Saturday, February 14, 2015

What’s the right go-to-market strategy for Augmented reality?

A couple of years ago, it appeared that Google glass would herald the dawn of augmented reality. It fizzled out with as little notice as the fanfare with which it launched. Recently Microsoft launched their version called HoloLens:

Google Glass delivered augmented reality via a small screen that superimposed images and data on whatever it was that the user was viewing. HoloLens promises a more immersive experience where the user’s entire field of view is an augmented reality driven experience. What is the right go-to-market strategy?

Google’s product lends itself to quick data look-ups superimposed on the viewed object. And Microsoft’s focuses on immersive game-like experience or complex workflows (3D computer aided design for example). At least in this interpretation each company, Google or Microsoft, has created products that advance their respective core competencies. At the risk of over-simplifying, these two offerings may be viewed as being on a spectrum of casual use-cases to heavy-duty use-cases. This type of spectrum is seen in the gaming segment where casual gaming acts as the counterbalance to traditional, immersive video games. If the gaming analogy is a blueprint for how augmented reality will “go to market”, Microsoft’s entry is a more classic play of going after the enthusiasts in the vertical (i.e. lead users and enterprise users). Once the technology catches up and the core applications and audience build out, augmented reality may have a shot at wider adoption, which in turn would lead to an entire industry complete with developers and advertisers.

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