Written by Bram on February 26, 2019 · 3 min read

Microsoft HoloLens 2

Microsoft HoloLens 2

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 Microsoft HoloLens 2

Look and feel

Microsoft HoloLens 2

The HoloLens 2 is much lighter and more comfortable.

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.

Resolution and field of view

HoloLens 2 Demo

Julia Schwarz demonstrating the interface(s), interactions and possibilities on stage at WMC.

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.

Interfaces

Hand tracking

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

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.

Mapping and depth tracking

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.

Voice interface

Natural Language Processing or NLP in combination with internet connectivity allows for command and control using the voice.

Microsoft Hello

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.

Availability

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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HoloLens 2 technical specifications

Processing power and connectivity:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 Compute Platform
  • 2nd Generation Custom-built Holographic Processing Unit
  • WiFi 802.11ac 2×2
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • USB Type-C

Display:

  • 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 & Audio:

  • Depth – Azure Kinect sensor
  • Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnetometer
  • Camera: 8MP stills, 1080p30 video
  • Microphone Array,  5 channels
  • Built-in, Spatial Audio speakers

Human interfaces:

  • Hand Tracking: two-handed, fully articulated with direct manipulation
  • Real-time tracking
  • Voice control: command and control on-device, Natural Language with internet connectivity

Environmental tracking:

  • 6DoF Tracking: world-scale positional tracking
  • Spatial Mapping: real-time environment mesh
  • Mixed Reality Capture: Mixed hologram and physical environment photos and videos

Power:

  • Battery Life – 2-3 hours of active use
  • Charging – USB Power Delivery – Fast Charging
  • Thermals – Passively Cooled

Fit:

  • Size – Fits over glasses, size using adjustment dial

Software:

  • Windows Holographic OS
  • Edge
  • Remote Assist
  • Layout
  • Guides
  • 3D Viewer
  • OneDrive for Business

 

 


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