Microsoft's newest mixed reality headset, HoloLens 2, has been redesigned for comfort. Curious how it was engineered? Microsoft Senior Director of Design Carl Ledbetter gave us a tour of the Human Factors Lab at Microsoft's Redmond, Washington headquarters.
The HoloLens 2, here, was mainly redesigned for comfort and to fit on more heads for longer.
Ledbetter shows us early headset prototypes to figure out weight balance, studying how much fatigue would emerge.
Microsoft has scanned 600 heads so far over a variety of ages, ethnicities and genders. Ledbetter says "statistically, we wanted to get more than 60." The process has taken three years so far.
Off in one corner, there's a set of EEG sensors on a mannequin head. These will be used to begin studying aspects of attention... and could help with studying eye tracking, too.
Microsoft designed a tool to measure depth between forehead and eyes, to accommodate eyeglasses and make sure the HoloLens 2 would fit over as large a range of faces as possible.
Ledbetter shows how measurements work.
A range of head shapes and types, from 5th to 95th percentile. Ledbetter says the HoloLens 2 fits on more heads, now.
So many ears! They're castings of actual human ears in different materials, to explore how ears would fit in the headsets.
The Human Factors lab works on all sorts of Microsoft products. Here's an extra-large Xbox controller, made for a particular reason...
...it's made to simulate what an Xbox controller would feel like in a five-year-old's hands.
This head can measure weight load through sensors and show how designs can add strain.