Microsoft unveils HoloLens 2, Azure Kinect DK


That was the major takeaway from my time with HoloLens 2, its new $3,500 headset aimed not at you (or me), but at businesses.

Microsoft's second iteration of the HoloLens mixed reality headset is definitely an improvement over the first version.

Despite the relatively public spat Mozilla's Firefox web browser developers are having with Microsoft's Edge team, the two seem to be working rather cozily on bridging the gap of Mixed Reality. Microsoft also claims to have "tripled the measured comfort and ergonomics of the device".

In 2015, when Microsoft unveiled its furutistic HoloLens, the company showed how people could watch movies and play games, make Skype calls and check the weather in Hawaii with it.

Microsoft at its MWC 2019 conference on Sunday revealed its HoloLens 2, the company's updated augmented reality headset.

One of the main criticisms of the original HoloLens was its field of view - that is, how much of the computer-generated interface the wearer can see without turning their head. The HoloLens 2 brings a number of new features including design changes but it still maintains its target market - industry professionals, and not the average consumers. It also integrates improved eye-tracking features that make interacting with holograms even easier, and even includes iris recognition, making multiple-person login easy.

Microsoft has had a rough time since the release of its first-generation HoloLens back in 2016, targeting niche enterprises with a hefty price tag and fighting off patent infringement lawsuits that have hindered further development of the technology. A new visor enables the user to quickly flip it up out of eye line if they need to complete tasks out of mixed reality.

Microsoft Azure Kinect was described on stage as a small, versatile, intelligent edge device that understands people, objects and actions, according to Julia White, corporate vice president for Azure at Microsoft.

Organizers behind the protest letter say HoloLens employees were caught off guard when they learned Microsoft had been awarded the $480 million contract. The HoloLens 2 costs $3500, while the software will be subscription-based, with Dynamics 365 Remote Assistant starting at $125 per month.