August 19, 2019

HoloLens: Release Date (Updated)

This is the second in a series of HoloLens thoughts. This time talk about release

Again, just like the price, this is an educated guess. A guess I feel good about, and you should too. I draw lines based on information that is publicly available (even some that people don’t pay attention to). Those lines are apparently solid enough for me to share with you. So, here we go.

Microsoft had publicly said, HoloLens will be available in the Windows 10 time frame. What does that mean to us? Not a lot. As many have said, this means it could be ready for sale anytime during Windows 10’s life time. Theoretically, yes, in realty NO. The correct interpretation is “HoloLens will likely be on retail shelves at the time of Windows 10 release, which is then likely Aug. ~ Oct. 2015; or a little later, like Christmas, 2015″.

HoloLens Misconception – 3D

As most of us who pay attention to Microsoft’s development know, technologies around HoloLens had started in development at least 7 years ago. If at this point of time, Microsoft announce it and wait a year later to put it on the market, allow everyone to learn and steal the technology, that’s very unlikely for obvious reasons.  And further, I just can’t find a reason that they can hold the technology for 7 years, then they can’t hold it up a year more?

To put things together, I am confident this thing will be ready for sale on or before this holiday season. Just in case you are still wondering: this is still almost year between announcement and availability. The only explanation is they treat this as a platform not just a device. To get developers on board, they have to release the holographic APIs, emulators, and probably development devices to the developers in April. I am afraid we will get more information at BUILD in April.

HoloLens: Price Estimation

– Update: Wired  had already got the release time, which is “By the time Project HoloLens comes to market toward the end of this year…”. So, my guess was pretty good.

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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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