Microsoft unveiled HoloLens 2 at the Mobile World Congress (MWC 2019) in Barcelona, with the company's head of AI and Mixed Reality pinpointing some significant changes to the first generation of the Mixed Reality device.
While the original Mixed Reality device was introduced in 2016, but the many shortcomings of the first generation HoloLens made it less suitable for business usage as it lacks support for modern graphic technologies, and so, saddled with low processing capabilities.
HoloLens 2 will work with Microsoft's Azure cloud, bringing the Remote Rendering technology from the power of Azure cloud to boost the headset’s image processing capabilities.
Microsoft has also redesigned the display system, now holographic objects look more real and sharp, with the promise of bringing the Unreal engine to HoloLens 2 in May. The company have equally added a time-of-flight depth sensor, and enabled direct manipulation of digital objects.
Alex Kipman, the inventor of the original HoloLens, announced what he calls Spatial Anchors, ways in which “Internet of holograms” could be developed to share three-dimensional images with ARCore by Google and Apple’s ARkit.
Some other key improvements in HoloLens 2, include: more than double field of view from the first-generation HoloLens, measuring approximating 2,000 pixels while still keeping the original’s pixel density.
And there's the capability of ten-point touch interaction for holograms, complete with hand sensing, and a new UI allowing users to interact with buttons and holograms.
Microsoft had only published very few specifications on the HoloLens 2, but some key known facts are that it will run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 850, and will be lighter and more comfortable to wear than the former.
Additionally, HoloLens 2 will adapt to the movement of your hands or fingers, which will enable the manipulation of objects in the real world; and besides the gestures, it will also listen and react to vocal commands.