Big day for Microsoft. The company has finally begun shipping HoloLens 2, its second-generation standalone holographic PC, which has been a long time coming.
First unveiled back at the Mobile World Congress, the technology giant reserved the announcement at the tail end of its Ignite 2019 conference. Confirming that it had started shipments of the newest version of its mixed reality headset.
One of the biggest changes in the second-generation device is that it is now ARM-based, powered by the fairly powerful Snapdragon 850 chip. Though there still is no cellular connectivity.
But as Julia White, Microsoft corporate vice president of Azure marketing notes, one of the key changes from the first-generation HoloLens is that interactions in this new variant are meant to be more instinctual.
“You can do really interesting things with HoloLens, and you can do really interesting things with the cloud. But when you see these two things come together, it changes the game in terms of what people can actually do.”
The big idea is for users to not spend a lot of time figuring out how to use the HoloLens 2 — their first guess should be the way to use the device.
How this is achieved is interesting.
Microsoft has baked in reliable hand-tracking and eye-tracking into the device, which now works in tandem with the software. For instance, it is now possible to easily grab the corner of something to make it larger or smaller, just as effortless as it is to grab the side to move it around.
Small factors that go a long way, when it comes usability.
Of course, the hardware side is not the only thing Redmond focused on this time round. Microsoft also expanded the apps and services that it has for HoloLens, so that your organization does not have to spend months building out its own.
An example is the very handy Remote Assist app that allows you to show someone how to do something via augmented reality.
All said and done, it certainly seems like Microsoft has a much better idea and a definite vision of what HoloLens should be. Perks of being a second-generation device, as the saying goes.
Speaking of the device, HoloLens 2 starts at an eye-watering $3,500.
Though it is available for purchase in a number of different bundles, the details of which you can check by pointing your browser to this link.