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Disappointing Demo Shows The Tiny View Of Microsoft’s Hololens

Microsoft’s most ambitious product in recent history, the Hololens augmented reality glasses have garnered early criticism for their narrow field of view. They’re said to put realistic holograms into your vision, but these holograms only appear through a tiny window which crops the 3-D illusion with a box.

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Now, UC Davis Researcher Oliver Kreylos has shown us just how limiting that estimated 30° x 17.5° Hololens field of view could be. (By comparison, he estimates the Oculus Rift to be about 100° x 100°). He set up this demo inside a CAVE VR environment, in which the wearer was able to interact with a series of objects with a full field of view, and then had to do the same task with it cropped to his estimated Hololens proportions. Know that even though it’s in third person, the view you see in this video is exactly what the user is seeing.

And what is the user seeing? A glimpse of the future that quickly devolves from wondrous to depressing. A giant, touchable globe is cut to a pizza wedge. A full-sized virtual person standing right in front of you is beheaded into a floating bust. A full gaming environment is shrunk to the size of a flashlight glow. Anything just a few feet in diameter that you’re standing close to is cropped, breaking the illusion of a real hologram floating in your environment.

As I’ve said in the past, it’s inevitable that Hololens’s field of view will grow larger over time. But Microsoft doesn’t have a superb track record with hardware adoption. (Have you even heard of their smartwatch?) While Microsoft is propelling us toward future where user interface floats all around us, it seems for now that they’re only giving us the slightest glimpse.

[via Prosthetic Knowledge]

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