Microsoft HoloLens 2: Everything developers and IT pros need to know


Microsoft HoloLens 2 is a nice hardware upgrade with more comfort for front-line workers, but the real benefits will come from the Azure services and developer kits that go with the augmented reality headset.

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Microsoft rolled out its HoloLens 2 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Sunday with a big bet that developers will embrace the revamped device and technology pros will find rapid time to value via multiple use cases and ways to purchase.

There are a lot of moving parts involved with the HoloLens 2, but the upshot is that Microsoft sees a big role for augmented reality (AR) on the manufacturing floor, in the hospital, and in a bevy of fields where training and maintenance is required.

Here’s what you need to know:

What Microsoft announced

Microsoft unveiled the HoloLens 2, and the first takeaway is that the AR device has a new look, a flip-up visor, and three times the comfort, according to Microsoft.

The company outlined how the HoloLens 2 was an enterprise device for front-line workers, and noted changes such as a doubled field of view, built-in artificial intelligence (AI) tools, and direct manipulation of holographs, as you would with physical objects.

On the comfort front, Microsoft added that everything from the HoloLens 2 thermal chamber and adjustment system was new. A flip-up visor makes it a winner for people with glasses. CNET’s Scott Stein has the walkthrough of the hardware changes and the improved experience.

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The plan for Microsoft is to use the $3,500 HoloLens 2 to be a front end for apps such as Dynamics Remote Assist, Dynamics 365 layout and Dynamics Guides applications. Microsoft also said it will have an open approach with third-party developers, and have hooks into Azure services too.

Microsoft also has bundles with HoloLens 2 and Dynamics 365 Remote Assist starting at $125 per user per month.

SEE: Mixed reality in business (ZDNet/TechRepublic special feature) | Download the free PDF version



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