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Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 with improved hand tracking system debuts at MWC

Feb 25, 2019, 11:45 am

MWC 2019 in Barcelona saw the official launch of Microsoft’s second-generation AR headset HoloLens 2. The headset is a much lighter and cheaper version of the original four-year-old original headset and has made its debut with new features including better visuals, and “the most advanced hand tracking system” according to CNET.

Besides retaining the features of its predecessor, Microsoft Hololens 2 also has an eye tracking feature, enabled by cameras and sensors near the nose ridge pointing at the user’s eyes. Another important feature is an onboard iris recognition that uses Windows Hello for logging in to HoloLens 2.

The second-gen HoloLens doesn’t sport any dedicated controllers instead they can be controlled by hand and voice via Cortana. The HoloLens is speculated to have additional gesture support, as suggested by the leaked reports on it, which implies the inclusion of hand motion recognition, enabling up to 21 points of recognition per hand. The HoloLens 2 comes with a much more improved field of view compared to the older headset.

Priced at $3500, the HoloLens 2 is ideal for all kinds of industrial as well as military purposes. New HoloLens apps like Dynamic 365 Guides have also been announced by Microsoft, where companies can put guided instructions in mixed reality. Another app, Dynamic 365 Layout allows users to create maps and store them using MS.

The AR headset will also work with new cloud apps over Wi-Fi and has a battery life of about 3 hours. Mozilla i also expected to introduce its Firefox browser to the HoloLens 2.

Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 Compute Platform, the Hololens 2 comes with a second-generation custom-built Holographic Processing Unit. Unlike the original HoloLens which has 720 display, the new Hololens has 2K display for each eye and comes with 5 channel microphone array for audio input and “spatial audio”output. As far as connectivity is concerned, the options are USB Type-C, 802.11ac 2×2, and lacks cellular connectivity.

Although no release date has been announced by Microsoft, pre-orders are open now.

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