Microsoft might not be doing much virtual reality (VR) development but its dedication to augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) has never been stronger. Having announced the HoloLens 2 headset earlier this year during the Mobile World Congress as well as pre-orders, there was never any indication regarding when the device would actually launch. Today, that question has been answered with HoloLens 2 set to arrive next month.
The announcement was made by Microsoft’s executive vice president Harry Shum in a speech at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai this week reports Reuters.
No other details were given including an actual date in September, but for those who’ve managed to pre-order the headset, at least that means shipments should begin soon.
The original HoloLens arrived back in 2016 offering businesses the first real opportunity to explore MR technology. Retailing for $3,000 USD the headset was purely enterprise-focused. One of the main grievances with the original HoloLens was the field-of-view (FoV), coming in at a rather restrictive 35-degrees (an Oculus Rift is 110-degree for example).
HoloLens 2 promises an improved experience over its predecessor, offering greater comfort thanks to better balancing – the battery is placed at the back of the head now – and of course, the FoV has been increased. Those who wear glasses should find the design better suited to them and the front is hinged to allow easy dropping in and out of any experience.
Naturally, the HoloLens 2 isn’t cheap coming in at $3,500. You can’t simply pre-order the device either. Those interested will need to head to the official HoloLens 2 page to register their interest before going any further. It’s also worth noting that customers need to be based in the US, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, or the UK. If you happen to be part of Microsoft’s Mixed Reality Developer Program then you can also access the HoloLens 2 Development Edition starting from $99 per month (or you can buy it outright). This edition is designed to encourage creators onto the system, only available through this program.
VRFocus will continue its coverage of Microsoft’s HoloLens 2, reporting back with all the latest updates.