Image credit: Quinn Russell Brown

Microsoft has announced the next-generation of their HoloLens headset, the HoloLens 2, and MWC this weekend which is aimed at the workplace.

The HoloLens has always had a bit of a tricky job for itself, having been revealed as Microsoft’s foray into VR, the mixed reality headset saw applications both in the workplace as well as in the home as users could visualize their Minecraft creations right before their eyes in amongst their furniture.

Now, I’ll admit, I haven’t followed Microsoft’s progress with the HoloLens for a while, last I heard the headset was still only available to developers for a pretty pricey $3,000. Anyway, I suppose it doesn’t matter any more as here’s the HoloLens 2 a mixed reality headset which almost doubles the field of view of the original headset while offering 47 pixels per degree of sight.

The company claims that this improvement is the same as jumping from a 720p screen to a 2K screen for each eye. Which is impressive. Not only that though, it’ll also apparently track your retina too so it knows exactly where you’re looking. It’ll also boast Windows Hello out of the box.

HoloLens 2

If that wasn’t impressive though, Microsoft has also revealed that the HoloLens 2 won’t need any additional controllers as the headset’s “time-of-flight” depth sensor and algorithms will track users hands, controller-free. Users will be able to pick up virtual objects, interact with various HoloLens applications – like Microsoft Teams – and push buttons virtually.

The headset as a whole has been improved too with a PS VR-style dial for tightening the main headband, as well as a much lighter carbon-fiber build. Users can also flip up the visor if they want to quickly look at something other than their mixed reality world.

The company also revealed some pretty neat enterprise functions, continuing their movement away from general consumer usage. If that wasn’t enough though, the headset costs $3,500 a piece. But the good news is, companies can customize their headsets with branding if they so wish.

Ultimately the HoloLens 2 is an enterprise-focused headset as Microsoft has folded out Mixed Reality which works with many third-party (and more afforable) headsets to give users the ability to experience the more consumer focused functions.

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