Everyone has heard of VR (Virtual reality) and AR (Augmented reality) which allow users to immerse themselves in a virtual environment or bring that same virtual environment to them. But throughout the years people are craving for something more and Microsoft has seemingly answered the call by introducing the HoloLens headset. The HoloLens is a device which uses both aspects of VR and AR, and combines them to create mixed reality (MR). Mixed reality allows people to interact with both real and virtual objects by using holograms as a method of interaction.
The first model of the HoloLens, priced at $3000 was made available to the public in 2016 and gave them a lot of options to work with. The possibilities are limitless as HoloLens can allow you to work on real and virtual tasks while giving you all the necessary information. You didn’t require any handheld devices to control the motion of your actions as it all depended on the gestures of your hands. This was inspired by another Microsoft product which was the Xbox Kinect that utilised the motions of the user. The wireless headset allows the users to immerse themselves in work and play like never before. Not only can you work and play games but also have access to a huge library of entertainment services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. HoloLens also gave developers the ability to develop new and amazing apps that could truly utilise the power of HoloLens. An example of how HoloLens works is provided by a reviewer from techradar. The example given by this reviewer showcases what the product is capable of.
Though the HoloLens 1 wasn’t without its flaws it truly displayed the potential of mixed reality tech so much so that it had inspired other companies like “Apple to develop the ARKit and Scopis to develop mixed reality tech for spinal surgeons.” However the flaws of the product were somewhat noticeable with some of them being the price, the occasional glitches and the field of view being low. But after listening to the feedback on HoloLens 1, Microsoft decided to improve the tech even more and revealed the HoloLens 2 at Mobile World Congress 2019. The wait for the HoloLens 2 was an interesting one as many people were amazed of what the HoloLens had to offer but weren’t fully satisfied with the original product.
This time HoloLens 2 was reviewed once again by techradar, and they had many interesting things to say about it. The improvements included that of functionality, comfort and improved accuracy of motion gestures.
The eye tracking software in HoloLens 2 has improved significantly as it can now match the reading speed of the user. For example if you’re reading a small paragraph, the text will begin to scroll down at the correct speed. No matter how fast or slow you read the HoloLens 2 will be able to match the speed. Another upgrade is the hand tracking software where it can track your exact finger positions as you navigate each menu. This has improved the overall functionality of the product and produces less errors while working on multiple projects. Though the price of the HoloLens 2 has increased accordingly with it now being available for purchase at $3500, a hefty increase from the first model. This is one of the only drawbacks of the HoloLens which prevents it from breaking out of a niche market. The availability of the product is the only thing that holds it back as many consumers might not be ready to spend so much money on a single device. However HoloLens, as reviewed by many people, seems to be a great success in terms of mixed reality devices.
In the end the HoloLens holds a lot of promise for both consumers and developers alike. The potential of mixed reality knows no bounds and the best has yet to come. Microsoft has proved with both HoloLens 1 and 2 that mixed reality can truly bring a revolutionary change in every working sector and can become a true workhorse for development and innovation.