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Microsoft wants more content for HoloLens before a consumer version is released

Microsoft is apparently going to wait a while before it launches a consumer version of its HoloLens augmented reality headset. Alex Kipman, the head of Microsoft's HoloLens team, stated this week that there isn't enough content for the headset that will work in the consumer market.

Microsoft has already stated that it is targeting business customers for the first version of HoloLens, but it has also shown how the headset could be used for gaming. Re/code reports:

After seeing Kinect fail to connect with consumers despite strong early sales, Alex Kipman refuses to put a time frame on when Microsoft will start selling its augmented reality device, HoloLens, to consumers. "When I feel the world is ready, then we will allow normal people to buy it," Kipman said Thursday, speaking to reporters at the TED conference in Vancouver. "It could be as soon as we say 'yes,' and it could be as long as a 'very long time.'"

While the upcoming $3,000 developer's version of the HoloLens hardware could, in theory, also be made available to the general public. Kipman says buyers might have an issue with what to do with the headset:

"If a consumer bought it today, they would have 12 things to do with it," Kipman said. "And they would say 'Cool, I bought a $3,000 product that I can do 12 things with and now it is collecting dust.'"

Microsoft is apparently taking lessons from the Kinect motion sensor add-on device that launched for the Xbox 360. While it sold well at first, very few games actually ending up using the device, and it also had its own hardware problems.

"It was not a pleasant experience," Kipman said. "It was just not ready to go sell 10 million units in 60 days, which is what it did."

Source: Re/code

52 Comments
  • Seems reasonable.
  • Yeah, makes perfect sense
  • Also, gives them time to work on a second lighter, and more streamline, version that most likely would appeal to consumers more. By time MS thinks it's ready for consumer use we could be on the verge of a HoloLens 2 (or 3, judging by the tone of the article)............
  • By that time no one cares about it anymore because VR from Sony, HTC, oculus, and others will be the big hitters within the consumer living room. And MS will continue to play catch up, just like their mobile.
  • VR =/= AR
  • I don't agree that Microsoft will be playing catchup with AR. I think they r considered leaders in this space. They have left VR to the others because they believe an integrated experience is better than a total immersive experience. Additionally, it is clear that they are trying to avoid launching a product without enough content. I believe their strategy of launching the developer version first is the right approach. Have devs create content for businesses and consumers. No one knows if this strategy is going to ultimately work but it appears to be directionally correct. No one wants a $3K paper weight.
  • It's a good move by MS. Wait till they have a large and varied portfolio for Hololens.
    The competition might be first out of the gate, but it's likely they'll end up like Kinect.
  • Well the difference will be like Toy Tablets (iPads & Android) and 2 in 1s, yes other brands marketed their toys first, but they are declining and becoming paper waits, with time 2 in 1 are starting to sell better and are a better solution! So VR will sell like any fashion , but won't last because of it and you won't be able to move from a spacious room unless you want to hit a wall or something! AR on the other may be usable eveywhere!
  • Sure, there is some clear logic to it. I just wish he hadn't started with a ********* sounding statement "When I feel the world is ready, then we will allow normal people to buy it," Needs a bit more media training, this one. :D
  • Playing pc games with holo lens... Wuuu xD
  • Once it gains some ground in business and developers have had a chance to play with it for a while and bugs worked out etc I don't think it will be too long before content is available. However, I think there will be a huge chicken vs egg situation for the co sumer market, just like with Windows Phone, if there are no apps there are no customers and if there are no customers developers won't want to waste time making an app. Microsoft will need to make all 1st party apps work on HoloLens and get it to be 1000 things not 12 and make sure that happens before they make all those apps work for iHoloLens which will probably be released first and with great success.
  • Apple "invented" hololens .. Just like they invented "Living Images" /s
  • World is not ready yet..!!
  • Wen standalone VR in Xbox? Sony VR is coming very very soon.
  • Hololens is not VR
  • Oculus Rift? It is shipped with xbox controllers anyways
  • Not standalone, requires also PC in order to work with Xbox
  • Related to this, since XBox now supports bluray 3D playback now (and works really well and seamlessly, btw, without having to futz with the TV remote to change modes), I really wish they'd add 3D game support using the same methods, so it'd work for anyone with a 3D capable TV and cheap lightweight glasses. To me, that would be awesome to play games like Rise of the Tomb Raider in full 3D.
  • With the death of 3d TV, I doubt it is even in the works. No manufacturer is making a 4k 3d TV and most are getting out of it completely.
  • There are a bunch of 4K 3D TVs out there if you really want one. There just aren't many UltraHD 3D (4K 3D) movies available. Not that XBox does 4K resolution gameplay anyway (and probably wouldn't be able to do anything with UltraHD bluray disks also), so why not embrace the tech that the XBox One *does* support? Seriously, the 3D APIs that the games are built with should conceivably be able to simply display in 3D at the flick of a switch (much like you can do on a PC, even if the game developer has done nothing to enhance the 3D experience).
  • I played cod zombies on the Xbox 360 in 3D mode. Awesome I'd say. You see, MS should tackle simple stuff like this rather than a product I think won't even see the light of day for consumers, like hololens. Now that VR is out, MS be way behind again. Why do they like playing catch up?!
  • Remember Virtual Boy from Nintendo? VR has fundemental issues that haven't been resolved. VR on Xbox/PS4/PC/Mobile is at gimmick stage and decades away from anything meaningful. AR is a different ball game.  The NFL Hololens commercial gives a good idea of what gaming on AR could be. The AR adds content with additional screen and holograms on the side.  AR adds content while VR tries to unsuccefully replace content.    
  • Only LG is making any 3d TV's going forward. Samsung has abandoned the tech altogether. Why should Microsoft spend development resources on a dying tech? If rather they work on 4k upscaling or new features like true DVR capabilities.
  • And LG is making very few - only three models offer it.
  • There are literally no 4K 3D movies available. There isn't even a spec for 3D in 4K. Even 3D movies shown in theaters are 2K.  
  • If only MC Dr. Geek were still with us to preach all that rhymes with HoloLens. As Seen on TV.
  • They don't want to make a mistake what they did with Kinect. Hololens and Kinect would still be used more as an enterprise gadget in professional areas. Even Pranav Mistrys 6th sense tech hasn't been seen in masses.
  • I don't know about that.  While the thinking behind what you said is sound, the porn industry is starting to develop for this, and that would make these devices personal (unless your workplace is SUPER leanient about these things, like windowscentral I'm sure).  
  • The mistake they made with Kinect was not supporting it. They needed to lead the way in software development and promotion and they completely dropped the ball.
  • Yeah and so does Windows Phone.
  • Kinect was/is a great dance game peripheral, but not much more, although it could be a fun controller for a secondary player, but pretty much only Nintendo still does couch co-op.
  • It is great for many genres, actually: dance (Dance Central), rhythm (Fantasia), sports (Kinect Sports), fitness (Xbox Fitness), arcade (Fruit Ninja Kinect), rail shooters (Child of Eden), action (Dark Dreams Don't Die), etc.
  • Way to say "I don't know" dude.
  • These guys in the picture, especially Alex, look so dramatic! Forgive my losing the point...
  • "Normal people!" I think I am offended by that classification. :)
  • I don't understand Microsoft strategy. HoloLens for consumer version while the strategy for phone is for fan only. It just doesn't make sense.
  • It is my hope that they make some sort of Bandolier accessory that the Hololens can plug into for extra power.  I would not mind wearing one if it provided me with a 4 or five continous hours of heavy usage, or if it allowed for more graphic intensive applications to run more smoothly with an optional external video processor like the Surface book uses in it's keyboard base....
  • Nokia is also releasing something big. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ko49-LCtTmY
  • Haha, Nokia is the all time king of over hyping things. Interesting to see if they have learned anything in that regard.
  • Hmm, what if I came up with an idea?
  • By allowing universal apps to be designed fir the hololens through visual studio and an emulator could help with the content issues and allowing game devs to play their games on it would be hot too
  • Apparently they haven't been approached by the porn industry....lol Demolition Man-style stuff...
  • That picture though :-p
  • Yea, looks the unit doesnt appear to sit well on the average head and instantly makes all 3 of those guys look like vagina repelant
  • :D I think they pretty much would even without the Hololens.. :P
  • Uhhh, after seeing that headline picture, they also need to redesign it. All three of them look super lame and the device doesnt seem to fit on the heads of the dude in the middle or to the right very well at all...Makes me think HoloLens v2 is when MS may get it right...
  • Look no further than that constant and reliable computer technology advance multiplier : porn.
  • I love Belfiore's stylish hair hang-over in the picture lol.
  • I am ready to buy it. I would love to buy it.
  • Alex is not ready to allow you to buy it, normal lovelife you. :P
  • "When I feel the world is ready..." Yeah good idea. Wait till Oculus and Google have a strong foothold, then release so you can be in 3rd place in another market. Great thinking!
  • A proper launch is vital for good adoption. Why do you think Occulus and the rest are taking so damn long to get the hardware and broad catalogues of content right? Launching too early with no content is often debilitating in the long term - just look at Kinect and Windows Phone. Microsoft is in a great position right now in that they are by far the most ready out of all the AR devices coming to market, in terms of hardware and development partners.