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posted by martyb on Friday June 15 2018, @07:15AM   Printer-friendly
from the what's-next dept.

Leaked documents have provided details about Microsoft's upcoming Surface tablets, the next-generation Xbox, a two-screen handheld device, and the next HoloLens:

Andromeda, Microsoft's mythical pocketable, two-screen, hand-held device that's supposed to carve out a whole new market for itself, is due for release in 2018. The documents also say that, after Andromeda, Microsoft OEMs will produce their own comparable products, just as they've done with Surface Pro.

The big question for Andromeda is the same as it has always been: why? To define a new hardware form factor, as appears to be the intent, its design needs to be particularly suitable for something. Surface Pro, for example, has appealed particularly to groups such as students (taking notes with OneNote) and artists, thanks to its form factor and multimodal input support. To succeed, Andromeda needs to offer similar appeal—it needs to enable something that's widely useful and ill-suited to existing hardware. But presently, there are few ideas of just what that role might be.

Next up, in 2019, is a new version of HoloLens, codenamed Sydney. The documents say it is due to hit the market in some capacity (for developers or perhaps full commercial availability) in the first quarter of 2019. It will be much cheaper than the current HoloLens (though how much cheaper isn't known at this time), as well as lighter, more comfortable, and with a much better display. It will probably use a new sensor package derived from the Project Kinect for Azure announced at the Build developer conference last month and will also probably incorporate Microsoft's second-generation holographic processing unit custom processor.


Original Submission

Related Stories

Microsoft Announces $3,500 HoloLens 2 With Wider Field of View and Other Improvements 5 comments

Microsoft Reveals HoloLens 2 with More than 2x Field of View & 47 Pixels per-Degree

Microsoft today revealed HoloLens 2 at MWC 2019 in Barcelona. The headset features a laser-scanning display which brings a field of view that's more than 2x the original HoloLens and 47 pixels per degree.

HoloLens visionary Alex Kipman took to the stage in Barcelona to introduce HoloLens 2 which addresses many of the key criticisms of the original headset: field of view, comfort, and hand-tracking.

Kipman says that HoloLens 2 "more than doubles" the field of view of the original HoloLens, though hasn't yet specified exactly what the field of view is. The original HoloLens field of view was around 35 degrees, so HoloLens 2 is expected to be around 70 degrees.

[...] HoloLens 2 is also designed to be more comfortable, with much of the headset's bulk balanced in the back of the headset. Kipman said HoloLens 2 "more than triples the comfort" over the original HoloLens... though the exact weight, and how they came to that specific figure, is unclear. Still, the front portion of the headset is said to be made entirely from carbon fiber to cut down on weight and offers a convenient flip-up visor.

HoloLens 2 also brings hand-tracking which goes much further than the coarse gesture control in the original headset. Now with full hand-tracking, users can interact much more directly with applications by touching, poking, and sliding controls directly rather than using abstract gestures.

Also at Engadget.

See also: HoloLens 2 Specs Reveal 2–3 Hour 'Active' Battery Life, Optional Top Strap, & More
Mozilla is bringing Firefox to Microsoft's HoloLens 2

Previously: HoloLens - Microsoft's Augmented Reality Product
Microsoft Giving $500,000 to Academia to Develop HoloLens Apps
Microsoft Announces Surface Pro 4, Surface Book, and HoloLens Dev Edition
Microsoft HoloLens and its 24-Core Chip
HoloLens 2 to Include Machine Learning Accelerated Hardware
Ford Using Microsoft HoloLens to Help Design Cars
Leaked Microsoft Documents Describe Plans for Surface Tablets, Xbox, "Andromeda", and HoloLens
HoloLens to Assist Surgeons at UK's Alder Hey Children's Hospital
U.S. Army Awards Microsoft a $480 Million HoloLens Contract


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  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday June 15 2018, @09:22AM

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday June 15 2018, @09:22AM (#693400) Journal

    ... is a new version of HoloLens, codenamed Sydney.

    All I can say is: Thanks God they didn't tarnish Melbourne's name!

    (In other words, I'm quite indifferent to what Microsoft has to offer.)

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
  • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 15 2018, @09:37AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 15 2018, @09:37AM (#693406)

    "Andromeda, Microsoft's mythical pocketable, two-screen, hand-held device that's supposed to carve out a whole new market for itself"

    I think the DS series has already carved that market.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 15 2018, @10:12AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 15 2018, @10:12AM (#693413)

    Last I checked, it's the projectors sucking ass rather than it being a computational problem.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 15 2018, @02:28PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 15 2018, @02:28PM (#693500)

    I thought the Courier tablet could have had a future and Microsoft would have had a real play in the tablet field. It was something interesting and definitely more oriented toward education and business than consumer. It's shame that Balmer cancelled it because it "wasn't Windows". It basically sums up Microsoft's history: tons of cool research and ideas, all cancelled because they would impede some current revenue model. See others: Kodak, Sears

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 15 2018, @03:52PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 15 2018, @03:52PM (#693544)

    The last thing I want is for Microsoft to wrap some device around my head. No thanks.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 15 2018, @06:44PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 15 2018, @06:44PM (#693636)

      It would be cool if the first person to have their AR/VR headset spontaneously combust from a battery failure was tripping balls at the time.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17 2018, @05:42AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17 2018, @05:42AM (#694160)

        The Note 7 battery issues were reported the day after I got my GearVR.

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