Since its launch two years ago, the HoloLens 2 has been the best AR headset available, and nothing has come close to touching it since.
So, at first blush, new features arriving for the device via an update to the Windows Holographic operating system might seem a bit...tame.
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The top change arriving via version 21H1 is the transition to the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge as the default browser. Yawn? Not so fast. This means better support for WebXR experiences, which is quickly gaining steam as a delivery method for platform-agnostic AR content. This also means support for web apps, such as the Microsoft Office web app.
How about swipe to type? Yeah, you probably have this on your iPhone or Android device already, but, considering that hand gestures are the prime input method for HoloLens, this is kind of a big deal.
We also can't forget that Microsoft has positioned HoloLens as an enterprise device, so the addition of multiple user accounts from the sign-in screen is a godsend for companies where several employees may share the same headset.
In addition, Windows Holographic brings a couple of user experience tweaks, like a new Power menu for quick access to sign out, shut down, and restart actions from the user profile icon and a more robust Settings app with customization options and wider control over device options.
So this update may come off as a bit routine, but the truth is that it's an important update, especially considering the powerful interactions it affords. With Microsoft Mesh on the way, we can expect bigger things on the horizon.
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