HoloLens for consumers in the plan
Microsoft’s (MSFT) acquisition of 3D systems developer Simplygon, as well as the suggestion that it could produce a consumer version of HoloLens, are among the recent developments regarding the AR (augmented reality) headset. Microsoft is currently selling a developer edition of HoloLens for $3,000.
If there are those who doubted Microsoft’s investment in HoloLens, given its perception as a futuristic product, the company is beginning to show that HoloLens could have viable economic value. HoloLens could also unlock massive growth opportunities for the company to replace its revenue loss in the PC market.
Microsoft made a fortune selling software that powered PCs sold by companies such as HP (HPQ) and Dell Technologies (DVMT). However, falling PC sales have rattled the company, forcing it to seek new growth opportunities. In addition to smartphones, tablets, and gaming consoles, Microsoft is also betting on HoloLens to drive its growth.
Microsoft (MSFT) reported its fiscal 2Q17 earnings on January 26, 2017, noting that its revenues rose 1.2% YoY (year-over-year) to $24.1 billion. Its adjusted EPS (earnings per share) came in at $0.83, an improvement from $0.78 in fiscal 2Q16.
Increasing the appeal of HoloLens
With Simplygon’s technology, Microsoft would make HoloLens more attractive for game developers and increase its appeal as a consumer device, thus widening its market potential. Game developers such as Activision Blizzard (ATVI) and Nintendo already use Simplygon’s technology to create games rich in 3D graphics.
Taking the road less traveled
While companies like Facebook (FB) and Sony (SNE) have largely focused on VR (virtual reality) systems, Microsoft has taken the less-traveled path of AR, whose market potential remains unclear for many.