HoloLens is Microsoft's take on Augmented Reality, which they refer to as 'Mixed Reality.' It is a head-mounted device system released in March 2016 as a development kit for the developers. HoloLens is a successful device to achieve this experience through numerous sensors, optics, and Holographic processing that harmonizes with the real environment. The holograms obtained through these HoloLens are used to display information, blend in with the natural world, and even manipulate the virtual world.
The device is the self-powered machine and does not rely on the external machine to work efficiently, making HoloLens one of the finest inventions. The front of the HoloLens houses many sensors and related hardware. The visor is tinted and encompasses a transparent pair of combiner lenses, displaying the projected images. It possesses 3D audio speakers. These speakers are very different from the contemporary speakers, as they don't compete in blocking the external sounds. These 3D speakers, in turn, enable the users to hear virtual sounds along with the environment. HoloLens generates binaural audio, which stimulates spatial effects. In simple terms, the user can virtually apprehend and listen to the voice as though it is coming from a virtual location.
What makes HoloLens unique is its custom made Holographic Processing Unit by Microsoft. It is believed that this unit posses more processing power than the average laptop. As mentioned earlier, all the components converge in to detect the spatial orientation of the unit in the environment and track obstacles and objects in the room. By doing so, Holograms can be blended into the real environment with less or no degradation in the experience's quality.
The proud owner of the HoloLens is Microsoft. They have understood the Mixed Reality technology to its ‘zenith.’ Based on the technological requirements, HoloLens was designed, and it has ticked all the required boxes. HoloLens 1 was developed in March 2016; it turned a few heads and attracted many developers worldwide. After three years of this invention, it came up with an improved version of the HoloLens 1 named HoloLens 2. HoloLens 2 had better features and weighed comparatively lesser than HoloLens 1. Microsoft HoloLens is probably the most in-demand of committed Mixed Reality to hit the market. Microsoft is consistently reaching greater heights with this technology.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HOLOLENS 1 AND HOLOLENS 2
There is no doubt in hololens being the torchbearer of Mixed Reality technology. With the demands being so dynamic, it is quite hard to produce a product with no flaws. Likewise, Hololens had few drawbacks, which was looked after by Hololens 2, an improved version of the latter.
Eye-tracking is one of the finest additions to HoloLens 2. It was not available in HoloLens 1. The Eye-Tracking feature allows the user to have more comfortable interaction with the environment. This system is used as a security check for the applications. They can store their retinal information and use this in password verification. HoloLens 2 provides an opportunity for the developers to extract information on what the user is seeking, thereby enhancing the experience.
Field Of View
The Field Of View for HoloLens 1 was minimal and was about only 30°. The user had to turn his head right and left to get the full view. It was one of the significant drawbacks in HoloLens 1. This drawback was overcome in HoloLens 2 by providing a wider Field Of View. The Field Of View supplied by HoloLens 2 is approximately the double of HoloLens 1. It is at about 52°. The user can view the scene without having to turn his head a lot.
HoloLens does not support external controls; all the operations are carried out smoothly without it being externally dependent on some device. HoloLens 2 owns Gesture Tracking, where it enables the user to perform mid-air actions and operations. These gestures might be used to drag and drop an object or even pressing a virtual button. HoloLens 2 is capable of recognizing directions of palms.
Another striking difference between HoloLens 1 and HoloLens 2 is the weight of the device. HoloLens 1 weighed about 579 grams. Whereas HoloLens 2 weighed 566 grams, which is not a big difference, but given the extra features added to the HoloLens 2, it is appreciable.
These are the few differences between HoloLens 1 and HoloLens 2. Despite the differences, HoloLens is proven to be effective in many fields like automotive, agricultural, healthcare, industrial, or tourism industries. There is no doubt that Mixed Reality is becoming a massive part of the future. With the Inertial Measurement Units (IMU) and holographic processors becoming more compact and efficient, and the devices becoming condensed, we can indeed see this technology in almost every field of development.