Did you ever wonder when Star Wars technology would be here? It is here. It’s called the Microsoft HoloLens 2, and it’s the most advanced piece of tech we have seen in a long while, at a very steep price of $3,500 and a bit more than that, in Europe.
What Exactly is the HoloLens 2?
There’s a lot of VR sets around. The Hololens? It’s not a VR Set. This is what you can call an introduction into several dimensions, or as Microsoft calls it, Mixed Reality.
That’s why the glasses, unlike on VR sets, are like glasses. See-through.
The HoloLens 2 brings things into your current world.
And it’s absolutely incredible.
You can have your web browser in front of you, and then the keyboard will appear, and you can actually use your fingers to type with it. No weird toys required. Just your fingers.
…And then you can pick up the keyboard with two hands and move it to the left, rotate your head to the screen, and then back to the keyboard, and the keyboard will be in exactly the same spot it was left in.
From a tech point of view in a world where we have seen so much tech, this is absolutely incredible.
The Big Question: Who is the HoloLens 2 for?
Microsoft is targeting the corporate world with this platform. Hence you can only buy it as a company, and well, let’s not forget the price tag, but what we found when using the Hololens 2 is that the possibilities are endless.
Design your future cottage house and walk around it before it’s built. See the structure of the dishwasher you are repairing. Know where the pipes in the wall are located in the home. Have a second screen while working on your laptop on a train.
There has never been a tool that has allowed you to see the digital, in reality, and in such detail, with objects staying intact, exactly where they were placed, even as you move around into different rooms. HoloLens 2 allows this.
You can place 3D objects you have created on a table or the floor, and then can make them bigger or smaller, but more importantly, you can then walk around them as if they were actually there.
…The issue with a lot of augmented reality apps out there that already exist, that don’t involve the HoloLens 2, is that once you start moving, objects start to fall out of shape. Here the object maintains the position, even as you move.
It does by spatial mapping. HoloLens creates a realistic 3D space of your environment and then knows where all the surfaces are. It also is able to figure out what the surfaces do or are.
The reason why this technology works and why mobile technology doesn’t? Due to the sensors, this device comes with.
It has 4 visible-light cameras, 2 IR cameras, 1 depth sensor, and then an accelerometer, gyroscope, and a magnetometer.
And while we are on the specs topic, the camera can also capture 8-MP stills, and 1080p 30 FPS video, which is important, because if you are getting this, you will without a doubt want to show off. We don’t know someone that wouldn’t.
Comfort of Use
The HoloLens 2 rocks a resolution of 2k per eye. Even more impressively, it comes with a super bright 500 knits, and the lasers themselves scan 54,000 times per second.
All that allows for a very enjoyable experience when using the product, which is important as if you want something to look like part of your reality, it needs to look crisp.
And the HoloLens 2 does, even though the computer on the back of it is relatively small, around the size of an Apple TV, if not smaller.
The headband itself is comfortable to wear and much lighter than the first edition of this product, but it for sure is noticeable when one is wearing it. This on a train? You need to be comfortable because people will look at it.
…But then again, this isn’t designed for use on trains, but in work environments.
…And well, the battery life could be a bit better.
The learning curve? It’s quite simple. In fact, you could figure it out without a tutorial, just by playing around. The system resembles a Windows 10, with access to Microsoft Store, so if you are a Windows user, this will be very straight forward to you.
…Oh, and yes, your eyes can be your password. We are here. This is now a thing.
If there’s one thing to be picky about, it’s that while I can type with my eyes closed, perfectly, when it comes to the HoloLens 2, I can still do it extremely well which is impressive, but it’s not quite as perfect as with a standard keyboard.
What Changed From HoloLens 1?
Perhaps most importantly, the field of view. The field of view on the HoloLens 2 is significantly wider. The big issue with the first edition was that the field of view was just too small, to make the product a worthy experience because things would just cut out.
HoloLens 1 didn’t integrate well with reality because of that. HoloLens 2? It’s also a little bit lighter and smaller.
In fact, Microsoft is pretty proud of this product.
“There’s no competition for the next two or three years that can come close to this level of fidelity.”
HoloLens 2 is also much better with your hand.
HoloLens 1? It also didn’t really understand hands well. You had to make weird gestures to use it. This is not a problem with this model. You can grab all kinds of objects with ease on it.
Should You Get It?
Most people even if they wanted to, can’t buy it because you need to be a company to do that, and when one has such a budget, there’s a ton of other things that can be acquired.
…And then there’s some people that would never want to use it because they will think something like this can destroy the world.
What do we think? That while most people do not need it, the ones that get it, and that are smart enough to utilize it fully, will see this as a game-changer. As is it a game-changer. It’s a big leap forward. Some may say it gets us closer to the Star Wars era, and that is true, but in reality, this a product that can help people in almost all fields of work, whether you shoot videos, are a doctor, or an engineer.
…And the software itself? It’s ready. This product works. It’s not like the Oura ring which worked but was missing a ton of features at first, or like many Kickstarter products. It’s here, it’s fully working, and people are companies are using it and getting ahead because of it.