Augmented reality – Enhanced possibilities: HoloLens 2

Augmented reality – Enhanced possibilities: HoloLens 2

In early 2019, Microsoft introduced the eagerly awaited new version of its Mixed Reality Headset. Already at the Mobile World Congress 2019, the HoloLens 2 convinced with useful improvements – now Microsoft has started selling the data glasses in various countries, although slightly later than originally planned. 

According to Microsoft, the Mixed Reality headset is now available. The new version of the HoloLens is also primarily reserved for business customers; the main purpose is for industry, business and the military to make use of the technology. 

The new generation of Augmented Reality glasses is a step ahead of its previous model in terms of technology – but what significant changes have been made compared to the first version of the HoloLens? We show you how the new features simplify handling and increase the degree of immersion and thus improve use in industry. Among the innovations of the new HoloLens are optimized displays and improved tracking sensors that can record eyes and hands.

HoloLens 2 – Technical details of new features and improvements

Compared to the previous version, the displays into which users of the HoloLens 2 look have a much higher resolution. For each eye there now is a display which is equivalent to a 2k resolution. This provides a more intense immersion and allows a better interaction with holograms in mixed reality.

The HoloLens 2 can be operated via Microsoft Cortana using voice control and eye and hand movements. For complete immersion, an interaction with holograms is particularly important. 

In contrast to the previous version of the HoloLens, which only recognized elementary hand gestures, the HoloLens 2 can be used with 21 individual hand signals to ensure a more natural experience. This new hand control, in which 25 points on the hand are tracked and thus the gesture is recognized, allows AR elements to be manipulated in different ways with the hands. For example, a model of a machine can be raised and passed on to other users in the same simulation. 

Another function added to the new version of the HoloLens 2 data glasses is eye tracking. The sensors, which measure eye movements, are not only helpful for unlocking the device by iris recognition, they also record movements. Interactions can be made more natural by detecting where the user’s gaze is directed and what is fixed. An example of this is the automatic adjustment of the scroll speed when reading a text.

Especially the fit and the wearing comfort were a disadvantage of the first version of the HoloLens. The HoloLens 2 is now optimized for different head sizes and shapes and therefore more comfortable than its previous version. An elastic headband makes it much easier to put on the glasses. The headset sits comfortably on the head and also offers enough space for spectacle wearers. Thanks to the padded surface, the new HoloLens fits securely on the head without pressure and, unlike the HoloLens 1, can be worn painlessly for several hours at a time.

According to the manufacturer, the demand for the HoloLens 2 is already very high. The company announces: “Microsoft currently has to react to an enormous demand”.

New functions – new possibilities

The new functions of the HoloLens 2 show how the technologies around Augmented Reality are evolving rapidly. With the new data glasses, the application possibilities for AR in the industrial context continue to grow. The Munich start-up VISCOPIC accompanies many well-known companies with the implementation of AR solutions on their way to digitization. As an official Microsoft Mixed Reality Partner, the company is one of the pioneers in the AR industry and works with companies such as Audi, BMW, Volkswagen and DB Netz AG. The start-up’s products can now be extended and adapted for the new HoloLens so that all customers can also use VISCOPIC applications on HoloLens 2.

In the industry, VISCOPIC’s software products bring immense advantages. The three applications STEPS, PINS and POLYGONS significantly change the work in different areas in times of digitalization. VISCOPIC Steps can be used to create 3D content and animations yourself. VISCOPIC Pins enables anyone to create Augmented Reality content without programming knowledge, which can be used on devices such as the Microsoft HoloLens or a tablet as documentation and instructions for any purpose. The VISCOPIC Polygons program enables automatic mesh reduction and thus real-time streaming of 3D models to the Microsoft HoloLens.

Especially the applications PINS and POLYGONS benefit from the new features of the HoloLens 2. The better interaction with holograms by hand movements and gestures changes the work with the respective viewers on the HoloLens. Holograms and windows can be placed more easily, which especially simplifies the handling of the PINS Live Editor. This application enables the creation of AR workflows on a real object – without the need for a CAD model. Holographic information units, so-called Pins, can be attached to a real object and enriched with data via the HoloLens. The features of the new HoloLens allow a simpler, more intuitive operation. The handling of POLYGONS can also be simplified, for example in factory planning. Using HoloLens 2, large models such as machines and plants can be placed in the room in order to optimally plan the equipment of factory buildings – thanks to the new data glasses with simple, intuitive hand movements.

You also can use the new technology and software products from VISCOPIC to implement Augmented Reality in your company and benefit from all the advantages of HoloLens 2. Further information on the products can be found on our website or at info@viscopic.de.



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