04 July 2022
Microsoft is a well-known name in augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) spaces, thanks to the HoloLens lineup of headsets. It unveiled the HoloLens 2 at MWC 2019 and followed it up with the Developer Editon a few months later. If you were waiting for the company to announce a new version, a new Business Insider reveals it is not happening.
The report cites insider sources to claim that Microsoft has scrapped plans to develop and release HoloLens 3. It happened during the summer of 2021 and is also possible that we may never see new HoloLens-branded hardware. This is because the company does not have a clear vision for its augmented reality efforts. There are different camps among members of the team with many of them even jumping the ship to join rivals like Meta.
The company was awarded a government contract where it had to develop an Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) for the U.S. Army. The system is based on the HoloLens technology and a portion of the team believes they should focus on acquiring similar hardware innovation projects. There is another group of team members who want to build HoloLens devices and tech for general consumers like Meta is hoping to do with metaverse.
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, is reported to have goals of developing metaverse software for hardware released by other players instead of making hardware themselves. This is the reason Microsoft even signed a deal with Samsung where it wanted to handle the software while the South Korean giant build the hardware. To sum up, the company has no clear goal or vision about what it wants to do in the metaverse and AR/MR space.