Update: Microsoft’s Alex Kipman tweeted an explanation for this image: It’s a prototype of the original HoloLens, not a new version. Nothing to see here. 🙂
Microsoft first revealed its HoloLens AR headset back in 2015. The company has been working on a new version of the HoloLens for years now, though it had reportedly stopped the development of the V2 of the headset to focus on the V3. And now, we could be getting our first ever look at the third-gen HoloLens, codenamed Sydney.
It’s very well known that NASA is a heavy user of the HoloLens, and one of the close partners of Microsoft to be using the device. The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory recently posted a video demoing OnSight, a software that’s used to provide virtual visits to Mars. In the video, we get to see multiple users using regular HoloLens. And then, at one point of the video, a new HoloLens appears, as first noticed by The Ghost Howls.
One of the users in the video is seemingly using the next-gen HoloLens device, with an improved design and refined ergonomics. The most notable change in the device is the displays on the front, which we believe getting major upgrades.
At another point of the video, we get a quick look at the back of the device which seems to be showing off the new mechanism that’s used to actually fit the HoloLens on your head. Instead of having the clumsy headband like on the original HoloLens, it seems like the new headband that’s used to actually hold the device in place is getting thinner, as well as a new ring that could make it much easier to adjust the fit of the headset.
All of this lines up perfectly with our report from June of this year, as these improvements could be making the HoloLens much lighter and comfortable to wear than the previous generation.
But of course, this may just be a custom version of the HoloLens Microsoft has built for NASA and it may not, in fact, be the new HoloLens Sydney. The device still looks much more refined than the current HoloLens, so there’s a chance this is one of the prototypes Microsoft has built for its next-gen HoloLens. We shall see.
You can see the device’s appearance on the NASA video below: