Latest Version Of Microsoft HoloLens Gets Mixed Reviews

The HoloLens is definitely a technological breakthrough, but is it worth $3,000 right now?

I have a chance to purchase Microsoft’s HoloLens. I am in “Wave 1,” which means I have not only received my invitation, but will be able to buy in sooner than most people. I don’t have $3,000 to spend on the HoloLens, but a friend of mine is willing to pay $1,500 for it, as long as he gets it on the weekends so he could develop apps for it.

While the HoloLens looks tempting, I’m not so sure it is worth $3,000 or even $1500 for part-time custody. Many believe that augmented reality certainly has potential, but the HoloLens just isn’t “there” yet. Of course, Microsoft agrees and that’s why what they are releasing it as a beta version aimed towards developers.

The main issue is still the FOV (field of view) and it hasn’t improved from one year ago. Many say that although the hologram graphics look real through the glasses, they only show up in a limited space in front of your eyes. You may be able to hear a holographic dog bark all the way to the left, but you won’t be able to see it unless you turn your head and place it in the center of your vision. This sounds frustrating and is even more so because otherwise, the HoloLens appears to be an excellent product.

Microsoft's HoloLens offers endless possibilities, but within a very narrow field of view.

The HoloLens is either a magical product or it is a Beta product in need of a boost — at least that’s the impression you get from reading the latest reviews. The Open Light Group blog points out the good and bad after using the HoloLens for 24 hours.

The positives: The device is polished, even though it’s an early version; the limited field of view isn’t a deal breaker (others disagree). The negatives: The HoloLens is too heavy and the battery life is dismal.

One has to remember that the HoloLens itself is a Windows 10 computer, unlike devices such as the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, which are devices to be used on a Windows 10 computer (although very powerful ones). The fact that the HoloLens battery even lasts up to three hours is pretty impressive when you take everything into consideration. However, it will take a lot more to convince people, even developers, that $3,000 isn’t a ridiculous amount of cash to be able to try Microsoft’s new technology early on.


About Daryl

Daryl Deino has been a technology enthusiast since 1995 and has written for several newspapers and technology sites. Please reach him at [email protected].
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