There is no doubt that Microsoft has generated a lot of excitement in the past year about their HoloLens product.
In 2016, developers outside of Microsoft will pay $3,000 for the opportunity to develop applications for the device and currently Microsoft is asking the community for their ideas for a HoloLens app and one of them will be built by the company in 2016.
There are now a couple of HoloLens devices in orbit onboard the International Space Station that astronauts will use to work with engineers on the ground as they conduct sciences and upkeep of the orbiting outpost.
While the possibilities with HoloLens are exciting there has been a lot of discussion around one specific physical limitation on the device - the users Field of View (FOV).
During BUILD 2015 in San Francisco earlier this year the tech press had the chance to check out HoloLens first hand and get a feel for the possibilities it introduces as a new technology.
From my own personal perspective of doing this BUILD demo it is something that needs to be experienced to really get a solid understanding of its capabilities and limitations. In fact, during those days at BUILD a significant amount of time was spent around the FOV aspect of the device.
Every on stage demo of HoloLens in this past year has always shown the holograms on stage using a special camera that shows the entire environment. It also gets great cheers and enthusiasm from the crowd because it is very cool to see the user interacting with those holograms.
However, each one of those demos which use that special camera fail to show what the user is seeing through HoloLens. I have always said the demo should include a Picture in Picture with the users perspective.
Well, yesterday over on Microsoft's Channel 9 site just over 6 minutes of HoloLens B-roll footage was published for public viewing. Note: There is no audio present in large portions of this video since it is intended to be used in news stories and have a voice over.
That video is the first I have seen that really tries to give a true perspective of the FOV from the users perspective. I have grabbed a couple of images from it to show what I mean.
As you can see the area that is clear in the middle of this image is the users FOV through HoloLens. Having tested the device myself I can attest that this is fairly accurate for the experience. By moving your head you can easily look around the environment at other elements of the holographic scene.
There are several other areas in the video that demonstrate the same thing.
HoloLens is a great piece of technology and as an augmented reality device it is going to prove very useful in so many usage scenarios. It is important that expectations be managed and one of those is the actual FOV for the device and not the full scene image we have seen in live demos.
It is very likely that this simple video was not put together for this purpose but it does a good job of it.