Microsoft announces mixed reality glasses HoloLens 2

Microsoft introduced a mixed-reality headset HoloLens is a new generation 2, which will compete with Magic Leap One. The company claims that the device will be more convenient and provide the industry’s best capabilities out of the box. HoloLens 2 has more than twice the field of view in comparison with the predecessor, while maintaining the same density — 47 pixels per degree of view.

Microsoft does not report any specific technical details, but said that the change is equivalent to transition from the TV at 720p to 2K for each eye. The headset will be able to track the direction of gaze of the user to more accurately understand where to look people in the virtual space. Will be supported by technology identification Windows Hello, obviously, for the cornea.

HoloLens 2 has received a new depth sensor time-of-flight combined with some algorithms based on machine learning for tracking hand gestures in three-dimensional space without any controllers. During the demonstration, live one of the Microsoft employees ran in the 3D space, a variety of applications, including virtual piano, and Microsoft Teams (similar to Slack and Facebook Workplace from the software giant). However, he could push buttons and other user interface elements to the air fingers.

Releasing 2 HoloLens, Microsoft is still focused on corporate clients. At the presentation during Mobile World Congress, the company spent a lot of time to explain the usefulness of the device in the current for large businesses. The Corporation works with a number of industry partners including Airbus, Bosch, Honeywell, Pearson, Philips, and Saab, on the release of software for users of HoloLens 2. Microsoft also promised that the Spatial application will make possible a true remote collaboration. Co-founder and Executive Director of the Spatial Agarwalla Anand (Anand Agarawala) demonstrated a virtual whiteboard where several people can communicate and share ideas.

In addition, Microsoft will allow companies to make HoloLens 2 some design changes in the event of a release of a significant number of specialty headsets. For example, Trimble, owner of the 3D modelling software SketchUp, changed the headset to be worn as a helmet in construction sites and other potentially dangerous places. This version will be called Trimble XR10 and will be released along with the normal version of HoloLens 2 at the end of the year. Microsoft said it will work with the companies and will eventually release other versions set.

Original glasses HoloLens was released in March 2016 — the device had a unique opportunity, and early demonstrations, including the desktop version of Minecraft, pointed to the vast potential of the platform in the consumer market. However, the first headset meant for developers and was never intended for a wide audience, and the price of $3000 was too high for most. Besides the possibility of the headset is limited to a relatively narrow field of view.

Unfortunately, the launch of a new version of HoloLens 2, for all its advantages, not only led to lower prices, but also increased it. The headset will be released in the end of the year and will sell for $3500 or $125 within monthly subscription that includes Dynamics 365 Remote Assist (software that helps technicians to diagnose problems remotely). Microsoft confirmed that the glasses will go on sale only on the markets of the USA, Japan, China, Germany, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Australia and New Zealand.

In 2016, a lot has changed. Microsoft has released more than a massive platform of Mixed Reality that combines the power of VR and AR (however, while it still concerns the development of virtual reality helmets). Start-up Magic Leap has also released the early edition Creator Edition own One headset to developers for $2295.

Like the original HoloLens, a new headset is clearly designed for highly specialized applications in business and for developers to experimentation and development of applications continued. But at the moment, of course, the key and fastestgrowing platform of augmented reality remain the smartphones that are in the pocket of everybody. Hardly focused on the corporate sector HoloLens 2 this will change.


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