Microsoft already working on new and improved HoloLens – but it's not the HoloLens 3

An online database has revealed the codename for the new device which hints at a HoloLens 2 refresh

Hololens 2
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft is reportedly working on a new and improved version of its HoloLens mixed reality headset, which is currently in its second iteration, with reports suggesting that we'll see a refresh of the hardware housing a more powerful processor. 

The first HoloLens headset launched in 2016, with the HoloLens 2 debuting a few years later, in 2019. The revamped AR headset packs a more powerful processor with the Snapdragon 850 replacing the Intel SoC of the original headset. It also boasts a lighter, more ergonomic form factor, boosted battery life, increased FOV, and a flip-up visor making it super easy to switch between mixed reality and real life.

WinFuture reports that Microsoft is working on a new version of its HoloLens headset citing references to a Microsoft 'Hanami' developer board in databases which are available online. The codename cropped up at the start of the year, with no mentions prior to January, 2021, so it appears to be a new endeavour. The outlet suggests we're looking at a hardware refresh rather than a HoloLens 3, saying that the developer board "should have the same functionality as the HoloLens 2" based on the information available. Qualcomm appears to be involved again, meaning the new device should be getting an upgrade in the processor department

There's not a lot of information about the next-gen HoloLens – whether that's a HoloLens 3 or a HoloLens Mk 2, but speaking about the next steps in hardware expectations for the device back in 2019, HoloLens creator Alex Kipman envisions a headset with an 'infinite FOV'.

Talking to the Australian Financial Review , Kipman speculated that we were four years out from such an update, and coupled with the almost four-year gap between the HoloLens and HoloLens 2, it's likely that we won't see a HoloLens 3 until at least 2022. Will Microsoft release a refreshed headset in the interim, and push back the HoloLens 3 in favor of a slightly more powerful HoloLens 2? 

We don't know, is the short answer, but it's putting its nose to the grindstone on some new version of the hardware, so we'll be watching closely for more updates.