Menu
Microsoft finally gets real about HoloLens's field of view

Microsoft finally gets real about HoloLens's field of view

New video shows what it's really like to use the new hardware, clipping and all

A Microsoft promotional video still that shows the HoloLens's field of view limitations

A Microsoft promotional video still that shows the HoloLens's field of view limitations

The early reception for Microsoft's HoloLens augmented reality headgear has been cautiously optimistic, save for one persistent bugbear: the device's field of view. Up until Wednesday, Microsoft hadn't shown that limitation in its promotional videos, but new footage demonstrates what it's like to look through a HoloLens.

In addition to the usual, massive holograms that appear to fill a room, the video shows several renderings of what it's like to look through the HoloLens hardware itself. As the camera pans up and down over models of a human heart and human bones, bits of the holograms are clipped off at the edges of a centered frame that represents the HoloLens's field of view.

The unaugmented space around that frame represents what someone would see in their peripheral vision while wearing the device.

That squares with my experience testing the HoloLens: Microsoft's early demos focused on showing large holograms, but device users often don't get to see the entire picture all at once. At times, the limitation can be profoundly annoying, but in other instances it is hardly noticeable, especially when users are far enough away from a holographic object that it fits inside the HoloLens's viewing window.

After my demo at Microsoft's Build conference in April, HoloLens frontman Alex Kipman said that the field of view limitation was imposed in part so that users could continue to use their peripheral vision without having to see through the holograms displayed by the hardware.

That explanation felt like something of a cop-out, but there are some benefits to still being able to see beyond the space covered by the HoloLens's ... lenses. Namely, it's possible to look around the displayed images at someone who's trying to talk to you.

The news comes a couple days after the company announced it was offering a total of US$500,000 in grants along with HoloLens hardware to researchers who have plans to explore how the device can be put to use.

In addition, Microsoft recently announced a partnership with NASA to develop new software for the device that would provide augmented reality instructions to astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

ISS crew members were supposed to receive a pair of HoloLens units for testing with a set of supplies launched a week and a half ago, but those were lost along with the other cargo inside the SpaceX-built Dragon capsule after the Falcon 9 rocket propelling it away from earth exploded shortly after launch.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags peripheralsMicrosoft

Slideshows

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Reseller News looks back on a tumultuous 12 months for the New Zealand channel, assessing the fallout from a year of sizeable industry change. Whether it be local or global mergers and acquisitions, distribution deals or job changes, the channel that started the year differs somewhat to the one set to finish it - Reseller News assesses the key moments that made 2016.​

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016
​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

Hewlett Packard Enterprise honoured its top performing Kiwi partners at the second running of its HPE Partner Awards in New Zealand, held at a glitzy ceremony in Auckland. Recognising excellence across eight categories - from distributors to resellers - the tech giant celebrated its first year as a standalone company, following its official split from HP in 2015.

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel
Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix recently took to the seas for a Christmas Cruise around Sydney Harbour with its Australia and New Zealand staff, customers and partners to celebrate a stellar year for the vendor. With the sun out, they were all smiles and mingled over drinks and food.

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise
Show Comments