Hololens game changer

Microsoft Hololens: Next Augmented Reality Game Changer in 2019

A post on Thurott.com reports that Micro­soft is skip­ping the second version of the Holo­lens and we won’t see the next gene­ra­tion before 2019. There can be several reasons for this – but the most likely is that Micro­soft realised there will be no compe­titor with a compa­rable device this year or the next. Either way, it seems that Micro­soft has taken the lead with a great start in the Mixed Reality race with Magic Leap and Meta close at the heels. But don’t forget the dark horse in this race… Apple.

It all starts with a toy

Often we talk about smart glasses as if it is a simple tech­no­logy to achieve. Google Glass proved that disrup­tive tech­no­lo­gies need their time.

“Disrup­tive tech­no­lo­gies are dismissed as toys because when they are first laun­ched they “under­s­hoot” user needs. The first tele­phone could only carry voices a mile or two. The leading telco of the time, Western Union, passed on acqui­ring the phone because they didn’t see how it could possibly be useful to busi­nesses and rail­roads – their primary custo­mers.” Chris Dixon, a16z

Many products can look like toys before they become successful. Just take Insta­gram as an example – it was just a photo filters app at the begin­ning, now it is one of the largest media proper­ties in the world. Personal compu­ters are the same – initi­ally intended for hobby­ists since they were under­powered and weren’t useful for busi­ness appli­ca­tions.

Why HoloLens has time

The Holo­Lens story was diffe­rent from the start: it all began with a Apple styled surprise at the end of the Windows 10 presen­ta­tion. Of course, the expec­ta­tions were high after the Holo­Lens was presented. However, I think it is fair to say that Micro­soft deli­vered. Sure, the 40 degree field of view is not big and it could be smaller and lighter. The battery could also be improved, I agree. But on the other side, it is the first time that I have seen such open accep­tance for smart glasses device for both consumer and enter­prise.

Meta released the second edition of their Mixed Realty glasses last year, Magic Leap announced to show the fist proto­type this year (we reported on WeAreAR). As for Apple, it seems to be clear that Cuper­tino is working on AR glasses but so far we don’t have any roadmap. If Apple doesn’t release a glasses product, there will be no real compe­ti­tion to prevent a Micro­soft mono­poly and will also give Micro­soft the time to gather the feed­back they have from hund­reds of appli­ca­tions curr­ently in action to improve the Holo­Lens.

It all started with the Google Glass – call it a toy. Now the Mixed Reality Glasses show that they can add value and change the way we will work and live in the future.

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