See-through holographic lenses (waveguides)
Resolution 2k 3:2 light engines
Holographic density >2.5k radiants (light points per radian)
Eye-based rendering Display optimization for 3D eye position
Sensors
Head tracking
Eye tracking
Depth Azure Kinect sensor
IMU Accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer
Camera 8MP stills, 1080p30 video
Audio & speech
Microphone array 5 channels
Speakers Built-in, spatial audio
Human understanding
Hand tracking Two-handed fully articulated model, direct manipulation
Eye tracking Real-time tracking
Voice Command and control on-device, Natural Language with internet connectivity
Environment understanding
6DoF tracking World-scale positional tracking
Spatial mapping Real-time environment mesh
Mixed reality capture Mixed hologram and physical environment photos and videos
Compute & connectivity
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 Compute Platform
HPU 2nd generation custom-built holographic processing unit
WiFi 802.11ac 2×2
Bluetooth 5.0
USB USB Type-C
Fit
Single size
Fits over glasses
Software
Windows Holographic Operating System
Edge
Dynamics 365 Remote Assist
Dynamics 365 Layout
Dynamics 365 Guides
3D Viewer
OneDrive for Business
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