Here are some initial reactions after just receiving & setting up the MS Hololens.

Cons:

  • Heavy, though you get used to it pretty quickly
  • Narrow field of view
  • Bad chromatic aberrations (difficult to wear this while expecting to do real world work – i’m typing this while wearing it & seeing all kinds of visual artifacts on the “real display”)
  • Very limited set of gestures (though the multi-modal UI support is nice: air-tap, say Select or click button)
  • Fatiguing to have to keep your hand raised to be in the field of view for it to recognize gestures
  • I’ve already experienced some bugs with the menu system & it getting stuck requiring a reboot.

Pros:

  • Pretty good job at providing other cues to compensate for narrow field of view
  • Works well with glasses still on though must be placed correctly on head to avoid nasal bridge discomfort
  • “Holographic” interior design is very fun (ie photo gallery over my desk, browser next to display, octopus on my desk, monkey eating pizza next to it, shark & astronaut out the window, etc.)
  • Tracking works very well (the game where robots crawl around your house & you shoot them is fun)
  • Projection mapping onto real world surfaces works pretty well (though obviously gets confused around windows)
  • Spatialized audio is pretty decent (especially when playing back videos recorded on the Hololens indicating the mic array is good)
  • It’s fantastic to be untethered from a computer/phone

Overall, this is a huge leap forward in consumer AR. Obviously much more immersive than phone/tablet AR, though the narrow field of view is much worse than other professional AR displays. The onboard computing power seems pretty decent. It’s easy to imagine this having a huge impact on society. Though at $3K it obviously won’t be that ubiquitous for a while.

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