We regularly post articles on a wide variety of enterprise customers trialling Microsoft’s HoloLens mixed reality headset.
It seems these various try-outs have not yet resulted in mass adoption of the device, which costs between $3000 and $5000 depending if individuals or companies purchase it.
At the BETT show in London Thursday, Roger Walkden, Microsoft’s HoloLens commercial lead, revealed that sales of the headset are so far in the “thousands,” but was not particularly perturbed by the smaller number.
“We’re not trying to sell hundreds of thousands or millions or anything, it’s expensive, and it’s not in huge numbers. So we’re happy with the level of sales that we’ve got – I can’t tell you anything about the numbers, but it’s in thousands, not hundreds of thousands, and that’s fine. That’s all we need,” he said.
Microsoft is currently using the device itself as a testbed for its Windows Holographic environment, which is expected to be the basis of a large ecosystem of Virtual and Augmented Reality headsets from a wide variety of OEMs at much lower prices, which should sell in much healthier numbers.
Speaking of the venture, Walkden said “…you’re starting to see that with VR headsets already, so you probably noticed we released a whole bunch of OEM headsets for VR recently. Those are around that mark, and so I don’t know how far into the VR lifecycle we are – maybe two or three years from the very start of VR – so it does take years to get to that kind of position.”
Walkden was vague about Microsoft’s future plans for their own follow-up to the HoloLens.
“There’s a roadmap. I can’t tell you anything about it, though. [Microsoft] keep that kind of information way clear of me so that I don’t accidentally tell you anything,” he quipped. “I have no news for you on when those will be. But the roadmap does exist, and we now that at this point this is the only device we’ve got, and the only one we need in order to get people started on their journey.”
“But just remember this is version one, and there will be future versions,” Walkden however confirmed.