Microsoft announced the HoloLens 2 augmented reality headset all the way back in February, with pricing and pre-order details arriving in May this year. Now after plenty of waiting, the HoloLens 2 is officially shipping, with an upgraded field of view and more powerful internal hardware.
Under the hood, the HoloLens 2 packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 processor, as well as a custom second-generation holographic processing unit (HPU) designed by Microsoft. The new headset also comes with a new 8MP front-facing camera for 1080p/30Hz recording, WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0 and tracking for your eyes, hands and 6 degrees of freedom head movement. Battery life is still on the low side though, with the 2K 3:2 per eye light engines limiting portable use to three hours on a single charge.
While the HoloLens is an exciting device, it is far from being a consumer-oriented one. The original headset ended up being marketed exclusively towards developers with a $3,000 price tag. With the HoloLens 2, Microsoft's ‘Developer Edition' will be sold to developers and enterprise partners at $3,500 per unit, putting it in the realm of ‘business tool' rather than ‘fun new toy'.
With the HoloLens 2 now out, all eyes will be turning towards what's next, especially as Apple continues to ready up its own augmented reality headset in a rumoured partnership with Valve.
KitGuru Says: The HoloLens is one of Microsoft's most interesting on-going projects but current augmented reality technology is far from matching our sci-fi fuelled dreams for the future. Still, steady progress is being made and hopefully by this time next year, we'll be hearing about the next big development, whether its a HoloLens 3 or a competing AR headset.