Microsoft just announced their mixed-reality headset “HoloLens 2”. It is a huge upgrade from the first HoloLens. The HoloLens 2 comes with better visuals (and a larger screen) and is easier to use. It is also more comfortable than its predecessor for extended sessions.

Microsoft Hololens 2 device
Microsoft HoloLens 2 Device

HoloLens 2 is a great device. But there is one major drawback, it starts at $3,500. With this kind of pricing, Microsoft has made it clear that the HoloLens isn’t made for the average consumer.

At $3,500, we can be sure that the HoloLens 2 isn’t trying to compete with the other VR technologies in the market. HTC’s Vive is priced $499, FaceBook’s Oculus Rift at $349, and even if we add the price of an expensive PC or a PlayStation 4 to run these VR devices, that is still less than half the price of just the HoloLens 2.

HoloLens is being marketed towards medical, industrial, and even military use. Their contract with the US military has raised differences among their employees, even causing some of them to protest the contract. Microsoft has reportedly defended their $480 million dollar contract with the US Military.

HoloLens 2's use in Industry
The HoloLens 2 is meant for Industry

The HoloLens 2 is designed to be used as a hands-free device, thus enabling its importance in the professional environment. Microsoft says that they have doubled the FOV from the original HoloLens without reducing the image quality. HoloLens 1 supported a 30-degree FOV. HoloLens 2 has 47 pixels-per-degree(PPD). To compare, consumer hardware like the Vive has 16 PPD. HoloLens 2 tracks your eyes for faster response to the in-built menu. People with glasses will find the HoloLens 2 comfortable, it even supports the thickest of glasses.

HoloLens 2 in action
How the HoloLens 2 will display data

Microsoft has announced that it has plans to create a consumer-oriented version of the HoloLens that will (of course) be cheaper.

The HoloLens 2 is set to release in 2019, but there is no definite release date yet, however, Microsoft is accepting preorders right now.

HoloLens 2 Specs

  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 Compute Platform and 2nd generation custom-built Holographic Processing Unit.
  • Display: Equivalent of a 2K display for each eye, 47 PPD, with a 52- degree FOV.
  • Connectivity: USB Type-C, 802.11ac 2×2
  • Audio Output: Built-in “Spatial Audio”
  • Audio Input: 5-channel Microphone Array
  • Battery Life: ~ 3 hours
  • Weight: 566 grams/ 1.25 pounds

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