Microsoft has officially unveiled its new HoloLens headset, four years after showing off the first version of its innovative holographic headset.
Debuting at its MWC press conference, the second generation headset firmed up many of the rumors that circulated prior to its unveiling including a smaller, lighter design and enhancements with the tech that improves that mixed reality experience.
Microsoft says it has upped the immersion more than doubling the field of view and boosting resolution, which is said to be the equivalent of moving from a 720p HD display to a 2K one. That's all while maintaining an industry standard 47 degrees pixel per sight. That's currently better than what Magic Leap's One headset is able to offer.
Hands on: Microsoft HoloLens 2 review
Elsewhere on the hardware front, we're getting eye tracking sensors, which app developers will have access to, while Microsoft is also bringing better hand gesture recognition to make interactions with holograms feel a little more special.
On the comfort front, there's now a flip up visor to make it more friendly for glasses wearers and a lighter design (it now weighs 566g compared to 579g on the first HoloLens). Battery life is said to be around 3 hours, which seems to be the norm for high end AR and MR headsets right now.
In the power department, there's a Snapdragon 850 Compute Platform along with Microsoft's second generation holographic processing unit. You're also getting a 5 channel microphone array and built-in spatial audio to cover the sound bases.
For anyone with enough cash to burn, the HoloLens 2 enterprise edition is available to pre-order now for the princely sum of $3,500. That's $500 more expensive than the developer edition of the original HoloLens but not quite as steep as the Commercial Suite that sits at $5,000. Again, we should remember that it is still designed for business and enterprise use, which means no sign of a consumer edition just yet. The HoloLens 2 will start shipping later this year.
We'll be getting some hands on time at MWC to find out how much better things have got with Microsoft's holographic headset.
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