The mixed-reality Microsoft HoloLens 2 headsets are shipped today after being announced earlier this year. The $ 3,500 HoloLens 2 headset will ship pre-order to customers in about half the countries. This is an updated version of the device, launched for the first time in 2016, featuring a wider field of view and more sophisticated gesture controls.
HoloLens 2 ships to the United States, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom. As my colleague Dieter Bon detailed earlier, HoloLens got a new design for better ergonomics, so its weight sits more comfortably and makes it less difficult to find good viewing angles. Its field of view has increased significantly, from 34 degrees to 52 degrees diagonally ̵
Microsoft also added full gesture tracking, not just the "air cock" option from the original HoloLens. You can do things like pinching and dragging objects or pulling menus by tapping a holographic button on your wrist. These new gestures are an important drawing for companies who might want to upgrade from earlier HoloLens as they open up a new range of application options.
Microsoft prototypes some games and art applications for the first HoloLens, but HoloLens 2 is aimed entirely at business customers – especially people working in manufacturing or repair work, where a convenient hands-free display will be convenient. Buyers may pay an additional monthly fee for Microsoft Remote Assistance software intended for live and free troubleshooting. Consumers do not intend to buy these handsets, but can still interact with them in situations such as product showrooms. And a custom US military version of HoloLens is being built as part of a controversial integrated visual zoom system.
Microsoft Communications Director Greg Sullivan says the original HoloLens will still be supported, but some developers may start building applications that require the HoloLens 2 gesture controls. And pre-order customers, he says, are a mix of new buyers and people looking to replace their first-generation devices. "The first time was like, 'What's this thing? "Sullivan says. There is now a customer base – albeit a relatively small one – already sold on the idea.