Mixed reality may not be as buzzwordy at MWC 2019 as "foldable" and "5G," but Microsoft's event over the weekend included some of the biggest news of the week. Of course, the list of announcements is capped off by the HoloLens 2 headset, a device Microsoft is hoping will change "the way work gets done." On its way to doing so, the company has more than doubled the field of vision from the last model (though it didn't provide exact numbers), a new "time-of-flight" depth sensor to track hands without controllers and increased overall comfort. Of course, the $3,500 HoloLens 2 is still mainly an enterprise device and there was a lot of talk about how large-scale businesses could benefit from its use.
Before it took the wraps off of a new HoloLens headset, Microsoft announced a new home for Kinect. The Azure Kinect packs in a depth sensor, high-definition camera and microphones in a new compact device. There's a catch though: it's designed for business use. For example, AVA Retail has been using the unit for things like self-checkout and grab-and-go shopping. The key difference between this and older Kinect cameras is the AI and cloud power that Azure brings. Perhaps the best part is that preorders are already open for developers who are willing to part with $399 to get one.
Epic Games' Tim Sweeney announced that the company's Unreal Engine is coming to HoloLens. More specifically, it should be available for developers in May, but he said it's already "up and running." Don't expect to play Fortnite in mixed reality anytime soon though. The compatibility is aimed at enterprise use for things like more realistic 3D. There were hints that games could be part of the plan one day, but probably not until HoloLens is a bit more affordable.