The Microsoft HoloLens 2 has started shipping for a massive $5000 AUD, but is it worth it?
The HoloLens 2 was first unveiled back in February of this year at Mobile World Congress and after 9 months of waiting, the headset is finally being shipped. While Microsoft has loaded the headset with new features, those features came at a cost. A big one. The question here is; are these features worth the increased cost?
So what are these new features?
The follow up to the original HoloLens released in 2016 comes in lighter on the scales with an ergonomic design. These adaptations make the headset much more comfortable to wear for longer periods of time. This
Not only are they lighter, Microsoft has addressed the field of view problem found with the original model. The first HoloLens had a field of vision of 34 degrees with new headset have a field of vision of 52 degrees. The original HoloLens was likened to “looking at virtual objects through a stamp-sized window”. While the HoloLens 2 doesn’t quite fill your entire vision, the increased view makes a large difference.
Microsoft has also made adjustments to the gestures used with the headset. Instead of the previous “bloom” gesture, users will only need to tap on their palm to raise Microsoft’s Start menu. This change result’s in less false indications of a gesture and improve usability.
The new gestures also allow for the dragging and dropping of virtual objects in front of you. With the enhanced cloud tools, setting spatial anchors has become easier. This allows users to anchor holograms to certain places that can then be seen by anyone using the same holographic app.
Sounds Awesome, but It’s Still Too Expensive.
And that is the problem. While Microsoft has taken steps to reduce manufacturing costs and increase extended usability, these new features have cost a pretty penny in development. Microsoft has begun to realise their key demographic, and that is enterprise.
If you haven’t already notice, majority of the concept images released by Microsoft for the HoloLens 2 have been enterprise focused. While this was a clear focus with the original HoloLens, the first headset still had some games and creative apps, however Microsoft has now shifted their focus to mainly business’. This is clear by the big jump in price.
Don’t think that the HoloLens 2 wouldn’t be perfect for virtual design, because it would be. A private company however will find it difficult to abandon tried and tested design methods for something new and experimental. The HoloLens 2 would be a perfect tool for design, but we worry that it may just be too expensive.