Microsoft is Building a Cheaper and More Open HoloLens 2 AR Unit

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Despite the ongoing struggle for growth, virtual and augmented reality is still flourishing as an industry. Microsoft is intent on further exploring all of its available options in this regard. By officially announcing the HoloLens 2, the company is improving upon its first iteration. For augmented reality enthusiasts, this unit will offer significant improvements over the first generation.

Microsoft HoloLens 2 is Coming Soon

Not too many people were surprised to learn Microsoft was working on the HoloLens 2. This second-gen augmented reality headset will be lighter, faster, cheaper, and more capable compared to its predecessor. However, the big surprise was the announcement that went along with the presentation. Microsoft’s hardware will soon work with software developed by other companies, instead of just its own proprietary offerings.

This also means additional app stores can be created for the HoloLens. For developers, this is very positive news. By bypassing Microsoft’s own store, they will be able to earn a bigger share of the revenue of every sale. It will also introduce a lot of competition in terms of AR offerings. It also appears the new Hololens will support third-party browsers, including Firefox.

Microsoft’s Alex Kipman explains it as follows:

“The walls that make our world feel divided make our world feel broken. As members of the mixed reality community, we want the future to be open—open to your creativity, open to your ideas, open to your vision. Now imagine what we could accomplish as a mixed-reality community when barriers are removed and we transition from walled gardens to a communal garden.”

It is a rather intriguing development for the AR industry as a whole. Instead of seeing a more fractured ecosystem become reality, Microsoft is trying to build bridges. That approach is in stark contrast to how Apple and Google are behaving as of right now. Microsoft usually does best when they enable tech development by its customers, rather than offering complete software packages.


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