Apple, Facebook and Snap racing to develop “augmented reality” glasses

Silicon Valley is convinced that the next era of computing will be worn on people’s faces, with Apple, Facebook and Snap racing to develop “augmented reality” glasses that are as small and light as an ordinary pair of sunglasses, but able to project digital images on to the real world. Those efforts remain locked inside R&D labs, and could still be years away from release. But Microsoft is proving an unlikely pioneer with its “mixed reality” HoloLens headset, the latest version of which it unveiled at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona yesterday. Instead of aiming for mass-market consumers, Microsoft is doubling down on corporate and commercial customers with the latest version of the headset… After Windows was outflanked by Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android in smartphones, Microsoft is determined to get ahead in what comes next… The first version of HoloLens, which has sold for upwards of $3,000 since it began shipping in 2016, was hailed as a breakthrough for conjuring “holograms” that could be positioned precisely on to real-world objects… In contrast to virtual reality headsets, such as Facebook’s Oculus Rift or Sony’s PlayStation VR, which enclose wearers entirely in a virtual world, HoloLens combines the physical and the digital through its transparent visor.
Tim Bradshaw