June 27, 2017

HoloLens FOV – What’s Next

 

hol1

 

I want to continue the conversation about HoloLens FOV. For reference, please see the previous ones:

HoloLens – The Matter of FOV

Analyzing HoloLens Field of View (FOV)

It’s debatable whether there is a real problem yet. Because many things are still some what secretive, we don’t have clear understanding of what happened and what will happen. From certain sources, however, I understand something needs to be done before the product release.

From Brett Howse of AnandTech,

The holograms themselves were very good, but they were so limited in scope that I can only hope that some work can be done there before the device goes for sale.

From Paul Thurrott,

What this means is that you have to move your head around a lot. Holographic objects that were not dead center with the prototype in January were visible. But with the final hardware, you can’t see anything that is not right in the middle of your field of vision. It’s … constraining. It’s also disappointing, given how much better it was previously.

Since experiencing this, I polled everyone I could who had also used the HoloLens. Without any prodding towards a pre-defined answer, I tried to determine if my experience was common to theirs. And it was. 100 percent.

So this is a problem, and I’m guessing that Microsoft will get enough feedback about this issue that they will address it.

(I am not trying to fill this post by quoting so much of Paul, trust me.)

From Daniel Rubino of WindowsCentral,

The lack of holograms in your peripheral vision is just an odd experience. Someone told me it is similar to wearing transition lenses, which also have a similar, limiting effect.

AnanTech is where I read about technology for many years, they speak technology honestly and reliably. Paul Thurrott is long time Microsot watcher, he doesn’t just watch of course. Daniel Rubino, as I meantioned in the one of previous post, a reputable writer about Microsoft. Rest of the tech press has been mostly praise for HoloLens. It’s not a surprise since, regardless of FOV, HoloLens is still amazing technology, and magically unchallengeable. However, if the three I quoted say something like that, I believe there is a problem.

The general consensus is they should fixed it before release.

Now, lets get this straight, apart from the FOV concerns, everything else is looking great, from the image quality, hologram merging with real objects, sound, mic, weight, size, comfortable level to design and build. I don’t hear much about battery life, but if they allow a 4 hour session with developers in Holographic Academy, I can safely guess it must last 4 hours and up. That sounds good to me.

What makes them say: “it has be fixed before release,” my understanding, is two fold: 1. One single thing drags a remarkable technology from perfection is really unfortunate. 2. We all know what it can do last time, so we all expect no less than that. False expectation or not, they (Microsoft) clearly know this before hand.

First question, why are they doing this? Two possible answers: A mistake for lifting the expectation too high; or there are two versions planned out from the start. Look, they are not going to give this one to NASA, right? Do you think? As a matter of fact they have been working with NASA for over a year now, hard to believe they are working on the laptop prototype all the time.  I have good faith, they may have another version that is on a more powerful CPU but costs more. The current one is consumer oriented, they want to bring out to test reactions. Unless something went really wrong.

Second question, what do they end up to do? I don’t think this is an accident, because they didn’t just work things out from January to now. I also don’t think they are rushing to the market, because there is no real challenger any time soon. I do think there is a limitation in computing power in relation to a price point. I have always believed that FOV is very much tied to CPU, unlike VR, which has a real screen, needs more from GPU. So, regardless what the experts say, they will consider this a pass, unless there is really a easy fix, which I doubt.

If this is the only one at release, I think there is a real problem. I am quite confident it won’t be. But regardless, this one is better not to be released before FOV is fixed, even though that means a delay. 

 

 

 

  • Lukas

    Hey! First, nice article… From that you wrote, most of the people today wrote, it seems that we are expecting one ultimate device do fit all our expectations. Jillions of people, jillions expectations. I would like to see at least 3 versions of this device. Low end: Priced around 500 bucks for kids to play Minecraft, cheap so you don’t mind to much if they break it, kids always break things! :) Middle end: Version presented on Build 2015 for everyday use, priced around 1000 bucks, price that you pay for good old fashioned stationary PC or middle-high end ultra book today. Flagship device, will all eye candy, wide FOV, price around 2000 bucks, i5, i7 CPU included, aimed also for enterprise and people with enough money in their pockets. :) But, that would just be me. How I would do it. :)

    • Sean Leith

      I agree entirely. I am afraid an i5, i7 version is or will be somewhere in the line. Also, even a wired version would be good for office applications. At the end, HoloLens is not really a mobile device at this moment. It’s fine with an USB cable, at least as an option.