How Microsoft can drop the ball on AR if they aren’t careful

Ars Technica had a great post last week about how Microsoft once lead the pack in augmented reality (AR), but are now in great danger of falling behind Apple and Google in the next few months.

The key points

  • Microsoft announced the HoloLens in 2015 to much fanfare from tech journalists.
  • HoloLens was their entry into the Augmented Reality market.
  • They announced the developers version for huge bucks, noting that the consumer product wouldn’t be ready till 2018 at the earliest.
  • Apple will release their version of (AR) with the ARKit, which comes bundled with iOS 11. It is due out at the end of this month and will make every modern iPhone or iPad around the world an AR device with just one single software update.
  • Google have also announced their solution (called ARCore) which is more advanced than Apple’s, with not nearly as much reach.
  • Microsoft has a huge hill to climb to get their product out into the hands of consumers, and Apple/Google just need to work on the software.

My take on things

I believe while Apple and Google will push forward the important consumer acceptance of AR, Microsoft still brings an important piece to the table.

And that piece will be accepted use in commercial and industrial use.

A dedicated headset will prove really important for the practical use of AR, as we have only seen proof of concepts so far. Microsoft are much better suited to deliver a commercial type of product to market.

One major issue will be their hardware.

While HoloLens is a proof of concept at this point, Microsoft may not get the hardware sorted in time, but other manufacturers may help them out. An excellent developer program is essential, and Google and Apple already have a strong pedigree when it comes to this area.

What do you need to do about it?

Unless you are currently developing for iOS, Android or HoloLens, nothing really.

All late model iPhones and iPads will have iOS in their hot little hands soon enough, and you can test the merits of this new technology for yourself.

Will it fit into your industry? Why not speak to your digital consultant about how it may work with your company and industry.

Where can you read more?

You can find out about HoloLens right here.

You can see arkit in action here.

You can read about ARCore here.

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