MICROSOFT AIN'T GIVING UP on augmented reality (AR) just yet as reports claim the firm's next-gen HoloLens will arrive in the first quarter of 2019.
That news comes off the back of reports suggesting that Redmond will have a new Xbox ready by 2020 as well as a redesigned Surface Pro in 2019; there must be something in the Seattle water to get the company's boffins bashing out tech.
According to Thurrott's Brad Sams, who seems to have stumbled upon a treasure trove of Microsoft codenames and devices under development, the next-generation HoloLens is codenamed 'Sydney' and will pop up next year with displays that have been "significantly improved".
The headset itself will apparently be lighter, more comfortable and offer a larger field of view. And for folks that were interested in the first HoloLens but baulked at the $3,000 asking price, the next one will supposedly be cheaper.
Until now, the only real details we had on the next HoloLens was that it'll come rocking a coprocessor specifically tailored for handling an onboard artificial intelligence system designed to optimise the headset for its wearer.
And Sams' report didn't note anything particularly remarkable given what we'd expect from a next-gen augmented reality (AR) headset; better displays and ergonomics are part and parcel with such second-gen devices.
However, the report does reinforce that Microsoft is serious about building its position in the AR world, especially given how the likes of Google and Apple have pushed into the market with their latest devices and mobile software APIs.
What Microsoft will need to do is get developers on board with making AR software and experiences for high-end headsets, as outside of industrial use, the HoloLens is a semi-interesting, sci-fi-esque device that arguably doesn't have much use in the consumer or indeed 'prosumer' world.
Still, Redmond can afford a flutter on some new tech even if it fails, and we reckon that's a good thing. µ
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