The world’s best gadgets are launched at the Mobile World Congress. Microsoft, too arrived at the party with is second-gen mixed reality handset, the HoloLens2. The latest handset has a lot of upgrades under its sleeve, which include a better display, a comfortable design, better gesture controls, performance and an improved power efficiency.
The latest offering is now up for sale in countries like the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, Ireland, Canada, China, New Zealand, Australia and France from the company’s e-shop and is priced at $3,500 (approx. INR 2,49,000). Together with the HoloLens 2, Microsoft has launched the Azure Kinect at the event. The Azure Kinect is available for pre-order and will be available first in countries like United States and China.
Specs: Microsoft HoloLens 2
Microsoft while launching the second-gen HoloLens 2 claims to have doubled the FoV as compared to the first-gen handset. The FoV is now at 52-degrees, while the holographic density is of 47 pixels per degree of sight. The company has used the MEMS (microelectromechanical system) display technology and claims that it offers an equivalent of a 2K display, each for the eyes.
Powering the mixed-reality handset is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 processor and a custom-built Holographic Processing Unit. The input and output for audio is handled by a five-channel microphone array and a built-in spatial audio hardware, for respective units. The HoloLens 2 also includes an Iris Scanner for enhanced security process and the device is good to be used once fitted over the eyes. In order to charge the headset, users have the option of a USB-Type C port. The headset also hosts a 8MP sensor that facilitates video conferencing.
Coming to the design, the HoloLens 2 has a flip-up visor design and also features a dial-in fit design for the best fit. It also has a carbon fibre chassis and an advanced vapour chamber technology for improved thermal management. Microsoft has added a new software solution, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Guidelines, which is designed for various work scenarios.
The new handset allows consumers to interact with holograms via their hands and also via a synthetic tactile feedback. All this is facilitated by an advanced ToF sensor that works with a built-in AI and spatial awareness algorithm. In addition, the holograms can also be controlled via eye tracking and voice commands, which means that one can have complete control.
The Azure Kinect
Along with the HoloLens 2, Microsoft also brought in a second hardware product, the Azure Kinect, also called the Azure Kinect Developer Kit (DK). It is an AI-backed solution integrated with Microsoft’s Azure cloud services, for enterprise consumers. Hosting a ToF sensor, a 12MP RGB camera and a 1MP depth sensing lens, the Azure Kinect’s sensors create a 3D map of the surroundings and also utilize AI for a real-time situation assessment and also to send alerts. Costing $399 (approx. INR 28,500), the Azure Kinect is now available for pre-order.