In January 2015, Microsoft HoloLens was born.
Four years later, on February 25thMWC 2019On, "Kidman of HoloLens" Kipman staged the announcement of HoloLens 2. The Lei Feng network invited to attend the scene was the first time to report the return"After four years, HoloLens 2 is finally here.".
There have been a lot of topics about HoloLens 2 online in recent days. Infinite Retina co-founder, Robert Scoble, who has more than 400,000 followers, wrote that when HoloLens 2 came out, Magic Leap didn't have to be "Magical". This remark seems to be embarrassing to Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz. He replied that when the second generation of Magic Leap comes out, you will know that the game is just beginning.
Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz's reply on Twitter
Lei Feng.com also compiled HoloLens 2 related information, and interviewed many AR industry veterans in the industry for the interpretation of HoloLens 2, and analyzed the impact and special features of HoloLens 2 from the product, technology and industry aspects.
HoloLens 2: More powerful, better experience, more expensive
“The angle of view is too small, uncomfortable to wear, and difficult to get started”; many friends who have experienced HoloLens 1 generation have expressed similar feelings to Lei Feng.
With the massive upgrade of Microsoft's HoloLens 2, the above problems seem to have improved, of course, in addition to the high price.
So what are the changes and upgrades in the parameters of the HoloLens 2 compared to the 1st generation? Let's take a simple comparison with a table.
Comparison of main parameters of HoloLens 1 and 2 generations (Leifeng Net finishing)
Lei Feng.com found that, first of all, HoloLens 2 was replaced by the former Intel processor with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 of the ARM architecture. At the same time, the HPU holographic processor developed by Microsoft for HoloLens was upgraded to 2.0.
HoloLens's processor: Why changed from Intel to Qualcomm?
There are several reasons. First, Intel announced in August 2017 that it will discontinue the Atom X5-Z8100P chip in October. The announcement indicates that the product will be permanently discontinued after the order is delivered on the deadline.
I don't know if the price of HoloLens is too high and the shipment is too small, so Intel has too few orders for this chip, so Intel chose to stop production of Atom X5. Still, as speculated by the outside world, Microsoft is looking for a better solution for power consumption and thus abandoned Intel's solution.
Lei Feng has experienced the HoloLens 1 generation products many times. Because the front end of the glasses is highly integrated with the processor, multi-camera and optical components, it needs to process a large amount of 3D image data during use, resulting in more serious heat and unfriendly wearable design. The experience of wearing it has always been poor.
There is no doubt that the Microsoft HoloLens 1 is an epoch-making computing device, but in terms of experiencing this, HoloLens has been accused of being equal to praise. Therefore, Microsoft will not understand the importance of the experience.
HoloLens 1 generation
According to +AR co-founder and COO Tuyi, in an interview with Lei Feng, Microsoft HoloLens switched from Intel to ARM this time to reduce power consumption and make the device have longer standby time and better performance. He went on to say that Apple is also planning to abandon Intel and use ARM-based self-developed chips on its Mac series computers, so it seems that on the mobile platform, Intel may gradually be marginalized.
Wang Peng, co-founder of AR Optical Module R&D, told Lei Feng that Qualcomm is relatively strong on the mobile SoC. AR glasses are similar to smartphones. Microsoft chose Qualcomm simply because of Qualcomm's chip performance. Stronger and more suitable for the mobile side.
In response to HoloLens 2's choice of ARM chips, Kipman said it's simple. We haven't seen any battery-powered mobile devices that don't use ARM chips.
Qualcomm is also well prepared. With the smartphone market becoming saturated and the VR/AR wave rising, Qualcomm has long targeted this promising market. Whether it is domestic or foreign, many mobile high-end VR heads have chosen Qualcomm platform. In May last year, Qualcomm also launched a dedicated chip & mdash for the VR/AR market; the Snapdragon XR1 platform also provides a dedicated VR SDK for developers to use. Xiaomi VR, HTC Vive, iQiyi VR, and Meta all use Qualcomm processors in their mobile heads.
Display: 2 times the field of view is a misunderstanding?
Secondly, there are a lot of concerns about the field of view. About the problem of the HoloLens 1 The field of view is too small, and with its 16:9 aspect ratio, there have been media descriptions of using HoloLens 1 as if it were a stencil through a slit.
Sure enough, Microsoft has increased the field of view from 34° to 52° and adopted a 3:2 display ratio. The effect is to increase the vertical display area. The human eye does not have to move up and down to view the undisplayed. Virtual screen.
Red is the 1st generation visible area, yellow is the 2nd generation visible area (picture from Roadto VR)
According to foreign media RoadtoVR, due to differences in translation or understanding, some people have previously recognized the "Field of view increased more than 2X" in the HoloLens 2 conference. The view angle has increased more than 2 times, but Microsoft is here. The meaning you want to express is “more than 2 times more visible area”. However, Microsoft did not explain it in the demonstration. It seems to intentionally blur the difference between the field of view and the display area, which led to some misunderstandings about the angle of view.
Obviously Microsoft officially intends to publicize that the display area has more than doubled, but RoadtoVR has questioned the authenticity. In response to RoadtoVR's inquiry, Microsoft claimed that it was only a picture and only a small part of the presentation. RoadtoVR believes that Microsoft is not careful enough to deal with this matter.
Regarding the improvement of the HoloLens 2 field of view, the +AR co-founder Tuyi believes that this has a lot to do with Microsoft's patent application for a display program in April 2017.
Wang Peng, co-founder of 珑璟 Optoelectronics, told Lei Feng that because he did not see the real thing of HoloLens 2, he could not determine the specific reason. But from the perspective of the optical module, he speculated that it should be an advancement in the design and production process, using some special methods to achieve the expansion, because the HoloLens 2 is still the first generation of relief grating technology.
He said that the optics used by HoloLens are holographic optical waveguides (also known as holographic gratings, holographic grating optical waveguides, diffractive optical waveguides), and the implementation of such holographic optical waveguides includes Bragg gratings and relief gratings.
As for how to judge the HoloLens 2 is still the first generation of relief grating technology, Wang Peng explained that according to the photos of HoloLens 2 products circulating on the Internet, there are obvious rainbow reflections, and the use of relief grating technology will obviously See the reflection of the rainbow.
The picture shows a rainbow-like reflection from the lens of HoloLens 2
In addition, HoloLens 2 has added eye tracking, a technology that was not available in the 1st generation. However, eye tracking and gaze point rendering techniques have long been used in other VR/AR products, and gaze point rendering technology is mostly used for game and video rendering in VR devices.
Cool eye tracking and gesture recognition
The Magic Leap One, often used in comparison with HoloLens 1, also has built-in eye tracking. According to Qingting.com, Magic Leap One has the function of refocusing the window in addition to automatically measuring the pupil distance through multifocal. This is similar to the Tobii device in a gaming notebook. When the glasses are focused on which area, the mouse will automatically move to this position, or re-focus.
The eye tracking in HoloLens 2 is similar to that mentioned above. In addition to the automatic fine-tuning of the image display position, the iris unlocking device can be used to log in to Windows Hello to help the user interact directly with the holographic content. Kipman also said that HoloLens 2's eye tracking can observe weak changes in the human eye to perceive and predict human emotions.
Tuyi told Lei Feng. From the scene of the conference, the demonstration of eye tracking is very accurate. This improves the previous generation's interaction with the target in the center of the field of vision. It is more in line with the instinct of people and more like the experience of the mouse. Greatly enhance the user interaction experience and use efficiency.
When you look at a holographic bird in the picture, the bird will fly to you.
The award-winning upgrade also has full-node tracking of the hand. According to Qingting.com, Microsoft upgraded the gesture tracking module to Azure Kinect, which enables full-feature model tracking of both hands, covering each finger and tracking up to 25 joints with one hand. Points, higher density. For example, you can use your hands to play the piano in the air, or touch the hologram to zoom in and out.
Wearing design is more human
The HoloLens 2 uses carbon fiber material, not to mention the weight of the 2nd generation has not dropped much, but the overall design of the HoloLens 2 is more humane and the wearing experience has not been greatly improved.
One is that Microsoft moved the battery module of the HoloLens 2 to the rear end of the glasses, thereby reducing the imbalance of the weight at the front and the ends of the glasses, and increasing the area of the support force, so that there will be no generation imbalance due to weight imbalance. The abnormal pressure, the front end also adds a forehead mask, and the comfort is improved. According to Lei Feng.com, iQiyi VR used the rear design of the battery module on the VR all-in-one machine released last year.
The second is that HoloLens 2 draws on the flip design of the MR head, which means that users can turn the glasses back to the real world at any time. This intimate design enhances the user experience in many scenarios, such as reducing the pressure of long-wearing, venting sweat, relieving eye fatigue, and more.
“The flip structure is quite good, very practical. I feel that Microsoft has actually done homework on industrial scenes. Moreover, many highly customized solutions have been proposed. I can see that Microsoft's determination for the B-end market, because the characteristics of the B-end market is highly customized, many special needs are very subtle. Because a product can't beat all the B-end market. & rdquo; 珑璟 Optoelectronics co-founder Wang Peng commented.
Finally, in addition to the price that has made some industry insiders feel too high, there is also that Microsoft has not mentioned much about the 5G technology that is hot in this MWC. Many smart phone brands at home and abroad will support 5G as an important product. One of the selling points.
“The price of $3,500 may still be difficult for everyone to accept. Like the 1st generation, it is finally paid by a few companies, developers and universities, including our optical company. However, compared with the actual sales, HoloLens's strategic significance for Microsoft is greater than the actual revenue significance. Wang Peng told Lei Feng. In the end, he emphasized that “even the B-end I find it difficult to accept this price”.
“It’s a big pity that HoloLens 2 doesn’t support 5G. If you directly support 5G plus cloud rendering, I believe it will have a particularly good effect on many non-enterprise applications, such as travel”, depending on +AR co-founder and COO It is believed that because Microsoft lacks the era of smart phones, it has not introduced peripheral-type AR glasses connected to smartphones, and this market is still very large, which makes me feel very sorry, but this may be Apple, Google. , Huawei or some opportunities for startups.
Lei Feng also noticed that HoloLens 2 has made many improvements in terms of system, camera, resolution, etc. These upgrades to the important functions and experiences mentioned above have made HoloLens 2 a powerful "productivity tool" ;
Obviously Microsoft is not satisfied with defining it as a hardware device, so at the press conference, the protagonist also has the Microsoft Azure cloud.
Hardware is just a carrier, Microsoft’s real goal iscloud service
At the launch of HoloLens 2, Microsoft CEO Satya & Middot; Nadella emphasized the importance of Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge at the beginning of the presentation. There is no doubt that Smart Cloud has Azure for Microsoft and HoloLens for Smart.
Because of Azure, the Kinect, which has long been abandoned, has been resurrected. Subsequently, Microsoft's global vice president Julia White staged a developer kit & mdash; Azure Kinect DK, priced at $ 399. According to Lei Feng, the Azure Kinect DK, like the HoloLens 2, has a TOF depth sensor, a high-definition RGB camera, and a seven-microphone circular array, with a focus on its visual and voice computing capabilities through the Azure cloud.
Officials say Azure Kinect is a smart edge device that senses the people, the environment, objects and movements around it. In this way, Azure Kinect is more like a simplified version of HoloLens, which is cheaper. This is quite attractive for some developers. If they don't need some features of HoloLens 2, Azure Kinect is Very good second choice.
Unlike the consumer-grade somatosensory peripherals that were previously only used as Xbox, the upgraded Azure Kinect is positioned like the HoloLens 2, focusing on the B-side application.
Microsoft showed several application cases on the spot, such as the ward monitoring system developed by Azure Kinect. When Azure Kinect senses the possibility of a patient falling, it will promptly notify the nurse to rush to the patient.
Azure can make Kinect “return to life”, which also allows HoloLens to go further.
Based on Azure, Microsoft also launched two Azure cloud services —— Azure Spatial Anchors and Azure Remote Rendering. In conjunction with Azure, Microsoft also launched the Dynamics 365 subscription service, which costs $125 per user per month for three years, and provides full cloud AR and multi-person collaboration services, such as remote guidance and assistance, in industrial maintenance. And surgical medical scenes are in high demand.
Azure Spatial Anchors (which can be understood as an AR Cloud) helps businesses and developers accurately map, specify and invoke points that can be accessed on HoloLens, iOS and Android platforms in mixed reality applications. The implication is that it can support two other important AR platforms & mdash; Google ARCore and Apple ARKit. It can be seen that Microsoft has adopted a more open strategy, which is quite useful for developers who create content and collaboration on different AR platforms.
Azure Spatial Anchors can be used in conjunction with ARKit and ARCore, which is unexpected. He believes this proves that there will be a cross-platform AR Cloud service in the future. While cloud services are Microsoft's strategy, Microsoft will focus on selling their Azure cloud services.
He further explained that with the development of 5G technology, the future trend is to develop into the cloud, and the future hardware will become more and more “thin”, many calculations will be put into the cloud. HoloLens 2 also noticed this trend. Two versions were explicitly released at the press conference. One of them is the version that contains the cloud rendering service. In the future, the sales of the cloud must be greater than the sales of the hardware. This is very important. Microsoft Azure Cloud also hopes that hardware terminals can build AR Cloud, which is Spatial Anchors. Map data will become an important part of cloud services, and cloud rendering services will also reduce the computing load of hardware.
Apple iPad and HoloLens 2 collaboration demonstration
Microsoft demonstrated in the live how to collaborate and interact with HoloLens 2 across platforms and devices.Previously Microsoft showed more collaboration between HoloLens devices and with other Microsoft terminals.. At the scene, a staff member demonstrated how to use the Apple iPad to collaborate with Kipman wearing HoloLens 2 to research a virtual industrial device.
Azure Remote Rendering helps people experience 3D content without compromising image quality, which is ideal for scenarios where smartphones interact with MR devices. The service will render high-quality 3D content in the cloud and will be transmitted to the edge device in real time with every detail intact.
HoloLens software and hardware technology is more powerful, it may be a high-tech "toy", but Microsoft has inserted the wings of Azure cloud. Through the terminal + cloud strategy, focusing on the B-side application scenarios, and then integrating various technical services, a prototype of the business ecosystem surrounding HoloLens is emerging.
Microsoft's emphasis on the B-side business scenario was revealed in the first anniversary of HoloLens's commercial launch in China last May. At its Beijing headquarters, Microsoft demonstrated to the media the developments that HoloLens and Hybrid Reality have achieved in China over the past year. The official highlights of business users and partners from the architectural design, healthcare, automotive, education industries, and presents a number of solutions and practices tailored to users in different industries.
The outside world is increasingly feeling that Microsoft's open pace is accelerating, especially in the ecology of HoloLens.
At the end of the conference, Kipman's big screen behind him made a big "Open". He introduced the open principles of the Microsoft Mixed Reality Ecology in three parts: an open application store, an open browser platform, and an open API and underlying platform. Does this remind you of Windows PC or IOS, Android Eco?
The Mozilla Foundation will introduce the Firefox browser prototype to HoloLens 2, and Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney will come to the site and announce that Unreal Engine 4 will support HoloLens.
Pragmatic Route: Making HoloLens a Qualified Productivity Tool
After the era of open PCs and the era of closed smartphones, Kipman believes that the world will enter the third era of computing, so Microsoft has been changing and more open over the years, with the goal of building a world of mixed reality. Unified architecture platform.
The same is true for Google and Apple, but Microsoft has gone a little further.
“At present, Microsoft HoloLens 2 is the only AR hardware that can form an open platform. Other AR hardware startups basically do their own hardware and do applications. There is no way to form an ecosystem. Now only Microsoft has done it. This is for HoloLens 2 The meaning is extraordinary. & rdquo; Tu Yi told Lei Feng.
Another industry veteran talked to Lei Feng. He talked about his feelings. From a hardware perspective, he felt that the shape of HoloLens 2 is more mature. Although there is no black technology beyond imagination, it is more reasonable. Microsoft took a pragmatic route and everything was designed to serve the actual application scenarios.
“From the perspective of industry productivity tools, it is important to start the MR ecosystem in a sense. HoloLens 2 is beginning to provide value. & rdquo; He concluded that HoloLens 2 is already a qualified productivity tool.
But he believes that the core and worthy of attention is the embodiment of the cloud. The head-end hardware is just an interactive interface. We should pay more attention to the essential elements that drive the full scene of MR. "This point Kevin Kelly is very clear, the planet we are in is immersed in cloned data, cloned in the planet".
Individual consumers tend to chase black technology. Compared with the 1st generation, the official does not emphasize too much black technology. Because Microsoft's positioning for HoloLens 2 is clearer, it is built for the B-end, and the B-side requires a stable and functional service.
Therefore, the black technology's expectations are left to the other, and finally the industry insider snarled.