Microsoft Unveils the HoloLens 2

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Microsoft Unveils the HoloLens 2
Number 760
Broadcast Date FEBRUARY 25, 2019
Episode Length 5:19
Hosts Rich Stroffolino

Microsoft announces the HoloLens 2, Huawei releases its own foldable phone the Mate X, the 5G phones come to MWC, and a software bug causes injuries to 30 Lime scooter riders.


Microsoft announced the HoloLens 2 with a 53-degree field of view and eye tracking. It also adds 3D mapping of the hands so you can grab objects to adjust them rather than tapping on a virtual control. Microsoft also moved the integrated computer to the back of the headset to make it less front-heavy. The price is now $3500 down from $5,000 for the first generation and it can be bundled with Dynamics 365 Remote Assist. Mircosoft will also work with third parties for specialized hardware for certain industries, an example being a hard hat made with Trimble.
Microsoft also announced the Azure Kinect Developer kit. Designed for enterprises, Azure Kinect offers a 1-megapixel depth camera, 360-degree 7-microphone circular array, 12MP RGB camera, and orientation sensor, and integrates into Microsoft's cloud services like Azure AI for organizations to build their own apps. Azure Kinect is available for preorder for $399.
Huawei announced a foldable phone called the Mate X. It has an 8-inch wraparound OLED display that is 11mm thick when folded. It is capable of 5G, has a 4,500mAh battery split into two parts and runs on Huawei's Kirin 980 processor. When folded it works as a dual screen smart phone with a 6.6-inch main display and 6.4-inch rear display. It does not have a rear camera when unfolded. The Mate X with 8 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage will sell for €2,299 starting in the middle of this year.
Sony unveiled the Xperia 1 smartphone, with a 6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED display, featuring a tall 21:9 aspect ratio. The phone also comes with three 12 megapixel cameras on the back, side-mounted finger print reader, Snapdragon 855, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and water resistance. No pricing was announced, and it's expected to be out in late spring.
LG unveiled its first 5G phone, the V50 ThinQ. This is an update to the existing V40 platform, and aside from 5G adds a larger 4,000 mAh battery, a Snapdragon 855 processor, and a better cooling system. LG also announced a Dual Screen accessory, which attaches like a phone case and adds a second 6.2-inch OLED display that runs off the V50s battery. The Dual Screen allows for two app multitasking, or can be used as a separate keyboard or game controller. The V50 will come initially to Sprint in the coming months, and eventually come to Verizon over the summer. The Dual Screen accessory will only be sold internationally, with no planned US release. Exact pricing and release dates were not announced.
Xiaomi announced a version of the Mi Mix 3 with a 5G modem and Snapdragon 855 processor coming in May for 599 Euros. Like the non-5G version, it has a slide-out camera with 2-megapixel wide-angle and telephoto sensors on the rear, and a 24-megapixel selfie camera and 2-megapixel sensor at the front. The Mi Mix 3 also has a 6.4-inch OLED display. Xiaomi also announced the Mi 9 will come to Europe February 28 starting at 449 Euros.
Google Play Services updated to add FIDO2 certification and support. Users with Android 7.0 and later devices will be able to log into apps and websites using biometric data like fingerprints, or PIN numbers on devices without biometric support. All authentication is handled locally on device, meaning apps and services will not have access to biometric information. Developers will have to integrate the FIDO API to support the feature.
Auckland, New Zealand suspended the operation of Lime's scooter business in the city after the company reported 30 injuries to riders due to a software glitch. In 155 known incidents, Lime scooters were locking the front wheels mid-ride, sending riders flying off the vehicles. Lime reported that the error effected 0.0086% of rides in New Zealand, and that the error occurred when users were accellerating quickly downhill and hit a pot hole or other obstacle. Lime advised this also effected scooters outside of New Zealand. A software patch has been released to resolve the issue.
Researchers at Google published a paper asserting that software mitigation for Spectre-like vulnerabilities, tied to exploiting inherent vulnerabilities in CPU speculative execution, have proven inadequate and still impose a substantial performance penalty. The researchers found no single mitigation technique effective in all instances, and found performance drops of up to 33% for broadest mitigations. A combination of multiple mitigations required carefully weighing the security benefits vs a drop in performance. The researchers also found a general-purpose Spectre-family attack could not be thwarted with any known mitigation techniques.
The SD Association announced the microSD Express format. This will use NVMe 1.3 and PCIe 3.1 interfaces to allow for transfer speeds of up to 985 Mb/s, while maintaining full backwards compatibility. microSD Express will also allow for bus mastering, which allows memory cards to address system components directly without going through the CPU for faster multitasking. And in other microSD card news, Micron and SanDisk unveiled 1TB microSD cards at MWC. These use the microSDXC format, which means read and write speeds around 100MB/sec, with SanDisk's card being available in April for $449.99.


Preceded by:
"Week in Review for the Week of 2/18/19"
Microsoft Unveils the HoloLens 2
Followed by:
"Pandora Launches Stories"