Microsoft’s holding an event at Mobile World Congress (MWC), the world’s largest phone show, and rumors are that the software giant will talk about its next-generation headset, the HoloLens 2. 

The HoloLens buzz has been swirling since Microsoft first announced its event on Jan. 16. But in the past 24 hours, Twitter user WalkingCat — who has an excellent track record on Microsoft leaks — posted 4 photos of a headset that looks similar but different from the original HoloLens.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella began the event underscoring how it’s been four years since the last HoloLens was announced. And in that time, computing technology has expanded into all sorts of devices we use in our lives.

“Computing is embedded in our world, in every place in every way,” he said. “Computing is in everything from connected cars to connected refrigerators, smart surgical tools, and even smart coffee machines.”

He said the result is that the approach to how companies like Microsoft approach the technology they make. “It’s no longer about being device first, it’s about putting the human first, and it includes all the devices in their lives.”

“We don’t have to just imagine it,” he added. “This future is here.”

Microsoft will kick off its presentation at noon ET/9 a.m. PT, which is 6 p.m. in Barcelona. CNET will have a crew at the event, and you can watch the livestream here, too. Read on for details.

What to expect

The big tell about the next-generation HoloLens came when Microsoft said that Technical Fellow Alex Kipman will be speaking at the event. Kipman, the creator of the Kinect video game accessory for the Xbox and then the HoloLens, further stoked the flames when he tweeted a cryptic video earlier this month. Microsoft’s Nadella and Corporate VP Julia White will also be speaking at the event. 

Microsoft first showed off the mixed reality headset more than four years ago. And while there’s still no consumer version, it’s found a home in industry and the military (though the $480 million contract with the US Army has stirred dissent in the Redmond ranks). The HoloLens sequel rumors date back to at least June 2018. And the recent announcement that a HoloLens app is coming to Android shows that Microsoft remains actively engaged in the technology.

Other MWC announcements

Microsoft’s presentation will be a highlight of Sunday’s MWC itinerary, which is the the start of at least two days of press conferences in Barcelona. Oppo kicked things off on Saturday with new phones pushing the specs envelope, with both 5G wireless and 10x camera. On Sunday, Huawei and HMD (Nokia) have unveilings scheduled before Microsoft, while LG will end the day. They’ll be followed on Monday by Sony, Ericsson and ZTE. 

CNET will have complete coverage of the show throughout the week.

Originally posted Feb. 23. Updated Feb. 24 at 5:15 a.m. PT and later with news on Twitter leak.

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