Microsoft unveiled the HoloLens 2 mixed reality headset at Mobile World Congress 2019. However, there is already some speculation about Microsoft releasing a HoloLens 3 a few years from now.
The HoloLens architect Mr. Kipman has fuelled those rumours by stating that another HL headset could have an infinite field of view.
Mr. Kipman recently spoke about the HoloLens with Australian Financial Review. He conceded that the current HL 2 headset lacks the “foveated rendering” technique he has been seeking to implement to widen the field of view for HoloLens headsets.
However, Mr. Kipman also stated:
We’re incrementing forwards, to get towards what ultimately will be like a pair of reading glasses with an infinite field of view.
HoloLens 3 supports infinite field of view
Thus, Mr. Kipman effectively confirmed that infinite field of view is something that could be introduced with a future HoloLens 3 device.
He ruled out any chance of firmware updates giving the HoloLens 2 infinite field of view. However, a HL 3 launch might be about four years away.
In the meantime, users can check out the HoloLens 2. During his HL 2 presentation at MWC 2019, Mr. Kipman proclaimed that HoloLens 2’s field of view is more than double that of its predecessor.
He was actually referring to the new headset’s field of view area. The HL 2’s field of view specifictions amount to 43°x29°, which represents a notable increase on the original headset’s 30°x17.5° FOV. On his Twitter page, Mr. Kipman stated:
No secrets… The first HoloLens had a 34-degree diagonal FOV; the new headset’s field of view … 52-degree diagonal field of view. More than 2x is area and most of the growth is vertical (no longer 16:9).
Although HL 2’s field of view is a big increase on the original HoloLens, it is not that much better than the Magic Leap One. Magic Leap One is an alternative mixed reality headset launched by Magic Leap in 2018.
The MLO boasts a 40°x30° field of view, which amounts to 4 percent less than the HaloLens 2’s FOV surface area. Yet, the HL 2 is retailing at more than $1,000 more than the Magic Leap One.
Some might question whether the HL 2 represents especially good value without fulfilling the fabled infinite field of view that Mr. Kipman dreams of.
At any rate, the HoloLens 2 is now available for pre-order at $3,500. Check out the HoloLens 2 page on Microsoft’s website for further details.
However, those users hoping for a mixed reality headset with infinite field of view will need to wait for Mr. Kipman to showcase a HoloLens 3.
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