(Image Credit: Microsoft)
Microsoft launched the developer version of HoloLens last year for a cool $3000, but until now the company has not indicated how many units have been sold. Roger Walkden, Microsoft's Commercial Lead for HoloLens, has now given us some idea after saying “thousands” have been shipped.
Bearing in mind HoloLens is still expensive and designed for developers at this stage, even a thousand units would be impressive. Microsoft is happy with the number shipped, and it seems to be in-line with the company’s expectations.
"We're not trying to sell hundreds of thousands or millions or anything," said Walkden. "It's expensive, and it's not in huge numbers. So 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."
The VR/AR market is heating up, and eyes are on Microsoft to show leadership in the space before competitors steal the limelight. Companies like Magic Leap are promising to “bring magic back into the world” for a range of use cases, while in the enterprise firms such as DAQRI already offer customisable AR experiences for industrial use.
Just remember, this is version one, and there will be future versions.
Microsoft’s vision is bold and targets both the enterprise and consumer. We’ve seen HoloLens used by the Royal College of Surgeons for tuition, and for gamers, we’ve seen the AR headset providing a unique view of their Minecraft worlds.
AR is expected to be among the next biggest platforms in the coming years, perhaps even the size of mobile which Microsoft was all but absent from despite some promising innovations. Observers will be hoping Microsoft doesn’t make the same mistake in AR as they did with mobile, especially with how much they’re betting on 3D for the future of Windows 10 in the “Creator’s Update” later this year.
When asked for details about the HoloLens roadmap, Walkden responded: "There's a roadmap. I can't tell you anything about it, though. Microsoft keeps that kind of information way clear of me so that I don't accidentally tell you anything."
"Just remember, this is version one, and there will be future versions. I have no news for you on when those will be. But the roadmap does exist, and we know that at this point this is the only device we've got, and the only one we need in order to get people started on their journey."
With the launch of Project Scorpio also due this year, Microsoft could be holding on to show more of how the new console will use its extra power to integrate with the HoloLens for even more unique gaming experiences beyond the Minecraft demo. If this is the case, expect to see more from HoloLens at the E3 Expo in June.
Are you still excited about HoloLens' potential? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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