The HoloLens 2 hasn't even reached most of the market, but it's already a big-time TV star.
Microsoft's augmented reality device made its primetime debut on FOX TV last night on an episode of the hospital drama The Resident.
But instead of a lightweight, throwaway cameo of the device, it turns out that the HoloLens 2 figured as a major plot device during the episode's pivotal moment of drama.
The episode, titled "Out For Blood," featured a patient undergoing a cerebral bypass, surrounded by a team of doctors and nurses, all wearing HoloLens 2 devices while working together.
To the average viewer, the scene, which lasted over five minutes (an eternity in TV onscreen time) might seem like a bit of science fiction as doctors grabbed and tossed 3D brain scans and read real-time vital signs on translucent virtual panels.
But as AR insiders know, this scene is absolutely representative of the current state of the art in immersive computing via the HoloLens 2.
Although there's no word on what software the simulated operation was supposed to be using, what's particularly interesting is how the HoloLens 2 is shown as a standard piece of operating room equipment.
The medical device industry is projected to grow to over $500 billion in revenue in the next few years, so Microsoft's framing (fictional though it may be in this case) of the HoloLens 2 as an operating room staple is a powerful message to the medical industry as it explores innovative new ways to enhance its constantly evolving toolset.
Not only are all the staff outfitted with the device, but when something goes wrong during the scene, and two senior surgeons need to rush in to assist, right after they don their scrubs and surgical gloves, they're also outfitted with a pair of HoloLens 2 devices.
The fictional operation also shows off how colleagues can observe and offer advice to the HoloLens 2 wearer by monitoring the wearer's field of view via tablet remotely.
We see a lot of TV and film scenarios attempting to show off the powers of present and future AR, but this is about as close to 100% realistic as we've seen in terms of properly representing what's possible right now.
If you're a fan of the show, and you found Next Reality by random chance, we can confirm that what you saw last night was not special effects-driven dreaming — that's how some doctors are already beginning to use the HoloLens 1 (and soon, HoloLens 2) device.
If you're already on board the AR train, maybe this major bit of mainstream spotlight will remind you that the future is moving ahead, with or without you. So if you've been reluctant to adopt the device because your HoloLens 1 experience wasn't the best, it might be time to dip your toes back into Microsoft's virtual waters and see just how much the HoloLens 2 has improved upon the previous version.