Microsoft Launches The HoloLens 2 Developers Edition
Microsoft has unveiled the developer edition of its HoloLens 2 Mixed Reality (MR) Headset on the 2nd of May. It is the successor to the HoloLens headset that was launched in the year 2016. To recall, the company first showcased the product at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019 in Barcelona in the month of February. It is touted to bring about major changes to its predecessor, especially in terms of design, comfort and processing power.
What Is Mixed Reality?
The Mixed Reality or MR platform was popularised by Microsoft with the original Hololens which offers a unique amalgamation of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. This signifies that the technology uses the camera attached to the headset which is worn by the user. With the camera used for augmented reality, the Virtual effect rendered inside the headset creates isolation from the real world. Noteworthy, Mixed Reality is anticipated to take off exponentially in a few years.
The real world case of Mixed Reality is expected to be more elaborate than both AR and VR, which are mostly used for gaming as of now. For instance, the technology can be used to train industry workers and medical professionals in a virtual environment. This can help in driving down costs and boosting productivity. However, in its current stage, the technology is deemed significantly expensive which has limited its adaptation.
Microsoft HoloLens 2: What’s New?
As mentioned above, the HoloLens 2 Mixed Reality Headset boasts of major changes over the original HoloLens. The company claims to have fixed major gripes that were reported by the users of the first generation device. According to Microsoft, the customers mainly faced issues with the resolution of the two displays which have now been bumped up to 2K resolution panels resorting the complaints. Another issue that Microsoft has fixed with the HoloLens 2 is related to the Field of View (FoV). The FoV in the first generation was found to be its biggest weakness. Microsoft claims to have fixed it with a wider FoV on the latest device. It is also said to be three times more comfortable than the previous generation and uses a knob at the back for adjusting the grip of the headset.
The Developer Kit of the HoloLens 2 includes Azure Credits alongside Unity Pro and Unity PiXYZ Plugin. While the former is a cloud service by Microsoft, the latter two are used for developing software for the headset. The company has also revealed the Unreal Engine 3 will be supported for the HoloLens 2 by the end of May. In terms of pricing, the MR headset is available for developers at a price of US $3500 (Rs. 2,42,553). It is expected to be available commercially and to businesses later this year at a slightly more price than the developer edition.