A more affordable HoloLens from Asus? Color me interested. The PC maker, recently ranked 6th in the world, is in talks with Microsoft about making its own version of the augmented-reality glasses, reports CNet.
The information was reportedly revealed by Asus’s CEO Jonney Shih and Microsoft’s Terry Myerson. If a deal is reached, Asus will become the first non-Microsoft company to build a version of HoloLens. Given the lack of a consumer version of HoloLens at the moment (Microsoft announced a $3000 version for developers recently, coming in early 2016), and ASUS’s track record in making quality PC hardware that do not break the bank, we can safely assume that an ASUS-made HoloLens will definitely a boon to Microsoft’s AR platform, bringing it closer to the general masses. Microsoft also seems to agree, as Myerson says:
“Everything we’re doing in hardware, we do with the mind of how do we grow the Windows ecosystem,” “That is why we’re investing to create a category.”
It is obvious that Microsoft’s recent forays into hardware has been less about competing, most of the times with its own partners, than it is about providing templates that best showcase its vision for software so its partners can follow. HoloLens is no different: it’s all about Windows 10 Augmented Reality and Universal Apps, and whether it’s Microsoft or Asus bringing it to the consumers should not matter in Microsoft’s grand plan.
Nevertheless, it’s ultimately up to Asus if they are joining the AR game, and all signs from Microsoft indicate that it will be a while before the technology is primed for the market. In fact, one of the more intriguing and promising use of HoloLens for an AR version of mega-hit Minecraft seems to be a good measurement, according to Myerson, who stated that the glasses will be ready “for Minecraft players” (basically everyone of all ages) when his kids “can’t put the Minecraft on HoloLens down.”