Speaking to CNET the father of HoloLens Alex Kipman spoke of the future of the product and their roadmap.
He noted that progress needed to be made on 3 fronts – comfort, immersion and price and at this point the two earlier items were the priority, saying:
I would put the premium on increasing immersion while increasing comfort. Those things pull against each other because they imply one thing: Prices going up. I’m not gonna make the price go up, but I am going to increase immersion. I am going to increase comfort.
Long time watchers of this space would recognise that this signals a smaller, lighter device with a larger field of view for the next version. The $3000 price point will however likely remain.
Microsoft did have a sub-$1000 on the roadmap somewhere however, with Alex saying:
You have to reduce the price point until it’s affordable to the majority of the populous of Earth, which will be under a $1,000 and then some to get there. Roadmaps for both of those things exist today, but I’m not going to announce or talk about it today.
In the mean time Microsoft expects their OEMs to deliver cheaper versions of their mixed reality platform with Kipman saying:
Last May, I went to Computex in Taipei and I formally started working with the ecosystem on it. And six months later, in October, we announced five different products from five large OEMs — Dell, HP, Lenovo, ASUS and Acer — that had taken HoloLens sensors with our help and created the best and the most affordable mixed-reality headsets in the market today.
If you have the money however, the HoloLens will always offer the premium experience, with Alex saying:
HoloLens will always remain our highest watermark product in the system, and we’ll keep ratcheting it up to more and more realistic, awesome, intelligent, delicious things.
A Microsoft representative recently revealed that only “thousands” of HoloLens headsets were sold, and Alex confirmed that Microsoft was focusing on enterprise customers, not consumers, but was not perturbed by this, saying:
We’re focused on enterprise today, where we’ve been transforming people’s lives since last year.
Read the full interview at CNET here.