Microsoft may launch next-generation HoloLens VR headset in 2019

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While Microsoft’s first HoloLens virtual reality headset has been available to buy since last year — as a model principally aimed at developers — the US tech giant could now be working on a more advanced second-generation version that’s more geared up for the consumer market, and which could land in 2019, according to specialist website Thurrott.

Reports suggests that the HoloLens successor could be released in 2019, three years after the original HoloLens model first went on sale. Initially only available in the USA and Canada, Microsoft’s VR glasses then rolled out to Germany, France, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand at the end of 2016.

With a $3,000/3,299 price tag, this first edition is clearly not aimed at consumers. It is, in fact, primarily a developers’ kit for industry professionals.

Whether a modest update or a revolutionary new device, to ensure the next HoloLens is accessible to everyone, Microsoft will need to cut the headset’s size and weight, while also ensuring battery life long enough for day-to-day use, whether for gaming, entertainment or professional applications.

Microsoft’s vision for the HoloLens project goes far beyond the scope of the “straight-forward” virtual reality experience seen with headsets like the Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive and the PlayStation VR.

HoloLens seeks to immerse users in a digitally enhanced environment, where they can interact with virtual-reality elements added into real-world environments. However, this technology, which is much more ambitious than regular 3D, will naturally take years to find its place in the mainstream tech market.

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