Microsoft Says HoloLens 2 Successor Will Need to Be a “Meaningful Update”

It’s now been three years since Microsoft released its HoloLens 2 headset, and the company isn’t in a hurry to release a new version of its mixed-reality device. According to previous reports, Microsoft may have canceled its HoloLens 3 over uncertainty about the platform’s future, but the company published a long piece today to reflect on the increasingly important role of HoloLens in the “industrial metaverse.”

“We’re truly delivering Windows in mixed reality,” said Alysa Taylor, Microsoft corporate vice president for Azure and Industry. According to Microsoft, the company released 34 monthly HoloLens 2 software updates since launch, and the latest one brings together the Dynamics 365 Guides and the Dynamics 365 Remote Assist app.

Microsoft says that this has been a top-requested feature from customers using HoloLens headsets as a training tool that also lets frontline workers get virtual assistance from collaborators. And according to the company, industrial customers are pretty happy with the current capabilities of HoloLens 2.

“No one wants to be obsoleted for 10% better capabilities. They don’t need a successor yet, but they want to know it will be there at the right time,” said Scott Evans, Microsoft’s vice president of Mixed Reality.

The exec added that Microsoft is currently focused on improving “core hardware technologies” including the display, tracking, sensors, and battery life. However, the software giant isn’t going to release an iterative HoloLens update as customers aren’t likely to upgrade.

According to analysts, Microsoft has sold 300,000 HoloLens headsets since launch. “We’re just looking for the right design point to make it a meaningful update. They want a successor device that’s going to enable an even higher return on investment,” Evans said.

Beyond the industrial sector, the US Army is probably Microsoft’s most high-profile HoloLens customer with the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) program. However, testing for the custom headset may not be going so well. Bloomberg previously reported that some soldiers have been suffering from nausea and headaches while training with the headset.

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