Micro­soft first laun­ched the mixed reality device Holo­Lens in 2016; its successor, the Micro­soft Holo­Lens 2, appeared three years later. The Head-mounted Display (HMD) has a new design, but there is more to it than just visual modi­fi­ca­tion.

Bitnamic pres­ents the most important features and signi­fi­cant changes of the Holo­Lens 2 compared to its prede­cessor.

For more in-depth reviews of the best smart glasses for industry, like Real­Wear Navi­gator 520, please visit our maga­zine.


Micro­soft Holo­Lens 2 review — Appearance and main area of ​​appli­ca­tion

In general, the Micro­soft Holo­Lens 2 can be described as a hands-free controll­able computer with WLAN connec­ti­vity that does not require any cables or external access­ories. The device sees ever­y­thing the user sees and is controlled by voice or gestures.

The display opens up an addi­tional, digital infor­ma­tion level within our reality. This inter­ac­tion with holo­gra­phic elements that remain in user-defined posi­tions and react like physical objects — that’s mixed reality.

The Holo­Lens 2 was desi­gned for the indus­trial sector, as it’s the biggest field of appli­ca­tion – espe­ci­ally with regard to Remote Main­ten­ance, loca­tion-inde­pen­dent trou­ble­shoo­ting, visual inspec­tion, etc.

The nume­rous impro­ve­ments that can be deter­mined in a direct compa­rison with the previous model Holo­Lens 1 are also aimed at this. In our opinion, an upgrade to the successor is defi­ni­tely recom­mended.  


Test: New and further deve­loped features of the Micro­soft Holo­Lens 2

In terms of size and weight, not much has changed – both models are one size, the Micro­soft Holo­Lens 1 is only 13 grams heavier. More serious diffe­rences can be found in the hand­ling, the field of vision and other aspects.  


Wearing comfort

When you put on the Micro­soft Holo­Lens 2, you can already see the first impro­ve­ments compared to the previous model. The smart glasses are only slightly lighter due to the use of carbon fibers, but the balanced center of gravity makes the new device much more comfor­table and can be worn pain­lessly for several hours at a time.

Due to the elastic bracket, the Micro­soft Holo­Lens 2 is easier to put on and can be adjusted to any head size and shape using the rotary knob on the back. The new dial-in-fit system also allows it to be worn over glasses. For a quick change from mixed reality to our physical reality, only the visor needs to be flipped up.  


Field of view

The field of view of the Micro­soft Holo­Lens 2 has been greatly enlarged for better clarity. This makes it much easier to interact with holo­grams, for example.  



The image quality has also improved tremen­dously, the reso­lu­tion of 47 pixels per degree roughly corre­sponds to the change from a 720p tele­vi­sion to 2K.  


Gesture control

The revised hand control enables a more intui­tive inter­ac­tion with holo­grams. No pre-programmed gestures are required – thanks to the tracking of 25 points on the hand, the Micro­soft Holo­Lens 2 can process any hand move­ment.

Objects can be moved using drag & drop, and the menu can be opened by pres­sing a virtual button on the user’s wrist.  


Voice control

The Micro­soft Holo­Lens 1 was already able to execute voice commands, but its successor also has voice tracking, which further improves voice control.  


Eye tracking

New on the Micro­soft Holo­Lens 2 are sensors that measure the user’s eye move­ments. They record where the gaze wanders and which elements are fixed, whereby the inten­tion of the user is reco­gnized and the system can deter­mine even more precisely which holo­gram is to be inter­acted with.

In addi­tion, the wearer’s eye relief is auto­ma­ti­cally set via the sensors, which enables an indi­vi­du­ally opti­mized display of holo­gra­phic elements. The eye-tracking inter­face was programmed in accordance with data protec­tion regu­la­tions; personal data, espe­ci­ally biome­tric data, will not be passed on.  


Biome­tric reco­gni­tion

Thanks to the biome­tric authen­ti­ca­tion via iris reco­gni­tion in Windows Hello, the successor to the Micro­soft Holo­Lens 1 can be unlo­cked much more easily and used safely by several people in one company.

Microsoft HoloLens 2 Insight

Micro­soft Holo­Lens 1 vs Holo­Lens 2 — Tech­nical data in direct compa­rison


  Holo­Lens 1 Holo­Lens 2
Reso­lu­tion 1280 x 720 (per eye) 2048 x 1080 (per eye)
Weight 579 g 566 g
SoC Intel 32-bit (1GHz) Qual­comm Snapd­ragon 850
Memory 2 GB RAM 8 GB RAM
Kamera 2.4 MP, HD video 8MP, 1080p video
Micro­phone array 4 chan­nels 5 chan­nels
Eye-based rende­ring Auto­matic pupil­lary distance cali­bra­tion Display opti­miza­tion for 3D eye posi­tion
Eye tracking No Yes, 2 IR cameras
Hand tracking One hand Both hands
Gestures like Press, Grab, Direct mani­pu­la­tion etc. No Yes
Voice command Yes Yes
Biome­tric iden­ti­fi­ca­tion No Yes
Battery life 2–3 hours of active use 2–3 hours of active use
Price: Holo­Lens 1 no longer available 3.849,00 €


Micro­soft Holo­Lens 3 Release Date

Micro­soft is curr­ently working on a further deve­lo­p­ment of the Holo­Lens 2 — it will probably not be the successor Holo­Lens 3, but rather a refresh­ment of the Holo­Lens 2 hard­ware. At the begin­ning of February 2022, rumors were spread that Micro­soft would stop the deve­lo­p­ment of the Holo­Lens 3. Alex Kipman, the head of Microsoft’s mixed reality depart­ment, denied these via Twitter: Don’t believe what you read on the Internet, Holo­Lens is doing well, he said.

When the Micro­soft Holo­Lens 3 will be available for purchase is ther­e­fore still up in the air. However, it seems certain that the Holo­Lens 3 is not intended for end consu­mers, but prima­rily for use in industry and the mili­tary.

How the Micro­soft Holo­Lens 2 compares with other AR glasses can be read in our compa­rison of the top 3 smart glasses for industry.  


Micro­soft Holo­Lens 2 and bitnamic CONNECT for more effec­tive working

With the Holo­Lens, Micro­soft has deve­loped smart glasses for augmented reality main­ten­ance that make it possible to merge reality with virtual content and thereby faci­li­tate all work processes, espe­ci­ally in the indus­trial sector. The Micro­soft Holo­Lens 2 builds on the advan­tages of its prede­cessor, offers improved and new func­tions for even more effi­cient hand­ling. I

In combi­na­tion with bitnamic CONNECT, also available as an app for both Holo­Lens models, main­ten­ance processes can be signi­fi­cantly acce­le­rated and complex problems on machines can be quickly resolved under expert guidance. How this works in prac­tice, you can read in our article Main­ten­ance and service with Remote Main­ten­ance and Micro­soft Holo­Lens.

Give your employees the right tool to design or review work envi­ron­ments, train complex proce­dures and advise custo­mers – all comple­tely remote. Welcome to Industry 4.0.

Would you like to learn more about bitnamic CONNECT, augmented reality and smart glasses like the Micro­soft Holo­Lens 2? Arrange a noncom­mittal demo appoint­ment with our Sales Manager Chris­to­pher Poelker and expe­ri­ence live how you can make your service processes more effi­cient.