It's been four years since Microsoft first introduced HoloLens to the world, so it shouldn't be surprising to hear that the company is hard at work on its next-generation headset and has been for some time. Codenamed "Sydney," here's everything we know about the unannounced Microsoft "HoloLens 2."

Alex Kipman, Technical Fellow, AI Perception and Mixed Reality at Microsoft recently tweeted a teaser video for its upcoming HoloLens 2 announcement, seemingly showcasing an undisclosed processor, along with other fabrics and materials that reminded us of the original Surface RT unveiling video.

HoloLens 2 hardware

Microsoft has already confirmed that the next HoloLens will have a new, custom Holographic Processing Unit (HPU) that will feature an AI coprocessor to natively and flexibly implement Deep Neural Networks. That means HoloLens 2 will be able to analyze visual data locally, without needing to send any data to the cloud. This should make HoloLens faster at recognizing objects and environments.

In addition to the new HPU, we hear that the next HoloLens will be powered by an ARM processor, likely the Snapdragon 850, and include LTE support for true-mobile holographic computing. Our sources suggest that the next HoloLens will be more mobile than ever, with longer battery life and an always-connected state. It is also likely that HoloLens 2 will include a wider field of view, something the original HoloLens was criticized for.

HoloLens 2 software

HoloLens 2 will run a version of Windows 10 built on Windows Core OS. This version of Windows 10 is codenamed Oasis, and is a Mixed Reality-specific experience that runs on HoloLens 2 and likely other Mixed Reality devices in the future. HoloLens 2 will also feature CShell, Microsoft's new adaptable UI that works across all device types. They're both complicated topics that I've previously delved deep into.

Microsoft has already introduced a number of user experience improvements to the Windows Mixed Reality experience on PC, including the ability to run Win32 programs directly within the Windows Mixed Reality environment, and updating the UI with more 3D elements and Fluent Design. We wouldn't be surprised to see some of those improvements make their way to HoloLens 2 either.

HoloLens 2 release date

Microsoft is planning to announce HoloLens 2 in just a few short weeks, at an event at Mobile World Congress being held on February 24. Microsoft was originally going to announce HoloLens 2 a lot earlier, but it decided to wait because there is no immediate competition in the market, and it wanted HoloLens 2 to make a huge splash with new features, experiences, and capabilities.

Regarding a release date, there's no official word on when we can expect HoloLens 2 to be made available. Once HoloLens 2 is announced at the end of February, it could be anywhere from a few weeks, to a few months, or even longer, before HoloLens 2 is available to buy. This all depends on whether or not Windows Core OS for HoloLens 2 is ready. There's also no word on pricing, although we'd like to think it'll start at lower than $3000 this time.

More to come

We'll continue to update this page with new information as it appears. In the meantime, what are you hoping HoloLens 2 includes? Let us know in the comments!

Updated February 13, 2019: We've updated this article with the latest information available from our sources and online.