We ask our industry panel - the brightest and sharpest VR professionals from around the world - one question about the VR industry, business, technology or trending stories every week. here’s what they think about HoloLens reaching customers.
Microsoft’s HoloLens starts shipping to UK customers this week; is this the beginning of the MR/AR revolution, or just expensive foreplay? Will it change the way people think of HMDs as (business) users get to grips with the new hardware? Is this where new opportunities for MR/AR content will be discovered? Does HoloLens get you excited, or is that price tag a turnoff?
This is the first device that is shipping in quantity that solves many of the major problems with AR headsets.Scott Montgomerie
“As with any new technology comprising a software and hardware component, there is often a symbiotic relationship in which they must reach the market together in order to achieve success. Take for example the first PCs in the 80s - consumer adoption was propelled by spreadsheet applications, specifically Lotus 1-2-3 and Excel.
“So, too, this is what will happen with MR/AR. We are excited by HoloLens, as this is the first device that is shipping in quantity that solves many of the major problems with AR headsets. Business users will be excited to adopt HoloLens as it will usher in a new era of much more immersive collaboration, training, and on-demand experiences.
“Software applications, such as tools for quick content creation or remote assistance and support, allow businesses to easily deploy and manage AR experiences, enabling them to use this new hardware platform to solve business problems and reduce expenses, just as the spreadsheet did on the first PCs.”
“AR offers a less immersive but much broader, more accessible consumer base than VR. It’s not new (we’ve had access to AR for years on our phones) and companies such as ODG have been making glasses for a decade!
“HoloLens is grabbing the headlines because it’s talking the talk at the right time and the Windows integration promises a problem-free start, but the price point is a non-starter for consumers. They make more sense for enterprise but they’re still more expensive than ODG’s headset and not as robust as Daqri's Smart Helmet. Businesses need convincing of the merits of a $4,000+ investment and the pressure will be on developers to demonstrate user cases.
“HoloLens isn’t going to be an overnight success unless Microsoft gets aggressively proactive and demos them to punters at every opportunity.”
“It's worth remembering that the HoloLens is not yet targeted at Joe Public, or even the more hardcore individual early-adopters. Unlike the Oculus DK1-2, I don't have a single contact in the industry who has access to the HMD outside of their company's RnD labs.
“The general concensus is that the product is very much a B2B offering, and certainly has a variety of extant applications in a number of industries. I recently had a long conversation with an Indian engineer who was shopping for backpack laptops to power their HMD on construction sites, and this seems the initial market for the product.”
We still have some waiting to do until we get to the AR future.Oskar Burman
“In my mind, we're still far off. HoloLens starting to ship is surely an opportunity for developers and business users to start testing concepts in AR, but it's still really, really early days. As long as the HoloLens is focusing on business users, the AR market is on a trajectory for slower growth in my mind.
“It could still be a good chance to start learning AR UX/UI, but until we see more of a road map for a consumer device to hit the market (Magic Leap anyone?), we still have some waiting to do until we get to the AR future.”