Microsoft could launch HoloLens 2 at MWC 2019

Alex Kipman, Technical Fellow for AI and Mixed Reality at Microsoft, published a 42-second cryptic video suggesting the second edition of Hololens is on its way.

Published Date
12 - Feb - 2019
| Last Updated
18 - Feb - 2019
 
Microsoft could launch HoloLens 2 at MWC 2019

Highlights:

  • Microsoft teases HoloLens 2 launch at MWC.
  • The company may possibly only show the chip that will power the wearable.
  • Company CEO Satya Nadella and HoloLens inventor Alex Kipman are also attending the event this year.


Microsoft had already announced that it will be making an appearance at this year’s MWC. According to the official website, company CEO Satya Nadella and Alex Kipman, Technical Fellow for AI and Mixed Reality at Microsoft, will also be flying down to Barcelona for the Enterprise event. Just when the world was wondering what the company will announce at the event, Kipman published a video on his Twitter account teasing what look likes the HoloLens 2.

The video is cryptic and does not clearly says that the device is the HoloLens 2 but it certainly drops hints about the Mixed Reality headset. The video shows things like a silicon square-sheet transforming into processors, and (supposed) rocks converting into carbon fibers interweaving into one thick wire suggesting a tough yet light substance. It is also possible that the company may only be showcasing the chip that will power the device.

Kipman is the one who invented the HoloLens, and him sharing a video on social media may strengthen the general belief that Microsoft is launching the next version of its Enterprise-grade wearable. Also, it is obvious that if company’s top brass including Nadella, Kipman, Julia White, Corporate Vice President (Azure) and Yousef Khalidi, Corporate Vice President, Product Management (Azure)  are flying down to the event, it has to be a big announcement.

HoloLens has been Microsoft’s one of the successful projects in the Enterprise industry, and the company has promoted the device as the tool that can “shape the future of productivity” and “enable a new dimension of work.” HoloLens has a custom multiprocessor called the Holographic Processing Unit (HPU), and its responsible for processing the information coming from all of the on-board sensors, including Microsoft’s custom time-of-flight depth sensor, head-tracking cameras, the inertial measurement unit (IMU), and the infrared camera.

In 2017, Harry Shum, Executive Vice President of Microsoft Artificial Intelligence and Research Group, announced that the second version of the HPU will incorporate an AI coprocessor to natively and flexibly implement (Deep Neural Network) DNNs. The chip supports a wide variety of layer types, fully programmable by the company. Microsoft is reportedly holding a press event on February 24, one day before the start of the conference.

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