Alex Kipman introduced the HoloLens back in January 2015, yet the AR goggles haven't been released to consumers. so far companies can pick up the HoloLens Commercial Suite for $5.000, while developers can buy a HoloLens Development Kit for $3.000.
In an interview with CNET, the Brazilian-born father of Microsoft's HoloLens has now revealed future plans for a sub-$1.000 HoloLens, saying that “of course we have plans to become a non-dev kit.”
However, he did not elaborate further on that and explained that Microsoft will 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. He confirmed the existence of roadmaps for both aspects, but refused to share more information at this moment.
Increasing immersion and comfort
Kipman noted that he prioritizes immersion and comfort above the lowering of HoloLens' price, making it clear that he would “put the premium on increasing immersion while increasing comfort.” He argued that while those two aspects “pull against each other” and would imply higher prices, but promised not to make future HoloLens editions more expensive while improving both immersion and comfort. But according to Kipman, that means the price can't go down dramatically.
HoloLens-style headsets are coming
Despite the fact that Kipman says HoloLens is not getting cheaper anytime soon, consumers will soon have the opportunity to purchase similar mixed reality devices. A few days ago Microsoft revealed that it's teaming up with Acer, HP, Dell, Lenovo and 3 Glasses, to launch a range of HoloLens-style headsets.
These devices are yet to receive a release date but will start as low as $299 and they'll be running the latest version of Windows 10, as a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed:
“These new head-mounted displays will be the first consumer offerings utilizing the Mixed Reality capabilities of Windows 10 Creators Update.”
Thousands of devices already sold
Microsoft already knows it's still far away from making money with the HoloLens, but at the same time happy with sales figures, as recently confirmed by the project´s commercial leader, Roger Walkden:
“We're not trying to sell hundreds of thousands or millions or anything, it's expensive, and it's not in huge numbers. 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.”