HoloLens 2 powers next generation of BIM tools

By on 26 February, 2019

Trimble’s XR10. Image supplied by Trimble.


Microsoft reveals the HoloLens 2 at MWC Barcelona, major BIM product announcements follow.

Microsoft’s next-generation mixed reality headset dropped with major fanfare this week at MWC Barcelona, formerly the Mobile World Congress.

There’s a lot riding on Microsoft’s new mixed reality device. Aimed at enterprise, the next-generation wearable headset comprises a suite of evolutionary improvements over the debut model, which appears to be far better-placed to deliver upon the augmented reality promise.

Whilst impressive, the viewable area on the original HoloLens was fairly small in comparison to the wearer’s field of vision, putting a hard limit on the amount of data that can be viewed at one time, and putting clear bounds on complete immersion.

Some users found it uncomfortable, and most of its 579-gram weight was hanging off the front of the user’s head. It’s worth reading about the device’s new capabilities in detail to find out more about the raft of improvements over the original HoloLens.

The HoloLens 2 doubles the field-of-view of the original unit whilst maintaining the same pixel density of 47 pixels per degree, and whilst not a whole lot lighter, has balanced the unit by moving more of the bulk to the rear of the headset, effectively shifting the centre of gravity to behind the wearer’s ears.

Leading with partnerships

Showcasing the new customisation suite and partnership program that Microsoft announced with the new unit, Trimble and Bentley concurrently announced new mixed reality tools based on the Hololens 2 at MWC Barcelona this week.

The XR10 is Trimble’s take on the new device — essentially the new headset with a built-in hardhat and pre-existing integration with Trimble’s software portfolio. Targeting users of their existing hardware and software, Trimble says the XR10 aimed at workers in safety-controlled environments to allow visualisation of and interaction with models and BIM data in situ on the job site.

Similarly, Bentley announced Synchro XR, a new version of the integration tool for aligning focused BIM modelling tools with project management and other workflow processes, following Bentley’s acquisition of Synchro in 2018.

The HoloLens 2 and Trimble’s XR10 are available for pre-order now.

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