As expected, Microsoft today launched HoloLens 2, the company’s second generation augmented reality (AR) headset. The new hardware addresses what were probably the two biggest issues with the first generation device: the narrow field of view, and the comfort when wearing the device.
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Microsoft says that the field of view has been doubled, without any reduction in visual quality. Both first and second generation devices aim to produce around 47 pixels per degree. This resolution is around the limit of human visual acuity (the Varjo VR-1 headset also aims at around this level, though it offers 60 pixels per degree), such that individual pixels can’t be discerned, and curves look smooth even without extensive anti-aliasing. Each eye has about a 2,000×1,500 display, so while Microsoft doesn’t seem to include an actual field of view measure on its spec sheet, that comes out at around a 53 degree (diagonal) field of view.
Details of the new display system were lacking, but it appears to be a Microsoft-designed, custom-built MEMS (microelectromechanical system) display, with a tiny little electromechanical mirror used to bounce laser light around.