If you were hoping the HoloLens would be on its way to consumers any time soon you’ll be disappointed. Despite showing off the capability of the technology numerous times over the past year, Microsoft is taking its time to release it to consumers.
Creator Alex Kipman gave the latest demo of HoloLens during the TED conference in Vancouver last week. The demo turned the entire stage of the event into a fantastical forest. Later when Kipman spoke to reporters he said the poor reception of Kinect has made Microsoft cautious about releasing a new technology without making sure its actually ready for the consumer audience.
“If a consumer bought [Hololens] today, they would have 12 things to do with it,” Kipman told re/code. “And they would say ‘Cool, I bought a $3,000 product that I can do 12 things with and now it is collecting dust.’”
Kipman also said the lack of software probably played a big role in what happened with the Kinect.
“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.”
HoloLens is an augmented reality product as opposed to the virtual reality products that are hitting the market this year. But Microsoft isn’t totally detached from the VR world. The Oculus Rift will come with an Xbox One controller and consumers can stream Xbox One games into virtual reality through the Windows streaming capability. That said, Microsoft is probably waiting to see how the Rift sells and how many people are using their Xbox Ones to stream games to it.
This spectator view is likely one of the reasons Microsoft is holding off on releasing HoloLens. The sales performance of the numerous VR headsets will be a big indicator of how ready consumers actually are for the new technologies.