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Next, Improved & Lower Cost For Next-Gen Hololens

Microsoft is hard at work on the next generation of its Hololens mixed reality headset, which should officially launch in the first quarter of 2019, reports specialist website Thurrott.

The tech giant is said to be improving the device's performances while also cutting its cost, which should improve uptake of the headset, which is currently used by a limited number of mostly industry specialists.

Codenamed "Sydney," the new glasses are reported to be lighter and more comfortable, with improved displays and better battery life. The new-gen device is also said to feature a microprocessor specially dedicated to artificial intelligence, notably useful for image recognition.

Microsoft's project goes beyond anything currently on offer in the field of augmented reality (also known as "mixed reality"), immersing users in a digitally enhanced environment where they can interact with virtual-reality elements added into real-world environments.

Hololens is currently reserved for developers and sells for $3,000. Microsoft is now logically aiming to develop a consumer version, more readily accessible to the general public, priced under $1,000.

Microsoft, which first demoed Hololens in 2015, now faces tough competition in the VR market with headsets from HTC (Vive Pro and Vive Focus) and Facebook (Oculus Rift et Go), as well as more obscure projects like the Magic Leap One, a concept involving glasses directly connected to a small computer at the user's waist.

Note that Microsoft has joined forces with various manufacturers, including Asus, Dell, HP and Lenovo, in a unique project to produce low-cost VR headsets, priced under $500, although these are much less technically advanced than the Hololens.
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