HoloLens 2 could be shown off at MWC 2019

Microsoft has sent out invitations to a press event at MWC 2019 next month, and judging from the executives present, we will be treated to some kind of reveal concerning the HoloLens 2.

As The Verge spotted, the invite for a press event to be held on Sunday, February 24, specifies that Microsoft’s chief executive Satya Nadella will be there, along with technical fellow for AI perception and mixed reality, Alex Kipman.

Kipman is the brains behind HoloLens (and previous to that, Kinect), so the obvious conclusion is that he’ll impart some fresh details on the HoloLens 2, particularly seeing as it’s expected to be released this year, plus the rumor mill has been churning again of late regarding the headset sequel.

Most recently, we’ve heard that Microsoft could be aiming to make the headset more wallet-friendly, as well as lighter and less bulky overall (at least according to a patent). That would go a long way to boosting the appeal of the AR headset, particularly if the price comes down, which could make the device more palatable to a mainstream audience.

Qualcomm quandary

Rumor also has it that the HoloLens 2 will be a good deal more powerful, with some speculation suggesting it will be driven by Qualcomm’s XR1 chipset, which is specifically aimed at AR and VR devices, though another theory points to the use of the Snapdragon 850 chip (as seen in ARM-based ‘always connected’ Windows 10 laptops).

Either way, it seems Qualcomm is in line to provide the processing power, rather than Intel (who got the gig for the original HoloLens).

Furthermore, Microsoft has already told us that the HoloLens sequel will benefit from a new AI coprocessor (HPU) that will facilitate on-device analysis of visual and audio data, rather than having to rely on the cloud (thereby eliminating the delay which the latter method inevitably entails).

Also listed on the MWC invitation alongside Nadella and Kipman is Julia White, who is the corporate VP who heads up Microsoft’s cloud offerings including Azure, so we can expect to hear plenty of cloud-related stuff, too. Particularly given that this is one of the company’s strong suits at the moment.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).