Microsoft sent out invites to journalists today for a press reception at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The event could see the unveiling of HoloLens 2.
MWC is the last week of February and the Microsoft event will be held ahead of the conference on Sunday, February 24 at 8 am Pacific (5 pm Central European Time). It’ll be hosted by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, CVP Julia White and Technical Fellow Alex Kipman. Kipman is heavily involved with Microsoft AR and VR efforts and the timing of the press conference falls in line with a report that Microsoft targeted early 2019 for its follow up to the original HoloLens.
Late last year Microsoft got a big endorsement for its AR technology in the form of a huge contract to supply hardware to the United States military. When it comes to consumers, though, we’ll be curious to see what features Microsoft plans to roll into its next generation.
The $3,000 original HoloLens is a self-contained AR headset with a somewhat limited field of view. The price, bulk of the device and restriction in how much of your view can be augmented made the original headset compelling for only a a limited set of use cases. AR games on HoloLens, for instance, can’t match the sense of immersion you could get out of an opaque VR headset with a pair of hand controllers. We’ll be curious to see how much that changes in the second generation.
As a fully standalone headset, we’ll also be curious if Microsoft reveals any plans to support 5G for more robust connectivity in the second generation HoloLens. Of course, there’s a chance the event might not see the reveal of a new HoloLens. Either way, we’ll bring you the latest news from Mobile World Congress in February.