Microsoft HoloLens 2 Begins Shipping for a Price of $3,500
Get ready for new gesture controls and a much wider field of view.
The Microsoft HoloLens 2 Mixed Reality headset was first announced during the Mobile World Congress in February. The second-generation Microsoft augmented reality headset is now good to go, going on sale from yesterday in various markets including Germany, UK, France, Canada, China, Ireland, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the US. In the US market, the headset has been available for pre-orders over the past few months.
The new-generation Microsoft Mixed Reality headset will better serve businesses where the use of mixed reality/augmented reality and the interaction with computers through the use of gestures provides greater convenience than the use of the traditional mouse and the keyboard interface.
Microsoft HoloLens 2 Mixed Reality headset began shipping yesterday for a retail price of $3,500. The headset will now be delivered to the pre-order customers in the mentioned countries. It is an upgrade over the original HoloLens mixed reality headset that was released back in 2016 and has more complex gesture controls as well as a wider field-of-view (FOV).
The HoloLens 2 headset has been redesigned for better ergonomics, allowing its weight to sit more comfortably on the head. With the new design, it is also easier to find a good viewing angle. The mixed reality headset’s field of view has increased considerably from 34 degrees in the first-generation HoloLens to the 52 degrees in the second-generation headset. The improvement is dramatic.
Microsoft has also incorporated full-fledged gesture tracking. It goes further than the “air trap” option that was availed in the original HoloLens. Users can now accomplish tasks such as pinching and dragging objects or pulling up menus by tapping on the holographic button on the user’s wrist. The new gestures will be a powerful draw for enterprises looking to upgrade from the original Microsoft HoloLens as they now open up lots of new app options.
Some games and apps had been prototyped for the first HoloLens headset. However, the Microsoft HoloLens 2 Mixed Reality headset is solely aimed at enterprise customers, particularly those companies working in repair jobs and manufacturing tasks where hands-free heads-up displays will be more useful.
Buyers can also purchase additional monthly fee for Microsoft’s Remote Assist software that has been designed for live and hands-free troubleshooting. These headsets are not targeting consumers although they will still be able to interact with them in situations such as product showrooms.
Following Microsoft’s multimillion-dollar deal with the U.S. military, there is now even a custom military version of the HoloLens headset that is being developed as part of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System.
Microsoft has confirmed that the original Microsoft HoloLens will still be supported. However, some developers may now begin building apps that will fully leverage the HoloLens 2’s gesture controls.
The pre-order customers for the HoloLens 2 headset includes new buyers as well as users of the original HoloLens who wish to replace those first-generation HMDs. Microsoft already has a small and existing base of customers who are already fully sold to its HoloLens platform.
In the clip below, you can see some of the use-case scenarios in which the hands-free Windows 10 operation would be preferable. Of course, all the magic in the new HoloLens 2 Mixed Reality headset is as a result of the second-generation holographic processing unit. The cloud improvements such as the Azure Spatial Anchors enable other people to see the same holograms that you are looking at when they are placed at the same location. It allows for several users to experience a similar augmented reality world.
For the time being, all of these exciting features will only be available to enterprise users. The HoloLens 2 mixed reality headset retails for an eye-watering $3,500.