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Microsoft HoloLens gets insanely more amazing, but won’t go mainstream soon

(TECH NEWS) The Microsoft HoloLens is setting the pace for augmented reality, but you’ll just have to wait to see how.

microsoft hololens

Comfort and immersion first

We are slowly seeing augmented reality become more common and normalized, but HoloLens founder Alex Kipman says it will be a while before Microsoft’s augmented reality goggles are ready for the mass market.

The goggles, currently listed at $3,000, are three or four (or hundreds of) times the price of some initial competitors, like Sony’s SmartEyeglass or the Meta 2. Kipman says that isn’t the point, or a place of concern for Microsoft though. Speaking to CNET, Kipman says that while progress is needed in regards to comfort, immersion and price, the first two are the priority.

“HoloLens will always remain our highest watermark product in the system, and we’ll keep ratcheting it up to more and more realistic, awesome, intelligent, delicious things,” Kipman said in the interview.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Pushing comfort & immersion means HoloLens will be better before it’s priced close to competitors.” quote=”The effort to push comfort and immersion forward means the system will probably be smaller, lighter and feature a wider field of vision before it ever sees prices comparable to some competitors.”]

Not a toy

Essentially, by focusing on the platform, the wearability and the immersion, Kipman is differentiating HoloLens from some other platforms that feel more like wearable toys than wearable tech. While virtual reality and augmented reality headsets were one of the hottest gifts this holiday season, that’s not the path Kipman wants the platform he created to go down.

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HoloLens is already exceeding expectations in several categories, and the effort to move forward features before price is exciting for those following the augmented reality space.

In an April 2016 review, CNET described the developer release of the system as frustrating, but also amazing. “It feels nothing like the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive virtual reality headsets, which completely surround you with worlds that don’t exist. HoloLens is more than that, but right now, it’s also much less.”

Others have agreed. It has lots of potential, but needs lots of work.

Playing the long game

Perhaps because Microsoft is backing HoloLens, rather than a smaller company that relies on sales to move forward, it seems now like HoloLens is one of the few publicly announced augmented reality systems playing the long game.

While Kipman says that even though the current version is not meant for the every day consumer to purchase, he has no intentional plans for the price to go up. That being said, he also pointed out that sometimes, to make the immersion and comfort top notch, prices will go up.

“I’m not gonna make the price go up, but I am going to increase immersion. I am going to increase comfort.”

Still, while other big companies working to develop their own augmented reality platforms may soon announce rivals, at the moment HoloLens seems to be the most set for the future.

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Written By

Brian is a staff writer at The American Genius who lives in Brooklyn, New York. He is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, and majored in American Culture Studies and Writing. Originally from California, Brian has a podcast, "Revolves Around Me," and enjoys public transportation, bicycles, the beach.

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