We are big fans of the HoloLens, even in its current form-factor and price, as a mass market device for use in enterprise and in entertainment/education on a rental basis, to offer experiences which other media and devices simply can’t.
Unfortunately, it seems that dream will never come to pass, as Intel has formally announced near term plans to discontinue the chipset the device is built on.
Anandtech reports that Intel is retiring its Atom x5-Z8100P SoC with customers being asked to place their final orders for the Atom x5-Z8100P SoC by September 30 and final shipments planned for the October 30 at the latest.
While the news is clearly bad for the current generation HoloLens, it may be an indicator that its successor is coming sooner than expected. Microsoft has already teased the second generation of its custom holographic processing unit (HPU) which comes equipped for AI, making this news another useful data point.
Hopefully, Microsoft has enough inventory to tide over demand (which is still likely measured in the tens of thousands of units rather than hundreds of thousands) and that earlier rumours of a late 2018/2019 debut for HoloLens 3.0 (2.0 was cancelled) is no longer accurate.