Microsoft’s New HoloLens 2 AR Glasses to be Released in September
Microsoft’s new HoloLens 2 AR glasses are now scheduled to be released in September and they will be targeting enterprise users according to a Reuters report. The release date was revealed by Microsoft AR researcher Harry Shum during his appearance at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference which was held in Shanghai.
Microsoft is yet to make an official announcement on the release date but this should be forthcoming soon following the reveal. While we are now aware it is coming next month, there are still no details on the exact date or scope of the release. However, if you had already made pre-orders and were bracing for a long wait, you can now rest easy that shipments will be coming soon.
Microsoft has been accepting pre-orders for the HoloLens 2 augmented reality headset ever since it gave a presentation of the headset this spring. The enterprise version will cost $3,500. During the reveal, Microsoft had also announced a developer version of the headset which will go for the same price. The software company will also be offering affordable leases to boost accessibility of the device to the broader developer community.
Compared to its predecessor, HoloLens 2 has undergone significant improvements. Among other things, it now offers more precise hand tracking as well as a wider field-of-view. However, at only 50 degrees, the FOV is still narrow in the larger scheme of things. Just like HoloLens 1, the HoloLens 2 will also be exclusively targeting professional or enterprise users.
Following the launch of the HoloLens 2 headset, Microsoft will no longer publish new updates for HoloLens 1 although it will continue rolling out security updates.
The HoloLens 2 was first announced early this year during the Mobile World Congress during which, Microsoft also opened up the product to pre-orders so the launch was always expected to happen soon.
The first HoloLens came in 2016 and gave businesses and other enterprise users their first glimpse at mixed reality (MR) technology. It was priced at $3000 and was entirely enterprise-focused. One of the main issues with the HoloLens 1 was its small field-of-view (FoV) of just 35-degrees which was quite restrictive.
HoloLens 2, while still having a smaller field of view of just 50-degrees promises a much improved experience as well as enhanced wearing comfort due to better balancing (its battery is now at the back of the head). Additionally, users wearing prescription glasses will find the HoloLens 2 better suited for them. The front part has a hinge design allowing for an easy dropping and dropping out of any immersive experience.
The price is still steep and users can’t just pre-order it. Users interested in pre-ordering the device must go to the HoloLens 2 official page and register their interest before proceeding any further.
Also, the product is currently only available in the U.S., Germany, France, Ireland, Australia, UK and New Zealand. Users that are part of the Microsoft Mixed Reality Development Program can also opt for the HoloLens 2 Development Edition which can be purchased outright at $3500 or via installments of $99. The Development Edition was created to encourage creators to hop onto the platform and it is only available through the Microsoft Mixed Reality Development Program.
HoloLens 2 Specifications
- Resolution of 2K 3:2 light engines
- Built-in speakers, spatial audio
- Optics: see-through holographic lenses with integrated waveguide displays
- About 2-3 hours of battery life
- Camera: 8MP, 1080p30 video
- Eye-based rendering: Display optimization for 3D eye position
- Holographic density: >2.5K radiants
- Microphone array is composed of 5 channels
- Real-time eye-tracking
- Hand-tracking: Fully recognizes both hands, direct manipulation-interacts directly with AR overlays.
- Voice control: Command and control On-device
- 6D0OF tracking in real-time: Offers world-scale positional tracking
- Spatial mapping in real-time with object recognition
- SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 850
- Bluetooth 5.0
- WiFi: 802.11ac 2×2
- HPU: 2nd generation custom-built holographic processing unit
- USB: USB Type-C
- Mixed reality shooting is possible for both photos and videos
- Comfort: Flip-up visor; computer positioned at the back of the head; 566grams; there is individual/personalized design for partners.