Now Anyone Can Buy HoloLens 2 Direct from Microsoft – Road to VR

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HoloLens 2 has been available to Microsoft business partners and developers since last year, however anyone else interested in the augmented reality headset would have to jump through a few hoops first to get their hands on the device. Now Microsoft has opened sales of HoloLens 2 to anyone with the cash on hand.

Up until now, prospective HoloLens 2 owners would have to either contact an official reseller or sign up for a special developers program, making this the first time when John Q. Public could buy a HoloLens 2 direct from Microsoft without any additional fuss.

Customers will be able to buy the $3,500 headset itself and a host of replacement accessories including a carrying case, a USB-C charger, straps, and forehead pads of varying sizes. All of those come in the box already, but it’s nice to know you can buy a spare if need be.

Microsoft is only selling HoloLens 2 direct to online customers, so you most likely won’t be able to buy it in a Microsoft Store.

We first went hands-on with HoloLens 2 at Mobile World Congress (MWC) last year, and it proved to be a capable AR headset that, despite some misgivings on how the field of view was initial misrepresented at its reveal at the Barcelona-based trade show, showed some real material improvements over its predecessor.

It packs in a number of features not present in the original 2015-era HoloLens, the most prominent of which is eye-tracking. Eye-tracking not only lets users select UI elements simply by looking at them, but also allows developers to know where a user is looking to better optimize AR apps by better understanding user behavior. Check out the full specs below:

HoloLens 2 Specs

Display Optics: See-through holographic lenses (waveguides)
Resolution: 2k 3:2 light engines
Holographic density: >2.5k radiants (light points per radian)
Eye-based rendering: Display optimization for 3D eye position
Sensors Head tracking: 4 visible light cameras
Eye tracking: 2 IR cameras
Depth: 1-MP Time-of-Flight (ToF) depth sensor
IMU: Accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer
Camera: 8-MP stills, 1080p30 video
Audio and speech Microphone array: 5 channels
Speakers: Built-in spatial sound
Human understanding Hand tracking: Two-handed fully articulated model, direct manipulation
Eye tracking: Real-time tracking
Voice: Command and control on-device; natural language with internet connectivity
Windows Hello: Enterprise-grade security with iris recognition
Environment understanding 6DoF tracking: World-scale positional tracking
Spatial Mapping: Real-time environment mesh
Mixed Reality Capture: Mixed hologram and physical environment photos and videos
Compute and connectivity SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 Compute Platform
HPU: Second-generation custom-built holographic processing unit
Memory: 4-GB LPDDR4x system DRAM
Storage: 64-GB UFS 2.1
WiFi: Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac 2×2)
Bluetooth: 5
Fit Single size
Fits over glasses
Weight 566g
Software Windows Holographic Operating System
Microsoft Edge
Dynamics 365 Remote Assist
Dynamics 365 Guides
3D Viewer
Power Battery life: 2–3 hours of active use
Charging: USB-PD for fast charging
Cooling: Passive (no fans)
Contains lithium batteries: See more information >

Thanks to Jad Meouchy of the AR/VR data analytics company BadVR for pointing us to the news.

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