June 27, 2017

HoloLens: Price Estimation


Right after HoloLens was announced during Microsoft’s Windows 10 event on January 21st, I sent a link of the promo video to a friend. This is his reply:

Holy shit! When will it be available? How much does this thing cost?

Well, “When will it be available?” is another question in the state of emergency, but I will address it in another post. “How much does the thing cost?” is the question I am trying to answer here. It deserves a post because there is just too much interest. However, I can sense your skepticism already. How do you know? Fact is I don’t, since no one does, but I am here to promise you a better estimation than whatever you see on the Internet. An estimation that is actually useful.

Here is what I am going to do. I put clues together, and draw a line indirectly from those clues. I feel pretty good about the result, and you should too.

Here is what we know: HoloLens is a stand alone device with a CPU, a GPU, a HPU (Hologram Process Unit), runs Windows 10. The CPU is using Intel Atom chip (Cherry Tail) according to PCWorld. HoloLens has Kinect sensor, surround sound. There is sophisticated light engine to generate, modulate and beam lights into eyes. We know a stand alone Kinect selling for about $200. A Cherry Trail system can be built for around $200, including CPU, GPU and motherboard (or SOC). HPU and light system are unknown, lets allocate $300~500 raw cost, so I will be on a certain level of confidence. These add up to about $700~$900.

Microsoft also indicate HoloLens will be priced for businesses and consumers. Also a key piece of information, from multiple people in Microsoft publicly, “HoloLens is a platform, is the next PC”. What I get from these two pieces of information is: it has to be priced low enough for mass adoption. $800 is certainly not a lot of money considering what it promises, and it is a PC for itself.

All above being said, this is just an estimation, it can go as low as $500, and as high as a little over $1000. I can’t imagine beyond that.

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