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Microsoft’s Alex Kipman just teased the HoloLens 2 announcement

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HoloLensTED

  • There’s a new hint that Microsoft will announce a new HoloLens at Mobile World Congress.
  • Alex Kipman, the man responsible for the device, posted a YouTube video on Monday that seemed to tease the device.
  • Here’s everything we know so far about it.

Microsoft’s Alex Kipman, the man responsible for the HoloLens augmented reality device, posted a cryptic video to YouTube on Monday that gives a major hint that a rumored new version of the headset will be unveiled later this month.

About a month ago, Microsoft sent out invitations to a press conference to be held on February 24 in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress conference. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will be there and Julia White, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s cloud Azure. But Kipman was also scheduled to be at the event, setting off a wave of speculation about a new HoloLens.

Microsoft has been selling the HoloLens for a few years now aimed at enterprise users with a steep retail price tag of $5,000 per device. It’s a popular device for certain uses like trade-show demonstrations. And it’s got a good following in the defense industry. 

In fact in November Bloomberg reported that Microsoft landed a $480 million contract with the US Army for up to 100,000 devices. Microsoft doesn’t talk much about HoloLens sales. But in a European Patent Office  video released in April, 2018, it pegged sales at about 50,000 devices.

Read: 57 startups that will boom in 2019, according to VCs

Microsoft’s MWC 19 website talks up its “intelligent cloud,” describing how “advanced sensors and AI at the edge to make technology more personal and natural.” That latter bit about “AI at the edge” appears to be code for HoloLens.

We know that the new HoloLens will include a fancy new AI chip, confirmed by Microsoft in July, 2017. It’s also expected to include Microsoft’s latest generation of the Kinect sensor, the Verge reports and the rumor is the device will use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 850 processor, meaning it will be powered by an ARM chip, not an Intel one.  

All of this could point to a consumer aimed device and, if so, it would have to have a smaller price tag.

Other rumors include a new HoloLens design, according to MSPowerUser, and that the headset may have a bigger field of view, addressing one of the biggest complaints about the device.

A final rumor seems to be that HoloLens 2 will include a special version of Windows 10, reports Tom’s Guide. Windows 10 has run on ARM for a while but it’s known to have many limitations.

Microsoft having a big presence at Mobile World Congress is also new this year. The company hasn’t been a splashy part of the annual tech extravaganza since it bowed out of Windows phones.

As for Kipman’s video,  you’d need to be Professor Langdon of DiVinci Code fame to decode it. It’s a series of computer generated images (one looks like a chip) and the press conference date.

Still, that’s a very strong hint that we’ll hear more about HoloLens 2 then.

 

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More groups join in support of women in STEM program at Carleton

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OTTAWA — Major companies and government partners are lending their support to Carleton University’s newly established Women in Engineering and Information Technology Program.

The list of supporters includes Mississauga-based construction company EllisDon.

The latest to announce their support for the program also include BlackBerry QNX, CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), Ericsson, Nokia, Solace, Trend Micro, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CGI, Gastops, Leonardo DRS, Lockheed Martin Canada, Amdocs and Ross.

The program is officially set to launch this September.

It is being led by Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design with the goal of establishing meaningful partnerships in support of women in STEM.  

The program will host events for women students to build relationships with industry and government partners, create mentorship opportunities, as well as establish a special fund to support allies at Carleton in meeting equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

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VR tech to revolutionize commercial driver training

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Serious Labs seems to have found a way from tragedy to triumph? The Edmonton-based firm designs and manufactures virtual reality simulators to standardize training programs for operators of heavy equipment such as aerial lifts, cranes, forklifts, and commercial trucks. These simulators enable operators to acquire and practice operational skills for the job safety and efficiency in a risk-free virtual environment so they can work more safely and efficiently.

The 2018 Humboldt bus catastrophe sent shock waves across the industry. The tragedy highlighted the need for standardized commercial driver training and testing. It also contributed to the acceleration of the federal government implementing a Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program for Class 1 & 2 drivers currently being adopted across Canada. MELT is a much more rigorous standard that promotes safety and in-depth practice for new drivers.

Enter Serious Labs. By proposing to harness the power of virtual reality (VR), Serious Labs has earned considerable funding to develop a VR commercial truck driving simulator.

The Government of Alberta has awarded $1 million, and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is contributing an additional $2 million for the simulator development. Commercial deployment is estimated to begin in 2024, with the simulator to be made available across Canada and the United States, and with the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) helping to provide simulator tests to certify that driver trainees have attained the appropriate standard. West Tech Report recently took the opportunity to chat with Serious Labs CEO, Jim Colvin, about the environmental and labour benefits of VR Driver Training, as well as the unique way that Colvin went from angel investor to CEO of the company.

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Next-Gen Tech Company Pops on New Cover Detection Test

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While the world comes out of the initial stages of the pandemic, COVID-19 will be continue to be a threat for some time to come. Companies, such as Zen Graphene, are working on ways to detect the virus and its variants and are on the forefronts of technology.

Nanotechnology firm ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSX-Venture:ZEN) (OTCPK:ZENYF), is working to develop technology to help detect the COVID-19 virus and its variants. The firm signed an exclusive agreement with McMaster University to be the global commercializing partner for a newly developed aptamer-based, SARS-CoV-2 rapid detection technology.

This patent-pending technology uses clinical samples from patients and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The test is considered extremely accurate, scalable, saliva-based, affordable, and provides results in under 10 minutes.

Shares were trading up over 5% to $3.07 in early afternoon trade.

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