Microsoft has unveiled their second generation augmented reality goggles, the HoloLens 2, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last weekend.
They are making it particularly clear that this is an enterprise product, and will be sold only to companies.
Here’s what’s new in the HoloLens 2.
The HoloLens 2 is less bulky and more portable than its predecessor.
Microsoft used a combination of carbon fire, plastic and re-positioned the center of gravity to remove the sensation of wearing a Daft Punk helmet.
HoloLens 2 is an all-in-one unit and won’t need to be tethered to a PC. It also uses the new Azure Kinect sensor.
The field of view (fov), which is still a bit limited in augmented reality headsets like the HoloLens 1 or the Magic leap, has been massively increased (they clearly exaggerated this on the launch event), together with the optical resolution of roughly 720p to 2K per eye, allowing for more detailed objects and interactions to be displayed, and from broader angles.
The HoloLens 2 has two-handed, fully articulated hand tracking that can manipulate holographic objects directly, which eliminates the need entirely for external controllers.
Eye tracking is used to understand what the user is looking at, with possible interactions like scrolling when you reach the bottom of a document, but also to authenticate using Windows Hello, and automatically adjust the pupil distance of the wearer.
The HoloLens has full 6DoF or Six Degrees of Freedom tracking.
WikiPedia explains this as:
Six degrees of freedom (6DoF) refers to the freedom of movement of a rigid body in three-dimensional space. Specifically, the body is free to change position as forward/backward (surge), up/down (heave), left/right (sway) translation in three perpendicular axes, combined with changes in orientation through rotation about three perpendicular axes, often termed yaw (normal axis), pitch (transverse axis), and roll (longitudinal axis).
Spatial Mapping: using the sensors it creates a live mesh of the environment to understand the physicality.
Natural Language Processing or NLP in combination with internet connectivity allows for command and control using the voice.
The HoloLens 2 has a retina scanner which it not only uses as an interface and to adjust the PD or pupil distance, but to sign the user in with the quite impressive Windows Hello, instantly. Well done.
Hololens 2 is available for pre-order now at a price of $3,500 (or about € 3000), and will ship “later this year”.
You can pre-order the HoloLens 2 at Microsoft here.
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