Microsoft is probably working on a new HoloLens


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Hololens has already been declared dead, which would be a blow to companies investing in Microsoft’s AR ecosystem. But Microsoft is likely continuing to work on AR glasses.

Last year was marked by negative headlines for Microsoft’s Hololens AR glasses. Following the departure of Hololens co-inventor Alex Kipman in June 2022, Business Insider reported that there is currently no “meaningful roadmap” for the Hololens 3. Microsoft is instead focused on executing the Hololens military contract (IVAS) with the US military, the sources said.

But the military Hololens also has big problems. However, before leaving his longtime employer, Kipman denied rumors of the Hololens 3 being shut down. A recent statement from his successor, Scott Evans, underscores this statement. In an official blog, Microsoft’s Vice President of Mixed Reality hinted that a successor to the Hololens 2 is in the works.

New Hololens “not every two years”

“We’re just looking for the right design point to create a meaningful update,” says Evans. After all, the business customers targeted by AR glasses didn’t want to replace their devices every two years just to get a little more performance. Microsoft keeps hearing from commercial customers that they don’t want to go through a typical two-year retail cycle. “They don’t need a successor yet, but they want to know he will be available at the right time.”

Microsoft is currently working on improvements in all core hardware areas. This includes display, tracking, sensors and battery capacity. However, the term “update” might imply that this isn’t a major hardware leap just yet. In any case, Evans does not mention the name “Hololens 3”. Hololens 2 was released in November 2019.

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According to Evans, findings from the IVAS military variant are also contributing to development. AR glasses have their own specifications for US military application areas. However, their tests with military “early adopters” are well suited to identify improvements for other cheaper models at the same time. Evans calls this the “trickle down effect” in development.

Does AR focus on hardware or software?

Evans’ recent comments contradict assumptions that Microsoft has shelved its own XR strategy, especially when it comes to developing new hardware. During the market launch of Meta’s new Quest Pro mixed reality glasses, Microsoft had a Extensive collaboration with Meta to Windows and Office applications announced, so it brings its own most valuable software for a possible competing product.

Additionally, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has made it clear that Microsoft’s metaverse strategy is software-driven. There were previously rumors that Microsoft might be working with Samsung on new XR glasses – but the project has reportedly been scrapped. Samsung is now expected to bring new XR glasses on its own next year.

Sources: Microsoft blog “Innovation Stories”


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