Two weeks ago, Google announced it would stop selling its Google Glass Explorer, which went off the market on January 19.
Google says the Explorer programme was just an ‘open beta’ to hear what people had to say about its optical head-mounted display while it was still in development.
“Glass was in its infancy, and you took those very first steps and taught us how to walk. Well, we still have some work to do, but now we’re ready to put on our big kid shoes and learn how to run.”
The news came shortly before Microsoft released a video of its new eyewear prototype, called the HoloLens, which boasts the ability to integrate real life with virtual life.
The HoloLens is a PC headset that runs on Windows 10 and creates high-definition holograms visible in the real world.
In Microsoft’s video, we are shown a range of possibilities, like a holographic television that can move from wall to wall depending on where you are. We’re also shown how design and engineering work can be made a million times easier with the ability to see everything in three-dimensional form.
“With the ability to design and shape holograms, you’ll have a new medium to express your creativity, a more efficient way to teach and learn, and a more effective way to visualise your work and share ideas.”
While HoloLens seems leaps and bounds ahead of Google Glass, the two are designed for different things. Google Glass is more like a smartphone – it can be used to check emails, send texts, use maps and watch the odd video, whereas Microsoft appears to be gearing the HoloLens to help users more efficiently when working, designing, learning and of course gaming.
That said, the two prototypes are sophisticated devices and both hold a lot of promise; it’ll be interesting keeping tabs on how they both develop.