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Microsoft HoloLens and Insider chiefs suggest smartglasses will replace smartphones

Go ahead, laugh. Call telephony-enabled smartglasses a sci-fi fantasy. But remember, sci-fi has an uncanny knack at becoming reality. Technological leaps such as the moon landing, the mapping of the human genome, cloning, artificial intelligence, bionic limbs and more were all foretold within the annals of science fiction.

For some, the notions sci-fi proposes are merely entertainment. For others, they are sources of inspiration that expand perception, ignite imagination and become the underpinnings of confidence in human ingenuity. Such ingenuity has been confidently applied to exerting our God-given dominion over the material world and shaping it to conform to our imaginations.

The technology that is both the foundation and context of modern society is the result of these actions. Not everyone can see beyond the paradigms that rule our current experiences, however. The present way of doing things, the systems that are in place and the apparent immutability of both obscures the vision of some.

So when someone like me, HoloLens creator Alex Kipman or Windows Insider Chief Dona Sarkar suggests that one day augmented reality (AR) smartglasses may replace the "all important" smartphone, we should be prepared for passionate resistance.

Alex Kipman says smartphones are dead

Kipman's assessment of the smartphone's status and where we are headed technologically is bold and decisive:

Smartphones are yesterday's news. The phone is already dead. People just haven't realized.

Kipman is a "futurist". As such he looks at current technological trends, observes the path they're forging and makes predictions about where that road will lead. He sees mixed reality, the spectrum from AR to virtual reality (VR), as becoming mainstream, emerging from the current paradigm of highly mobile computing and becoming the next personal computing and communication model.

Smartphones, the intelligent cloud, and digital assistants have made computing highly personal and mobile. Under the current smartphone model, we engage our digital experiences by staring downward, away from our world, at a tiny screen. Kipman anticipates that technology like Microsoft's AR holographic wearable computer, HoloLens, will replace our screens and merge our physical and digital worlds. From Kipman:

The potential of these devices is that they could one day replace your phones, TVs, and all these screens. Once your apps, videos, information, and even social life are projected into your line of sight, you won't need any other screen-based gadgetry … [it's] the "natural conclusion" of mixed reality.

Dona Sarkar says staring at a smartphone screen is unnatural

A visit to any public venue will reveal a troubling scene where dozens of people of varying ages spend their time at dinner, on dates, shopping and more with their heads bowed in reverence to their smartphones.

Many people see this paradigm and the associated unnatural bowed head, swiping, tapping and zooming means of interaction as something that's here to stay. One thing about technology's evolution, however, is that more often than not, it conforms more to us than we to it.

Sarkar sees mobile technology and Microsoft's investments in ARM, cellular, HoloLens and mixed reality as producing a mobile device that replaces the smartphone and allows natural human interaction.

Dona Sarkar talks about the future of mobile.

Sarkar said:

Let's talk about what mobile means ... people think about mobile as this thing that they carry around in their pocket … I love my 950 XL … but that is not the only mobile device on the planet. HoloLens is a mobile device ... There are going to be new device categories in the future that are also going to be mobile devices. It will be about things you carry with you everywhere you go.And as humans it is actually very unnatural for us to stare at a screen ... this has only been around for the last 10 years … it makes us antisocial, it makes us not behave the way humans do.

Sarkar, like Kipman, hints that Microsoft will create a device category where our digital lives and physical worlds meet via a "screenless" mobile device that replaces the smartphone. The ultimate vision of an ultimate mobile device or "Surface phone" may be full Windows 10 AR smartglasses.

The way it was, is and always will be?

Some individuals, unable to see beyond "the now," resist the notion that things won't always be the same. Some even mock those who present an image of a future ruled by another paradigm and that follows different systems than what is currently in place.

Still, change is inevitable. The naysayers or non-dreamers barely realize they are moving forward, changing their behavior as technology slowly changes their reality.

Take telephones for instance. Home telephones became car phones, which became forearm sized mobile phones, later becoming cell phones that were pocketable bricks, and finally veritable pocket-sized, touchscreen computers or smartphones.

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Over the years during that transition life continued, distracting us and the non-dreamers, as feature phones in all their dumb glory, then smartphones went from early adopter novelties to social mainstays. We lost sight of the technological wonderment the devices initially provoked as the marketing and social undertow of the "next big thing" dragged us continually to the obligatory annual upgrade.

We are easily lulled into complacency as the new, becomes the norm, the norm becomes dull, and the dull becomes "just the way things are." We're in a constant cycle of visible change.

Do you see what I see?

For non-dreamers, seeing the technological shifts, trends and behaviors that are shaping tomorrow is a difficult challenge. If what a visionary or futurist presents as an impending future differs too much from the current reality, non-dreamers often dismiss it, seemingly unable to see the breadcrumbs highlighting the way to the future.

They often do see the path once the journey is done, however, as they look back and remember when things were different.

Futurists may have that same level of awe as they look forward while observing current trends that they perceive are leading to an imminent technological shift toward smartglasses-as-phones that will change society and human interaction.

Telephony-enabled AR smartglasses

Like Sarkar and Kipman I see smartphones one day being replaced by AR smartglasses.

ODG CEO Ralph Osterhout, who's bringing the R-8 (consumer) and R-9 (business) smartglasses to market, also sees this future. Though these Android-based smartglasses don't currently have telephony, its on the product roadmap. ODG's partnership with the world's largest carrier, China Mobile (which serves 800 million people), will be strategic leverage for telephony-enabled smartglasses.

Microsoft's Sarkar and Kipman allude to AR smartglasses replacing smartphones. Other futurists including Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and ODG's Osterhout see the same future. The question is who will get there first or do it smarter.

Either way, whether you see it or not, the transition is coming.

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!

160 Comments
  • Oooooooook! Another futiristic article from the Warditorial!
  • People can't see past the curve. People can't see at all.... This technology (Processor, screens, wireless, applications, memory) is all just human evolution.. Dona is right, it's unnatural.. It has to be unnatural until humans selectively make it natural enough to where it ALMOST "disappears".....
    ........
    But, I understand what's really happening. Hundreds of Millions, and millions, of years ago animals didn't even have eyes... Now, most animals have eyes... That evolution started somewhere.. The fact is that a very long time from now all of the technology that we developed today with come naturally at birth with an evolved version of us.. I'm saying that a creature, that will have evolved from us, will be born with telephony, and ways to augment it's reality. Technology, thoughts, lessons, information, will be able to be shared between these creatures by a "biological cloud"... Sound familiar? Do certain insects already do this today?....
    We are unconsciously evolving ourselves to have no need for electro/mechanical peripherals. It's fact.
    Now, let's talk about looking beyond the curve.
  • I have to admit that I'm a short sighted simple person that I can't look beyond Kipman's curve.  I can't imagine that I would ever walk around wearing HoloLens or AR Smartglasses all day and consider myself 'natural'.  All I want from MS now is to deliver the rumored ultramobile WoA device with a foldable screen and phone features as soon as possible.  I'm willing to suffer by using the screen and not to complain it is unnatural.  I promise.  :-)
  • Billions of people already walk around with glasses on everyday. I don't see what's so hard to imagine about that. Lol
  • But not whole the day and whole the time. And if you have to put on glasses every few seconds to do the job and remove them then it won't work.
  • But you have to pick up the phone every time you want to do something as well. Glasses will merge the category between smartphone and tablet, because screensize will be whatever you want it to be.
  • Well you don't have to put the phone onto your face to operate it. That's why people will always use phones. Because they don't want to wear glasses on their face whole the day and because it is too inconvenient to put them on and off so frequently. Maybe at some point there will be some smart contact lenses that can do that and that people may possibly wear whole the day. But that's at least 50 years from now.
  • Most ppl already have to wear glasses the whole day. I used to, it's not that big of an inconvenience. If built correctly, wearing them for 8 hours will be nothing. There's already tons of people that wear a headset all day or a hat/helmet. It's not a big jump for it to be glasses
  • Even my 70 year old father doesn't wear glasses all the day. Among those that need to many wear whole the day many use contact lenses. I think that you miss the difference between 'people' and yourself. I do agree that some people do that and that they could be the first target for this technology. But simply walking the street test tells you that people with glasses are minority.
  • That's pretty much exactly what my comment said.
  • Above, labsii makes this gem of a declaration: "That's why people will always use phones."  LMAO, you futurist you.  Ponder a couple of these gems: 1889: “Fooling around with alternating current (AC) is just a waste of time.  Nobody will use it, ever.” — Thomas Edison 1903: “The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty – a fad.” — President of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford’s lawyer, Horace Rackham, not to invest in the Ford Motor Company. 1946: "Television won't be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months.  People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night." — Darryl Zanuck, 20th Century Fox. Source: Forbes Magazine.     
  • I said that, but if you took time to make a joke you could take time to read whole the conversation. I clearly said that smart glasses can't replace phones. I'll say that again. Smart lenses? Maybe, but just maybe. I said all of that. Not that the phones aren't irreplacable just they aren't replacable with smart glasess that's sure. Not because they have price, social, technology or any other problem but they are purely not ergonomic form that can work like phones.
  • @Ahy Nonimous: I love these futurists. They come up with orders of magnitude more failures than successes, even so-called visionaries (e.g. Edison, Gates). Care of MakeUseOf I grabbed a few from 8 spectacularly wrong predictions about computers and the internet Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons. – Popular Mechanics, 1949 I believe OS/2 is destined to be the most important operating system, and possibly program, of all time. – Bill Gates, 1987 Spam will be a thing of the past in two years’ time. – Bill Gates, 2004 Next Christmas the iPod will be dead, finished, gone, kaput.– Sir Alan Sugar, 2005 Soon: Smartphones are yesterday's news. The phone is already dead. People just haven't realized. - Some Windows employee, 2017
  • Yeah, but who stays on their phone the whole day, the whole time??
    It's really a non issue... And, hey, nobody is saying they are gonna make smartphones illegal. Use a slab, if you choose.
  • That's exactly the problem. People can easily pick up and dispose the phone whenever they want. They can't do that with smartglasses. That's why glasses aren't a good product form for the things that you need to frequetnly pick up and dispose.
  • 🤔🤔🤔❓
    The point is that the smartphone form factor isn't guaranteed, nor should it, go anywhere, at least not anytime even after (IF) smartglasses became popular... You sound like you wouldn't be interested in wearing them, and that's fine.. Some people think a lot of people would, and that's fine. That's why options are great. I don't see why you're so adamant on others not having the option to choose what they want... If you don't think a pair of smartglasses fits your needs, then choose something else. Look at all the different form factors of PC we have. We have those options for a reason. Don't get so hung up on a few peoples point of view about what the future holds. Nobody really knows what the majority of people will be using anyways.. We do know that if OEM'S start making reasonably affordable, unobtrusive, and severely functional SG's there will be a definite market for them.. That's the whole point. Just take it with a grain of salt.
  • I agree. As you can see by going back, this thread is about wearing the device while the time. Actually this article is about that (making smartphones obsolete). And people complain that it isn't realistic and also that it might take a whole lot time if it is possible at all...
  • yes, the whole day and the whole time, this is what happens if you have to wear glasses, we only get to take them off for sleeping. The only exception is people who only need them for reading.
  • Most people over 40-50 has to wear glasses anyway. Most young people wear sunglasses at the beach. So waring glasses can of course be a trend. If they do something usefull. It's not so hard to imagni that glasses can be darker in the sun, fokus when you look at something closer (which will be a good send for thouse like me that had had theyr original lenses in the eye replaced with plastic lenses, whick is the current sullution today for people that get cataract) and completly replace the glasses many people wear all the time. I don't think this will hapen this year or next year, but in 5 - 10 years? 10 years ago i have a very small phone in my pocket that could call, send SMS and lisen to radio. And that was all. My current phone that I have had for more than a year (Lumia 950XL), can do so many things between act as a GPS system when driving, to act as a PC when at the cabin using the TV set. Your get the picture?
  • abel46: "Most people over 40-50 has to wear glasses anyway" [sic] Yes, and they do so for a reason--they can't see particularly well. This is a problem for "smartglass" makers since it means that a large percentage of your customers can't use the devices.
  • The new "smart-glasses" will of corse also work just as well or hopefully much better that the glasses older people uses today.
  • abel46: The new "smart-glasses" will of corse also work just as well or hopefully much better that the glasses older people uses today.
    Chuckle. Having hit that magic number and having the eyes to go with it I hate to burst abel46's bubble but I will. Glasses have been around for centuries. There is no magic bullet to fix farsightedness and that makes adding super-small screens only one or two centimeters from a person's lens a problem. Smartphones are successful because anyone (barring major sight issues) can use them. Manufacturers can make one device for all. Not so for smartglasses. Plus, as the 'Glasshole' monniker for users of Google Glass nicely demonstrates, other people don't like an AR wearing person looking at them with their device. Do you have Snapchat open and are making disrespectful pictures? Are you secretly taking video of them to use against them in a legal proceding? Do you have an app up that overlays nude images? Obviously smartphones can be made to do all of these things, however, it's much more obvious if you're filming a person and you might think twice about looking a nude images in public. I don't see social conditions accept the total loss of privacy that is a smartglass. Some people may believe that their own privacy is more important than other people's privacy, but, I think you'll very soon find that people respond. We don't take kindly to strangers filming us with obvious cameras. I can't imagine that social conventions will change dramatically with the rise of smartglasses.
  • Do they phone with their glasses?
  • Why not? speaker by the ear, microphone on the nose. Not visible, but i will be there.
  • My comment was not a made with my eyes closed or that I cant see the future or grasp it..... but that this has no relevance o the technology people want to use now and the coverage of technologies in the present and in the near future - which is what interests most readers of technology sites. For futuristic technology visions, one can go see many other sites for better possible visions elsewhere as well. My point is that writing about future technoogy is just that - it has no relevance to what is possible now or in the near future or to what poeple want in terms of their next device either. So what the point of another long worded "futuristic" article here. We can all predict flying machines and holographic selves and all that you care to make up (imagine) by pushing the limites of technology now.
    THats not what we are here for oin this forum. We are here to discuss the next great thing that is in the near possible realm of time.  
  • And my comment is even more a sarcastic take of how Windows Central writers cried about how great the next Windows Phone OS was going to be (Mango), how far visioned the unification strategy of Windows 10 would be, how UWP apps would be the defacto standard of all apps going forward, how the One OS stragety would leavery eberyone else in the dust... and now when none of that panned out as enthusaistically was talked about, they start talking about the futuristic visions of Microsoft. I wil take my futuristic vision statetments from visionaries who can first get the here and now and near future statements correct first.
  • I only responded to your comment to get mine on top. Chill😜😜😜😜😂😂😂
  • Hi Nilanhan I'm not sure that you can speak for why EVERYBODY comes to the site. Also, when you have companys like Facebook, Google and Microsoft investing in HUD and smartglasses, it's a testimony of where THESE companies see personal computing going and where they are investing millions. And there really is no debate that these companies are investing in bringing this tech to fruition. ODG is bring smartglasses to consumers this year. It's happening now, not in the future. A simple search on smartglasses will reveal this is where small and large companies see the future and thier make Investments accordingly. No one can say for certain what WILL succeed, but objective observation of the now reveals that this is where companies are placing some of their bets.🙂 Also, as evidenced by the title of this piece and the content Microsoft execs, mot just WC writers see this future. But, o guess we'll all live to see what happens. Well at least I hope we do!😎
  • Hi Jason, I meant no offense to your vision and your prediction of the furut=rist vision. and I make no statement for others on their behalf. Its just my personal statement and I said so myself. Before you try and brush me off, I do come to WindowsCentral regularly  - but as I said for current news and happenings and your excellent reviews of apps, heradware, games etc. And I do agree with your vision as well - I never said this is bunkum. In fact in all likelihood we will get these technologies some time in the future - that is the nature of technology. So no disagreements there.  But I just think I would rather have analytical articles than prediction articles - since there is really no weightage to be attached to such futuristic prediction articles as much as there is to deep analysis. The analytical arctilces which reaveal insights and trends that are currently happening and many fail to see is far valuable than saying we will have flying cars in the future - that's just my 2 cents Its just just predicitive articles no not bring that instant value to me from this site. Nothing wrong in that.       
  • You are stupid
  • Would've sounded more intelligent if you said (you're stupid)
    ......
  • Zac Bowden, another writer for WindowsCentral, wrote an interesting piece for onmsft.com five years ago in 2012: "Ballmer predicts 400 million Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices within a year" Yes, WindowsCentral writers have a fine track record of picking Microsoft's winners and losers :).
  • We all know how visionnary Microsoft is famous for (Windows Phone, Zune, internet).
  • To me that's gonna be a Massive failure.....more than WP.
  • Because...
  • Microsoft.
  • privacy x3 says google glass :)
  • Failure why? Many wear perscription glasses and sunglasses it's no more of a big deal than wearing fitbit on your wrist or a watch that does more than tell time. In fact it's merging all the time smart tv, dvr and devices like roku, amazon tv, apple tv, google. A smartphone device is not going to be replace anytime soon but mostly be paired with a smart glass type devices, smartwatch/wrist devices so that you would not use either so much of the time but what is most convenient/comfortable that you want. What will be amazing is the data size these small devices devices will be able to carry. Some of the SD cards are so small you almost need tweezers to get them out of the device.
  • " Failure why? Many wear perscription glasses and sunglasses it's no more of a big deal than wearing fitbit on your wrist or a watch that does more than tell time. " - Yes. They see with them. They don't phone with them.
  • Yet.
  • Ignore the present and look to the future?
    That's not very realistic. It will take a while before smartglasses are ready for the consumer space. Own the fact that your strategy has failed, not necessarily your product.
    Listen to your INSIDERS and release something they can get behind.
  • There is no hope as long as Nadella is running the company.
  • What do you mean? It's being introduce right in the front of you. An OS that is now capable of running on an ARMs/Intel/AMD processors. That's the full gamit of processors from mobile to the cloud. We've been waiting for a long time... this gives the OEM powers they never had before by allowiing them to build whatsoever devices they can design while using the same foundation OS. This should also sprout startups who will fill in the gaps the OEM leave open which could be even more exciting.
  • If Microsoft wants to change the smartphone culture, they need to get it right in the first attempt itself.
  • If Microsoft releases something early, it is half baked, they don't care about the customer, some,thing about US only, etc. If Microsoft waits, then they are late to the game, "SOON!", Microsoft doesn't care about the customer, etc. Damned if you do...
  • FYI: My reply was to a comment that was talking about Microsoft releasing half baked products, how they are late, etc. That comment was changed, making my reply now look off topic.
  • Hahaha nope. People don't like to wear glasses. Microsoft is desperate for a shift that does exist.
  • While I do believe that wearable computing devices such as smartglasses are coming, I can't imagine that they would be as ubiqutous in use as a smartphone.  Instead of bowed heads everywhere, will we see "Men in Black" everywhere? Currently, if I have my smartphone in my pocket, I feel connected.  There will need to be some sort of bridge for notifications if we arent expected to constantly be wearing glasses in order to be connected.
  • How can they don't understand that people like go on horses and cars are useless? And WTF is this light bulb? Candles are everywhere, electricity is not. BTW pcs are only for companies and universities, they'll never be used by average people. People will never stop to watch TV and make their own channels, this youtube will never be successful. People buyng stuff from strangers? ebay is a bullshit.  
  • For every successful technology, there are countless others that died by the wayside.
  • So Apple starting to notice this after being many years late to the game and starting to develop their own VR/AR system (however, it is done by holding a phone at arm's length), but it is Microsoft that is deperate for a shift?
  • The AR/VR game hasn't started yet. How can Apple be late?
  • Where have you been the last few years? AR has been rising for at least 3-4 years
  • Rising. It isn't ready. We are still years away. Microsoft says 5-10 years before Hololens is ready.
  • Hololens isn't the only AR device. Neither is the class of products that you wear on your head (even though those have been around since 1992) AR reached the consumer market a few years ago through different smartphone apps.
  • You are so right. I my self is wearing glasses, the lightest glasses you can find (called silluette) and I usaly take them off when I'm home. Those with money and simple eyesight errors often do correctional surgery, many get contact lenses, all to NOT wear glasses. While technology is leapfroging we have not seeen even in the crystal balls any smart glasses t hat are as llight as those heavy hipster glasses some people wear. We have challange with the power supply, with ligt leakage that is withenig out anything projected directly on the glasses. It looks like even Intel is hitting a wall on making the chips smaller, faster and less power hungry. Not good news for something that needs to be ultra light and still very powerfull. Maybe one day after such things as how to make chips even smaller, faster and less power hungry on new materials but we are not there yet or even close. For both good and bad news on the topic: https://futurism.com/a-new-kind-of-computer-chip-silicon-may-be-replaced-by-new-material/ This will be needed to make something like a smartphone as light as it needs to move to glasses and it is at least 10 years in the future. For the next generation this is still just an unicorn pipedream.
  • Wearing glasses is a hell of alot more natural than holding up a rectangular screen every time I need to get info.
  • Yeah, an nobody's gonna wanna ride in some crazy, enclosed, machine, that runs off gasoline! That's a death sentence! (Say's the old farmer from 1893)
  • Well, actually many people have died, but that's besides the point. Lol😂😂😂
  • What if you already wear eyeglasses?
  • Perhaps these AR glasses have built in focusing tech on it.
  • That technology is being worked on by a company in Isreal. They might have a working prototype in about 2 years. As a long time glasses wearer though, it sounds very expensive. Probably way more than I would spend on a device to make phone calls and the few other things I use my smartphone for.
  • 🙄 🤦🏽
  • Well, they should have asked me. I would have saved them a least a year. Also, I can predict that they will not win the upcoming AR decade because they have no more viable mobile platform. Unfortunately for them, the transition from the mobile decade to the AR one will not occur instantly and will transition through the mobile devices. Furthermore, their mobile irrelevancy lured away developers that now don't even consider Windows, thus making the whole UWP app model moot. To conclude, Microsoft is in a terribly delicate position and its decision to abandon mobility will have a severe impact on their near future. Have a nice day people.
  • As of right now, the Hololens is the best self contained AR unit out there.  It's still in development but does not rely one bit on Windows 10 Mobile.
  • It doesn't rely on W10M because it can't. W10M failed. Otherwise, W10M would be perfect for getting developers thinking about and writing AR/VR apps. They would easily translate from the phone to a headset. This is going to really help Apple when the headsets do come. They will already have apps ready to go. Mobile it really putting Microsoft behind everywhere.
  • Huh? Windows 10 mobile apps would translate better to HoloLens than windows 10 apps? They're the same, that's the whole point. Sure if you dig deep enough you can find differences here and there but one isn't easier than the other. 
  • What good are AR apps tethered to your PC? That is a mobile thing.
  • Exactly. You get the point.
  •  There's a problem with the HoloLens and the consumer space. It seems to be a problem integral with Microsoft. The HoloLens is a data powerhouse. It is trying to be the do anything platform. As such, it is heavy, expensive, and contains way too much processing power for the average consumer. It's end goal is to serve the status quo of programs many of which are turning obsolete. It will be a business tool, not a consumer toy. The company that will win this wearable glasses war, will be the company that creates a light weight device that augments existing technology, then iterates and expands with consumers needs and developers creativity.
    The Iphone simply took a blackberry or a palm pilot, married it to a dumb phone and made a smart phone. Evolution turned into revolution with time. HoloLens isn't the surface phone that will save Windows Mobile. Windows ignoring the mobile space has ruined it's chances of a mobile comeback, because these glasses will combine current tech (smartphones) with new technologies just like the iPhone did. Microsoft has no smartphone, so it is missing an integral piece of this large puzzle.  
  • It doesn't matter whether glasses is the next, or whatever else (car? vr? or even build a chip into your brain), the clear matter now is current app model could continue shine in the near future, and that means the ecosystem built today could hardly get changed, even with different hardware / concept. The advantage on PC couldn't got replicated on phone because different app models that all apps need to rewrite from scratch, but that's not the case for phone to glasses. What I mean is there's no shortcut to success, especially swing the stratety all the time. I would say those successful competitors always stick with their strategy, accumulate all small steps, eventually from a joke / toy to rule the world.
  • I guess in the future I wil lbe the equivalent of today's old person using a flip phone. I'll still have a rectangular screen phone, and you kids get off my virtual lawn!
  • Then what's the Cshell for "mobile" (i mean the brick mobile phone) all about?
  • Mobile as we know it today will be radially different in the next few years... AR will replace the current system. Why do you think that Apple bought an AR company? Not just for you today but also tomorrow. Not just for games... as far as wearing glasses? Well folks who wear glasses don't really mind and heck all others run around in sunglasses... so... moot point.
  • Yes, I'll wake up tomorrow and suddenly the device that cost 3000$ and is bulk and have a short battery life and somewhat distracting POV, and very little apps will cost 300$, will be thin, will have a gret battery life, full POV and many apps. Yeah it will happen one day, but don't take anything less than 10 years for that.
  • Right, well there is a huge leap to make from carrying a device in your pocket to wearing something on your head all the time. People have been carrying things in their pockets for the last few milenia. I don't wear glasses, don't want to wear glasses. Any technology that has required people to wear special glasses has failed (3D TV lol). IMAX has said that they are going to be showing fewer 3D movies as moviegoers have tired of the format & prefer 2D films... Perhaps it's not that the tech wasn't advanced enough, more the simple fact people don't want things on their heads...
  • That's also a good point.  I wear glasses....or, rather, contact lenses.  Depending on your age and eye conditions, you may or may not even be able to wear AR/VR glasses because you can't focus up close.  And do we have any data at all on the longterm effects of watching video displayed that close to the eye?
  • Some people can't stand pockets with stuff, so purse or manpurse it'd satchel it is. People with a hate for glasses don't have to wear them, certainly dont have to all the time. And can still use regular phones... majority would love having a hud in front of them with maps. Messages, voice and look direction commands over tapping pulling out of pocket and unlocking constantly. Put them on and iris scan authenticates without having to do anything? Yes please
  • No thanks. Either way, that kind of tech is 10-20 years out at least, so who knows.
  • I totally agree. I wear sungleasses to protect my eyes from glare etc.  I couldn't stand to have something on my face often when it is not required.  But the problem for me with this technology is i dont want to have something in my field of vision constantly blaring notiifactions etc etc.  I already turn all my notifications off my phone except for messages. The world already bombards us with more information then we actally need.  I quite like going places etc without feeling always connected.  I am a minority in this i imagine so my opinion is probably not rellay relevant.
  • Nothing new, I wait for such device quite long. Point is who will made this eye-tracking, image-content-detecting, high-resolution-big-fov transparent screen with enough juice to run AI? There are also other thing to worry about - too many different apps (like social networks,...) that are not connected and its too difficult to start different app for every part of action you want to do. You probably still cannot ride a car with that, it would need some sort of safety off-grid AI/?. Hard to imagine most perfect device, no one made even pricy prototype of something like that. Not to mention what kind of data transfer would need to be network capable of. With current ones most carriers offers quite limited amount of data, so its not just about how capable is network. We would probably need 6G and someone as eager as E.Musk.
  • I've said this many times, the problem with current AR/VR tech is that IT'S TOO BIG AND BULKY.  And too expensive.  I would embrace it if the tech was able to be shrunk down to, say, the size of some RayBan sunglasses and only cost a couple hundred bucks. Now, those technology challenges aside, there is the safety and social aspect.  We already have a growing horrible problem with distracted driving and existing smartphones.  And this is with current tech that allows completely hands-free function (I never have to touch my Windows phone in my car, yet I can text & call people at will).  Now, replace this with AR/VR glasses/goggles/whatever.  Also, with AR/VR, what's the input method?  I can tell you right now, as convenient as hands-free capability is, the current tech is so incredibly slow and inaccurate that I DO have to make multiple attempts quite often to create or respond to text messages.  What about the visuals?  My car has a heads-up display.  At first, it was distracting, but I did get used to it.  BUT, it has a very limited portion of my windshield that's used, it is extremel limited info (speed, temp, direction, turn indicators, momentary song title).  Any AR/VR would have to be BT capable and be MUCH more capable of voice control.  Also, what if you prefer watching someting (like Netflix) on a completely opaque display?  You can just imagine the problems that could come up with that.   So, I'm not saying it's a bad idea.  I'm saying we have a LONG way to go before the tech is there and affordable and has safeguards to protect us from known--and unknown--hazards that continuously wearing AR/VR would entail.
  • I would be very suprised if the government would allow people to drive a car while wearing such a device. I'm sure they will deem it as too distracting. As to the cost, I wear no line bi-foculs. The lenses and frame alone cost about $600. Now add in auto focus for long and short distance plus the whole av/vr tech. I can't imagine what that would cost.
  • Everyone knows that it will eventually shrink down in size just in time for the average consumer to take hold. This stuff isn't even on peoples minds yet. There's plenty of time to perfect it, and that is inevitable.... Non issue... Before TV sets came to the general public there were TV's that enthusiast could get their hands on, most likely with extremely limited viewing probably for development purpose at the most. But, those things were not in any practical form factor a consumer would put up with, most having multiple components.. But, technology prevails. Go look them up.
  • I think even with removing the obstacles you have stated the problems of AV / VR tech still exist.  I like to touch and feel things, it is part of human nature.  Personally I think people will start to realise the beauty of not always being connected or having information constantly bombarded at them.  This will shift the focus back to technology that is still useful and powerful but less intrusive.  Personally, i think the mainstream creation of pocket personal computers (smart phone) is one of the worst things to happen.   How nice was it to go somewhere and make a decision without looking up reivews etc.  Of course, sometimes the place was terrible, but that was sort of the fun.  Now imagine having a device that is even more connected and always on (AR VR glasses) that is constantly placing information in your field of vision, even more adverts etc etc.  No thank you.
  • Makes sense. It all comes down to "CONVERGENCE". Multiple products converging into one, more usable, and usually more portable product. Mainframes became Desktop Computers Desktop Computers became Portable Computers. Portable Computers became PDAs Record Players became Walkmen. Walkmen became CD players. CD players became iPods. Land Lines became Cell Phones. Cell Phones became flip-phones. Flip-Phones adopted Email and pens from PDAs and music from iPods and "converged" and became SmartPhones and dropped the keyboard (and stylus) for touchscreens (in most cases.) and so it goes.....convergence will never, ever stop as it's the result of innovation. Eventually AI and AR will merge with the Smartphone function to create smartglasses which respond to voice and other types of commands. It is not a question of IF but of WHEN.
  • I can see the transition in Jason though! Transition from smartphone articles to Mixed Reality articles;") Though I completely agree with this article;")
  • Flying cars next in the series, stay tuned.
  • Yes Jason, no doubt something very different from today's phones will come. It's just...not a seamless transition from your Lumia to the future. You'll need phones for about another decade, until there will be something suitable for daily use.  Some fundamental technology leaps will be necessary to allow for something ergonomic, one is extremely low energy consumption, the other massively higher energy density in batteries. But you don't have ghe illusion that you'll bridge the time with a MS phone enabled device with screen or whatever you are calling it, isn't it?
  • It will never happen because nobody is going to want to wear glasses. MS better stop dreaming about some imaginery future and instead release Surface phone now.
  • Jason, I'm not going to mock you or anyone else who thinks some sort of AR is going to take over for smartphones in the near future, but I'm going to disagree strongly. Being a futurist and thinking about alternate scenarios is great, but the more I think about tech progression, the less it really seems "radical" in terms of basic form factors.  I think AR/VR/Mixed reality has its place, but I don't see it displacing current functions readily. Here are some examples.  I bought my first laptop almost 25 years ago; it was a Powerbook 145.  While all sorts of improvements to tech happened since then, the biggest form factor difference between it and modern laptops is that it had a trackball instead of a touchpad.  (And lets not forget that computers - especially laptops - aren't all that differet from typewriters in terms of basic form factor.) The first tablet I remember seeing was the Go Penpoint system over 25 years ago.  The biggest form factor difference between that and modern tablets is that the stylus is now a secondary input method in favor of touch.  Simiarly, the first Palm Pilots came out about 20 years ago, and as far as the computer/PDA side of smartphones go, were basically the same form factor as today minus the stylus.  (And I'll even point out that the PDA form factor followed along from the original analog "PDA" - a pocket sized paper notebook and pen or pencil.  Likewise a tablet isn't all that different from a ) On the phone side, when you look at the progression of designs, they very quickly switched from very early designs with the microphone in the base, and the speaker in a separate can held to the ear, to the handset having both a microphone and speaker in one unit with the controls in the base. As miniturization progressed (and dials changed to buttons), the controls moved into the handset itself.  Then as miniturization progressed further, the phone and the PDA, both handheld devices, merged into a single hand held device - the smartphone. So how do AR glasses fit in this context?  Donna Sakar says looking at smartphone screens is unnatural.  I'd argue that it's not at all;  it follows a progression of human nature from PDAs back to things like notepads and books, watches, and probably back to our earliest human ancestors who when observing something interesting would pick it up, study it closely and then put it aside when done.  In contrast, having screens always on in front of your eyes, popping up information and obscuring parts of the real world without intervention would be extremely unnatural.  (Or maybe AR functionality would only work when requested, but I don't know that that would be a good thing either.  Would you just be wearing "dead" lenses when off, or would you put your glasses in your pocket so you'd need to pull them out when wanted?  In the latter case it seems that it would be no improvement - maybe even less convenient - than pulling out a phone.) Also, what about the user interface?  If AR glasses replace smartphones, how are they going to be controlled when doing all the common smart phone functions? With a phone you may use voice control at times, but the primary inputs are touch and maybe stylus. Quiet inputs that can be done fairly privately.  So what's AR going to use?  Voice and gesture control?  Have you ever been in public where some doofus is having a loud conversation on his phone?  Imagine being out and about and everyone is chatting with their AI bots and/or doing spastic gestures in public.
  • Great points! I agree 100%. Smartphones, just like laptops and desktops, are here to stay forever. There is nothing that will ever displace them.
  • Well said, the form factor for phones will not change much, we can foldable phones but still would be rectangular, or still we need to look at a screen to get the info, and it will not change, AR has its own place but they will not replace smartphones. Voice input is not a replacement for keyins, I argued the same about bots, neither apps are dying nor smartphones. Just because MS has no play in phone hardware they are doing everything they can to confuse users and media till they figure out what they want to do. Look at all the futuristic Movies or shows. Tony still uses a phone, westworld users use phone in rectangular form factors. Unless there's a way to use brain waves or signals as an input, phones are here to stay.  
  • Agreed 100 percent Techiez.  I said the exact same thing about bots etc.  Unless you can enter and communitcate information without talking,  nothing is going to replace computers/smartphone/etc.  I know that I am not blabbing my banking information to my phone / "whatever" via bots.   no way.   MS is just  trying to undo the massive mistake they had with windows  phone.
  • I'm with you MrPuny.  I wear contacts daily, and at times I need reading glasses to view things up close; if I take the contacts off I need progressive lenses.  I prefer not to have glasses one whenever I can, especially when doing something active or outdoors.  Would older people even be able to view the image on glasses easily? I can't imagine using glasses for GPS navigation with so much of my vision being blocked from the traffic around me.  (And I want to drive, not have a car do it for me). With a phone, I can discreetly reply to a text, use an app, etc. in a meeting, movie, concert, etc without having to use my voice to control it like I imagine you would with glasses.  I can have a phone call without everyone else hearing the other side of the conversation.   The pure interruption of constant AR would get old and unneeded.  People are distracted enough.   I really should just stop reading anything by Jason Ward. 
  • Cmattau there are definitely many challenges to smartglasses and any wearable tech. I definitely acknowledge that and will be addressing some in upcoming peices. This piece was a focus on how leaders in one of the most powerful company's in tech, Microsoft, as well as the CEO of ODG are moving this tech forward. I'm certain they are weighing pros and cons and are looking for ways to address the range of challenges. One of which is an implementation of this tech focused on the enterprise as Google, Microsoft and ODG are doing/have done in these early stages. Google learned the hard way with its first iteration of Glass, the consumer space wasn't ready. ODG will be releasing its first (R-8) consumer smartglasses this year. Well, I hope you keep reading my work, but if not, these companies investments will continue to move this tech forward. 🙂 I just write about it😄 Hey, you might find this piece interesting: Google Glass and HoloLens clash in the enterprise rn route to consumers https://www.windowscentral.com/google-glass-and-hololens-clash-enterprise-route-consumers
  • Jason good that you have picked up AR as your focus piece but please dont start with AR glasses will replace smartphones, smartphones are dead, aint gonna happen anytime soon, you raise ur fans expectations too much and look what happened to cerulean.
  • Or,  surface phone will replace smartphones...etc.   Cerulean!  ha ha...classic.!   nice dig techiez!
  • Hi techiez, I'm just a regular guy, a minisiter and a family many with a wife, two year old daughter and I'm very excited that I have another on the way this year. I have no fans. Perhaps, only my family who I love and who loves me. That's enough🙂 So my blessing of having what was a hobby and passion turn to a job, writing about tech and who is doing what and recording the journey of Microsoft, Google, Apple, Whartonbrooks, AI, smartglasses, ODG etc is actually pretty cool. Also, check out my pieces, I didn't start writing about AR with this piece. I actually started quite some time ago and have a several peices leading up to this one😉 Check them out! As people read them, and note that I never said this will happen soon, they'll know what I'm saying. Give the readers some credit! Those who read each word of each peice won't have their expectations raised too much. Those who skim or respond to a title alone, or just read parts may find themselves subject to reaching conclusions' I never made however. Thanks for reading! www.windowscwntral.com/author/jason-ward
  • I just don't see it. 
  • I see (no pun intended) it a little differently.
    Maybe I'm an optimist, but I hope people grow weary of always being connected and having constant distraction.
    The next big thing should be getting only relavent information on our schedule as fast as possible, so we can live life.
  • LOL This is the adult equivalent of not having what you want (market share) and opining to the world that they're wrong and should move on because you didn't get what you want (market share) . Donna Sarkar runs a laughably small Beta program and wouldn't know the future if it ran her over. Kipman invented glasses that Microsoft stores can't even stock and won't be selling like hotcakes anytime soon. And Jason? Well, we all know how great his predictive powers are, this was Wharton Brooks' chief pom pom cheerleader and the guy who believes Nadella is a genius. Yes Jason, we are laughing at this article. And to answer the question as to why I'm still here which seems to be the only retort you're capable of, it's because I'm actually still hoping Microsoft gets a big dose of reality and corrects itself one day, unlike you and your comedy pieces.
  • Love it :D
  • 25 years ago we already had the Gameboy and PDAs.  I remember back then dreaming of a pocket sized computer that could do everything.  I don't think I would have laughed.  I wouldn't have had any idea if it would be possible or not with my limited knowledge of what technology could do at the time. It's the same with smartglasses.  We already have some smartglasses.  I would not be surprised if they replace smartphones in 25 years.  They are going to have to slim down though and the society's resistance to people wearing a camera on their face all the time is going to have to break down before smartglasses can become mainstream. I mean 25 years is a long time.  It could be the next smartphone or it could be the flying car.
  • No, just no. 
  • It could be an amphibian vehicle but smart glass come on MS, why would any one want to keep any kind of specs onto their forehead when they don't need. Ok I would go step further we might have an amphibian vehicle with nuclear fuel without any harm or hazards but not this idea.
  • All is great and I believe it is coming, as long as we can: put those glasses into our bags or pockets, or use contact lenses.
  • It is not enough to plan, make futuristic visions. At the end it is necessary to deliver ready, working product and stand behind it.  Currently Microsoft is not doing this in mobile category. Even if something is launched it is treated as 5th wheel in a car.   
  • I am struck by a mixture of boredom and contempt.  The article creates a straw man argument where people who question are stuck in the now and cannot see the future like the wise sages; Mr. Ward, Ms. Sarkar and Mr. Kipman.  Congratulations on your self aggrandizement. I don't care who Mr. Kipman is but smartphones are not dead now.  Oh, it's a mature market with incremental improvements, but not dead.  If you think that replying stating the the smartphone market is not seeing the level of growth that it did before, you're ignoring the historical aspect of smartphone growth into a market that was dominated by feature phones.  It's a mature market, and a mature market is not equivalent to smartphones being dead.. Oh wise ones, when are these "Windows 10  AR smartglasses" going to replace our "dead" smartphones??   Ten years, perhaps fifteen? Yes, technology will change and phones will change as well.  Yes, it is likely that phones and PC's will converge in the future.  However there are many steps between now and then and Microsoft is far from guaranteed from dominating any upcoming AR smartglasses plateau. So next time edit the article so that it's not just one great excercise in self aggrandizment (do you see what I see?). "So when someone like me, HoloLens creator Alex Kipman or Windows Insider Chief Dona Sarkar suggests that one day augmented reality (AR) smartglasses may replace the "all important" smartphone, we should be prepared for passionate resistance." Oh wise one's, change is a given.  It's not about us dullards with a head in the sand unable to see the future and our attachment to our dead smartphones and you wise one's showing us the city on the hill, a future obsured to us with scales on our eyes.  No, but this future is not anything like imment and us mortals have smartphones in our hands now and will for a number of years yet.  Let's see what happens in the next two to five years and see how Microsoft handles that period.  And next time, less self importance, or is that in the cards?
  • Agreed. Further, how convenient for employees of a company that has completely & utterly failed at the smartphone market to declare smartphones dead... If Microsoft had Apple or Google levels of market share in smartphones I wonder if they'd still be making these same pronouncements...
  • Google glass is a real thing. 
  • Apropos of nothing... Did the director of Glass or Android beta testing give quotes about how the smartphone was dead & AR glasses are where it's at? Maybe they have, but that was not referenced in this article.
  • The apps are dead, bots are the new thing... Oh wait they aren't let's go back to apps. The laptops are dead, 2-1 are all the rage now... Oh wait they aren't let's make a laptop now. Should I say more?
  • I prefer to use a phone rather than wear glasses everywhere i go
  • No one is forcing you to wear the glasses wherever you go.  Just like smartphone, you can always put the glasses inside your pocket/bag. :P
  • I once had a debate with my friend on the possibility of AR glasses as a smartphone alternative.  He completely ruled out that possibility while I thought the AR era is likely to happen soon. Let me stress it is an alternative to a smartphone.  AR glasses will not completely replace smartphone in the next 5-10 years.  But it will become a viable and practical alternative to a smartphone.  The reasons are so simple: convenient - your hands are completely free safe - because you don't need to move your head down privacy - people can't see what you see excellent for map navigation (of course the precision and reliability of GPS needs to be improved) My prediction is, in 5-10 years, quite many people would own a pair of AR glasses + a smartphone.  Just like a fashion.  For me, I think I would use AR glasses in 5 days everyweek. Some people may think wearing AR glasses outdoor is odd.  Well, in 5-10 years, AR glasses will look as slim as ordinary glasses nowadays.  And, no one is forcing us to always wearing the glasses :P
  • I'm going to predict that social pressures will doom the smartglasses. The loss of privacy is unnerving. People donning a pair of smartglasses in any social setting will be run out of town with pitchforks (more like left-hand latte and right-hand smartphone wielding hipsters). Yes, map navigation is brilliant for smartphones, but, frankly, how often do you need to navigate. Most people don't have the memory of a goldfish and can retain instructions for a while. The one place where I can see AR/VR glasses is in places where information access is useful and there is no expectation of privacy. Google is going that route by taking Google Glass into the realm of business. That's where it is appropriate. When you go to work there is very little expectation of professional privacy. Though, even there, there is a reasonable expectation that you are not being recorded, at will. In public, I argue you actually have some expectation of privacy. For instance, if someone is taking pictures of you, you can tell them to stop. Or, they may feel compelled to ask. It's rather hard for people to record you up-close-and-personal completely unseen. With AR/VR glasses that's not the case--simply by looking at you someone can take a picture or record video.
  • A wrist based computer with screen plus wireless contact lenses for hud (charged every time you blink) will do me just fine thanks.
  • "A wrist based computer with screen" I'm guessing you're not over the age of 40 yet :). Wrist-sized screens simply aren't practical anymore once you hit that age. And, the same applies to glasses that require you to focus up-close.
  • I hope they have adblockers for this otherwise the usability will be pretty bad. 
  • So they are trying to kill the social life of humans completely? If everbody puts on these glases and cant see anyone, it will make them virtually blind.I think they have evil intentions behind it, by creating such light emitting screens will create more patients for pharmas.Insomnia will become more stronger but they just dont care about your mental health.So I condemn this pathetic technology that will create more patients then users.
  • Id rather have glasses work with my smartphone instead of outright replace it. Because there are some things a smartphone would just be better at, for instance sending an SMS text.
  • Voice input would most probably become mainstream in 5-10 years.  Today's voice recognition is already quite satisfactory and it will become more perfect in the near future.  And, AR glasses can also make use of eye/head movement/blinking as another input method.
  • So think of all the places and ways people use their smartphones today and imagine the cacophony if everyone transitioned to using voice rather than tapping at their screens.  Meetings at work, public places like stores, bars and restaurants, and on and on.  It's not like voice controlled devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home where they're being used in private spaces.
  • If this is the MS insight, then the writing is on the wall for MS. You follow Nokia.
  • This is one article I completely agree with. The smartphone is dead. Apps as they are now are dead. Only people because of their blind fanboyism refuse to see. I agree with MSFT's move to completely kill the idea of making or further making a "smartphone" as we know it, it's old now. With all that's been possible on Sci-Fi's of late, why am I sill hurting my neck and eyes staring at a limited sized screen ? Why is a slab of metal and plastic still a stupid status symbol ? I am glad someone said it. I'm ready for this future, not my fault people invested their hard earned money in "ecosystems", that age is now officially Jurassic and should be relegated to museums worldwide. Welcome the AR/VR smart glass future. This is definitely worth waiting in very long lines for, bring it on. Cheers !
  • "This is one article I completely agree with." "blind fanboyism refuse to see" "I agree with MSFT's move" "This is definitely worth waiting in very long lines for, bring it on." Umm. Umm. Umm. WindowsCentral seems to have found their local fanboi. No need to call in a missing person's report :).
  • Can you tell me where can i buy your smartphone substitute? With same capabilities? I guess developers aren't updating apps anymore.Thank you.
  • This can work if lenses and frame choices are available, with polarized filters available, or as a miniscule accessory for existing form factor glasses. Otherwise, having to change glasses will be as burdensome as taking a phone out of one's pocket.
  • You may be right or wrong, whatever .. Truth is Kipman or Sarkar, as clever as they are, are not addressing the real issue we face today that prevents anything like this to happen in a near future.
    And our biggest problem is .. Energy storage / Battery life.
    The first company to solve this problem will be 10 times more profitable than Apple, Google and Microsoft combined.
  • Lol everybody was laughting at google glasses... now the idea is making is way... But for me there are big issues... first the waves... the glasse would be near your brain... we already got complains about radiation waves... even with earphone its better to got with line than without... so having a 4g or 5g or 6g or anything else near your brain all day... and for some users night... thats for me a big issue... Second... we all know about the hololens from microsoft... first issues the batteries were crazy hot... now they stand what 2 or 3 hours straight... so make smallers battery who are going to keep more than 24 h and not getting hot... hum let see at least not my 950... for instance lol... so i can see the picture yes... could be great.... but its just not realisitc yet... because everything you would do with those glasses like ar, live translator, cortana and so on would need bigger connected services and those are using a lot of enregy abd lot of bandwith... So for me the real issue is not the battery life... its only arrive second :-)
  • No, smartmicrochips implanted in our bodies will replace smartphones in the future! 
  • Jason, you often write insightful, though off the mark articles. This takes the cake for euphemisms and gullibility. "If someone said 25 years ago that "phones" would be rectangular touch screen computers we carry in our pockets, they'd have been mocked. If I say today phones might eventually be glasses-shaped computers we wear on our faces, I'll be mocked." It is true, a person can write anything. Whether it's valid is a whole different question, and, your article here definitely calls that question up many, many, many times. You're reporting on self-promotion by a True Believer (tm). Smart glasses? Hahaha. As someone who wears glasses I can tell you that's not the future. If you don't need glasses, you don't wear them. Same with contact lenses. And, I wear light frames compared to smart glasses! The loss of privacy for others with smart glasses is what has killed social acceptance of smart glasses. Yes, they're great tools as Google has successfully demonstrated with their re-launch of Google glass for businesses (but not yet Microsoft, despite WindowsCentral's protestations ;). To claim that the smartphone is a dead paradigm or that it would be unrecognizable to a person 25 years ago are self-serving fantasies. A smartphablet is not profoundly different from a Mac from 1984. Or, if we're going back to 1992, we can also compare Mac System 6 and Windows 3.1... though, Windows 3.1 was a terrible OS compared to the Macs of the era. The modern iPhone is many orders of magnitude smaller than comparable 1992 technology but all of its crucial technology already existed, and, if you'll look at Apple's 1980 futuristic videos, you'll see that much of the modern iPhone was nicely presaged by those videos. Touch. LCD. Colour software. Picture-based interfaces. Global network communications (e.g. Gopher protocol, Lynx browser). Cell phones were around. Wireless information exchange already existed and was implemented in consumer goods (e.g. infrared), and, though I'm not familiar with it, I'm sure radio was in use for digital information exchange. The modern iPhone is a modern day miracle, don't get me wrong. But, it certainly wasn't magic by the standards of 1992. All of its technologies already existed and the modern iPhone would not be far-fetched. The smartphone also doesn't use any new computing paradigms. Pretty much everything (maybe everything) that it uses was already in use in 1992, and, touch was certainly on a lot of people's radar. The hololens as a smartphone replacement--I don't buy it. That's self-serving. The hololens as a great tool, yes. I buy that narrative. Whether it will succeed depends on whether Microsoft can actually get it out of the door before Google and Apple completely own the market (Google already has proverbial "boots on the ground" in the enterprise space and Apple has a user base ripe for a mass roll-out with consumers).
  • Yes I'm aware that smartphones were around in 1992. I made that point in the article. I'm also old enough to remember them since I was in college at that time😎 So just as all of the technologies existed, but were young, not mainstreamed, many unknown to the regular Joe as they are today and not synergistically integrated into a user-friendly and relevant form factor, the tech for smartglasses exists now as well. Now I never went as far as you did in your statement to infer that someone 25 years ago, in their protests to the idea of mainstreamed "pocket able touch screen computers we call smartphones when be in use by billions, would be magical. 🤔 The achievement of the technology was not the main focus there, though it is referred to. Many people can see the separate tech in tgier current day but can envision it coming together with relevant and supporting social shifts, changing norms and new supporting infrastructure. That was the other angle of that statement. You seemed to Focus on the "wonderment of the technology" being something that would not gave produced awe in our 1992 selves. In 1994 when one of my neighbors in my dorm plugged his bulky laptop into the phone jack for a dial up connection that was cool and state if the art. It was an internet connection. But a far cry from the high-speed, always connected reality we have now with our sleek pocket able smartphones. I'm not arguing the tech didn't exist. I was there.🙂 But just as some laughed at the idea of a PC in every home, when the tech was there, or some scoffed at the the public acceptance of the automobile 🚗 as a horse 🐴 and buggy replacement when the tech was there, some may not see how the synergy of the current tech, with the shift in social norms and the building of supporting infrastructure could make smartglasses a smartphone replacement. As I replied to someone else, I'm well aware of aesthetic, social, and technological challenge's and plan to write in that. But one thing to keep in mind is you gave multibillion dollar companies like Facebook and its leader Mark Zuckerberg who believe in the shift and Microsoft, Apples Tim Cook is on record as well. ODGs CEO whose been making smartglasses and other tech for the US military for years is releasing its first consumer version this year the R-8, which are the first product(allong with the business-focused R-9) to use Qualcomms Snapdragon 835 processor; and in the video at the if this peice he indicates adding telephony is on the roadmap. So whether I write about this or not, companies are pouring millions into the technology: AR, Ai, displays, processors, design, circuit boards, etc to make this happen. I don't know if it will succeed or not. But it's clear the current of the tech industry is indisputably flowing in that direction. Who knows what we will accept as acceptable wearables in the name of convenience as this tech gets smaller and sleeker. Let's not forget. Social norms change just as tech does. What would be rejected today may be accepted tomorrow. There was a time a man going shirtless was unacceptable. Look it up. There was a time women wearing pants was rejected by our society. Society, accepts things as time loves on, that previous generations' rejected. With the always connected, always sharing society we live in, where people share almost anything on Facebook and other social media. The younger generation is more open to "being seen and watched". Privacy is still a BIG DEAL. But for the younger crowd whose whole existence has the backdrop of reality shows with cameras peering into homes, on islands, in churches, and social media that demands interaction or ones "streak will end" and "likes" are solicited on the "latest post", privacy is a willingly surrendered commodity. You couple that with Microsoft's AI driven camera tech that can be implemented in existing cameras and can recognize people, place, things, context and activity and proactively act in what it sees you have a who new level of privacy concerns. This tech is being introduced into hospitals and workplaces first, but how long before thier part if community cameras throughout the world. And once that happens how long before we accept that level of intrusion, (always being watched on that level, recognized anywhere, whatever you're doing any time by AI) as the normal backdrop of our existence. In such a setting where that real tech is already really in play, and a younger generation with less concerns for privacy are a little older, the privacy issues of smart glasses may meet less resistance. I member when privacy issues on smartphone were big in the news. Now the camera is one of the most touted features. Go figure.
  • That should be better articulated as, I remember when privacy issues regarding smartphone cameras were big in the news. Now the camera is one if the most touted features. Go figure.😉
  • Oh, by the way, I wear glasses too.😎
  • Can't help but agree with Ed on one major point. People don't like wearing glasses if they don't have to. That's why we have laser surgery and contact lenses. I just don't believe you're ever going to get people wearing smart glasses as an all day every day replacement for a smart phone.
  • Smart glasses, not really. Smart contacts, that may take off.
  • 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
  • Why on earth would we NOT do this? i don't care about the faffy telephone bit... But yes please, let's do away with monitors - my dream has always been a leather recliner, a split keyboard and smart glasses! Increasingly I use ebooks... so you sit with your neck cricked at unnatural angles for hours, and in bed have to lie there with your arm stuck out getting cooold! cinemas - no more horrifically expensive screens - typically jitteriness from the badly vibration-proofed projector and dust motes. Just think - we can ALL sit in the seat Sheldon would pick if it was just transmitted to your glasses! So many ways that they can actually improve our technology-laden lives with this, and to focus on it as replacing a phone is laughable. It's akin to the IoT crowd that keep pulling out the same old tired - and mostly dopey remote lightbulb thing. Instead of pointing out that you can tie it to your smoke sensor so if there is a fire the lights will go on, or (if the retailers ever get their asses in gear and run with it) the food tags that a smart fridge could tell you all the food in it and their use by dates (reduced wastage... hmm, now I wonder if that's why the food guys are resisting?) Smart glasses have the potential to be a game changer, but not as a phone replacement.  For a start there is the IO problem - yes, we can all follow Prof. Hawking's lead and use eye positional cues, but that's not going to be a natural - or easy - progression for most of us. Off to bed now, to watch my arm turn blue and get a cramp!
  • Because, Tacos?
  • LOL...good luck with that... I am sure something will replace Smartphones but, glasses will not be it... Maybe some type of AR type thing, like a projector in mid air from a smartwatch if the tech ever comes up (some proof of conconspt have been shown)
  • Hey relevant envisionare, Google and 2007 called. They want recognition back.
  • I can't :( i get headaches and nausea when I ever glasses...
  • I think it will be many years before this happens, Google tried something like it and failed, so now is certainly not the time. Also what about people who already wear spectacles like me? Not that I would ever wear smart specs, no way.  
      I doubt I will be here when it does.  
  • @ad47uk "Google tried something like it and failed"
    Google succeeded. They've quietly taken Google Glass and turned it into a work solution. There are certain types of activity that benefit greatly from it. Anything that requires frequent references to manuals, or, can benefit from photos being taken and quickly exchanged or stored can benefit from AR. I read an interesting article recently in which a manufacturing business was investing heavily in the new version of Google Glass because they were seeing major ROIs. For surgeons, AR is also invaluable. Surgeons may already have some of the best paid memories on the planet, but, they could always benefit from having a HUD with diagrams and information. As for turning that into smartglasses that people wear in social situations--doubtful.
  • A major point that I think Microsoft needs take seriously; most homes in the United States of America has either no Internet Services or have an extreme low bandwidth limit for what they need to do less alone for something like this. Most sacrive updates and the other things just to use what little bandwidth they can use. Microsoft may need to join the fight to make bandwidth caps illegal, so today's technology can thrive. Can anyone live in the 17th century? That may happen if this plutocracy bullying continues.
  • I think this is simply astonishing. I live in a small not so rich country in Europe in a small village and i have a 200 MBits uncaped fiber optic connection and i pay 35 euros month (that includes 140 TV channels and fixed phone with free calls between fixed phones). I know America is a large territory but the quality of internet connections is very poor for a country like USA. With all tvs working i get a connection of 140 Mbits that's more then enough.
  • I'm personally waiting for the first Alpha version of Laforge's Shima smartglasses to arrive sometime this fall. Not truly self-computing smartglasses, to be sure, and not true AR either, but the first step in that direction. I'm already getting psyched by the prospect of being able to check out notifications, music list, etc. without having to whip out my smartphone, get visual directions while riding my bike to various locations, being able to do a presentation with the words floating in mid-air out to one side...!
  • :))) another article from the future. MS continues to be the same dumb company  over and over again. Who knows in 10-15 years what devices we will all use?? But we live in the present, and NOW we use smartphones, something MS has zero clue about. Whatever will come next, others will succeed and MS will fail as usual.
  • Dear Microsoft, Glasses will never take off as a replacement for smartphones. Why? Because there is a social aspect to phones that cannot be replicated with glasses. I watch videos and share pictures with other people by having them look at my phone, I have work phone and a personal phone that I want to keep separate. I don't even like wearing glasses and people who do like to change them because they are a fashion accessory. It's the same thing with smartwatches, the public has made it clear that this is not going to be the next step in the evolution of wearable devices and companies need to take notice. Microsoft had the band and seemed to take notice but somehow has failed to notice that people want a device they can hold in their hand. Handheld PCs are the winner per public buying habits so why not listen to the public. Other formats do have a role to play but why try to go against the grain and predict glasses will one day dominate when there is not evidence to suggest that people will want that.
  • So many short sighted people in this comment section its astonishing. We as a people do not advance by staying stagnant. Your insistent need to maintain the status quo rather than dream to be better is what ensures your dreams will never be realized. "innovators dont stop moving forward".
  • Just because 'futurist'writers write something, doesn't mean it's the next trend in technology. These AR/VR headsets might have some uses, but they're not going to be the next phase of smartphone evolution.
  • The future phone will be the one that is available from the phone store. Whether that is the one you want or not is irrelevant. As long as the manufacturer is selling enough they will be happy to keep on making the same uninteresting piece of electronics. The modern smart phone is not interesting, it is too large and lacks any sense of style. Yes I think smart glasses will be a future option but I'd also like to see the Razr Flip Phone come back with a makeover and modern OS. The current range of ugly plastic flip phones don't entice me. Please bring back style.
  • There is also question of how would people with prescription glasses wear that, would it include such personalized glasses inside?. I see most important role in ability to use AR, 4/5G and information gathering from many different apps, and from camera using recognition of people, objects, places... Also interaction using eyes, hand and facial gestures - Microsoft is on good way in this. Facebook is also on its way, they should haste if they care.
  • "There is also question of how would people with prescription glasses wear that..."   I don't see a problem with that, phones would just be marketed at chain optical outlets, such as Lenscrafters in the US.  My concern is with the percentage of population who don't need glasses.  Why would a person without need for eyeglasses strap something onto their head?
  • Why not, sunglasses wear everyone, even dogs. Already seen video recording ability, and some AR functions, some even in games, anime... Its just awesome. Only worry point is its not visible to others, so for example you play counterstrike on street, you look funny.
  • At least she mentioned 950xl as something she owns and actually like.
  • My worry is that people who wear glasses probably would be blocked from using these technologies as many of the devices we can see on sale for AR and VR have no way to be used with glasses. They will have to rethink these technologies to make them accessible for all. This is one of the reasons why I didn't get an Hololens, as I wear glasses and that damn thing does not blend with my specs.
  • There's no doubt that Microsoft are heavily invested and very far advanced on thier AR/VR/Smartglass plans, but...... The only risk I see here is the one that trips Microsoft up time and time again.....and it's time itself. If Microsoft want to be a major consumer focussed player in AR/VR they have a few months, maybe a year at most to do it.  If they delay, ponder, procrastinate and dither they'll face another 10-15 years in a deep freeze, talking about the next bend in the curve, while every other firm gets on and delivers the technology that everybody wants. Time is not something they have an endless supply of..... Giving fans what they want, when they want it, and in a timeframe that keeps Windows supporters on a par with Apple & Google users is not something Microsoft do very well.