A full version of HoloLens will launch ‘when the world is ready’, to avoid the fate suffered by Kinect, Microsoft has said.
The inventor of the augmented reality glasses, Alex Kipman, said avoiding the perception of being ‘useless’ technology was the number one priority.
“If a consumer bought it today, they would have 12 things to do with it,” he explained (via Recode).
“And they would say: ‘Cool, I bought a $3,000 product that I can do 12 things with, and now it is collecting dust.’”
HoloLens is currently available in a $3,000 ‘Development Edition’, which will begin shipping to devs early this year – although Kipman insisted: “There’s nothing development kit-ish about it.”
With HoloLens’ hardware effectively ready to launch, the remaining hurdle is having a healthy selection of software that justify the device’s existence.
Kipman compared the challenge to Kinect’s launch on Xbox 360, which took off quickly but quickly faltered as the motion-tracking camera became a superfluous – rather than necessary – peripheral.
“It was not a pleasant experience,” he recalled. “It was just not ready to go sell 10 million units in 60 days, which is what it did.”
Asked about the potential release window of a consumer version of HoloLens, Kipman was vague.
“When I feel the world is ready, then we will allow normal people to buy it,” he replied.
“It could be as soon as we say ‘yes,’ and it could be as long as a ‘very long time’.”