Microsoft will apparently released the long awaited Hololens 2 in the first quarter of 2019. Code-named Sydney within Microsoft, the device will be cheaper than the original (which costs $3,000), be lighter in weight, and more comfortable to wear, according to a news reports. At this time, we don’t know a whole lot of what Hololens 2 will be outfitted with, but the word is Microsoft is going all in on this one. Upon its release, Hololens 2 is fully expected to surpass Google AR goggles and the Oculus Rift.
What We Know So Far
According to Alex Kipman, Microsoft Technical Fellow of the Windows and Devices Group and key advocate for HoloLens, it’s been earmarked for the new version of the AR headset that the company has in the pipeline. Indeed, the HoloLens team had already previewed some of the news about the new sensor earlier in the year, beating CEO Satya Nadella to the punch. The sensor has 1024 x 1024 resolution, Kipman says, and a global shutter for improved performance in sunlight conditions. It has the highest figure of merit, too – that is to say, the highest modulation frequency and modulation contrast – which means lower power consumption. Indeed, overall system power is just 225-950 mw. That’s despite adding things like automatic per-pixel gain selection, for a broader dynamic range. That will give HoloLens 2 better abilities at capturing both near and far objects. There’s multiphase depth calculation support, which will preserve accuracy even if the chip, laser, or power supplies vary.
“With HoloLens, we saw incredible results when we took some of the magic of Kinect and applied it in a mixed reality context,” Kipman writes “The current version of HoloLens uses the third generation of Kinect depth-sensing technology to enable it to place holograms in the real world. With HoloLens we have a device that understands people and environments, takes input in the form of gaze, gestures and voice, and provides output in the form of 3D holograms and immersive spatial sound.”
At an expected cost of around $3,000.00 it’s hard to say what can be expected for the Hololens 2. If the hype around it is real, then it maybe worth scraping up some dough and getting yourself a new toy. For now, I’ll anxiously await to hear more about the specs on these bad boys.