Microsoft is scheduled to hold a major press conference at MWC Barcelona later today. With Satya Nadella and Alex Kipman in attendance, the expectation has long been that the company would use the event to show off the next version of its HoloLens mixed reality headset. Just hours before the event, though, Twitter user WalkingCat spoiled at least some of the surprise by leaking four images of the new device.
These are the first images of the new HoloLens we’ve seen. The new version seems to have enhanced padding and generally looks more comfortable to wear, but that’s about all we can say about the device so far. The images show roughly the same camera and sensor layout of the old device, too. Chances are, though, there’s plenty of surprises left for today’s events.
One of the images shows a user tapping a menu item, for example. That’s a gesture that’s not currently supported on HoloLens 1 but that would make a huge difference in the user experience. The current tap and bloom gestures work, but aren’t exactly elegant or fast.
What everybody really wants to know, though, is if the new device features an improved field of view. The earliest prototypes Microsoft showed off had a large field of view that made you feel highly immersed into the AR experience. The production version, though, didn’t quite live up to that, though in my own experience, it only takes your brain a few minutes to compensate for the limited field of view.
Microsoft’s press event in Barcelona is scheduled to start at 18:00 CET, 9am PT and we’ll be out in full force, so check back later for our reporting from the event and more details about the new HoloLens.