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Microsoft: HoloLens won’t Suffer Fate of Kinect

Microsoft HoloLens

Looking back to the less than phenomenal response to the motion sensing peripheral Kinect, Microsoft hope to use the lessons they learned to good effect for the launch of the HoloLens augmented reality glasses.

Speaking to the gathered crowed at the recent TED conference in Vancouver, reported by ReCode, HoloLens’ inventor Alex Kipman said that the release of the AR device will benefit from the lessons learned during the development and commercial release of the Xbox 360’s Kinect.

The key aspect of Microsoft’s strategy with HoloLens is that they will only release it when both the world and the device itself are ready. Kipman remained tight-lipped about any firm fully commercial release date for the AR goggles, although a Development Edition of the HoloLens (available to order now for $3000) will see a limited release later in 2016.

Kipman explained that the HoloLens would be wasted if it was to be released in its current state, because the limited amount of content available on the device would quickly leave consumers bored and looking for the next distraction.

He said that a consumer buying the HoloLens today would own a product capable of just twelve activities. If the HoloLens was released today, Kipman expects that the $3000 price tag and restricted capabilities of the peripheral would quickly leave it gathering dust.

A similar response was given to Kinect. The depth and motion sensing camera device that allowed gamers to control games with their bodies rapidly gained high levels of interest, earning a Guinness World Record for becoming the fastest selling electronic device at the time.

However, the lack of compelling game contact available through the device, combined with the steep price tag, withheld many gamers from purchasing the device. Kipman said that Kinect simply did not have the appropriate level of content for the amounts it sold in—10 million units in the first 60 days.

Reluctant to repeat the mistakes of Kinect, Kipman said that he is “in no rush” when it comes to the consumer-ready version of HoloLens. It could be soon, or it could be “a very long time.”

Microsoft HoloLens

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