This week ASUS CEO Jonney Shih has confirmed talks between ASUS and Microsoft on creating an ASUS HoloLens-like device. This headset would likely run Windows Holographic, the same system that Microsoft’s own HoloLens runs. As Microsoft’s goal, apparently, wasn’t just to create a device, but a whole new category of devices, it should follow that a manufacturer like ASUS would jump aboard eventually. The ASUS headset wouldn’t necessarily be called HoloLens – but it’d be very similar in implementation – it’d certainly be a headset, at least.
Shih and Microsofts executive vice president of Windows and devices Terry Myerson confirmed with CNET that they’d been speaking about an ASUS-made HoloLens device. It is not yet known whether ASUS would release a headset at the same time as Microsoft for consumers – at this time, the only HoloLens scheduled for release is the developer edition, coming early next year.
But remember the announcement of Windows Holographic. What better reason would there by for announcing the operating system separately than to hope for the spread of said OS to other devices? Microsoft may be a hardware company now, too, but they’re still deep in the Software sales business as well – they never left.
ASUS’ decision on creating their own headset with Microsoft’s software will be a big step in furthering consumer acceptance of this new category.
Oculus has their own headset – the Oculus Rift, made for virtual reality. There’s an HTC-made VR headset device called the VIVE, made in collaboration with Valve. There’s a Samsung smartphone-based VR headset called the Samsung Gear VR. Even Google has their own hand in this business – with the free-to-make VR headset Cardboard.
Is the headset the new product category? Could this category of consumer product be as popular as the smartphone some day?
Even if the virtual reality / augmented reality / holographic mixed-reality aspect of these headsets aren’t as popular as the smartphone, will they be as important to the way our society continues to evolve?