Back in June, former Wall Street analyst Gene Munster said that the AR powered Apple Glasses, expected to be launched in 2020, will be bigger than the Apple iPhone. And that analysis is similar to forecasts made by HoloLens creator Alex Kipman, and Windows Insider Chief Dona Sarkar. Both agree with Munster that AR smartglasses could soon surpass smartphones as our main go-to technology.
Kipman, who created HoloLens, says that the smartphone is already dead and that people just don’t know it yet. The HoloLens uses a combination of real and virtual worlds to form Mixed Reality. The real world appears as the backdrop in AR (Augmented Reality) while the virtual world obviously appears in Virtual Reality images. According to Kipman, small smartphone and television screens will be replaced by wearable holographic devices like a smartglass screen.
Windows Insider Dona Sakar has similar feelings although she is seeing things from the smartphone side. Saying that she loves her Lumia 950 XL, she realizes that a smartphone is just one single category of a group that encompasses mobile devices. Like Kipman, Sakar sees Microsoft developing a screenless version of a smartphone that takes over for the handset.
“The potential of these devices is that they could one day replace your phones, TVs, and all these screens. Once your apps, videos, information, and even social life are projected into your line of sight, you won’t need any other screen-based gadgetry … [it’s] the “natural conclusion” of mixed reality.”-Alex Kipman, foiunder, HoloLens
Wouldn’t that be ironic, and possibly an amazing come from behind victory for Microsoft if the Surface Phone turns out to be such a product? There probably would be great reluctance to give up the smartphone, but that could be expected anytime that a huge technological change is imminent. And unlike smartphones, there doesn’t seem to be too many different ways to differentiate between the product.
“Let’s talk about what mobile means … people think about mobile as this thing that they carry around in their pocket … I love my 950 XL … but that is not the only mobile device on the planet. HoloLens is a mobile device … There are going to be new device categories in the future that are also going to be mobile devices. It will be about things you carry with you everywhere you go. And as humans it is actually very unnatural for us to stare at a screen … this has only been around for the last 10 years … it makes us antisocial, it makes us not behave the way humans do.”-Dona Sakar, chief, Windows Insider
Considering that Google Glass was pretty much a consumer failure and that the smartphone still rules the roost, this all seems like science fiction. But we’ve gone from featurephones to smartphones and are now moving toward AR based smartglasses. As said in the Titanic movie, “It’s a mathematical certainty.”