Microsoft's 'Surface phone' should include AR glasses, a pen and exclusive apps

Pre-2007 Microsoft was content targeting businesses with cumbersome, stylus-dependent smartphones sporting physical keyboards. Those precursors to modern smartphones could play music, surf the web, take pictures and run apps.

Apple didn't invent the "MP3 player-internet device-phone" combination former Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced in 2007.

The iPhone was simply a refinement of a preexisting model. The removal of the keyboard, the introduction of the App Store and most importantly targeting consumers put Apple and the iPhone at the forefront of a mobile revolution. Microsoft has been scrambling for mobile relevance ever since. With Apple's move into AR history may repeat itself.

Here we go again

In 2015 Microsoft introduced HoloLens and Windows Holographic (now called Windows Mixed Reality). Microsoft's untethered wearable Windows 10 computer projects holograms onto the real world in a wearer's field of view. It also provides spatial sound. With gaze, gesture and speech interaction HoloLens is the most advanced AR solution in the industry.

Windows Mixed Reality APIs are also part of Windows 10, which makes it a growing AR platform 500 million devices strong.

As it did with smartphones, Microsoft has focused its AR efforts on the enterprise and specific industries. Consumers have not been part of the equation.

Now, as in 2007, Apple has introduced a consumer-focused AR solution with ARKit for iOS 11. With hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads as its medium, Apple's AR solution may be adopted, popularized and mainstreamed among consumers faster than the iPhone was. Microsoft may find itself scrambling for relevance yet again.

Microsoft can't sit idly by while its HoloLens and Windows Mixed Reality AR investments are buried beneath the coming deluge of media coverage, apps and business uses of Apple's AR move. Microsoft needs to go all-in with both a mobile and AR solution that addresses the consumer space.

It will be a gamble, but doing nothing is certain defeat. Microsoft should launch a Surface phone with a pen and AR glasses in 2018. There I said it.

Microsoft, all in is the only option

Microsoft's careful advance into AR, building partnerships, developer support and practical applications in various industries was a smart move. Having NASA, the US military, Legendary Entertainment, the education sector, car dealerships, health care and more as HoloLens and AR partners is great for Microsoft and its platform. It's just not enough.

The mainstreaming of personal computing has shifted the balance of influence. Increasingly consumers, not the enterprise, are dictating what technologies are adopted and ultimately succeed. Microsoft's absence from the AR consumer space makes it irrelevant to consumers and consequently irrelevant to developers. Get it? Even with Microsoft's presence in niche markets, with enough consumer and developer critical mass Apple's AR solution may make HoloLens and Windows Mixed Reality AR as irrelevant as the iPhone made Windows phone.

Microsoft must bring AR to consumers.

Microsoft should continue investing in niche markets but must add an aggressive consumer component. A massive awareness-building television campaign would show consumers and the enterprise what it's doing with AR and HoloLens. Telling its AR story could generate interest, mindshare, and demand for its AR solution. In consumers eyes, Microsoft's more sophisticated and mature solution would make Apple's look elementary by comparison. Microsoft needs to establish that edge, and they can easily afford to set these wheels in motion.

Microsoft could begin this campaign this year before Apple's AR apps hit the market and continue into 2018. This campaign would be the prelude to Microsoft's 2018 AR glasses and ultimate mobile device.

Microsoft's ultimate mobile device augmented with AR

Microsoft must put the weight of the entire company behind Surface phone. As a device that I presume will benefit from a synergy of technologies such as inking, AI, gaming, CShell, Continuum, mixed reality and more, inter-department collaboration is a must.

The strategy and marketing teams are also essential to positioning and marketing this ultramobile Surface. This "ultimate mobile device" must appeal to all market segments: consumers, the enterprise, and gamers. Microsoft must go all in.

If it launches, the Surface phone is expected in 2018. The next version of HoloLens is planned for 2019. I believe the ultramobile Surface should launch with both pen support and AR glasses in 2018 to further differentiate and to bring an AR product to market.

Inking and AR should be Surface phone highlights.

I don't mean a HoloLens headset with all the bells and whistles. I'm suggesting paired down, device-dependent AR glasses, based on HoloLens tech that will provide users with a basic but useful AR experience.

Just as the Surface Pen works synergistically with the Surface, these AR glasses can do the same with the Windows 10 ultramobile Surface PC. I imagine glasses that connect wirelessly (or wired when sitting) to an ultramobile Surface or any Windows 10 PC for that matter. They would be capable of displaying 3D images, alerts, and apps in the user's field of view and would have limited sensors for detecting motion and one's surroundings.

Microsoft can make the apps for that

As the world's leading software developer Microsoft can support its ecosystem by creating a broad suite of exclusive Universal Windows Platform (UWP) and AR-specific productivity, utility, gaming and entertainment apps. These high-quality apps can bear the Surface branding, like the Lumia apps of the past, and would be software equivalents of the esteemed Surface hardware.

Microsoft should begin developing, releasing and marketing these apps now. This level of commitment as a developer of exclusive apps for its own platform would convey to developers and consumers that Microsoft is serious about Windows, mobile and AR.

If the AR apps combined with the ultramobile Surface and AR "Surface" glasses is a compelling experience, consumers may be drawn to Windows, just as gamers are drawn to consoles because of exclusive games.

Microsoft's productivity legacy, Xbox and Windows gaming platforms, and Microsoft Garage are resources that can be drawn on to develop a broad range of engaging UWP and AR-specific apps. Real-time translation, facial-recognition, weather, and mapping are just some AR apps Microsoft could launch as seen here:

Microsoft's full commitment to creating a host of AR games, utility, and entertainment apps would make its AR solution practical, appealing and inspiring to developers.

Get it to market then iterate

AR glasses connected to an ultramobile Surface will be wrought with engineering challenges. Power consumption, modes of interaction, display quality, cost and more are valid considerations.

Still two years ago Microsoft introduced HoloLens, the first fully untethered wearable holographic computer. The company has since learned more about the technology and its applications and have skipped version two to jump to an even more advanced version three.

Microsoft has likely gleaned enough knowledge from HoloLens to enable it to build a far less sophisticated set of AR glasses that require connection to a separate device but can provide useful and engaging AR experiences. I understand Microsoft likely wants to wait until it can blow everyone's minds with a full consumer version of HoloLens, but the market won't give Microsoft that chance. Apple is on the move.

This ARKit-created virtual measuring tape for iPhone is the type of app that would be more practical viewed hands-free via AR glasses:

Apple's 16 million developers and hundreds of millions of iOS users are poised to mainstream AR in Apple's image with little to no resistance from Redmond. This can't be what Microsoft want's after its pioneering AR investments.

Just do it

Microsoft, give us a Continuum-enabled ultimate mobile device with CShell that has the support of the entire company, showcases a synergy of technologies and appeals to consumers, gamers, and the enterprise. Include a pen and AR glasses to highlight Windows 10 innovations in inking and AR.

Support UWP and Windows Mixed Reality with high-quality first-party apps. Most of all, do what Apple did with iPhone and what it's doing with AR: get the ultramobile Surface and AR glasses to market, then iterate.

Must Read

Microsoft must launch a Surface phone - and get it right the first time

How Microsoft can ensure Surface phone success

With Surface phone will Microsoft learn from past marketing mistakes?

Microsoft will release a Surface phone - but it can take a while

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!

  • Thanks for reading folks!!! In order for Microsoft's ultimate mobile device to have a chance at success (it's an uphill battle) Microsoft must put all of its support behind the effort. Combined with an AR move MS can address its battle for AR mindshare and ultimately consumer, industry and developer support. I think an ultramobile Surface AR glasses 👓 and pen ✏ support can be a great differentiating move combined with a device positioned for consumers, enterprise and gamers. Microsoft must make an ultimate effort if it's going to launch an ultimate mobile device. So what are your thoughts? LET'S TALK!!;
  • I sure hope Satya and the rest of Microsoft are reading this. You've given them the marching orders they need to succeed. They have so much talent and resources at their disposal. They need to do this work in a much more nimble fashion.
  • The question is why does Microsoft need to read this? Why can Apple, Google, Samsung, and the like, figure it out by themselves? Why can one Jason Ward see what thousands of MS employees can't? Why can't MS see what you can?..... In my opinion, that's a big enough question to warrant it's own article.🤦🤦🤦
    When you really dig down deep, and look for root cause, I think the problem with MS is that they are too afraid of failure. Overly cautious to a fault. Probably justifiable, to an extent, because of recent failures, but ultimately a bad attitude... MS can't afford to stop taking calculated risk, but they have. The consumer market is a huge PR risk, and MS has grown fearful of the consumer... Well, if MS is to succeed in the new world their corporate nut sack must drop back down out of their asses, releasing their heads in the process.
  • I don't think they are afraid of failure.  They are driven by dollars.  They are more driven my money. I also think they don't know what to do against Google, Apple, Samsung, Facebook.  Those popular consumer areas are gone and tough to break into. Business, Windows is not longer the most used OS - Android has that.  They haver servers, DB, .NET, Bing, Xbox and cloud.  That is where they are strong. Buying LinkedIn - actually smart.  That is the defacto online space to hire people.  Yes, give me your counter thoughts (and go easy on me, I am a fragile flower) So what do they focus on?  The stuff they are strong at?  If you say Microsoft - what do you think the average consumer thinks?  BSOD?  Windows 95 and the Stones?  Zune? MS is not fearful of the consumer.  They don't know what to offer them.  
  • If they were more driven by dollars, they'd be going after the consumer space. Observe Apple's bank account, despite zero meaningful presence in the business world.
  • Yes, if you're driven by dollars you would go where the dollars are,,, unless you're scared you can't succeed, and are afraid to take risk.. Sounds just like MS.
  • Didn't used to be that way. Back before Nadella, they were pretty bold with Windows Phone. I remember standing in line for HOURS for the Windows Phone challenge, and watching android and iPhone fall in various tasks one after the other, unable to match the speed of Windows Phone 7x. Before Nadella, WP was growing year over year. Now it's basically dead.
  • Are you so sure Apple's bank account is not more cheating on taxes and fooling people into thinking they ain't cool? Let's just dismiss the fact that the factory that makes iPhone had to put up suicide nets because so many of their workers were killing themselves. Yeah who cares as long as we get a cool phone, right?
  • Oh give me a break, dude. What's "cool" is what the culture decides is cool through the choices they make. It is indisputable that no single phone has more mindshare than the iPhone. In pure numbers, Android sells more units, but that entails thousands of different devices across dozens, if not hundreds of OEM's. As for Foxconn, they don't just make iPhones, and never did. They make tons of devices, not least of which includes plenty of Windows PC's, Android phones and tablets--we could spend all day listing the numbers of devices they make for a list of companies as long as your arm. Yes, conditions were sometimes too much for some of their workers. Little by little, they've been improving, and even when they were at their worst, they were still better than the $3 a month jobs people often had working in filthy rice paddies, or the sex slavery a lot of those women either barely escaped from or avoided only because they got a factory job--a job which, incidentally, 30 years ago was illegal for them to hold. You view things way to simplistically.
  • vEEP pEEP, If you are going to analyze an issue, you really need to know what your premises mean, what conclusions you can draw from them, and have a finely tuned sense of intuition. You've drawn the conclusion that in the business segment, Windows is no longer the predominant OS.  You've based that conclusion upon the idea that Android is the world's most used OS.   Of course the idea that Android is the most used OS is only true if you take into account smartphones.  While "Bring your own device" has in fact caused enterprise IT departments to incorporate iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, the predominant DESKTOP OS is no doubt still wildly skewed towards Windows in the business segment.  I have every expectation that consumer desktop and laptops are equally skewed towards Windows.   I expect in both business and the consumer desktop market the Windows percentage is likely over eighty percent, and probably about ninety percent. People who have an axe to grind about Microsoft or who tend toward doing facile and faddish analysis talk about Microsoft's irrelevance or perhaps the death of Windows.  Nonsense, useless prattle. Now in the smartphone segment, that's a different story.
  • However, the statistics clearly indicate Microsoft is losing ground on all fronts.  BYOD for the enterprise has made that as big of an issue as anything, but Microsoft has not helped that by spending more time pumping out services and features for iOS and Android first (or, somethings, exclusively) over Windows (whether desktop, tablet or phone).  I have been the biggest Microsoft cheerleader.  I began to lose faith when W10 and W10M came out.  Just as bad, what they did to the Xbox UI.  I have gone from actively, enthusiastically encourage everyone I know to switch to Windows Phones, Xbox, etc., to telling them "stay where you're at, there's nothing worth switching to  here".  For myself, I hate Android, Google and Apple so much, I won't use their garbage no matter what, so I'll switch to a tether-capable feature phone if my Lumia 1020 finally dies.
  • I feel the same way, except that I actually LIKE the Xbox UI :). But that said, I carry an iPhone in addition to a Lumia, because Microsoft has botched Windows 10 Mobile so bad. I'm honestly on the verge of flashing my phone back to 8.1.
  • This is pretty much true.
  • Therefore MS is fearful of the consumer, as I said.
  • That answer is the same one I have given from the moment he was put in charge: Satya Nadella.  He is a shortsight, idiotic fool.  While Steve made some blunders, he had the right idea and drive.  Satya just makes me sick and doesn't know what he's doing.  And I would tell him this to his face in front of the entire Microsoft workforce.
  • With Ballmer, Steve. I saw tangible progress... Now,,, seems like more talk than ever.
  • MS are too reliant on their partners for market place traction when Apple and the like build and market things themselves.
    They need to stop being reactive as a company and start being pro active.
  • Apple, Google, Samsung and the like aren't figuring anything out but marketing. With the right marketing you can sell anything.
  • Are you me, because those are my exact words. You must be a genius!
  • I hope they are thinking bigger than this. The phone should be the accessory to the HoloLens, not the other way around. The phone should be relegated to smartwatch status. Think about how foolish this strategy is otherwise -- even if they get to market first with an AR accessory, are consumers going to abandon Android/iOS phones for a Windows phone? Did consumers abandon Windows for Mac when the iPod was exclusive to the Mac? Not even close. Instead the HoloLens should work with iOS and Android, but relegate them to dumb cellular displays or controls. The HoloLens should be the primary computer that makes the smartphone a companion. Scrape the cellular, gps, and notifications from the phones and display them on the AR glasses. Keep the computational power and file storage in the AR glasses. Use the other platforms as a dumb companion until you can make them as interchangeable as your ISP.
  • Sounds good but a consumer ready HoloLens is at the nearest and highly optimistic 2019, more realistically according to Phil Spencers prediction of the evolution of the tech (though not a statement of MS timeline ) is 5 to 10 yrs out. So, in the meantime, as we move toward consumer HoloLens, MS needs an AR product in the market in the near term. Thus, my presentation here of AR glasses 👓 in 2018, preceded by a huge campaign promoting MS various investments with AR and HoloLens to build awareness, mindshare and demand.
  • Well if you said such to Apple, people would think the message unnecessary because of course Apple would work that way. To ask it of Microsoft? It kinda has a feel of asking for the moon on a stick. Like this is a dream scenario that we can't seriously expect to see. MS, what have you done to your fans when you've got us expecting you to fail? Very dangerous. Feels like your new direction ought to be marketing centred and well on the way to being ready. The tech is there, you can and do get that right, just box it up and sell it hard. If you even looked like you might give it a go we'd be buoyed somewhat.
  • Ummm... Apple would never give you AR glasses for free with an iPhone. You know apple would charge $1000 for them on their own.
  • I think people looking up this website and reading this article do it because we like what Microsoft has and is still doing. But in my opinion Microsoft is no longer a household name. Even people I have spoken to that use Windows 10 are unaware of Microsoft and think they are using Google. That is what a Pc is to them. There is a massive lack of advertising from Microsoft. Whatever they do from now on has to have adverts to go hand in hand with all products that they are trying to sell.
  • During my last family get together I overheard some of the younger kids talk about wanting a Surface Pro.  It seems like the Surface brand has gotten more popular than Microsoft itself.
  • You're right. Actually I come here because I imagine what Microsoft is * capable* of doing if they were aggressive and determined about it. Microsoft continues to think like all they need to go is get enterprise to use their products and everything else will fall in line. Well, like Jason alluded in the article, the market will BURY such pretentiousness in a heartbeat!
  • .... "Windows 10 are unaware of Microsoft and think they are using Google. " Read that and shuddered.  But I think you have a valid point!
  • Lol
  • Sadly Microsoft have decided to just be a cloud services provider these days.  It must be so frustrating for their engineering teams that pioneer great technology to see it be commercialized successfully by Apple and others.  How can Microsoft win in the AR space when they don't have a device in 3 billion customer's hands throughout the day?  Maybe they can sell some cloud storage for people to store their Apple creations on?  Oh, sorry, I forgot that iCloud was the default storage provider.  How about on Android then?  Oh, I forgot that Google Cloud is the default.  That's ok, we'll just target consumers through Windows Desktop...  oh, they're just logging into their iCloud account in Chrome.  *sighs*.  Guess it's business only these days!
  • MS was smart to get into the cloud space!  For that Kudos!  But yes, I want devices....
  • Agreed 100%. But, will never happen.
  • If they don't get rid of  Satya Nadella soon, the future of Microsoft will be SaaS and start the slow death like ibm, only making moves to appease shareholders, no forward thinking at all.
  • Honestly the AR part doesn't even have to be a separate set of glasses, as long as the surface phone has the depth sensing cameras and inside out tracking that the HoloLens has, then the platform can be used to develop software that will eventually be used for the Hololens. Let the phone serve as a stop gap while development on the Hololens 3 is progressing, and give the development community a way to test their software. All they have to do at the moment is best apples ARKit and keep talking about Hololens and they will remain relevant.
  • But they aren't going to have a strong phone presence if all they can brag about is a me too AR feature that is already available on the iPhone. They won't have users and developers will continue to not care.
  • I still say that what it needs to be if an Xbox Phone, not a Surface. As an Xbox Phone would have to be more than powerful enough to allow for portable Xbox one/360/OG gaming while allowing for all the features you mentioned without any huge drawbacks. As we know that to get it out there and iterate won't work for Microsoft, as their effort would be met with similar same criticism/uphill battle as the original Surfaces and take years to adopt before Androids and then Apples solutions. An Xbox One Phone on the other hand would already have a powerful staying point with gamers who would adopt the system for the want of quality gaming on the go, now all they need to do is add Mix reality features and even games to it that could come to the Xbox One S/X and they can realized their Xbox as a platform idea.
  • Hmmmm....
  • I agree. Microsoft has to release a platform that is fun. Many say, "what would Win32 apps bring to Windows phone?". (when regarding Windows on ARM) The answer is AAA class games. I personally think they should release a slider-like device that has all the game controller buttons of an Xbox controller, that could all be hidden when slid closed. (See PGS Windows 10 gaming device from PGSlab) EDIT: When closed it will be a full Windows 10 PC, with the Shell of Windows 10 Mobile) Xbox 360 via Virtual Machine would be awesome, but not sure it'd be possible. However, there are a few ultra-portable Atom based devices that run Xbox 360 equivalent PC games fairly well. So maybe it is a Windows 10 device, but market it as a portable gaming device, but also a full Windows 10 PC too. Whatever Microsoft's next big device may be should be about fun, not the Enterprise.
  • This sound like a great plan...If they want to end up with another HoloLens product that is way too expensive for the consumer space and will be for the forseeable future - There's a good chance people just wait until Apple releases something at consumer prices with stellar marketing. Business focus is all well and good but everybody skims over the fact that today's consumers are the leaders of tomorrow....How many businesses had iPhone and iPad shoe horned into their CEO used one at home?
  • The guy in your picture looks like a broke a$$ Daniel Rubino🙂
  • MS should absolutely do a low end and high end HoloLens. I also feel like Microsoft is dragging their feet with HoloLens. They debuted the tech 2 and a half years ago and still don't have either a consumer version or even an updated version. It honestly feels like MS showed off HoloLens because they were hoping some other company or OEM would make it. Microsoft is such a baffling company. They were obviously many years ahead of the competition and now it feels like they're just waiting for everyone to catch-up and surpass them.
  • Not gonna happen. Microsoft is run by an idiot.
  • I'm totally with you about this but it will take a huge effort by Microsoft to pull off, particularly as they continue to focus on the "cloud" (that have services i.e. Cortana that do not work in every region!).  And you've got to question, as a developer, what does Microsoft want from its developers - just enterprise applications? Down in New Zealand it looks like we are not going to have a developers Ignite conference this year, just feeling very down with Microsoft at the moment as I write this comment from one of the last Microsoft phones in New Zealand:-)
  • MS biggest problem, apart from corporate lethargy and beyond poor marketing, is there insistence on waiting for devs and partners to bring their ideas to market. That 90s model is no longer working for them and they continue down this path at their peril.
    The days of being a software only company need to be over. They need to embrace change, get with the times and lead the charge as they have done with Surface.
    Show the devs and partners what needs to be done, but don't wait for them, they all have their own agendas and clearly for many of them now that doesn't involve a serious future with MS.
  • Marketing is just an excuse when you don't want to face the fact that the products just haven't been that good. Windows is Windows, it is fine but it hasn't gone anywhere. They haven't substantially improved on Windows 7. Desktop is stagnant and they haven't been able to create a compelling mobile product. No amount of marketing can make up for a subpar product, not in this market. Apple and Google both have great products. Microsoft needed to bring the heat.
  • I am a visionary! Even Jason agrees with me.  Hope MS follows it soon;")
  • Maybe it also should toast bread and make coffee. Add ons do very seldom make a product, they only enhance it. We all know that Microsoft failed in the phone game and to once again become a player something extra is needed. You hare hoping for that Microsoft will rewrite the paradigm for mobile computing, good for you but I doubt it. Adding fun gimmicks are not doing this. Rewritting a paradigm needs to find, point out and build around a need that was up to now unexplored. I have an hard time to see this in any of what we hear from Microsoft. Windows on ARM, pens, AR goggles and so on are not it, not even brought together. So in my opinion all we have is wishes and fantasy novels no hard facts not even a proper SciFi book :-)
  • Interesting article and interesting to read others' comments to the effect that MS is entrenched in a device-less supply - that's hardly cloud first mobile first. I never understood why MS didn't get 'Origami' out to trade. Devices aside, I've said it a thousand times, the Windows UI has to be king. I've ranted about the simplicity of WinForms and WebForms. For sure things have moved on (MVC, UWP, core et al), but I could never understand why MS couldn't build a platform that took this concept forward with WinForms getting rendered for Windows machines and WebForms for others all from a developer's single code base - they've managed it for non-Windows devices with Xamarin after all and there is a software company out there developing an HTML5 output from XAML and C# input. I've also been arguing that AR and all the 3D stuff should be rendered on top of a 'flat' CShell. And the only plus with 'tiles' is if they are expandable 'origami' style menu apps (and to avoid ambiquity here, I'm not referring to the hardware code name I mentioned in the start of my comment), otherwise they're big, ugly icons. So definitely need to see mobile hardware releases and we need to more UI development - we're meant to have 'Windows', right?! ...and the browser is just a Windows instance.    
  • Cost is driving force. If Microsoft makes affordable Hololens ( self computing device ) or come up with alternate route as you mentioned. It gonna Fly!
  • The idea of someone looking past me with AR content all around me unsettles me. The idea of people driving with AR glasses on scares me. I sure hope self-driving cars beat this abomination of a technological solution in search of a problem. Microsoft tried tying Xbox One with Kinect, and nobody wanted the Kinect, they were afraid of their privacy being invaded, and devleopers didn't want to put any resources into it. Kinect failed. The same thing will happen wiht AR. With iPhones, Android phones, Xbox One, Playstation 4, Steam machines, Roku, Cortana, Google Home, Amazon Echo, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung wear, Apple watch, Occulus Rift, HTC Vive, Google Cardboard/Daydream, Samsung Gear, Skype bots, Google Assistant, etc., the number of platforms to develop for is at a saturation point. I personally believe the solution is to provide a path for developers through the clutter of devices, not to add another device.
  • How about the phone first then we can worry about the extras later lol. In all honesty, just don't seeing the surface phone happening if MS trends continue.
  • The phone is way less important than HoloLens. AR actually has the potential to make the smartphone obsolete. If Microsoft could get a big headstart in AR they could make their position in the phone market irrelevant.
  • seriously cool8man??  Yes, there is a point in the future where phone/video calls may be made via an AR device.  However that is at some indeterminate time in the future and there are multiple technological challenges that would need to be addressed in the mean time.  In the next several years smartphones will remain a huge fulcrum and focus.  AR is not anywhere close enough to be mature to overtake phones and Microsoft cannot jump technological evolutions sufficiently to a AR based consumer phone device for us to really contemplate it at this time.
  • Nobody seems to mention anything about AR's physical requirements. Is it like 3D where both eyes are needed? If so then it's never gonna work for me as I'm almost blind from one eye.
  • Apple is doing it without requiring additional hardware, just a software update. If it requires additional hardware beyond the Smartphone, it wouldn't become widely adopted like Apple's ARKit.
  • This is what a lot of folks are not getting.  Overnight, with a software update, Apple will bring this tech to a few hundred million devices.  All the iPhones and iPads from fall of 2015 on can use this tech, that's well over 300 million devices.  So, if you are a developer deciding on which ar platform to support, why would you chose the Microsoft platform over the iOS one?  Specially when one of those two platform is not even a niche at this point.
  • "Widely adopted like Apple's ARKit" So a company that is far behind the completion, has not released a product like the competition, has announced something but has not gone on sale yet, is already "widely adopted?"
  • I don't think he is talking about Microsoft. He means Apple.
  • How many ARKits have shipped? I know that Microsoft has already shipped their AR device. Microsoft has shipped their software to production and has been available for a few months with many 3rd party devices shipping soon. people like to use he word "soon" to mock Microsoft, why not apply that word to Apple in this case, who is late to the market, again?
  • Apple is going to ship hundreds of millions of ARKits with the next update of iOS. Microsoft is 5-10 years away according to Phil Spencer. What they shipping this year requires being tethered at home. Apple will leapfrog them immediately with their developer support. Microsoft will never make it 5-10 years unless they are ready with something compelling and tangible now. Being tethered to your house is neither.  
  • have you seen build 2017, ARkit is just a version of view mixed reality that will be in W10 this fall, any device running W10 with just an RGB camera will do <