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Thursday, January 22, 2015


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Cube Republic

Smart phone technology has plateaued.


> Why do I need a new device to watch Netflix when I can watch it on my computer/tablet/phone?

Why'd you need a phone and then tablet after already having a computer? Convenience and form factor. So long as the augmented reality of the HoloLens has as high fidelity graphics and usability as the trailer shows (and most journalists I've read with hands-on experience are saying the quality really is that high; bright, saturated and opaque "holograms"), then a headset like HoloLens only moves further in the direction of better convenience and form factor.

If we can project Netflix on a wall instead of having a thousand dollar TV mounted on it, that's progress. If we can simultaneously have a Skype conversation going on without fighting with smartphones' notoriously bad multitasking, that's progress. If we can use augmented reality to follow a recipe and not be limited to getting flour on our phones and tablets, that's progress.

There's some quote about technology boons, particularly with interfaces, having to be indistinguishable from magic, like the original iPhone and touchscreens were when it debuted. So far, magic is a word a lot of journalists with hands-on experience with HoloLens are using that've gotten to do things like add Minecraft and Mars to their surroundings, or practical things like getting help fixing electrical outlet props.

In my opinion, whether or not HoloLens becomes a big success is dependent on just two things: 1. Does it actually work like videos of it says it works? Journalists are saying despite devkits being clunky, it does work as advertised. 2. How much will it cost?

The use cases I'm not worried about. They're all totally obvious. I totally would rather play Hearthstone on my coffee table instead of my iPhone. I would totally like to be able to attach some beacon thing to my keys and be able to find them in augmented reality. I think just like smartphones opened up a million possibilities I wouldn't have thought of until I had them, augmented reality via HoloLens will open up as many with a large ecosystem of apps and accessory tech.


The problem I see with technology like this and the comment made by the university student and the other post about the hololens, is that many people only look at it from their perspective and then declare it dead.

1: Unlike the google glasses, the video doesn't show people using this in the streets, in adventurous situations etc. I see the video as trying to demonstrate a piece of technology that will extend or replace the way we use modern day computers, be it for commercial uses, entertainment etc.

2: Comparing this to other augmented reality products, which in my opinion never managed to augment reality but instead added a layer on top of it, is like comparing apples and oranges.

3: I don't know if the product will succeed or not, but in my opinion it's innovative, it's thinking out of the box regarding on how we use computers and it’s trying to differentiate itself to other products and resolve the short comings of them, at least in some regards. Even if it fails, it will hopefully spark some new ideas and technologies and had apple not done this but just concluded that nokia failed with a smartphone and so shall we, then the world today would be a lot different.

4: It's been a while since I did my masters thesis, but had I made so many conclusions based on my own objectivity I would have surely failed.

5: Personally I can’t wait to get one and start creating consumer products with it, just as I couldn’t wait to get google glasses, the Kinect, or the Oculus. I find new technology like this fascinating, and think that the time we live in is amazing regarding the progress that is happening; personally I’d like to try and embrace it before I dismiss it.

Arcadia Codesmith

I don't get watching movies on a smartphone, but then, I never understood the appeal of an ant farm.

Imagin Illyar

I would want it just to surf the web & watch Netflix and other entertainment anywhere I want. I've never liked smart phone tiny screens for much.

Stroker Serpentine

An oven next to the TV! Now that's some tech I can use!

Cube Republic

I feel the problem with a lot of arguments here is they compare usage to current or old paradigms.

On a side note, I feel the goggle, mask & glasses thing won't be long lived. Within the next decade or so there will be technology available that projects visuals directly onto the retina and will be quite unobtrusive.

zz bottom

My personal experience, avoid using any small gadget to watch movies or play games.
It will, sooner or later, destroy your eyes.


one major problem with her argument about Google glass. First it's was a prototype, only marketed as beta to a limited audience. Yes anyone could buy them and the illusion was it was open to anyone, but Google knew what it was doing and at $1200 a pair, they served a useful beta role. Google has already put the head of Nest in charge of Google glass 2.0 and they always said the final consumer product would be about $200, not $1200. Google is definitely not in anything only for the short term gain. There is a method to the madness.

Google, oculus /Facebook and microsoft will all start more literally competing for eyeballs in the very near future. The only company conspicuously missing from the playing field is apple. Look for something soon. They hate to be left out. But in the end, all of these technologies will converge much the way the track ball and joystick turned into the mouse, then the two button mouse then three then scroll wheel and touch pads have turned into touch screens with gestures. It all homogenizes in the end.

Kitty Revolver

@Ta205 I never mentioned price being the issue. Google Glass didn't even sell as a limited audience release. Google might have something coming, but given the problems that Glass did with a broader market (price being only one part), Google will have to develop something that moves beyond the critique of Glass (see The Daily Show) and everyday augmented reality.

@Cubic How do we address issues of privacy if say a camera is integrated into the contact lens? With phones and glasses we can see who/what is recording us (theoretically at the very least), contact lens create the ultimate panopticon

@everyone else: Personally, I didn't watch Netflix on my phone when I had it, but why does Netflix then support apps for the phone? Netflix on the phone is designed to go where you go, if you want to use it. The phone is an everyday device, given what I have read further on about Hololens is that it is more appointment TV then an everyday wearable, so wearing these out is going to create the backlash that Google Glass wearers got. Also it will be interesting to see what type of appointments the Hololens will bring, gaming, home, work are the most obvious, but at home do you need a system that connects you even more, when theoretically your computer is in the next room. In the product demo, Mashable used a screen and mouse to orient the lens to, so you are somewhat stuck to a solid place. Interactive gaming is good and should provide some really interesting developments, but Oculus is designed specifically for gaming and that may hamper Hololens being a multi-system device.

Like I said above, VR is great, but user adoption lags behind until there is a real (marketed) need for contacts that project onto your retina. Cell phones found their entry point with business and then convinced regular people they need to be connected 24/7. It also helps that social media became big along side of the development of cell phones. Glasses and contacts are possible, but their application to everyday, everywhere uses haven't been properly found and/or marketed that a consumer feels like spending the money. When Google and Microsoft come out with ~$200 sets then maybe people will be ready to adopt these. (Yes cell phones can be more than $200, but 1) price reduces when one commits to a phone plan 2) they are phones/email/social media/etc.)

Roblem VR

talk about getting it wrong (this article)

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