For those who’ve tried it, Microsoft’s HoloLens is dazzling and a transformative experience. But if there’s one downfall of the new technology it’s the field of view, and a Microsoft exec says it won’t be getting any better for the first-generation tech.
When we tried a rough prototype of the augmented reality technology in January the field of view where all the holographic action took place was about the size of a large phablet. By Build 2015 in May that field of view was pared down to about the size of a smartphone set a few inches in front of your eyes.
While dropping from a phablet to a smartphone doesn’t sound that huge, it’s definitely noticeable. Many reporters who tried on HoloLens during E3 this month found the device’s field of view disappointing. As our Hayden Dingman put it, HoloLens is like “peering at the world through the slit of a welding mask.”
Microsoft’s HoloLens head says that issue probably won’t improve any time soon. “The field of view isn’t exactly final,” corporate vice president Kuko Tsunoda said during an interview with Giant Bomb. “But I wouldn’t say it’s going to be hugely, noticeably different either.”
Earlier, Tsunoda remarked that HoloLens may never get to a point where you get full peripheral vision, which you also don’t get in virtual reality headsets such as Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
Why this matters: Enlarging HoloLens’ field of view in later iterations, if not this one, would solve a major drawback. As we reported on Thursday, such a small field of view means you have to constantly move your head up and down to take in the entire scene you’re looking at. HoloLens also abruptly cuts off when an image extends beyond your field of view giving a screen-like feel and not an augmented reality overlay. A limited viewing window may be workable for productivity uses, but it becomes problematic for gaming and other intensely visual applications such as architecture or product design.
[via The Verge]