Microsoft announces Hololens 2 for $3,500
Four years ago, Microsoft started the pioneered augmented reality with the Hololens. They have now come out with its successor, the Hololens. The new headset is a more mature and developed version with greater emphasis on immersion.
Unlike existing VR headsets like the Oculus and HTC Vive, the Hololens is not made for everyday consumers. With the Hololens 2, Microsoft is going directly for the enterprise market. Microsoft expects doctors, field engineers, designers, and the military to use the product.
Comfort has been the big talking for Microsoft. Microsoft claims that they scanned 1000s of heads to ensure that the headset was comfortable for everyone. You’ll be able to use it even if you are wearing glasses. By changing the front enclosure to carbon fiber and by clever weight redistribution, Microsoft was able to increase the comfort level by more than three times.
In addition to enhanced comfort, the Hololens 2 has gained new features. The headset uses windows hello to scan your retina for authentication purposes. For making the experience more immersive, the team were able to more than double the field of view while retaining the holographic density of 47 pixels per degree. That translates to a resolution of 2K for each of the eyes. With improved spatial and depth mapping, Microsoft is able to detect and recognize your hands. You will now be able to interact with holograms by directly manipulating them.
Using Azure with to power the third wave of computing
Microsoft also announced partnerships with several businesses. These include Bentley and EPIC, the developers of Unreal Engine and Fortnite. Microsoft says Hololens 2 will help shape the path for the third way of computing.
The headset will be able to take advantage of the Microsoft Azure services for a higher fidelity experience. Microsoft calls it remote rendering. By using Azure, they are able to display content with a higher polygon count.
Microsoft also announced Spatial Anchors powered by Azure. The service will be supported by Hololens, ARkit, and ARcore. Finally, Microsoft revealed that the Hololens 2 will provide an Open experience. In addition to the Microsoft App Store, developers will be able to create their own app stores and distribute apps as they like.
The device will be available sometime in 2019 for $3500. You can opt for subscription-based bundles that will start at $125 per month. Even though the device has seen a significant price drop from its predecessor, it is still quite expensive.