Redmond is happy taking its time with mixed reality
Microsoft’s HoloLens mixed reality headset is unlikely to see a follow up to its Development Edition model until 2019, indicating appetites for such a device are not prolific.
According to Brad Sams from Thurrott, sources informed him that Microsoft will skip a version tow of its HoloLens and release a third iteration in around two years. The reason for this is Microsoft wants to release a headset that is more than just an incremental update.
“By skipping what was version two on their roadmap, the company can accelerate version three which will be closer to a generational leap and help keep Microsoft ahead of the competition. My sources are telling me that this version of Hololens will not arrive until 2019, wrote Sams.
“In short, the company is making a bet that the advancements they are investing in today for the v3 version of Hololens are significant enough and add enough value to the product that it will make sure they continue to lead the segment by getting that device to the market earlier.”
Microsoft responded with a rather generic statement: “Mixed reality is the future of computing, and Microsoft HoloLens is the future and present of mixed reality. Our commitment requires no roadmap.”
Combining augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) the HoloLens Development Edition, the first iteration of the mixed reality headset released outside of Redmond’s confines, has reportedly sold thousands of units rather than hundreds of thousands. Starting at £2,179, the HoloLens is not cheap, so it could be argued that selling more than a few hundred to enthusiasts and developers is an achievement in itself.
But as it stands the HoloLens appears to have garnered attention for its ability to mix AR and VR, as well as being a more left-field product for Microsoft, rather than a must-have device for enterprises and consumers.
That being said, Microsoft has little competition in the mixed reality field; while Intel has its Project Alloy headset, it has yet to be released. So Microsoft can afford to take its time with the next-generation of HoloLens and wait until developers who have bought the Development Edition create an ecosystem of apps and software to surround it.
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