Microsoft is showing off HoloLens to advertisers as a new way to sell products

Microsoft showed off the gaming aspects of its HoloLens technology at E3 last week. This week, the company is pushing its version of virtual reality to companies that are attending the Cannes advertising festival in France.

According to The Wall Street Journal, a ticket for a HoloLens demo at Cannes is a prized possession, as ad buyers are reportedly trying to show their clients how cool Microsoft's technology is:

"Indeed, Microsoft officials seem to believe they have a product that will dazzle advertisers. Some ad buyers said Microsoft is looking for $10 million to $12 million commitments for brands to build virtual versions of their products for HoloLens (imagine, say, a virtual car demo). Others say prices are lower, but that Microsoft is driving a hard bargain."

The potential for HoloLens as a demo platform is clear, but there are still a lot of questions that Microsoft has yet to answer, such as the cost of the headset and when it will launch to the public.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

John Callaham
39 Comments
  • Hopefully they could use this to drive windows mobile somehow
  • drive... to the grave maybe.
  • You must have missed the 32% market share increase in the UK that some analyst firm announced yesterday. Sure, it's off a small base but it's at about the same level as OS X in the PC market so it is sustainable, I'd imagine. Remember, too, that Microsoft sell roughly four times more phones than they do X-Box consoles so even a small market share amounts to a good business.
  • Pretty awesome, Microsoft tries to own the world!
  • Careful what you wish for.
  • Yup....
  • As long as the products being sold fit in a letterbox..... :)
  • It will be interesting to see if they use this as a means to reduce the cost of each Hololens unit. I see $599 - $799 as the target price for the mass adoption necessary to attract developers, advertisers, companies, and users to make it a real success to the point of being the next Windows 7/Android of the AR community.
  • I agree. I have a gut feeling they will offer price brackets with feature disparity.
  • Same here, i have a gut feeling that what journalists have used is just the entry level device.
  • Please fix the FOV or this will be DOD even more than Kinect, and MS will be once again the laughingstock of the Tech world.
  • If this was a VR headset you may have a point, but it's not. HoloLens doesn't immerse you in another world. It augments the world you are already in. Do you think the TVs are laughing stocks because they have a limited field of view?
  • I have used a hololens for 4 hours, the current FOV is synonymous to a 19" tv in your home theater with a $1000 surround sound in your TV analogy You non VR view is skewwed as immersion can be done with holoworld. If you simply want a little holographic clock on your desk then I would agree with you. But the people shelling out $1K ? are not going for that
  • I'm sure it will be improved, but regardless, it will probably sell. Maybe not as much as hoped, but many people would still have a use for it with the narrow fov
  • Kinect is the fastest-selling consumer electronics product of all time.
  • This opens a lot of doors for product placements. I suppose subtle placements of virtual brands, like virtual Coca-Cola cans, or Pepsi, etc could be worked into larger HoloLens Virtual Scenarios that are the true focus of the experience. Microsoft and advertisers could get VERY creative in thier partnership to jointly promote thier products in this way. Great news for Microsoft:-)
  • I can imagine a lot of "scavenger hunt" type AR experiences where you have to travel to real locations see items and if you note it, you get a discount or some prize. Your Coca-Cola cans in AR space would make sense in that regard.
  • Hmm, HoloLens was designed for Home Use / internal only and not to be used outside - like walking across a busy road. Have seen plenty of people tripping up because they got to immersed into their phone or tablet. Some just completely zone out when they concentrate thus can only focus on one thing at a time.
  • I'd like to see this as a means to sell the hardware like Kindles. Say, $799 for the ad-free version Hololens and $299 for the ad-supported version. I didn't mind the ad version of the Kindle too much, as I had access to certain $ off coupons with it.
  • They really need to fix the fov issue or at least explain why they can't. It's really looking like that could kill this product in the market.
  • Probably impact on battery life?
    Generally speaking a larger screen means more power draw by components. Or it could be due to health and safety Or the design is not quite ready. Could be due to many things.
  • Soon, we'll have ads as invasive as in Futurama...
  • Shut up and take my money
  • lol.. Your walking your lady in to the bedroom and a trojan add pops up.
  • I want one of those... Well they built it, obviously gotta put it to good use ;)
  • IKEA!
  • I agree. I think Ikea would be a good fit for this product. Pun intended.
  • Thinking the same XD
  • Did everybody miss the post about the fov still being a work in progress? I mean, unless we want to drag the computing unit around separately....
  • While I love that it is a self contained unit, I wouldn't mind a "small" belt clip unit that had more battery, CPU, and GPU horsepower. I think most of us would be willing to put up with that for the first version or two to get a large FoV and better images/interactivity.
  • Easier to complain than to read.
  • I saw the post but they also stated that it would not change by much.
  • I can see it now...virtual Viagra, with extending genital action!
  • The very first day I read and saw the presentation on Hololens, I was like that's it, the Adult Porn industry just connered the enterrtainment industry. like they say in California "who knew..."
  • Now all they need is the suit that allows you to feel tactile response.
  • Will it become a crime for us to see something that is virtual or augmented?  Such as a school teacher's head on a virtual nakid body?  Will the virtual/augmented world become so real that I will have difficulty dicerning it from reality?  Will I report a car crash that I saw that did not happen?
  • Interesting questions and such questions that need to be looked into. Such as what are the affects of such devices on everyone irrespective if they are teenagers, pre-teens etc. I imagine alot of people will react differently as some have more vivid imaginations than others. Sight is a given, focus on a fixed distance for hours on end and you will either become short sighted or long sighted. With VR, one would be severely short sighted unless they are focusing on different elements far into the virtual ether - also another case study.
  • And another good thing ruined. Imagine pop up ads in AR. *Ahhhh I can't see the stove!*
  • For those concerned about price, consider this. Check out DAQRI, a very similar AR headset that will be geared toward the industrial market. Current cost to produce is about $15,000. This isn't cheap stuff. It would be great if Microsoft could make the HoloLens mass affordable, but I think they could only do so by charging much more for the enterprise to subsidize consumers. Otherwise they would likely lose a ton of money on each HoloLens sale.