×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Microsoft Unveils Hololens 2, Its Next-Generation Augmented Reality Headset

Microsoft unveiled the second generation of its Hololens augmented reality headset at a press event in Barcelona Sunday. The new headset features more than double the field of view of the original Hololens, according to Microsoft technical fellow Alex Kipman, while still offering 47 pixels per degree of sight.

Doubling the field of view is a big step for Hololens. Microsoft has never published the field-of-view data of the original Hololens, but has been reported to be between 30 and 35 degrees horizontally. The company didn’t share exact field-of-view data about the new headset either Sunday.

One of the major new features of Hololens 2 is hand tracking, which allows users to touch and interact with holograms. In a demo shown on stage Sunday, Hololens 2 was capable of precisely tracking each and every finger, allowing users to touch buttons and even play an AR piano.

The headset also comes with integrated eye tracking, and is meant to be more ergonomic. This includes a display that flips up, allowing wearers to easily switch between AR and real-world without having to take off the headset. Microsoft also developed what Kipman called a “universal fit system” for the device — a subtle dig at the Magic Leap One, which has to be custom-fitted for each and every user.

Microsoft is clearly still positioning the Hololens as a device for professionals. Kipman was launched on stage by Anand Argawala, the CEO of Spatial, for a demo of AR-powered meetings. Kipman also said that the company has made it easier for enterprise partners to customize the Hololens hardware to their own needs.

That focus on the enterprise also had a clear impact on the device pricing: Hololens 2 will cost $3500. The device can be pre-ordered effective immediately, and will initially be sold in United States, Japan, China, Germany, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Australia and New Zealand.

However, Microsoft also made it clear that it wants to be part of entertainment — if only the production side, for now. Kipman was joined on stage by Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, who announced his company was adding Hololens 2 support to the Unreal Engine in an attempt to bring AR production tools to Hollywood and the video games industry.

Sweeney also hinted at a possibility that some of that technology will reach consumers at some point, saying: “In the years to come, Epic will support Hololens in all of our endeavors.”

In addition to Hololens 2, Microsoft also announced a few other hardware and software products that will enable next-generation immersive experiences. These include what the company calls Spatial Anchors — essentially a cloud-based AR solution that makes it possible to share persistent AR experiences across devices, including Android and iOS phones as well as Hololens headsets. “This will enable the internet of holograms,” said Kipman.

The company also announced remote rendering for AR experiences, and unveiled a new hardware accessory for the use of AR and other sensor-rich experiences in enterprises with the Azure Kinect depth-sensing camera. The Azure Kinect developer kit will be available for $399.

More Digital

  • T-mobile - Netflix - John Legere

    T-Mobile Passes Netflix Price Hike Through to Subscribers

    T-Mobile is getting ready to raise prices for subscribers who have taken advantage of its “Netflix On Us” promotion: The mobile carrier will begin charging existing customers who have participated in the promotion an additional $2 per month to account for Netflix’s recent price increase. Consumers will see their bill go up starting on 6/2. [...]

  • Oona King

    Snap Hires Google Exec Oona King as First VP of Diversity and Inclusion

    Snap continues to fill out the ranks of its revamped leadership team: The Snapchat parent tapped Oona King, most recently Google’s director of diversity strategy and a former member of British Parliament with the Labour Party, as its first VP of diversity and inclusion. King, who starts at Snap on June 11, is also the [...]

  • Chrissy Teigen

    Chrissy Teigen to Rule Over Small-Claims 'Chrissy's Court' in Show for Jeffrey Katzenberg's Quibi

    Chrissy Teigen is going full-on “Judge Judy” in a reality show ordered by Quibi, the mobile-video subscription start-up venture founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg. In each episode of “Chrissy’s Court,” the model-influencer will reign as the “judge” over one small-claims case. Like the reality TV shows it’s patterned after, the plaintiffs, defendants, and disputes are real [...]

  • IGTV-Landscape

    Instagram's IGTV Adds Support for Horizontal Videos — but Still No Monetization

    Instagram is still searching to find the right recipe for IGTV, the long-form video service it debuted nearly a year ago. In the hopes of encouraging usage of IGTV, Instagram is breaking the original design that allowed only vertical video– to now support horizontally oriented videos as well. It’s a change that bows to the [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    Facebook Took Down 2.2 Billion Fake Accounts in Q1

    Facebook saw a huge jump of bots trying to create fake accounts during the first quarter, with the company revealing Thursday that it took down 2.19 billion such accounts over the first three months of this year. “We’ve seen a steep increase in the creation of abusive, fake accounts on Facebook in the last six [...]

  • Netflix Unveils Lonely Island Musical Tribute

    Netflix Unveils Lonely Island Musical Tribute to Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire

    The Lonely Island comedy troupe has dropped a half-hour Netflix special featuring a musical tribute to baseball greats Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire. “The Lonely Island Presents: The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience” features Andy Samberg and Akiva Schaffer as the former Oakland Athletics teammates who became known as “the Bash Brothers” for their prowess at [...]

  • Rotten Tomatoes

    Rotten Tomatoes Revamps Movie Audience Scores to Focus on Verified Ticket Buyers

    Rotten Tomatoes is dramatically changing its Audience Score methodology for movies: The site’s standard user rating will now reflect only moviegoers who can prove they’ve bought a ticket to see it in a theater. It’s another troll-fighting move by Rotten Tomatoes, designed to curb coordinated “review bombs” aimed at pushing down the Audience Score for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content