Microsoft announced the HoloLens 2 on Sunday in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress, an annual event for the mobile industry. But what does this $3,500 headset mean for the AR industry?
Laduma’s lead developer, Tommy Pickersgill, says doubling the size of the field of view will also increase the possibilities when it comes to new and innovative uses for the headset.
He said: “When I heard about the latest release, I was eager to see if the field of view had been improved. I was delighted to discover it had. It’s pretty much twice as big as the first headset. The field of view on the first HoloLens was about the size of a small book, a few feet from your face. Nowhere near big enough. The HoloLens 2 sees an increase in the field of view, two-fold.”
At $3,500, the HoloLens 2 is designed primarily for people such as manufacturing workers, industrial designers and those in the military, and for situations where field workers might need to work hands-free.
Pickersgill added: “This is a huge step forward in making augmented reality an integrated part of people’s lives. Although, by no means is this the end product. The hands-free experience is a key element to making augmented reality user friendly, convenient and accessible. As an immersive tech company, it’s great to see such huge investment and development in the industry from Microsoft. It’s an exciting time.”
Microsoft showcased a variety of possible uses for the device across a range of industries on Sunday. One featured a creative team for a toy company collaborating in real time in a virtual conference room. Other demos showed how the AR tech could improve car manufacturing, industrial equipment repair, as well as complex medical procedures.
“Computing is embedded in our world, in every place in every way,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said while unveiling the device. “Computing is in everything from connected cars to connected refrigerators, smart surgical tools, and even smart coffee machines.”
“It’s no longer about being device first, it’s about putting the human first, and it includes all the devices in their lives. We don’t have to just imagine it, this future is here.”
Pickersgill added: “This is the first mixed reality headset to be sold as ‘business ready.’ Magic Leap and first generation HoloLens was more of a prototype/development device.
“Overall, the HoloLens 2 gives us a better platform to deliver augmented reality experiences more seamlessly. It gives the end user a better sense of what AR can achieve. The unique, and arguably most important, feature of any AR experience is its ability to blur the lines between what’s real and what’s not.
“This device, more than its predecessors, enhances the quality of the experience, further blurring the lines. Whether it be for manufacturing, marketing, training – the opportunities are endless, in what can be achieved with AR. The Hololens 2 is another step forward a truly augmented reality.”