Update 10/11, 2:35PM ET: It appears that the HoloLens headset spotted in the NASA video is a prototype version of the original developer HoloLens, as noted by Road to VR’s Scott Hayden. While Microsoft is indeed working on a second-generation version of the HoloLens, the model shown here is unlikely to be that device. We’ve updated the headline accordingly. The original story appears below.
A Microsoft HoloLens prototype has appeared in a NASA video this week. Spotted by VentureBeat, the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory video reveals what looks like a newly designed headset. The headset includes a different visor at the front that appears to better support glasses, and a single adjustable band.
The Kinect sensor isn’t as visible at the front of the device, and overall it seems lot less bulkier than the existing HoloLens model that’s available today. It’s not clear from the video whether this is Microsoft’s HoloLens 2, or simply a prototype HoloLens headset that NASA is testing. NASA was an early partner for Microsoft on HoloLens, and previously tested early prototypes of the augmented reality headset. It’s likely that this is simply a prototype of the existing HoloLens headset, rather than entirely new device.
Microsoft has been working on a second generation of the HoloLens, codenamed Sydney. The new headset will be powered by an ARM-based processor, and include the latest generation of the Kinect sensor, and a custom AI chip to improve performance. Microsoft is currently targeting a HoloLens 2 release date for 2019. We reached out to Microsoft for comment on the NASA video, but the company says it has nothing to share.