02/27/2019 – article updated
Three years have passed since Microsoft first showed the world the revolutionary glasses of augmented reality HoloLens. HoloLens did not reach the wide consumer market due to its price of several thousand dollars, however, they were able to find their niche and are actively used by a number of companies in production processes and personnel training.
In February 2019, Microsoft finally introduced the improved HoloLens 2 – with improved visibility, ergonomics, design and control. However, this is not a complete list of improvements.
HoloLens 2 was presented at the MWC 2019 conference by project manager Alex Kipman (Alex Kipman). He did not confine himself to a presentation – he was shown a completely working HoloLens 2 device. At the moment, it is already possible to pre-order a novelty at a price of $ 3,500. As you already understood, the device has risen in price – and no wonder. It is designed for the corporate sector (unlike the Magic Leap One).
This article contains all the relevant information about HoloLens 2.
Hardware part of HoloLens 2
Microsoft has already confirmed that the following Hololens will have a new (third) processor – the Holographic Processing Unit (HPU). It will include an Artificial Intelligence co-processor, which will make it possible to visualize external data locally, without having to send it to the cloud. This will help the glasses to quickly recognize surrounding objects and environments. The new processor will come to the aid of the other two – the graphic and central.
In addition, Hololens 2 will come with an ARM processor and LTE support. This will allow him to become more mobile, work on a single battery charge longer and always be in a state of "waiting". It is likely that in Hololens 2 we will see a wider viewing angle, since it was extremely small in the previous generation of the helmet.
HoloLens displays have a resolution of 2 – 47 pixels per degree or 2K. The pixel density of the second generation HoloLens is not much different from the first, but still higher than that of the HTC Vive Pro (16 px per degree).
Unfortunately, the viewing angle of HoloLens 2 is far from perfect and is about 65 degrees. This is extremely inferior to virtual reality helmets – for example, the Samsung Odyssey it is 95 degrees. Well, for a high resolution you have to pay a small viewing angle – there can be no peripheral vision
About the rendering system Microsoft prefers not to spread. The HoloLens 2 specification only states that "rendering is based on data about the position of the eyes (" optimization of the three-dimensional position of the eyes "). In HoloLens 2 there is a special oculographic system, which not only follows the eye, but also the user's attention. This means that the image passes extremely fine adjustment in any software.
HoloLens 2 is powered by Snapdragon 850. The 2nd generation proprietary coprocessor helps it with processing. Own processor is responsible for processing data from the sensors of the device. The first version of HoloLens was installed less powerful Intel Atom x86.
Tracking gestures and hand movements
Tracking gestures and hand positions has become much more accurate. Now the system keeps track of the whole hand – thus, it became much easier to work in applications. Any part of the interface will easily respond to any touch with your hands – in the first HoloLens everything was not so great.
Battery (battery life)
HoloLens 2 battery life is about 2-3 hours. It practically repeats the indicator of the first version of points. Of course, 2-3 hours is not enough. However, you can always connect HoloLens 2 via USB-C, as well as use the “fast charge”, including from Power Bank.
Wearing comfort and use with glasses
HoloLens 2 can be used with eyeglasses. There is only one question – how will this affect the tracking accuracy in eye tracking and gaze tracking?
The entire industry has already realized that in such devices, ergonomics and wearing comfort are extremely important. In HoloLens 2, the developers combined the rim with a tightening mechanism and a strap that runs through the entire device.
Also, glasses can be raised above the eyes, without removing the entire helmet. This is realized through a special loop.
Subscribe to Dynamics 365 Remote Assist
Also, Microsoft will offer to purchase HoloLens 2 with a subscription to the Dynamics 365 Remote Assist service. With the help of the service, you can remotely see a picture with glasses and help solve various problems. Subscription will cost from $ 125 per month.
HoloLens 2 software
HoloLens 2 will only work with Windows 10 based on Windows Core OS. This version of Windows is still being developed and has the working name Oasis. It will have built-in tools for the most realistic experience of mixed reality and will allow you to maximize the possibilities of HoloLens 2 and Windows Mixed Reality based devices. Also in HoloLens 2 will be used CShell – a new responsive user interface. It will work on all devices that support Windows 10.
Released HoloLens 2
Released HoloLens 2 was held in February 2019.
At the moment, the exact release date of Hololens 2 is unknown. Microsoft should announce Hololens 2 in late 2018 – early 2019. The announcement was planned earlier, but, given the increasing competition in the industry, the developer decided to postpone the release in order to surprise potential buyers with new functionality, AR experience and incredible opportunities.
Buy HoloLens 2, price in Russia
At the moment, the price at which Hololens 2 will be sold in Russia is unknown.
In the official Microsoft store in the US, it is $ 3,500 (for the version without the Dynamics 365 Remote Assist service).
In Russia, entrepreneurial companies sell this device for about 350,000 rubles. Thus, it will be possible to buy Hololens 2 in Russia at a price of 300000-350000 rubles, even if you order a gadget from the US, using the services of intermediaries.