Microsoft was due to release Hololens v2 in 2017, but decided to skip straight to v3 and keep improving on its augmented reality (AR) headset. With no major AR rivals, Microsoft’s team felt no need to rush out a new headset until it was fully ready. Now, with AR or mixed-reality headsets coming soon from Apple, Samsung, Google and Magic Leap, Microsoft may finally be ready to release its next-gen mixed reality viewer. And, thankfully, this HoloLens likely won’t ship for $3,000 (£2,719 / AU$4,369). Thurrott’s Brad Sams reported earlier today that he’s viewed internal Microsoft documents on the HoloLens project, indicating that the tech giant aims to ship out the v3 HoloLens—codenamed “Sydney”—by the end of Q1 2019. It’s unclear whether this date refers to a general commercial release or, once again, a limited supply of developer kits. HoloLens creator Alex Kipman claimed last year that a consumer-ready HoloLens wasn’t planned for some time, but plans may have changed. Sams also asserted that HoloLens Sydney would have significant hardware and design upgrades. Specifically, the headset would be lighter and more comfortable for longer wear times, and would come with “significantly improved holographic displays”. Predicting Sydney’s features At Day 1 of Microsoft Build 2018, Microsoft announced some new HoloLens functionality. Remote Assist added hands-free video calling and MR annotations to support calls, while Microsoft Layout incorporated support for room-sized, 3D holographic layouts. HoloLens Sydney will undoubtedly incorporate these features, but may also call upon the powers of a notoriously failed… [Read full story]
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