June 25, 2017

Realizing HoloLens Field of View (FOV)

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My posts about FOV are not done. I still have at least two more, this is one of the two. Why? Because people care, and because I have something to say. For reference, please check out my other posts:

Lets get right to it. As mentioned before, I was convinced the HoloLens’ FOV has become a problem, and Microsoft should do anything possible to fix that before the product goes to the market. In the meantime, I suspect that the limitations that constrain the FOV may not have an easy fix. I mean there are clearly ways to extend the FOV, but trade offs may make it not worth while. The likely scenario is: It will get fixed to some extent, but not restoring to its January level.

Realizing it is an issue, I do feel it is over-blown in the media. It’s disappointing only because we know what it could do three month before. If out of nowhere, someone showed you a device like this, everyone would still be blown away. It’s still undeniably magical. Like what they said, the thing exists itself is no short of a miracle.

So, what if there is no major fix? What if the product is release as is now? What kind of experience can we get?

First, we need to understand, FOV is not the only factor. Distance play a big role in regard how much you can see. If you imagine you are looking at the holograms anywhere beyond 10 feet, that wouldn’t be a problem. I believe most game setups are not close to the player, unless you have to kick something by feet, or grab something by hands, that figure better be small. If you are in a virtual concert, you expect the holo-people all around you, that wouldn’t be possible. The Mars exploration scene wouldn’t be possible, because when you step on the hologram, part of it would be gone.  If you pin holograms all over on the wall, you won’t see them all at once until you step 15 feet away. Minecraft would be hard too.

But many other things are still fine. The Skype plumbing would work as intended. AutoCAD on a desktop while a hologram 3D model beside you will still good. If you use HoloLens as a HD TV, it will still work perfectly. You don’t watch HDTV 5 feet from your eyes, right? Trimble construction example will still be realized well. The medical professor can still show human anatomy in 3D hologram in class, just don’t sit in the front row. Most of the holo-ideas will work as expected. Virtually anything that is fine with a distance would still not be affected that much.

But we are not satisfied with that, we want to see more. In my next post, I will show you what can be done to achieve that.