HoloLens 2 could represent Microsoft's next significant step in mobile

HoloLens, the tether-less, wearable, Windows 10 PC that projects "holographic images into the field of view of the wearer, enabling augmented-reality (AR) computing excited the tech world in 2015. The technology, which began as a gaming tool under the leadership of Microsoft Technical Fellow for AI Perception and Mixed Reality in the company's Cloud and AI Group Alex Kipman proved to many that Microsoft is still innovating. Microsoft and other companies see mixed reality as the future of computing.

When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella saw HoloLens in action he envisioned applications beyond its gaming foundations and supported further innovation that brought the tech to where it is today. Though HoloLens has endured criticism for its limited field of view and high price tag, Microsoft has been successful with remaining true to its strategy to deploy it in tailored enterprise and niche industries. AR supported surgeries, the army, NASA, the education sector, factory workers, and the automobile industry have benefitted from local, collaborative and remote uses of HoloLens.

With the support of tools like Microsoft 365, Teams, Remote Access, and Cortana, Microsoft has been steadily evolving, expanding and proving the use cases for HoloLens and mixed reality computing. After four years, Microsoft's Hololens 2, with a possible Qualcomm 850 mobile processor, dedicated A.I. chip, Windows Core OS (Oasis), Composable Shell (CShell) and a sleeker, lighter design may be the always-connected-wearable-PC that becomes the foundation for smart glasses that, in time, replaces smartphones.

Alex Kipman says smartphones are dead

Kipman famously, or infamously, said:

The phone is already dead. People just haven't realized. 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.

Admittedly Kipman is a visionary who sees a future other people may not and that requires tech that may not yet be at the level necessary to support the vision. But Kipman isn't just a visionary. He is also an inventor who is actively building the computing-communication vision, with Microsoft, to which he is espoused. Microsoft's mixed reality strategy is being evolved in concert with Microsoft's Always-Connected PC (ACPC) plans with Qualcomm and others, the company's adaptable Windows Core OS and CShell strategies, the evolution and integration of mobile processors, and integrated A.I. that support the company's edge computing vision.

HoloLens 2 may not be the realization of Kipman's vision where AR glasses could replace smartphones, but as an ACPC on the cellular roadmap, it could certainly be the beginning.

Dona Sarkar says looking at screens is unnatural

Windows Insider Program chief Dona Sarkar discussed her vision of mobile computing beyond smartphones with Windows Central. She said:

Let's talk about what mobile means….people think about mobile as this thing that they carry around in their pocket ... 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 … as humans it is … unnatural for us to stare at a screen.Designing for a screen is kind of ridiculous. There's only so many ways to navigate. It is important that people grow skills where they can build and use technology that is not behind a screen.Same with IoT, we firmly believe in devices that have cellular capability with ARM processors. We're investing in not just in next year but the future of what mobile device means.

Sarkar's vision of computing that doesn't involve "looking down at a screen," though less divisive than Kipman's "smartphones are dead" claim, is no less disruptive. The two are describing the same "smartphone-less" future. Sarkar supports her claims with direct references to Microsoft investments in cellular and ARM (necessary components of a connected computing-communication device), something that is "screenless" and interacted with via natural human movements. This sounds like technology Microsoft is currently evolving with HoloLens and Microsoft's mixed reality platform.

From enterprise to consumer

I am not claiming Microsoft will launch a consumer-ready HoloLens that will replace smartphones at MWC 2019. What I am saying is that goal seems to be on the company's long-term roadmap. And it is building the hardware, software, and infrastructure to make it possible.

Windows CoreOS, Microsoft's device-adaptable version of Windows is expected to make a showing on HoloLens 2 in its holographic computing iteration, Oasis. With Qualcomm's 850 processor, improved battery, and onboard A.I. that makes local data processing possible without relying on the cloud, the enterprise and education applications of HoloLens will be pushed even further.

Of course, some will see potential uses for HoloLens 2 among consumers, in areas such as gaming, entertainment, and personal productivity. Microsoft's dual user strategy continues to bridge the personal-and-professional lives of consumers through tools like Office and Microsoft 365, and Cortana. In 2015, Nadella suggested HoloLens could come to consumers in five years.

Whether that target is accurate is less important than the fact that a consumer HoloLens is definitely on Microsoft's roadmap. And it is this ultimate consumer goal that provides further context for Sarkar's and Kipman's statements about how HoloLens technology can ultimately replace smartphones.

If that happens, it won't happen overnight. Just as Windows PCs were targeted at the enterprise until consumer uses evolved and expensive PCs trickled into homes, I believe Microsoft will showcase at MWC a sleeker, faster, smarter, always-connected HoloLens 2 (that Microsoft hopes will lead to a similar OEM-supported trickle-down effect) for advanced and tailored enterprise uses.

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!

71 Comments
  • Yep the only way I'm buying AR glasses is if it can completely replace my phone
  • The only way I'm buying AR glasses is if tech is so small, flexible, portable and innovative that can be installed manually on every pair of glasses people already posses and project on them.
  • I had expensive eye surgery done so I wouldn't have to wear glasses. I don't really want to go back to that when a phone also works.
  • It would be creepy having to watch random ads on your glasses.
  • "We call this pure O2, we estimate we can sell up to 80% of an individual's visual field before inducing seizures"
    - Larry Page, Google Oups sorry, that was Nolan Sorrento, IOI ... close enough though.
  • Rofl same difference though.
  • I don't feel good about this idea. I think people WANT smartphones. It seems that all this "smartphone is dead" commentary is a response to slowing in the market, but that's not because people are turning away from smartphones - it's just that people mostly have smartphones that are capable enough for their needs and there is less innovation in the space. HoloLens is a wonderful device but people are HAPPY with their phones and they don't WANT a magic hat. Just like the push from manufactures for 3DTV - if people don't care then no amount of insisting can help sales. Microsoft needs to wait for pull from consumers, rather then try to cram this down their throats and then give up when they won't swallow.
  • Your point about Microsoft not cramming this down consumers throats is a a good one, and strategy that Microsoft is following and what I highlighted in the piece. Microsoft is focusing the technologies evolution and expanding its use cases in the enterprise, education, health, scientific and even the department of defense. At the dawn of the computer age there was a claim that no one would want a PC in their home. "What would they use it for, was the concern. At the time people couldn't see beyond the status quo and the state of computer tech and application at the time. But in time, after years of enterprise focus, refinement of the tech and software, and new innovations, personal use became visible, plausible, affordable, disreable and achievable. I believe Microsoft is taking the same slow and steady approach with "Mixed Reality" computing.
  • Wait a minute. I thought Andromeda was supposed to be MS's foundation for mobile. Lol🤔🤔🤔 Also, I don't mean to be negative, because I hope MS proves me wrong, but is it really logical to listen to what anyone who works at MS says about mobile? Lol.
    Granted, the work that was done on WP by a lot of MS employees was phenomenal, a lot of leaders at MS don't have a clue. Either that, or MS's last two CEO's have lost it (as far as mobile is concerned)...
  • Phenomenal? They couldn't give them away. The work they did on Windows phone was mediocre at best. Phenomenal products don't flop that hard.
  • Yes, I said phenomenal, troll
    Are you hard of understanding? I meant what I said, and I wouldn't ever take it back for someone worth less than **** dust. If you don't like it go cry to your therapist about it, or take Daniel's advice, and transcend from life.
  • I am pleased to see that you both still argue. How long his it been? Three years, maybe four?
  • How are you going to type/text on glasses?
  • Agree. This feels forced. Instead of riding the mobile wave that currently exists, feels like either wishful thinking, or worse, that they’re trying to invent a wave. Smartphone sales are only slowing because ppl can’t afford to plunk down 1.5 grand every year, just to “keep up with the joneses”. They’re simply keeping them longer. But they’re FAR from dead. Says the guy typing this reply from his phone.
  • Phones are just the current paradigm. They'll disappear when something better comes along, just like feature phones did when smartphones took off. And smartphone technology has more or less played out with no real room to develop further, and it's not particularly great at anything besides being mobile. It will be replaced, that's not really in question.
  • I know things always change. And wouldn’t be a techie if I didn’t embrace change. But I’m just not buying it in this circumstance. It’s like saying cars are dead because as we all know flying cars are imminent! The phone is here to stay, and most likely in the slate form factor it is currently in for a long long time. Some technologies/industries hit maturity walls. And I think that’s what we’re seeing with phones. One can dream Jetsons all they want but smart phones are in no way imminently threatened by smart glasses. Foldables? Maybe. Though I doubt it. But glasses? No.
  • People just want the value that a smart phone adds to their lives. If you can give them something better, then as long as it's light and it works with long battery life and of course it affordable then sure. In theory, a Hololens 2.0 product will produce better results than a mobile phone. You get the ability to have a much bigger, more interactive "play area" and you can improve your lifestyle to do VR and AR in one device. So, this is a no brainer. This is where things are going and to mobile phones, good riddance. I like it, because you can work privately to get things done and then relax on the beach in VR when you are taking a break and it's all private and you can also do collab work as well, but you can see where other people are looking and you can work together in a much better way, even if people are across the planet. The thing I hate most about monitors is people can look over my shoulders while I do work or look through my window on my door to ask a question and see what I am doing. I love to have my own digital privacy and my own digital world.
  • While wearing them on your head you could see things normally you cannot; for driving linked to your car you could see the road, pedestrians, cyclists, turns, bumps, even in darkness. Movies and video in trains in your own privacy. And so on, add all the business related solutions, and I can see how glasses can replace our smartphones screens, also keeping the specs & power brick in our pockets!
  • You are reacting without thinking. The 'wearing' paradigm of a wearable device is just like laying your eyes on a smartphone which may be kept in the pocket or desk away from sight when you are not using it. You do have to withdraw your visual attention from everywhere else and lay it on the smartphone screen. Also, consider how people who need reading glasses keep them in the pocket or hanging around the neck and pull it to their eyes only when they need to read something. Similarly, you do 'wear' headphones/earbuds when you want to hear audio from your smartphone in public, both for clarity and privacy. And poking at the air may be less funny than people who seem to be talking to themselves in public with a tiny Bluetooth earbud in their ears. Even though I expect the swipe/tap paradigm of a physical screen to also change when screens become virtual. Think eyeball tracking or the tech that cameras use to select focus point in the viewfinder. There are many possibilities a truly natural user interface may bring to the table which will be easier for everyone to use. We will be foolish to reject those possibilities outright just because they do not follow our current notions of 'normal'.
  • 100% agree. I would not use them, I can't use them, I tried VR on a mates Samsung phone last year and it is fine for a few mins, but any more than that and I get dizzy and feel sick.
    I certainly would not have anything integrated into me, that would mean you be tracked 24/7 and no way to stop it, that would please our UK government I suppose. the reason sales are slowing is because people have what they need and also the prices of phones are getting so stupid now.,
  • Rewind your comment 10 years.
    I think people WANT flip phones. A standard motorola razor is capable enough for their needs. Smart phones are a wonderful device, but people are HAPPY with their flip phones and they don't WANT a computer in their pocket. That was the common refrain from the masses when the iphone launched. I don't think anyone saw particularly how quickly smartphones would become common place. Those same naysayers today wouldn't possibly be caught without their smartphones.
    VR = blackberry.
    Hololens = original iphone.
    Everyone laughed iphone (or smartphones in general) out of the store for being a $400 phone. Yet it very quickly became more than a phone. I believe a similar scenario could happen for Hololens. It won't be perfect when it first comes out. Developers will make it(or something like it) valuable and eventually as indispensible as today's smartphone.
    That being said, I think there is a pushback against constant technology ping, buzz, and rings of alerts and reminders. This could all crash and burn in an effort to get back to peace and tranquility, rejecting even the smartphone. I know there are more and more people I communicate with that have considered recently returning to a dumb phone. I still think if a manufacturer created a dumb phone with proper MMS support, navigation, music, and a great camera (instead of the useless cameras in dumb phones now) they would make a killing. I thought the new Palm phone was right on the money and I planned to get one right up until I read that they didn't include a SIM card slot to make it a stand alone device. They were so close!!
  • See the raise from the death article (think October 2018) about MS smartphone would stand better chance now compared to 5 years ago due to better technology (despite the famous app gap). I do not know. I still think a foldable device with phone capabilities (Surface phone yeah yeah) still would have a small but decent market share. I think the paradigm shift to keep the current smartphone in the game for the next decade would be a smartphone, with current capabilities, that will last for at least one week before re-charging... that could be a real game changer. Unfortunately I have the feeling some players, let's say the A**** word, are building in battery depletion in <2 years as a business model to secure bi-annual renewal waves in the market place. I think the smartphone supplier that brings to market a top-notch smartphone that only needs one battery charge a week and also has a battery that can be replaced will get an epic market share. If that would happen, all secret MS projects on potential future mobile devices would be set-back by several years. My 2 cents
  • Speak for yourself. I absolutely want augmented reality to replace my smart phone, at least the screen. Would love to super impose my office as if I am working on the Death Star and people walking around as storm troopers (yes, this will be possible). Working on my car, having the whole car internals and nut sizes and such super imposed. Etc and so on.
  • The first time I saw a virtual control panel on my wrist in VR, it was pretty obvious to me that mobile hardware, and televisions etc. were in the danger zone of the future. When AR is a pair of glasses with all day battery life is the question.
  • LOL, you're not likely to see THAT for a long time yet.
  • Televisions are not likely to die, I've never put a TV down and then not remember where I left it, it's not easy to lose a television, if you wear glasses then how's that going to work, some kind of clip-on device? Unless we all want to end up in a world, something like that portrayed in Wall-E, I hope we don't all sit down on the sofa with a pair of glasses each, to watch tv, in our own little self contained world, where we only communicate with SMS messages, with gradually expanding waistlines from lack of activity. Technology tends to win out because it makes our lives better, but wearing expensive glasses that are easily lost or broken, except for specific cases - like out cycling and viewing your current Strava segment times, maps and targets, I don't see catching on, especially with large percentage of the population already wearing glasses, so you'd need some sort of clip on device and of course anyone who does wear glasses also knows, that a heavy (only a few grams takes a pair of glasses from ok to unwearable) or uncomfortable pair means they end up unused in a drawer.
  • Microsoft is pretty good at coming up with great ideas, but that's about it, as far as implementation...
  • When the first HoloLens came out, everyone would just complain about the limited FOV, but it doesn't sound like anybody likes to talk about that much anymore. Does that mean most are in consensus that MSFT has finally solved how to get a "mobile" HoloLens with a wide FOV finally? If so what shift in technology did they finally try to achieve? Maybe it's got something to do with Windows Central's article last year on doubling FOV. https://www.windowscentral.com/microsoft-patent-hints-hololens-2-could-p...
  • The smartphone needs an AbeVigoda.com. From launch of the site to Abe's actual death, about 15 years. Though from first report of many in the media to his actual death, about 34 years.
  • I said early on that VR/WMR really is only worth a flip in gaming and that the current technology gives us huge, unwieldy devices. Even HoloLens 2 is too cumbersome. If you watched the Hulu series "The First", you see an example of the kind of tech that needs to happen before this is worthwhile. And while I would really welcome that capability, I don't want to wear a pair of glasses all the time. And for those us who DON'T want to be saddled with wearing glasses all the time, the tech would need to have a way of functioning while not being worn and, logically, in some soft of case. Also, the tech would need to be able to go completely opaque as needed and certainly be able to switch to dark mode so we don't ALSO have to try to wrestle with oversized sunglasses while wearing these things. There are a LOT of things designers of wearable devices MUST figure out if they want these to succeed outside of the office. Distracted-driving hazards not being the least of these.
  • Don't wear the glasses all of the time then. Are you staring at your smartphone in your hands at all times?
  • And where do you put the glasses if you're not wearing them? That's why I got contacts. It's easy to put a phone in your pocket. Plus, glasses give me a headache and I know I'm not alone.
  • I'm betting that in the next 5-10 years (or whenever something like this actually gets mainstream, if it ever does) we will see Satya Nadella (assuming he is still CEO) announce that he doesn't think there is a need for another AR product as Amazon, Apple and Google all have perfectly great products. Personally I don't see something like this ever becoming mainstream unless it becomes cheap enough and small enough to not be a burden on consumers.
  • Of COURSE someone at Microsoft says that "phones are dead". What do you expect them to say? Its a market they are not in, because they failed at it. If these goofy VR goggles ever go mainstream (very BIG if), it will be BECAUSE of the phone in my pocket. Phones will be doing the computing/communicating, just like today. The goggles will merely be the optional screen.
  • It's intended hyperbole. It's almost like you didn't even read the article.
  • I read it. This guy actually thinks that phones are dead. Its a good thing he works at MS. Stating this at any other company, he would be laughed out the door. BTW, phones as we know them are less than 10 years old. If phones are "dead", where does that leave 24 year old Windows and 35 year old PCs?
  • Only if they have one that can let you see the full emf spectrum
  • Hololense is cool but the field vision really blows...it’s not exactly surround vision... more like postage stamp vision....and it looks kind of stupid to hold you hand in the air clicking everywhere
  • In other words HL is plain stupid
  • If true it won't matter because by the time Microsoft releases one everyone else will already have better ones.
  • Seems unlikely. People also thought phones would replace traditional computers and for the vast majority of people they never will.
  • For the vast majority of people, phones HAVE replaced Windows PCs. Or, more precisely, people who would never consider buying a Windows PC, now have a phone. Windows PCs never sold 1 billion units per year. Phones have dramatically increased the usability, and thus the market, for computers. Today’s phones ARE the “traditional computers” for the vast majority of the planet.
  • "Anyone who only has a phone and not a computer never needed a computer in the first place." Exactly my point. Which is why I said "Or, more precisely, people who would never consider buying a Windows PC, now have a phone." Very few people NEED a "computer". For the vast majority of the planet, a phone (or tablet) is all they need. That is why 1.5 billion phones were sold in 2017, and only 240 million Windows PCs were sold.
  • According the the mighty Bing, doing some quick searches, it’s estimated that about 3 billion ppl on earth own a PC. About 2 billion ppl own a smartphone. You’re confusing RECENT sales figures with overall ownership. A lot of ppl do that. And thus they buy into the myth that the PC is dead. PC sales have slowed because the price of phones are so frieking high that ppl keep their PCs longer so that they can buy that high end phone that makes them look cool. Hats off to Apple and Samsung with associating social status with what phone you own. Bottom line though ppl do need PCs. Kids can’t do their schoolwork on a phone. Enterprises can’t just issue their staff phones and expect them to be productive. And many things we do at home are just a better experience with a mouse and keboard... paying bills, shopping, planning a vacation. Of course all these things CAN be done on a phone, it’s just that the experience sucks. Still... I get it. I too think MS made a YUGE mistake killing off the phone. While the phone may not be the end all be all device it is arguably the more personal device. Microsoft is supposed to be the king of personal computing. And to throw up their hands without even trying the Surface phone was a cowardly move. In my mind the Surface phone doesn’t even have to be a “bestseller” to succeed. It just needs to exist. Nevertheless that ain’t gonna happen under the current regime. We are relegated to pathetic appearances of mobile relativity in Nadella’s esoteric rhetoric and futuristic concept devices. Sad really. But that’s where we’re at until Nadella decides to retire.
  • PS. The most trustworthy and recent source I found is the Pew Research center. Only covers the US. But in the US some 77% have smartphones, 78% have laptops/desktops, and 53% tablets. Www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/mobile MS is competing in 2 of the 3. And apparently pathetically dodging the one everybody carries around with them all day by deflecting attention to some sci-fi future utopia. Classic Nadella esoterica.
  • Good luck writing a letter and printing it from a phone. That's nothing the vast majority of the planet does. Phones co-exist with PCs. There's uses for both of them that the other one can't do as well.
  • You think you can't print from a phone? Where have you been?
  • I can print from a phone, but my Dad can't, nor can any of my older relatives, printing was sorted out in Windows years ago, is getting better under Android and iOS but it's still a million miles away from the Windows experience - my Dad has to load up an ageing laptop if he needs to print. Then you have to consider the typing experience - I'd hazard a guess most phone only owners do not own a bluetooth keyboard, and only type short letters, those of use who connect keyboards up regularly are most likely borrowing them from a computer anyway. Finally you can't take sales figures to compare usage, you need to look at households, my wife and 2 sons, don't 'need' a computer, because I've got one, so there's a potential for 4 phones at last and only one computer. In reality, of course me and my wife each have 2 phones actively used, the boys have none, but there are several unused phones in the cupboard too, because like a lot of people, phones are replaced on average once every 12-24 months, as each contract ends, whereas a computer can remain usable for 10 years these days (windows 7 is nearly 10 already), especially if you're not using it for gaming - there's not a lot I can't do on my old Dell XPS laptop that was bought in 2010.
  • Sorry @naddy6969 but almost everyone I know who owns a smartphone ALSO owns a laptop, an all-in-one, a gaming machine, a tablet, a Surface, an xBox, PS4, or ALL OF THE ABOVE. That said, I understand your desire for MS to stop smoking whatever it is Alex Kipman is obviously smoking and bring to market a phone! That said, I don't think they will. Because they're idiots. Really really smart idiots (yes that's possible). I think JW is right, they will release HoloLens II at MWC 19. It's a cool device to be sure, and arguably a "mobile" device. But for all the idiots out there claiming the "phone is dead"... and yes you are complete idiots if you think that… any smart glasses of the future (at least the next 30 to 40 years) will be COMPLEMENTS to the PC and the phone at best... NOT replacements.
  • And everyone I know has only a phone. What's your point?
  • You might be right. ;0) Even so... my 17 year old daughter has an all-in-one for homework, she shares my laptop when necessary, and she has a tablet. So, perhaps he's a 16 year old high-school drop-out, with no job? She loves phones too. But I'm educating my daughter and preparing her for the working world, which means knowing how to use a computer. That said... I feel his frustration with MS abandoning phones in a world that admittedly does use their phone at least as much as their laptops/desktops for personal computing.
  • Even if this was an inevitability, I have zero confidence that the Microsoft of today is remotely capable of delivering this future to us. They lack the fundamental understanding of what people will want and need from such a device, and the attention span to actually bring it to fruition. I honestly doubt that today's Microsoft could even come up with Surface on their own. They just update the old form factor.
  • "The phone is already dead. People just haven't realized." LOL! You wish, Microsoft. Hahahaha pathetic... Phones being ALREADY dead is so far from truth almost as Microsoft is from consumers. With the same enthusiasm I can say "Laptop is already dead. Microsoft just haven't realized". My advice is calm your t*ts, Microsoft and continue selling irrelevantly small number HoloLens devices to a handful of companies that spread money just because want to look "cool and innovative". Truth is you have no other choice. Lamers
  • "The phone is already dead. People just haven't realized." Phones aren't dead - it's MICROSOFT phones that are dead and everyone realizes it. Also, all phone like devices aka "always connected pocket PCs with telephony" from Microsoft - Andromeda etc. are also dead, everyone except Microsoft and fanboys realize this also. Phone sales are slowing, not because smartphones are dying, but because nearly every human on the planet that wants one and can afford one already has an Android phone or an iPhone.
  • If HL2 isn't at least half the size of HL1, has at least 3x FoV of HL1 and is priced 2/3 the price of HL1, don't even bother showing anything
  • I would love that. However, I fully expect them to sleep on their tech until other products from Apple and Google officially release and then they come out and throw HoloLens on the consumer market at a premium price and everybody will be wondering why they should buy into Microsoft when iOS and Android have many more AR apps. Because the main problem of HoloLens is app support. That's what killed Windows Phone/Mobile. And they are currently doing exactly the same mistakes again. Well, maybe a bit less so with UWP, because in theory there are some HoloLens apps. But! If you don't create a market first, you won't have developers interested in creating apps. Not for $3000 that it costs now for a devkit (which should be free, because that is how you get apps if you don't have a market). Not for the $1000 to $1500 that HoloLens is going to cost as a consumer product at launch. Microsoft needs to get devkits out for free to everyone that wants one (like they do on Xbox). That's the only way they can even dream about having a huge success. You have to spend money to make money.
  • What are you talking about? They're not sleeping on the tech, they're the only big tech company in the market. HoloLens 1 and 2 ar not supposed to be consumer devices, so your comment about app support makes no sense. Does anyone actually read the articles they comment on?
  • Wait, I thought it was AI and smart assistants that was going to replace the phone and Cortana was the answer. If AR does become the future, it will be because Google or Apple extends their existing mobile platform into that space and brings customers with them. It wont be Microsoft with a platform no one will build apps for.
  • Literally no one said that.
  • I don't even know if HoloLens would be for customers in the future. I don't mean I doubt AR is the future, but I doubt if HoloLens is the one to archive that, or if other company would provide a customer-friendly alternative first, and HoloLens would eventually get cut like you know, many examples.
  • This sounds really great and I hope that I'm still around when they get a device for the masses.
    Until that day and well into the future, smartphones & foldables will be the mobile devices of choice.
    Being super creative is great and I applaud the innovators.
    But creating cool ideas for the future is also an easy way to bury the failures of the past.
    Microsoft should have never abandoned mobile phones & pocket-sized devices.
  • Enjoy. I'll pass if or when it comes to pass. I prefer not to chat on video and I'll prefer not to walk around with computer glasses. I have a hard enough time walking without landing on my face.
  • The hardware is a decade or more away, but AR is definitely the future. If you have to wear it, that is going to be a tough sell unless it is really inconspicuous. Eventually it will be some sort of implant or mind control device. The input method also has to be perfected. We haven't seen the iPhone of AR yet. Someday, someone will get it right and it will click immediately.
  • If you can't afford even a midrange Android device you couldn't afford AR... Please. The only thing you will be doing is trolling from your ultra low end device Good will charitied out to you. Sad life.
  • I've bought into this vision since day one (it certainly helps that the Windows phone situation is so dire). The only problem is that the public won't buy into it until it's fashionable; they're all scared of being the one person at work or at school with a pair of AR glasses instead of a phone. Microsoft is terrible at setting consumer trends, which is a big part of why so many of their consumer products never catch on. They'll have to somehow convince mobile carriers, big-name app developers, and celebrities to prop it up. Even then it'll probably be a flop, because nobody will buy into AR until Apple makes the iGlasses or iLens or whatever they'll call their aluminum-clad HoloLens ripoff, which will have half the functionality and cost twice as much, but will nonetheless be called "revolutionary" and will set the new norm for AR headset pricing; Google will then follow up with a cheap plastic Android version riddled with bugs and adware that tries to copy the Apple version instead of adding something new, but consumers will buy it anyway, think it's wonderful, and mock anyone who uses the HoloLens ('nO oNe UsEs ThOsE!¡!¡ jUsT gEt A gOoGlE pOlYcArBoNaTe Or iGlASSES lIkE eVeRyOnE eLsE!¡!').
  • When we are all walking around like the robot dude with hololens eyes ... we can just have our hair and beards removed by electrolisis because it’s an evolutionary dead end... why do we need eye brows in the future if we have hololense...
  • Nobody is taking away my beard. I'll start a resistance if they try and do that.
  • Interesting thoughts.
    But Books and Newspapers are still around in a digital world. I think people like to have things in their hands. hmm...TV remote.... I must be getting old...
  • Jason Ward, a Windows Phone Evangelist who ended up switching to Android after NONE of his "predictions" became reality. Sorry, but this article is simply a massive delusion.
  • No way. Microsoft needs to solve one major issue in order for this vision to become realized: It needs to find an incentive for people to want to use a Windows [Microsoft OS] based device again. The world has moved onto the web and mobile platforms for personal computing, goofy glasses won't solve that problem, no matter how nice/sleek/small they are. it will have the same issue a Windows Mobile phone has today: NO ECOSYSTEM. Pass.
  • The Hololens is no doubt a compelling device however a lot of people are not too into wearing
    eye glass shaped Computer interfaces one of the reasons Google glass failed was because of
    this. Hololens however is a novel way for people to interface with computers and the Internet
    but until Microsoft enables Hololens to be priced so the average People can buy them it wont be
    able to make an impact great enough to change things. mass usage changes things. as far as
    smart phones are concerned folks are going to stop paying 1000 dollars or more for flagship
    smart phones. there is a limit People will pay for smart phones. in fact Apple and Samsung are
    going to sell cheaper models of their phones to get more customers