At a time when all major virtual reality manufacturers are preparing to change the flow of the consumer market with their various headsets and tantalizing software, Microsoft has pretty much attained the role of a bystander; watching everything unravel in front – lying in wait – and holding back any splurge on marketing its amazing HoloLens technology to the masses.
According to its creator, Alex Kipman, Microsoft has no intention of watching HoloLens slip through the cracks and become another Kinect. The company’s motion sensing device was launched with the Xbox 360 console and was “not a pleasant experience” when considering a long-term reception, as stated by Kipman during a short demonstration of HoloLens at a recent TED conference in Vancouver.
It’s important to note that Kinect managed to sell over 10 million units within the first two months of its launch. However, enthusiasm for the device fell drastically afterwards due to a lack of software support and technology. Pointing towards HoloLens, Kipman said that releasing it in its current state would just give consumers “12 things to do.” Microsoft is going to take its time with the Augmented Reality headset and make sure that consumers in the future find it as a useful product, rather than just a high-end gimmick.
E3 2015 saw an amazing demonstration of the HoloLens technology, featuring a special Minecraft edition. Suffice to say, the presentation blew away everyone, including those on streams. Where we saw a coffee table transform into the game’s world, Kipman took the entire TED stage and converted it into a forest, later opting for the moon and then Mars.
That being said, Kipman didn’t offer any information on a possible release date for HoloLens or an estimated price point for the consumer model. From his statements, it’s possible that Microsoft is planning to look how the market is affected by the release of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, perhaps even PlayStation VR. The firm could learn much from all three devices, the respective mistakes and consumer demands, to mould HoloLens for a perfect launch.