For some time it’s been unclear whether Microsoft will “pull an Apple” with the HoloLens and be the only manufacturer or if they’ll continue with tradition and organize with their partners. On June 1, 2016, Microsoft’s Terry Myers announced they are opening up the Windows Holographic Platform to partners in an effort to usher in a new era of Mixed Reality Computing.
Windows 10 will be the ONLY Mixed Reality Computing Platform bringing together an ecosystem of both Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies. With Windows 10 these different devices will be able to communicate together to create this new era of Mixed Reality Computing. This will be an ear akin to the first personal computers; to the first laptops; to the shift towards smartphones and mobile.
The era of Mixed Reality is coming, and it is going to change our world!
The virtual reality market is expected to expand to around 80 million devices by 2020. This is tremendous growth! Especially if you compare VR to the Xbox 360 which has sold a total of 84 million units in more than twice the amount of time. Overall the growth of Mixed Reality Devices is expected to be huge, fast, and expected to reach a similar market penetration as smartphones have today. The prediction is that everyone will have some kind of Mixed Reality Device they use every single day. The era of Mixed Reality is coming, and it is going to change our world!
Here’s a short video from Microsoft that gives us a glimpse into Microsoft’s vision of life with Mixed Reality Computing:
With this announcement, Microsoft is saying that Windows Holographic is coming to devices of all sizes, shapes, and form factors from fully immersive VR (tethered) headsets as well as completely untethered Augmented Reality (AR) Holographic devices such as the Microsoft HoloLens.
Microsoft will be working with Partners such as Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, HTC, Acer, ASUS, CyberPowerPC, Dell, Falcon Northwest, HP, iBuyPower, Lenovo, MSI, and many others to create and support great VR experiences on the Windows 10 Holographic Platform.
In March 2016 Microsoft started shipping the first Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition hardware. They have shown it’s usage with some pretty cool demos from NASA and kitchen design, all the way to gaming with a holographic version of Minecraft. What we’ve seen is only the tip of the iceberg.
There is plenty more amazing ways that the Mixed Reality Computing Platform and Windows Holographic can transform the way we interact with computers throughout our daily lives. Now that the ecosystem is open to partners through Microsoft’s invitation, we will certainly see some truly amazing advances and use cases coming within the next couple of years.
We all would love to hear more news on this, and Microsoft is planning to give us more details at WinHEC later this fall.
Additionally, if you have one of the Microsoft HoloLens Development Editions, what are you building with it today? Please lave a comment on this post, I would love to hear what people are doing with Windows Holographic today!