Microsoft HoloLens 2: The Ultimate Augmented Reality Device

Microsoft HoloLens

According to a recent report by MarketsandMarkets, the global augmented reality market is expected to reach $77.0 billion by 2025, with the adoption of AR devices in various industries being a major driving factor.

One of the most prominent Augmented Reality/Mixed Reality devices in the market is the Microsoft headset HoloLens 2, which has been making waves in the tech industry since its release.

In this article, we will explore in detail the features, advantages, disadvantages, use cases, and future of the Microsoft  HoloLens 2.

Table of Contents

What is Microsoft HoloLens 2?

The HoloLens 2 is the successor to the original HoloLens, which was released in 2016. The original HoloLens was a groundbreaking device that introduced the world to the possibilities of mixed reality.

Microsoft HoloLens 2 is a mixed-reality headset that blends the digital and physical worlds to provide users with an immersive computing experience. The HoloLens 2 was released in 2019 and represented a significant upgrade over its predecessor, with improved sensors, a more comfortable design, and a wider field of view.

The Microsoft HoloLens 2 represents a significant advancement in the field of mixed reality and can potentially transform many different industries by providing users with new ways to interact with the world around them.

How Microsoft HoloLens 2 Works?

  1. Sensors and video camera: The HoloLens 2 has an array of sensors and cameras that capture and process data from the user’s environment. These include:
  • Depth sensors: These sensors measure the distance between the headset and objects in the real world. They use infrared light to create a 3D map of the environment, allowing the device to understand the spatial layout of the user’s surroundings.
  • Inertial measurement unit (IMU): The HoloLens 2 has an IMU that tracks the headset’s movement and orientation. It includes accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers that work together to calculate the device’s position and orientation in 3D space.
  • Cameras: The HoloLens 2 has multiple cameras that capture images and videos of the user’s surroundings.
  1. Holographic displays: The HoloLens 2 features two holographic displays that are positioned in front of the user’s eyes. These displays use waveguides to reflect light onto the user’s retinas, creating the illusion of mixed reality that appears floating in the real world.
  2. The holographic processing unit (HPU): The HoloLens 2 is powered by a custom-built Microsoft Holographic Processing Unit (HPU) that processes data from the device’s sensors and cameras in real-time. The HPU is responsible for tasks such as:
  • Spatial mapping: The HPU uses data from the depth sensors to create a 3D map of the user’s environment. This allows the device to understand the layout of the space and accurately place digital objects in the real world.
  • Image processing: The HPU processes camera data to detect the user’s hand gestures and track their eye movements. This allows users to interact with holographic content using natural hand and eye movements.
  • Graphics rendering: The HPU renders 3D graphics for holographic content, such as digital objects and environments.
  1. User interaction: The HoloLens 2 allows users to interact with digital content using a combination of voice, head tracking, hand gestures, and eye movements. To enhance the quality of the user interface, the device includes a microphone and speakers for voice commands, as well as hand-tracking sensors that detect the user’s hand movements. In addition, eye-tracking sensors allow the user to select and interact with holographic content using their gaze.

Technical specifications of Microsoft HoloLens 2

Here is an explanation of its technical specifications:

  1. Display: The HoloLens 2 features two 2K 3:2 light engines that provide a combined resolution of 2048 x 1080 pixels per eye. The displays have a diagonal field of view of 52 degrees and offer a brightness of up to 600 nits.   
  2. Sensors:
  • Depth sensor: The HoloLens 2 uses a time-of-flight depth sensor to create a 3D map of the user’s environment.
  • IMU: The device has an inertial measurement unit with an accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer.
  • Environmental sensors: The HoloLens 2 has four visible light cameras and two infrared cameras that capture images and videos of the user’s surroundings.
  • Eye-tracking sensors: The device includes a 2-megapixel camera that tracks the user’s eye movements. This allows the user to interact with holographic content using their gaze.
  • Hand-tracking sensors: The HoloLens 2 features two Kinect-inspired Time-of-Flight (ToF) depth cameras that track the user’s hand movements. This enables natural interaction with holographic content using hand gestures.
  1. Audio:
  • Spatial sound: The HoloLens 2 uses spatial audio processing to create a 3D audio experience that matches the position of virtual sound sources in the real world.
  • 5-channel microphone array: The HoloLens 2 has a 5-channel microphone array that captures audio from multiple directions.
  • Built-in speakers: The device features built-in speakers that provide immersive audio.
  1. Processor: The HoloLens 2 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 Compute Platform, which includes a custom-built Holographic Processing Unit (HPU) 2.0. The HPU 2.0 handles spatial mapping, image processing, and graphics rendering tasks.                                    
  2. Memory and storage:
  • The device has 4GB of RAM, which enables it to run multiple applications simultaneously.
  • It comes with 64GB of storage, which allows users to store apps and mixed-reality experiences.
  1. Connectivity:
  • Wi-Fi: The HoloLens 2 supports 802.11ac 2×2 Wi-Fi for fast wireless connectivity.
  • USB-C: For charging and transferring data.
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  1. Battery life: The device has a battery life of up to 3 hours of active use. The battery is removable and can be replaced if necessary.

  2. Operating system: The HoloLens 2 runs on Windows Holographic OS, which is a customized version of Windows 10 designed for mixed-reality experiences.

  3. Weight: The device weighs 566 grams, which is relatively lightweight for a mixed-reality headset.

  4. Dimensions: The HoloLens 2 measures 95.25mm x 126.45mm x 52.5mm, making it compact and easy to wear.

  5. Operating temperature: The device can operate in temperatures ranging from 0°C to 35°C.

  6. Security:
  • Windows Hello authentication: The HoloLens 2 includes Windows Hello authentication with iris recognition, which provides secure and convenient authentication
  • TPM 2.0 for device security

The Microsoft HoloLens 2 is a sophisticated mixed-reality device with a high-resolution display, advanced sensors, and powerful processing capabilities.

Popular Apps for Microsoft HoloLens 2 and their features

Microsoft HoloLens 2 has a wide range of applications that can be used for various purposes, such as gaming, education, manufacturing, healthcare, and more.

Here are some of the apps that are currently available for the HoloLens 2:

  1. Dynamics 365 Remote Assist: This app allows remote experts to provide real-time assistance to on-site technicians.

  2. Dynamics 365 Layout: This app enables users to create and edit 3D layouts using holographic objects.

  3. Microsoft Guides: This app provides step-by-step instructions and guidance for complex procedures and training.

  4. HoloTour: This app allows users to take virtual tours of different locations worldwide.

  5. Spatial: Spatial is a collaboration app that enables remote teams to work together in a shared virtual space.

  6. SketchUp Viewer: This app lets architects and designers view and interact with 3D models created in SketchUp. The user can walk around and inside the model using the HoloLens 2.

Advantages of Microsoft HoloLens 2

Here are some of the key benefits of using the HoloLens 2:

  1. Improved productivity: The HoloLens 2 can streamline and optimize workflows by providing workers with real-time information and guidance, improving efficiency and reducing errors.

  2. Enhanced learning and training: The HoloLens 2 can be used in educational and training settings to provide immersive and interactive learning experiences.

  3. Remote collaboration: With the HoloLens 2, remote teams can collaborate in a shared virtual space, regardless of their physical location.

  4. Increased safety: The HoloLens 2 can provide workers with safety information and alerts in hazardous environments, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries.

  5. Enhanced customer experiences: The HoloLens 2 can provide customers with immersive and interactive experiences, such as virtual try-ons for clothing or furniture.

  6. Reduced downtime: The HoloLens 2 can help reduce downtime in industrial settings by providing workers with real-time equipment monitoring and maintenance information.

Disadvantages of Microsoft HoloLens 2

Here are some of the limitations of Microsoft HoloLens 2:

  1. Field of view (FOV): The FOV of the HoloLens 2 is 52 degrees, which is considered narrow compared to other AR devices.

  2. Weight: The weight of the HoloLens 2 is relatively high, making it uncomfortable to wear for extended periods.

  3. Price: The HoloLens 2 is a premium product and is relatively expensive. This limits its accessibility to a broader market..

Potential challenges and issues with Microsoft HoloLens 2

There are several potential challenges and problems with Microsoft HoloLens 2 that may need to be addressed,


  1. Security concerns: HoloLens 2 is a powerful tool that can access sensitive data and applications, which may make it a target for cyber attacks or data breaches.

  2. User training and adoption: The HoloLens 2 is a new technology requiring significant training and adoption efforts for users to utilize its capabilities thoroughly.

  3. Limited interoperability: HoloLens 2 uses its own software and operating system, which can limit interoperability with other systems and software. This can create challenges when integrating HoloLens 2 into existing workflows or systems.

  4. Ethical concerns: As with any new technology, there are potential ethical concerns with using HoloLens 2. For example, the device may raise privacy concerns if it captures sensitive information or video without consent.

Overall, while the HoloLens 2 offers many benefits and use cases, there are also some limitations and potential challenges to consider when using the device.

Use Cases of Microsoft HoloLens 2

Examples of Companies using Microsoft HoloLens 2

  1. Lockheed Martin: The aerospace and defense company uses HoloLens 2 for employee training, enabling engineers and technicians to visualize and practice assembly procedures before building.

  2. Ford Motor Company: Ford uses HoloLens 2 to streamline its vehicle design and engineering processes, allowing designers to visualize and interact with 3D models in real-time.

  3. Chevron: Chevron is using HoloLens 2 for remote collaboration and training, allowing workers in different locations to collaborate and share knowledge in real-time.

Use Cases of Microsoft HoloLens 2 for different industries

Here are some use cases for Microsoft HoloLens 2 in different industries:

A. Manufacturing:

  1. Providing real-time guidance and instructions to workers on the factory floor to improve efficiency and reduce errors

  2. Visualizing complex machinery or equipment in 3D to identify potential issues or defects before they occur

  3. Providing hands-free communication for workers in noisy or hazardous environments to improve safety.

B. Healthcare:

  1. Providing realistic simulations for medical training and education, such as virtual surgeries or anatomy lessons

  2. Providing real-time information and visual aids for surgeons during procedures to improve outcomes

  3. Facilitating remote consultations or diagnoses through telemedicine applications

C. Education:

  1. Providing immersive and interactive learning experiences for students in a wide range of subjects, such as history, science, or engineering

  2. Providing virtual field trips to museums, historical sites, or scientific laboratories

  3. Providing teachers with new tools and resources to create engaging and effective lessons

D. Architecture and Construction:

  1. Providing real-time visualizations of building designs and construction progress, allowing architects and contractors to identify issues early on and improve collaboration among team members

  2. Providing virtual tours of buildings for clients, reducing costs, and increasing client satisfaction

  3. Providing hands-free communication and remote collaboration tools for architects and contractors working on large-scale projects

E. Entertainment

  1. Providing immersive and interactive entertainment experiences for audiences, such as virtual concerts, games, and sports events

  2. Creating virtual storefronts and product demonstrations for retail and fashion companies

  3. Creating interactive exhibits or installations for museums, theme parks, or other entertainment venues

Potential Future Use Cases for Microsoft HoloLens 2

  1. Telemedicine: HoloLens 2 can be used for remote consultations between patients and doctors, allowing medical professionals to provide care from anywhere.

  2. Gaming and Entertainment: HoloLens 2 can be used to create immersive gaming and entertainment experiences, allowing users to interact with virtual characters and environments in the real world.

  3. Architecture and Interior Design: HoloLens 2 can be used to create virtual mockups of buildings and interiors, allowing architects and designers to test designs before construction.

Future of Microsoft HoloLens 2

Potential advancements and developments in Microsoft HoloLens 2 technology

Microsoft HoloLens 2 is a powerful and innovative tool that has already made significant strides in the field of augmented reality.

However, there is still room for advancement and development in technology, including:

  1. Improved display technology: Future versions of HoloLens may incorporate advanced display technologies, such as micro-LED or OLED displays, to provide even more vivid and realistic virtual images.

  2. Enhanced AI capabilities: HoloLens may incorporate more advanced artificial intelligence capabilities, such as improved voice recognition or machine learning algorithms, to improve its ability to understand and interact with users.

  3. Expanded use cases: As the technology continues to evolve, HoloLens may be used in new and innovative ways, such as in gaming, social media, or e-commerce.

The future of Microsoft HoloLens 2 and Augmented reality / Mixed Reality is bright, with significant potential for continued advancement and impact in a wide range of industries and applications.


Microsoft HoloLens 2 is a promising technology that has the potential to revolutionize the way we work and interact with technology.

Its advanced features and capabilities make it a valuable tool for various industries, and its future developments and advancements hold exciting possibilities.

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