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Microsoft: Hololens' visible area like 15" monitor 2ft away

By Dan Pearson

Microsoft: Hololens' visible area like 15" monitor 2ft away

Mon 18 Jan 2016 11:00am GMT / 6:00am EST / 3:00am PST
HardwareAugmented Reality

First official details of Hololens spec reveal wireless approach, 5.5 hour battery life

Microsoft tech evangelist Bruce Harris has spoken at an event Tel Aviv, revealing some brand new concrete specifications for Hololens, Microsoft's ambitious augmented reality headset.

In his presentation, attended by, Harris explained that the Hololens will be completely wireless, with no wired option due to be made available to consumers. That means that the headset will have a maximum battery life of around 5.5 hours, which is likely to translate to 2.5 hours under heavy use. Harris also explained that any device which can connect to wireless or Bluetooth will be able to 'see' the HMD and any app which can operate in a Windows 10 environment will operate natively on the device out of the box.

The visible display area of the device, already a subject of some debate was likened by Harris as being approximate to a "15 inch monitor around two feet away." This size was chosen partly to preserve battery life, he said. However, once the manufacturing of the device reaches a scale at which it becomes appropriate and cost effective, Harris says that area could well expand.

Dev kits for the Hololens are due to ship this quarter and will cost around $3000.

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Jordan Lund Columnist

131 276 2.1
Popular Comment
A 15" monitor, 2 feet away means that promotional images like this one:

Have no basis in reality. People are going to go in expecting a room filling experience like this:

That is not a 15" monitor from a distance of 2 feet.

Posted:9 months ago


Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing

790 532 0.7
The same can be said for the people who are expecting to play COD Ghosts 2 in full bore VR on PS4

That's the reason why They're starting this technology out in the commercial sector. So they can expand the field of view in time for a consumer launch

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jeff Kleist on 19th January 2016 3:36pm

Posted:9 months ago


Jonatan Crafoord Neuron, That Brain

35 64 1.8
I think it is worth keeping in mind that while a 15 inch monitor is small, it doesn't move around and display new content when you turn your head. The area is probably adequate for working with whatever you're currently focusing on. But yeah, it would be nice to also see things in the periphery, and to be able to look around using your eyes and not just your whole head.

Posted:9 months ago


Corey Skiffington Programmer/Scripter

7 3 0.4
It's still a little small..equivalent to an average work computer screen would mean using it in tandem with one would be practical.. So 22" from 1ft away is really the minimum practical size to have enough FOV to use it for working on a virtual display. That would be the point I could justify an outlay of $500 for one, $3000 is Fanatasy Land (intentional misspelling, a fanatics fantasy land) Even if the commercial version is half that, it's not justifiable. It'd be cheaper to set up multiple pica projectors and put the images on the wall then get one at the moment and justifying it's purchase in the workplace to someone who hasn't actually used one is just not going to fly.

Posted:9 months ago


Fazi Zsolt Game & Level Designer @Atypical Games

38 19 0.5
15" from 2 feet away ? What happened to that promising demo, where they showed minecraft filling almost an entire room ? Where will the personal sense of interaction be ? It may still be fun, but it could feel distant, out of touch and cold, no matter of the color palette used.
I don't think it will sell that well, we might be looking at another microsoft surface scenario.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Fazi Zsolt on 20th January 2016 12:42pm

Posted:9 months ago


John Owens CEO, Wee Man Studios Ltd

1,037 1,355 1.3
I would imagine it would be very uncomfortable for your eyes to have objects get clipped in and out as you move your head by some invisible barrier. Surely that will cause headaches the same way stereo 3d objects do when they get clipped when in front of the base plane.

Hopefully magic leap fulfills it's promises because I can't really see this tech taking off until then.

Posted:9 months ago


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