Microsoft Aiming to Launch HoloLens 2
The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was the pitching ground for Microsoft this year, and it unveiled the HoloLens 2 to the world. This is an augmented reality visor also known as Microsoft Glasses dubbed after the Google Glasses. The VR and AR headset is going to be more powerful than the predecessor for sure. And, users of the first version will be able to appreciate the improvement right off the shelf.
The new product is already available starting this month in several countries starting with the US, Japan, China, Germany, Canada, UK, and a few more. These are the same countries where it was available for preorder as well. So, if you had placed one, you?re going to get one. And, it has been made available in your place as well.
The Look and Feel of HoloLens 2
Microsoft Glasses or HoloLens, the device is nothing but VR and AR headset similar to those from HTC, Oculus and few random companies trying to make an entry into the niche field. The area of mixed reality augmented reality and virtual reality is the hype these days. You can easily find several tech companies working on some aspect of it, whether for gaming, entertainment or simply cool stuff. The HoloLens is not cheap just like its processor. And, with a premium price tag, the designers behind this have taken care to make the headset feel premium to wear as well. It is more important to feel more comfortable than the previous model, and also last longer.
After a brief demo in Barcelona, those who got a chance to play with it found a greater field of view. It still does not cover your complete field of view but is improved than the previous one. In the previous version, it felt more like looking through a stamp-sized window. And, now it feels more like looking through a pair of glasses.
Although there have been changes, the headset is not lightweight or portable from any aspect. It weighs around 1.3 pounds that is around 700gms, but, when the front visor that flips up, the new mounting system seems more comfortable overall.
The core integration with Windows 10 is deep and users will also immediately notice new gestures for using the interface, for example, hitting the ?Start? menu. As opposed to the bloom gesture which was reportedly capturing a lot of false positives, now you can simply tap on your palm where Microsoft?s logo will appear when you look at it.
Improvements and Expectations
HoloLens 2 is out now and is being sold for $3500. Yes, that is the HoloLens price and with that price tag, it is being sold to companies. So, for the average user, the prices will vary based on your country and other things like taxes and so on. The internals has been greatly improved and starting with recognizing you through IR Microsoft Hello, recognizing your hands after a short calibration; it also recognizes the world around you. And, all that processing happens inside the hat on your head.
A whole new technology to improve the field of view was developed. Microsoft started with a laser and a waveguide that could oscillate at a larger angle and direct the beam of photons into the waveguide at these larger angles. Compared to directly bombarding photons into your retina, this is much better. And, the images are also very bright. The HoloLens can now offer up to 500nits of brightness. And, in terms of sharpness, each eye receives up to 2K resolution display which is amazing even if you are just enjoying the content. This means that the holograms do not clip that much like before. The result is a much wider field of view.
According to Zulfi Alam, General Manager of Optics, ?There is no competition for the next two or three years that can come close to this level of fidelity?. This is a great claim from Microsoft and something to brag about. But, how does that stand out for an average user when they begin using it can be said only after owning a pair of Microsoft Glasses.
Pricing and Options for You
The HoloLens price has remained the same despite all the improvements. You can go to this webpage (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/HoloLens/buy) on your browser and take a look at it. The device does not come alone. There is a paired Dynamics 365 Remote with the HoloLens 2. You can get this pack starting at USD 125 per month per user. IT offers same-day deployment and enterprise-level security too.
The next category is the device itself and only. To get hands-on experience, you can buy this device for USD 3500 and it is available at your country from select retailers only. The site offers a link to contact their sales team too and, finally the Developer Edition. This comes with HoloLens 2, a Unity Pro and PiXYZ Plug-in trial, and $500 Azure Credits. Yes, Azure Cloud is used for some functionalities too. This can be obtained for $99 per month. This is not yet available.
For more details, you should check with your local dealers and country-specific website.
- The Microsoft Glasses or the HoloLens offers a lot of things.
- The HoloLens price has remained the same as before.
- It is lighter and more immersive than the previous generation.
- It is still far from the complete field of view, lightweight and portable. It feels more like a heavy hat than a pair of glasses.
The field of augmented reality or AR and mixed reality or MR is a hot topic right now. Many companies and teams across the world are trying to develop new applications. Microsoft?s attempt at reviving the HoloLens comes as an opportunity for people willing to use it in creative ways for the study, work and more. That being said getting one is going to cost you about half the price of a 2019 Mac Pro so to speak.