A little over 2 years ago Microsoft launched HoloLens, its ambitious incursion into the world of augmented reality glasses. HoloLens gained popularity for being one of the first computers running the Windows Mixed Reality platform under the Windows 10 operating system.
The HoloLens headset delivered a true mixed reality experience, mixing the real world with virtual images on a transparent display.
However, the early adopters and developers quickly realized that while HoloLens had potentials, it was being stifled by its small field of view. But, this will reportedly change with the glasses’ second gen hardware, which is rumored to be released soon.
Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans told The Verge that the software giant is tentatively planning to unveil some details on HoloLens 2 in the second half of 2018, similar to how the Surface Hub 2 was launched. The new HoloLens headset, codenamed Sydney, will include Microsoft’s latest generation of the Kinect sensor, an enhanced field of view, a better quality display, an AI chip, and will be a lot lighter and more comfortable to wear. Microsoft will also reportedly reduce the cost of the headset significantly, to encourage business to adopt it. The first HoloLens still sells for $3,000. Sydney codename was first reported by Thurrott.com on Tuesday.
While details are still insufficient, the 2nd gen headset will be built around an ARM-based processor (the current model uses a discontinued Intel chip), which could increase better battery life, allowing users to stay in their mixed reality world for longer.
Microsoft is also targeting a HoloLens 2 release date for 2019, and according to the report, the company is on track to hit this target.
HoloLens 2 will reportedly include a variation of Windows 10, just like the existing headset, and designed especially to be used in mixed reality platform.
As for other Microsoft hardware news, we could see a next-generation Surface Pro “6” (codenamed Carmel) in mid-2019, reports ZDNET. Past rumors fixed smaller Surface tablets release date for the end of this year, and you can also expect to see Intel 8th generation CPU upgrades for the Surface Pro and Laptop then, as well.