The HoloLens 2 headset from Microsoft will be delivered today after it was announced earlier this year. The HoloLens 2 headset, which costs $ 3,500, is delivered to pre-order customers in about half a dozen countries. It is an improved version of the device that was first released in 2016, with a wider field of vision and more complex controls for gestures.
The HoloLens 2 is shipped in the US, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia and the UK. As my colleague Dieter Bohn stated earlier, the HoloLens has been given a new design for better ergonomics, making the weight more comfortable and making it less difficult to find a good viewing angle. The field of view has increased considerably, from 34 degrees to 52 degrees diagonally – Microsoft has described the total area as "more than doubled", and while you can argue about the details, it's a dramatic improvement.
Microsoft has also added full-fledged gesture tracking, not just the "air tap" option of the original HoloLens. You can do things such as pinching and dragging objects or opening menus by tapping a holographic button on your wrist. These new gestures are a major attraction for companies that may want to upgrade from the previous HoloLens, as they open a new range of app options.
Microsoft has made a prototype of some games and art apps for the first HoloLens, but the HoloLens 2 is purely aimed at business customers – especially people who work in production or repair work where a hands-free heads-up display would be useful. Buyers can pay an additional monthly fee for Microsoft's Remote Assist software, which is designed for live, hands-free problem solving. Consumers are not supposed to buy these headsets, but they can still handle them in situations such as product showrooms. And a modified American military version of the HoloLens is being built as part of the controversial Integrated Visual Augmentation System.
Microsoft communications director Greg Sullivan says the original HoloLens is still supported, but some developers may start building apps that require gesture control of the HoloLens 2. And pre-order customers, he says, are a mix of new buyers and people who want to replace their first-generation devices. "The first time it was like:" What is this thing? "Sullivan says. Now there is an existing clientele – albeit one relatively small – already sold on the idea.