Microsoft showcased a new mixed reality HoloLens 2 headset at Mobile World Congress in February 2019.
However, although a notable enhancement on the original HoloLens, the HL 2 did not quite hit the mark of infinite field of view (FOV).
Thus, Mr. Kipman, the chief HoloLens architect, has already hinted that Microsoft might release an HoloLens 3 headset with infinite FOV.
A new Microsoft patent also includes a radical design for a future HoloLens headset with infinite field of view.
New HoloLens 3 design
A March 21, 2019 Microsoft patent (originally filed in 2017) illustrates a new HoloLens headset with a somewhat different design to the current one.
The headset within the patent is based on spinning fans with studded LEDs to project an almost unlimited filed of view. Thus, those fans replace the HoloLens 2’s lasers and waveguides.
Fans can also cool the headset’s LEDs. Thus, they could potentially remove the necessity for the bulky cooling system required for the HoloLens 2.
The removal of the bulky cooling system might also ensure a more lightweight mixed reality headset.
However, some users might raise some safety questions about the new design. The headset in the patent does, after all, place two rapidly spinning fans on the nose.
Nevertheless, the new patent does show that Microsoft is looking for new innovative ways to give HoloLens headsets infinite field of view.
Mr. Kipman is on a mission to release an HL headset with infinite FOV. Earlier this month, he stated:
We’re incrementing forwards, to get towards what ultimately will be like a pair of reading glasses with an infinite field of view.
So, this patent add further proof that HoloLens 3 will indeed support infinite FOV.
Kipman also stated that a HoloLens 3 could be about four years off. He also added that infinite field of view could be fulfilled with a foveated rendering technique to project holograms.
He did not mention anything about illuminated spinning fans as illustrated within the design patent.
So, Microsoft’s March 2019 patent might not be an exact future blueprint for a HoloLens 3.
Nevertheless, it still provides an interesting, if perhaps somewhat radical, new design concept for HoloLens headsets.
For now, users can check out the HoloLens 2, which is only retailing at $3,500!
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