Microsoft HoloLens 2: An insider’s guide (free PDF)

Early accounts suggest that the HoloLens 2 is an improvement over the original—but questions remain about its real-world utility. This ebook offers a comprehensive look at what the experts are saying about their experiences with the mixed-reality headset and what the future may hold.

From the ebook:

One of the first things you notice when you put on Microsoft’s HoloLens 2, revealed to the world at Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona, is that it’s lighter and less bulky than the first incarnation of the mixed-reality headset.

Putting on the original HoloLens felt a bit clunky—especially if, like me, you have to force it over the top of a pair of glasses.

However, Microsoft’s new hardware is easier to slip on, especially for the spectacle wearer, and the visor is more adjustable and even flips up so you can see more clearly when not in the virtual world.

The setup for my demo in Barcelona was simple enough, and I was asked to not move my head while following the movements of a small, floating, crystal-like purple shape, so the HoloLens 2 could calibrate eye-movement tracking.

Soon the shapes were replaced with a hummingbird. When I stretched out my hand, the bird came and sat on my fingers, immediately illustrating the power of augmented reality; it almost felt like I was touching the bird and it was reacting to my movements.

Once set up, there’s immediately one noticeable difference: The field of view for HoloLens 2 is double the size of the original. The area in which you can look and see items—objects or avatars of other users in the same virtual “room”—is much larger. It’s easier to keep track of what’s going on in the user interface around you with just your eyes, rather than needing to turn your head.

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