It’s been nearly a year since Microsoft started shipping its HoloLens headset to developers and companies, but the $3,000 device is still far from being affordable for most consumers as of today. In a recent interview with CNET, Microsoft’s Alex Kipman explained that the company has “plans for a non-dev kit” that anyone could buy, though the Redmond giant has reportedly changed its roadmap concerning the development of future devices.
According to a new report from Thurrott.com, Microsoft has canceled the second iteration of the HoloLens, which would have probably been an incremental update with a smaller form factor and a more affordable price point. Instead, the company is said to be focusing on the third generation HoloLens which will bring more substantial improvements to the mixed reality headset. This new HoloLens headset wouldn’t be released until 2019 though, which is quite an eternity in the technology universe. However, the report says that Microsoft is confident that this change of plans will allow the company to retain its edge in a market that is still burgeoning.
For now, it’s true that the self-contained mixed reality headset has no real competition: even the first Windows Holographic headsets to be released by third-party manufacturers this year won’t play in the same league, as all these devices will be opaque and tethered. We expect Microsoft to continue to improve the HoloLens software with new features over the next few years, but developers will have to wait for the next hardware revision to have better battery life, a lighter form factor and a broader field of view.