Ahead of the Mobile World Congress 2019 event in Barcelona, Spain tomorrow, Microsoft has held a pre-show press conference, revealing its plans for the future. The main announcement today is the unveiling of HoloLens 2, Microsoft’s mixed reality (MR) head-mounted display (HMD).
Microsoft’s technical fellow and HoloLens creator Alex Kipman lead the announcement today, revealing a host of features for the new MR HMD.
One of the biggest gripes aimed at the original HoloLens was its really narrow field of view (FOV). Without detailing any specs, Kipman did say that while keeping the same quality resolution HoloLens 2 would now double the FOV. Another feature is the addition of eye tracking, allowing HoloLens 2 to know exactly where users are looking. And to make interaction and immersion even better, HoloLens 2 includes both hand tracking and voice control. Users hands will be fully tracked with each finger properly articulated. And with their voice, users will be able to control apps, even going so far as to make an app follow them.
Microsoft has also further improved the comfort of HoloLens 2. After 3D scanning thousands of heads, the company has produced a headset that’s much more centrally balanced. The weight has been reduced thanks to the use of carbon fibre on the front of the headset, plus with a new universal fit system, HoloLens 2 should be easier to put on, especially for those with glasses. And taking a leaf for the Windows Mixed Reality headsets, HoloLens 2 features a front hinge to quickly drop in and out of mixed reality.
Full specifications have yet to be released for Microsoft HoloLens 2, but the headset is now available to pre-order, retailing for $3,500 USD – or there are bundles going to be available starting at $125 per month – with shipments due to start later this year.
VRFocus will continue its coverage of Microsoft HoloLens 2, reporting back with the latest HMD details.