When you hear something described as “Straight out of a Sci-Fi movie” it usually tends to mean that the advertising agency has done great work but that the end product hardly resembles anything as good as what has been depicted. We’ve seen this over and over again with the devices that have been promised to be the next big thing. But maybe this time there is actually something to back that statement up.
Microsoft unveiled their futuristic – to say the least – project HoloLens during the Build 2015 conference and it immediately caught people’s attention. And for no small reason at that; it was shown that the HoloLens was able to generate seamless augmented reality applications right before our eyes. Imagine being able to use everything around you as one big desktop where you can place objects and you’ve hit the nail in the head.
The device is aimed for launch during summer 2015 or a little after that, coinciding with Windows 10 release. As of yet no pricing information or exact launch date has been released to the public.
As a standalone unit the HoloLens will require no cable connection to your computer, but it will take use of many of Windows 10’s new features. Also all universal Windows apps are promised to work with the HoloLens.
Glasshouses and all that
Some people could be jumping in saying how Google Glass was also said to be something that would change our lives, but ended up being just a small-time fad with only tech aficionados bringing hardly any real world uses with it. Sure as a concept the Glass is nice, but there are just too many bothersome things with Glass to make it something as widespread as for example smartphones are nowadays.
But can HoloLens really be any different? As much as I want to see the device as something that integrates virtual reality and real… reality together creating awesome augmented reality spaces the negativist in me can only see it heading the same way Glass did; towards being nothing more than a cool concept that will never make it to our everyday life.
The reason for this is simple. HoloLens headgear is simply too bulky to be comfortable to use for long time, and the mere fact that you need to wear it will make people leave their HoloLens headgear to collect dust after couple weeks of use. It’s the same cycle with many of our devices that we initially cherish but later on forget. Add the cumbersome usage to that and you’ll end up hating the device soon.
Just as the 3D function in our televisions is a nice thing to check out once or twice, using the bulky glasses to get that effect on the expense of the image clarity is just not something that people are willing to do. We prefer to enjoy our movies in high definition and clear picture, so leaving out few gimmicky 3D effects that ultimately add nothing to the experience is an easy choice to make. But that just makes the whole technology worth nothing to us, despite having expected it for years.
So little information yet so much information
The biggest question will obviously be the cost. So far we’ve seen what the device is capable of straight out of the box, as it’s guaranteed that developers will find ways to enhance the uses of the HoloLens even more, but the price point remains still a mystery.
The problem with all high-tech devices is their high price and that’s the only barrier in getting the public interested in the devices. Entry-level Apple Watch costs upwards of $349, which is something that most people wouldn’t even consider paying for such device. Google Glass, being the closest thing to the HoloLens, goes for $1,500 for the developer version. How will the HoloLens be priced to be competitive and affordable?
As much love as there is for virtual reality and augmented reality, it’s the overall cost that will keep it away from the hands of the general public. While we might be able to justify the low usage with some neat third-party apps later down the road, dropping hundreds or even upwards of thousand dollars for such device will simply be not worth it for the most of us. After all, we don’t need the device that much.
Another thing that we don’t yet know is the actual launch date. Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 will be offered in the summer of 2015 and that the HoloLens should follow soon after. Seeing how the device is dependent on Windows 10 itself this course of action is pretty obvious.
Are you excited about the HoloLens? Do you feel that it will make life easier, or will it just be another useless gadget that will be collecting dust in your basement? Let us know what you think down in the comments!