Microsoft will roll out its hololens augmented reality headset to developers in 2016, with a commercial release planned later.
Speaking to the BBC Nadella said: “We’re looking forward to getting the V1 out, which is more around developers and enterprises in the Windows 10 time frame,” he added. “Which means it is within the next year.”
Nadella stressed that he is looking to the longer term for the device with a five year window planned before it is fully consumer ready.
In the meantime Microsoft is prioritising enterprise uses for business and industry including a tie-up with NASA to enable scientists to remotely view imagery sent back from the surface of Mars.
James McQuivey of Forrester Research said Microsoft’s futuristic holographic device could be as game changing for human computer interaction as the introduction of the mouse in the 1990s.
“If successful, HoloLens will ultimately expand the way people interact with machines just as the mouse-based interface did in the 1990s, and touch interfaces did after the introduction of the iPhone in 2007,” McQuivey said.
“HoloLens will expand the way brands interact with consumers forever more, working its way through industry after industry much the way Web and mobile experiences did before it.”
McQuivey predicts that there will be ‘millions of people likely to buy HoloLens by the end of 2016’, despite the cost, with so-called mixed reality computing becoming all the rage by 2020 as tech giants Google, Microsoft and Apple vie for supremacy.
Watch this demo of Hololens in action at E3 2015 earlier this year: