Microsoft has been working on a next-generation version of its HoloLens Enhanced Reality System for some time, and may or may not * have been revealed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. A new YouTube title on OnSight: Virtual visit to Mars shows more researchers using collaborative AR software "developed by NASA JPL for Microsoft HoloLens", and switches between people who seem to use two different headset models.
The latest reports indicate that HoloLens 2 is being redesigned to be more affordable, comfortable and disappointing than the original HoloLens; The headset shown in the video shows a simpler, single-frame break horizontally around the user's head, without vertical support and another form of the front-handed plastic viewer.
The headphone looks like an iterative step forward for HoloLens, sharing a lot of original design languages. What appears to be swirled metal bolts can now be seen on both sides and back of the frame. One probably adjusts the tension of the frame on the user's head while the other can make adjustments to the AR screen relative to the user's eyes.
Since Microsoft and NASA have collaborated on various measures over the years, including HoloLens, there are other possibilities. As shown by Skarred Ghost, it is possible that the headphones shown in the video are either a custom model made specifically for NASA, or the prototype of the next generation HoloLens that Microsoft allegedly left for the benefit of a greater momentum. At least we have reached both Microsoft and NASA for comments, and will update this article if and when we hear back.
HoloLens 2 is expected to follow its predecessor in containing everything from its own computer to motion tracking hardware. As before, it will use a small integrated display to overlap a 3D window on top of the real world, allowing you to place and interact with digital objects in a frame. The new model display is expected to provide a larger field of view than the small enlarged area available on the original HoloLens.
Rumors have suggested the headset will be based on Qualcomm's Snapdragon XR1, a new chipset that was developed specifically to provide high performance for AR / VR devices, but at a lower price than Snapdragon 845. XR1 includes head-tracking and smartphone-caliber AR processing hardware, as well as support for high-resolution monitors and 3D audio.
Released in 2016, the original HoloLens carries a starting price of $ 3000, and has only limited customer footage, almost exclusively within corporate settings. Microsoft said it was on a perennial journey to become an actual consumer product and has worked with two successors, one of which was scrapped in favor of this version, formerly the code name of Sydney. HoloLens 2 is expected to be published in January 2019, maybe at CES.
Updated October 11 at 9:53 pm Pacific: As the flag of RoadtoVRs Scott Hayden the headset depicted in NASA's video seems to be a prototype – but of the original HoloLens, not its sequel. Microsoft showed a seemingly identical model three years ago, and although the simpler frame design looks like a step forward, the company has added vertical head support and made other tweaks before releasing HoloLens. It is therefore most likely that NASA uses both pre-release and final versions of the original HoloLens. We have updated this article with appropriate warnings.