Obtaining a crystal-clear guarantee about the future of HoloLens is nearly impossible given the latest negative headlines about the device. However, Scott Evans, Microsoft’s Vice President of Mixed Reality, has put an end to the rumours by confirming that the company does in fact have plans for the successor to the HoloLens.
Beyond the departure of HoloLens director Alex Kipman from Microsoft in June, there are significant questions about the future of the upcoming HoloLens (predicted to be HoloLens 3). The tech giant appeared to be having trouble defining the device’s future even before the news leaked. Business Insider reported in February that Microsoft has abandoned its ambitions to deploy the HoloLens 3. Sources claimed that “confusion and strategic ambiguity” were to blame for the choice. The debate over the device’s intended market is also mentioned in the report. Kipman apparently sought to make the device accessible to all users, but others wanted to design it specifically for corporations and organisations.
Sources in the same story also alluded to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s interest in metaverse software. Nadella spoke about the company’s “software-led approach” to the metaverse in the middle of the year. The CEO claimed that Microsoft intended to create a metaverse where the physical and digital worlds will be combined. Everyone will be able to “benefit from these experiences, regardless of what device they’re on, thanks to the methodology, which will be hardware neutral.” This declaration represents the steps taken by the firm to make its mixed reality software available on all different types of devices in addition to the HoloLens 2.
Microsoft’s Jake Siegel writes in the blog post, “That’s why Microsoft is dedicated to making its mixed reality software available wherever its customers are – whether that’s on a HoloLens 2 or another company’s device.” Additionally, Microsoft has established a Mixed Reality partner network of ISVs who can extend solutions to meet specific needs in a variety of industries, from construction and education to healthcare and pharmaceuticals. Dynamics 365 Mixed Reality Apps provide enterprise-grade software so customers can get to work right away.
The future of HoloLens 3 is not only clouded by internal business concerns. According to many sources, Microsoft has been working to perfect its military Hololens or IVAS (Integrated Audio Visual System). Bloomberg even reported in October that wearing them could give soldiers physical side effects like headaches, eye strain, and nausea.
Evans noted that the device can still be anticipated despite the divergent perspectives, difficulties, and other obstacles that obscured the clarity of the HoloLens 3 release. The VP clarified that the company’s efforts to prevent churn from regularly replacing devices with new ones are the only reason HoloLens 3 is still not available. The fact that HoloLens 3 will still be mostly used by enterprises rather than average users was also hinted at.
Nobody wants to lose out to someone with 10% more capabilities. Although they don’t yet require a successor, they want to be sure that it will be available when they do,” Evans added. “All we need is the ideal design element to transform it into a significant overhaul. They want a replacement product that will provide an even greater return on investment.