Microsoft’s crazy new holographic computer blew everyone away — but there’s one big problem with it

Microsoft HoloLens MixedWorld RGB

Microsoft

Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality headset was the star of the company’s developer conference this week, but it sounds like there may be one important shortcoming with it. While HoloLens is impressive, the field-of-view is way too small, and doesn’t always live up to the experience Microsoft showcased in its demos, according to early impressions of the product.

Business Insider’s Matt Weinberger and Julie Bort played with the HoloLens on Thursday, and wrote that the HoloLens’ small field-of-view was disappointing: 

The field of view was the biggest disappointment.

The actual holograms are projected into a little box that hovers in front of your face, perhaps for computational reasons, because filling your entire line of sight with realistic, high-resolution holograms is just too much to ask of the little thing.

Here’s what Microsoft has shown in its demos:

microsoft hololens 3

Microsoft

Other technology journalists and analysts that have tried the headset had similar reactions. TechCrunch’s Frederic Lardinois said the HoloLens was “awesome,” but not as “immersive” as he expected.

The Verge’s Adi Robertson agrees:

And so does SlashGear’s Chris Davies:

Current Analysis analyst Avi Greengart described the small field of view as a limitation, but doesn’t seem to think it will really hold back the product:

Blogger Paul Thurrot thought the earlier prototype Microsoft showed in January was better than the more current version:

A few developers also pointed out the small field-of-view issue, but still seem to be excited about the HoloLens overall:

It’s important to keep in mind, though, that it’s still really early. This isn’t even the final iteration of the product. Microsoft is likely to make a ton of changes before the HoloLens is actually released to the public. In general, it also seems like msot people who tried the HoloLens liked it more than they disliked it. 

We expect to learn more about the HoloLens, the types of apps it will work with, and when it will be released over the coming months. 

We’ve reached out to Microsoft to ask if the current, limited field of view will be the same in the final product or if this is simply a limitation of the current prototype. We’ll update the story when we hear more. 

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