Is the new HoloLens here already?

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Microsoft is set to announce their HoloLens 2 in February. Do these patents show the future of Microsoft’s AR device?

There’s currently a lot of discussion surrounding Microsoft’s HoloLens 2, which is rumored to be making its unveiling at Mobile World Congress in February. We don’t know too many of the details around the device as of yet, but one thing is for sure, Microsoft’s next iteration of AR headset technology is definitely on the way.

Now a newly published Microsoft patent is teasing the possibility of a much smaller AR device that leans more on the side of smart glasses as opposed to the bulky, halo-type design of the original HoloLens.

Image Credit: The United States Patent and Trademark Office

Since the debut of the HoloLens back in 2016, the company has been meticulously combing over massive amounts of feedback to better understand where the AR device succeeded, and more importantly, where it failed.

One of the biggest issues users had was with the devices size. and with AR technology shrinking, it seems that Microsoft is taking that technology advancement and making it a big part of their AR glasses.

Shrinking the HoloLens 2 into something more akin to glasses than a headset would put it in line with various other sleek AR devices, such as the Magic Leap One Creator Edition, along with newly revealed headsets like the Vuzix Blade AR glasses and NReal AR glasses.

Image Credit: The United States Patent and Trademark Office

Microsoft’s patent also points towards the possibility of tethering your smartphone through the headset in order to take phone calls, as well as the ability to use the device to increase visibility through smoke, fog, and dust, which could be very helpful for driving or emergency responders, such as firefighters.

Another noteworthy portion of the patent shows custom bands that you would wear on your wrist, palm, and fingers. While the specific purpose of these attachments are unclear, it’s fairly safe to assume these are some form of specialized markers to improve the headsets hand tracking capabilities. There is also a watch-like device that, when paired with the AR glasses, could give you a more enhanced digital experience. Iris detection perhaps?

Image Credit: The United States Patent and Trademark Office

Of course, this is all speculation. There is nothing linking Microsoft’s patent to the HoloLens 2. It’s very possibility that this could be a completely different AR device all together, or an idea that Microsoft is exploring.

For now we will just have to wait and see what happens in February. Exciting times for AR technology, indeed.

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About Author

IT and video games are Bryan's topics of interest since a very early age. Video games, the Internet, game consoles and computers became his normal toys, as a result, writing about the infancy of the Web, Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality/Mixed Reality, the games industry and hardware in general. Writing, along with his other interests: programming, hardware, photography, and traveling. Technology, in general, makes him tick.

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