Microsoft's HoloLens is still a work in progress. The company said that the augmented reality headset is on a five-year journey and will be initially released to developers before it becomes available to enterprises and businesses.
Microsoft demoed the device in April during the Build conference and also in June at the E3. People who were lucky enough to try it gave rave reviews, but it will take some time before they can finally order their own headset online.
A lot of work is needed on the current version of the headset, design-wise and software-wise. It has been described as bulky, inefficient and uncomfortable to wear. Apart from seeing the need to improve the headset's look and feel, Microsoft is also aware of the required software to make its augmented reality headset a successful venture. The company sees the support of third-party developers as a crucial factor for the group to reach its future goals.
"We will have developer versions of it first, and then it will be more commercial use cases and then it will evolve," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said. "This is a five-year journey. We are looking forward to getting a V1 out, which is more around developers and enterprises, and you know it's in the Windows 10 time frame, which means that it is within the next year."
Microsoft touts the HoloLens as "the first fully untethered, see-through holographic computer. It enables high-definition holograms to come to life in your world, seamlessly integrating with your physical places, spaces and things. We call this experience mixed reality. Holograms mixed with your real world will unlock all-new ways to create, communicate, work and play."
In the demos, Microsoft showed how its augmented reality headset can be used for everything, from health care to architecture, video games and video conferencing. However, the company seems to be pushing more its enterprise value instead of turning it into a major gaming product for consumers.
"I want us to push a lot more of the enterprise usage," added Nadella. "In general, Microsoft's approach will be always this dual-use focus, or this multi-focus. What we can uniquely do is bridge consumer to enterprise. That's in our DNA."