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Field of view limitations

johnHenryjohnHenry
edited March 2016 in Discussion

I've read numerous articles by journalists stating everything about the hands on with Hololens so far is fantastic, but with one glaringly universal complaint-the restrictive field of view. I can't convey properly or with enough accuracy my support for Hololens, and augmented reality as a whole. The only place I feel that this new technology suffers, is in it's suspected constrained field of view. I do not have hands on, but if what I've read is true, the implications are huge for this downfall. Reiterating what I've read, users have found it to be alarmingly jarring, and the exact opposite of what the technology is suppose to create, an immersive experience. So far almost all articles I've read have the same basic criticism, the restrictive field of view almost immediately terminates the pleasure of the experience, so much so users find it off putting and distracting. I myself worry that if the field of view doesn't change, it could be another glaring mistake on the part of Microsoft in the category of things they should have known to fix, or ideologies they shouldn't have attempted to force on consumers in the first place (remember restrictive DRM on Xbox One). As an example, the failed Xbox One launch is still being felt to this day, due to poor ideas the community did not want, and a deaf ear by Microsoft. I urge you, Microsoft, to look deeply into the field of view issue, and reconsider expanding and changing the technology to allow users to experience augmented reality, rather than a superimposed graphical window atop of reality. If anything will hinder the success of this product, it will be this issue, more so than even the limited battery life. Consider a priced tier, as there are multiple screen sizes for laptops, and tablets, maybe this would be possible for the Hololens as well. I suspect the short battery life will be that much more affected by a larger FoV, and fear this to be the culprit more than price points and technological capabilities. When you have products with similar launch windows as Hololens, such as the Meta2 sporting a huge FoV, actual footage of the product, and a price point for their dev units at 1/3 the price of a Hololens, it becomes harder and harder to be a supporter of Microsoft technologies. As excited as I am, the FoV may very well be the one determining factor that prevents me from purchasing a dev unit, and possibly a final release version as well.

Please consider fixing this glaring issue. So far non-comments and turning a back on the problem are not the proper solution, this needs to be addressed.

Thanks for understanding,

A concerned developer.

A hot dog with a pickax beating on my ear drum coming down the Congo line...

Tagged:

Best Answer

  • Accepted Answer

    they hit our kipman after a great Ted talk instantly with a FoV question. first words out of the lady's mouth.

    he was obviously irritated but answered it well. 'it's like showing you holograms for the first time and you asking me "how big is your TV set"'

    I remember Seattle airport a good twenty years or more ago and a holographic game they had. it was a fish bowl you peered into, and a little 3D adventure game in it.

    thought nothing of it but cool at the time but it's burned in memory as prophecy.

    we might get impact like such from Hololens.

    the ability to seed vision and dream in those that will grow is worth 3k dollars and our time.

    ...notice me senpais...

«1

Answers

  • Even though the FOV concern is valid, you can't compare the price or functionality of Meta2 with Hololens. Microsoft focused more on untethered, full wearable computer, that you can one day take outside as well. Meta2 is just the I/O - you have to drag a PC attached to a huge umbilical cord. So you are kind of comparing Surface Pro's 12 inch screen to a stand alone HP Monitor 24 inch.
    I am sure Microsoft is looking at how they can increase the FOV to provide optimal experience for their target use cases. They should definitely look into the pros/cons of Meta2 display technology compared to HoloLens's.

    Healthcare IT professional by day - Indie GameDev for UWP and mobile platforms by night

  • @DanglingNeuron said:
    Even though the FOV concern is valid, you can't compare the price or functionality of Meta2 with Hololens. Microsoft focused more on untethered, full wearable computer, that you can one day take outside as well. Meta2 is just the I/O - you have to drag a PC attached to a huge umbilical cord. So you are kind of comparing Surface Pro's 12 inch screen to a stand alone HP Monitor 24 inch.
    I am sure Microsoft is looking at how they can increase the FOV to provide optimal experience for their target use cases. They should definitely look into the pros/cons of Meta2 display technology compared to HoloLens's.

    You do realize you're comparing the processing abilities of two devices, along with their level of portability as an argument to make the case of a limited FoV somehow being more favorable, right? You're also conveying to me, the potential uses of Hololens technology in the future, in a means to pacify the present concerns about issues that currently exist in regards to a restrictive and disrupting experience. I also think you failed to process the point I was making. The point of my argument is not to compare the two technologies in a means to tout one over the over, there is no fanboyism here. The only point being conveyed is that one can be perceived as more favorable, whatever the reason may be for the discrepancy, it's moot in the eyes of people who desire a favorable FoV over un-tethered technology. It's worth mentioning that with a 2.5 hour battery life, you will also spend a large portion of your time tethered with the Hololens due to unfavorable battery life. The display technologies have little to do directly with on-board, or non integrated computing power, they are impertinent points you've made, which have indirect correlations. I think what you're trying to say is, you'll accept a smaller FoV in favor of portability, and what I'm saying is I'm not. What I am saying is there will be a large market of individuals who favor a larger FoV and less or non existent portability, most especially when you favor in the respective price points of the units.

    A hot dog with a pickax beating on my ear drum coming down the Congo line...

  • We are on slightly different wave lengths :) This is how I started my response:

    "Even though the FOV concern is valid, you can't compare the price or functionality of Meta2 with Hololens."

    I also said "Microsoft focused more on untethered, full wearable computer, that you can one day take outside as well"

    I did not say the FOV is small as a direct result of it being untetherd.

    I was actually focusing on this part of your post:

    "When you have products with similar launch windows as Hololens, such as the Meta2 sporting a huge FoV, actual footage of the product, and a price point for their dev units at 1/3 the price of a Hololens, it becomes harder and harder to be a supporter of Microsoft technologies. "

    Its not about "who" the technology is from - its about what you are getting and what are your potential uses for it.

    If Meta2 suits your usecases, by all means!

    The way I see it is, this is cutting edge stuff. It has a lot of room for improvement and that will happen. Its not ready for the avg consumer today.

    For me as a developer, I will have a pair of HoloLens and a Meta2 (and a VR device Oculus Rift).

    Why I am more excited about HoloLens is becasue Microsoft is already heading in the direction of a complete untethered wearable that will get even more compact in size, even more battery life and even better FOV - and of course meta2 can also start heading in that direction if thats what their vision is!

    Healthcare IT professional by day - Indie GameDev for UWP and mobile platforms by night

  • So should Microsoft have waited another two years or so to release Hololens to developers until after they had improved battery life and FOV?

    Look at Oculus Rift. Did they make a mistake providing DK1 and DK2 before their consumer release, even though the dev kits were limited? I would say not. The years that developers had with Oculus Rift dev kits is making their consumer release stronger.

    If all it took to improve battery life to 10 hours and increase FOV to 110 degrees was the flip of a switch, Microsoft would have done it already. Those improvements are going to take engineers' time or add to the cost.

  • @DanglingNeuron said:
    We are on slightly different wave lengths :) This is how I started my response:

    "Even though the FOV concern is valid, you can't compare the price or functionality of Meta2 with Hololens."

    I also said "Microsoft focused more on untethered, full wearable computer, that you can one day take outside as well"

    I did not say the FOV is small as a direct result of it being untetherd.

    I was actually focusing on this part of your post:

    "When you have products with similar launch windows as Hololens, such as the Meta2 sporting a huge FoV, actual footage of the product, and a price point for their dev units at 1/3 the price of a Hololens, it becomes harder and harder to be a supporter of Microsoft technologies. "

    Its not about "who" the technology is from - its about what you are getting and what are your potential uses for it.

    If Meta2 suits your usecases, by all means!

    The way I see it is, this is cutting edge stuff. It has a lot of room for improvement and that will happen. Its not ready for the avg consumer today.

    For me as a developer, I will have a pair of HoloLens and a Meta2 (and a VR device Oculus Rift).

    Why I am more excited about HoloLens is becasue Microsoft is already heading in the direction of a complete untethered wearable that will get even more compact in size, even more battery life and even better FOV - and of course meta2 can also start heading in that direction if thats what their vision is!

    I agree with the majority of what you have stated here, so much so that it would now involve splitting hairs in order to disagree. I believe the potential to be enormous, and believe the direction of the product is grounds for excitement, but that does not mean companies are incapable of under-delivering, and never matching the potential of a product due to poor timing, first impressions, lack of consumer interest etc. HDDVD, Windows Phone, etc...

    A hot dog with a pickax beating on my ear drum coming down the Congo line...

  • johnHenryjohnHenry
    edited March 2016

    @BluePotato said:
    So should Microsoft have waited another two years or so to release Hololens to developers until after they had improved battery life and FOV?

    Look at Oculus Rift. Did they make a mistake providing DK1 and DK2 before their consumer release, even though the dev kits were limited? I would say not. The years that developers had with Oculus Rift dev kits is making their consumer release stronger.

    If all it took to improve battery life to 10 hours and increase FOV to 110 degrees was the flip of a switch, Microsoft would have done it already. Those improvements are going to take engineers' time or add to the cost.

    I understand your point, and you make a reasonable case for the point that you are getting across, but because certain companies experience success with an avenue or approach, does not always guarantee the same outcome and reproduction by abiding to the same course of action, especially when you are comparing two different products (even more so than the former case which was made, Meta 2, Hololens). You're also blindly placing faith in a feature that may or may not change by the launch date of a final version, as this has yet to be seen. Doing so is not only irresponsible, but naive to take such an implementation as a guarantee or nonchalant in regards to it meeting unspoken expectations, especially if said expectations are not voiced from the community. You can't say over confidently that it's the correct choice, as it's yet to be proven or seen. Again, you can't really compare two development streams as deeming the same outcome, since the variables at play are not only different, markedly so in fact.

    Thanks again,

    Your loving homosapien.

    A hot dog with a pickax beating on my ear drum coming down the Congo line...

  • You're right JohnHenry. Investing our time in learning a new platform that has no guarantee of future success involves risk. Microsoft has had a mix of successes and failures in its initiatives and who knows where Hololens will fall.

    I certainly would be more cautious if I were investing the time (and the $3,000 for the hardware) in learning in order to fuel a future revenue stream. However, I am in academia and the tool will be used for academic exploration and research, so the risk is nearly absent for me.

  • Restricted FoV is an element that's not made entirely clear in visual demos, and may be an end user concern at a thousands of dollars price point.

    There are probably very good reasons why it's not 90'+ at this time.

    This is a dev kit though. Who knows what retail will look like. 2.5h (with sound and network going under full hpu/cpu load?) is rather low battery.

    But the core tech is in the dev unit, it lasts long enough for a decent test session. It gets the job done. Guess that's the intent.

    ...notice me senpais...

  • Do wonder though... The head mounted cameras... They have fov greater than the 'screen' optically one might imagine.

    Can you access data from them that's not in the calculated / corrected fov?

    In other words can you sense periphery or are we locked in tunnel vision?

    ...notice me senpais...

  • BryanBryan ✭✭✭
    edited March 2016

    @karma_terminal said:
    Can you access data from them that's not in the calculated / corrected fov?

    In other words can you sense periphery or are we locked in tunnel vision?

    Yes, I believe so. How else could you properly anchor an off-screen hologram when part of it may overlap the edge of the screen as you turn your head to see it. That said, the spatial map mesh you get isn't the RAW sensor data as they want to be sure they abstract the sensors so they can be swapped out / implemented differently by different holographic computing vendors in the future, so long as their drivers end up providing the same API accessible data for Windows 10 to pass on to app developers. This way as the FOV grows, and spatial mapping tech improves, your app will "just work" (tm).

    That said, to @johnHenry 's point, Microsoft has not explicitly promised the FOV will grow before consumer release... But seeing as it's the #1 request everyone makes after trying it, I think we all expect this is high on their list of goals.

    My first thought after trying it at Build 2015 was "wow! everything really sticks to the real world! even when I shake my head! And holy shit... it actually accounts for real world objects occluding the holograms!". My second was "damn... this FOV is small... I hope they're working on improving it".

  • wintermootwintermoot ✭✭
    edited March 2016

    The "holographic frame" is visualized in this vid:

    FWIW, considerations about the limits of the holographic frame are deeply baked into the interaction design of the platform.

    Regardless of the size of this frame, it's pretty clear that getting users to "move the frame" is at the core of designing for Gaze, Gesture, and Voice.

    Even with future, full field of view devices it will be important to use arrows or similar near the edges of the user's focus to indicate that content is to the left/right/up/down of their gaze. The edges of the holographic frame are also useful for giving feedback about the boundaries of the larger 'gesture frame' during continuous gestures.

  • Accepted Answer

    they hit our kipman after a great Ted talk instantly with a FoV question. first words out of the lady's mouth.

    he was obviously irritated but answered it well. 'it's like showing you holograms for the first time and you asking me "how big is your TV set"'

    I remember Seattle airport a good twenty years or more ago and a holographic game they had. it was a fish bowl you peered into, and a little 3D adventure game in it.

    thought nothing of it but cool at the time but it's burned in memory as prophecy.

    we might get impact like such from Hololens.

    the ability to seed vision and dream in those that will grow is worth 3k dollars and our time.

    ...notice me senpais...

  • I've really enjoyed my HoloLens, yet I strongly support the movement to increase the FOV. This is after quite a bit of experimentation with available Holographic apps and some of my own work. I feel that the FOV is unnecessarily confining and I'm distracted when holograms run off the edge. I really want the HoloLens to succeed and I don't want this to mar its reception.

    Microsoft may be accommodating several tensions (manufacturing cost and its impact on retail price, user safety, battery life, quality of render -- at which we must simply guess since they haven't acknowledged them openly), but they've sidestepped the question in a way which has disappointed me because it feels like avoidance. If they'd just admitted and explained, maybe I'd be more okay with it.

    I'm still a fan and am fascinated to now have a means to code my own 3D imagery, viewed stereoscopically, as well as a remarkable arsenal of additional spatial perception and interface tools, all of which so far seem to be very well thought out in their implementation/organization. Some of the other 'restrictions' -- aside from the FOV, I mean -- seem to be the eventual product of attentive and creative R&D, judiciously arrived at in an intelligent effort to combine several non-trivial accomplishments in a meaningful and user-pleasing way, and I've been very impressed.

    Again, I want it to succeed, and I want to use it in my work and personal life, but I will want it far more if the FOV is increased to perhaps double the area (i.e., increasing each dimension by about 40%). Until then, I will have to get used to the truncation which the clipping imparts to my otherwise highly realistic, jiggling HoloTwerk models.

  • I feel like people are on the wrong mental path, thinking that the HL needs to improve the FOV. While I would like to see it a little wider, and from time to time I see things that would be improved with a taller FOV as well. That said, after having spent a good 100+ hours in it over the last month, I see what they are going for, and more or less agree with what they chose. VR is designed to be an immersive experience, AR is meant to mix with reality. Demoing the HL to friends and family, I have seen a few major spills with the current FOV because people get so immersed that they are not looking for the coffee table or magazine rack. Even in their own homes, a place they are very familiar with, they seem to lose that since when they start playing Fragments or RoboRaid. Only one or two people out of the 30 - 40 I have let demo it has said anything about the holograms being cut off etc.

    For this device to succeed it is on the developers to design applications that accentuate the capabilities of the device, and try to turn what many people seem to consider a flaw, into a feature. Because I think it is "Working as intended".

  • Jarrod1937Jarrod1937 ✭✭✭

    @subere23, I am not sure I agree. I too think the FOV is pretty good where it is now, however, the Holograms can easily extend to more of your view while still allowing an augmented experience that keeps you grounded in your environment. Excluding VR like experiences, like the Holotour app, of course.
    With that said, the current iteration is certainly an impressive experience. I also don't like those who harp on the FOV while ignoring everything else the device achieves. However, there is no need to rationalize why the FOV is where it is now aside from a technical limitation.

  • Getting the user to 'move the holographic frame' is a core part of the AR UX and is easier to teach, manage, and direct user attention with given smaller FOV's. We're just at the beginning of understanding and designing for these kind of interactions. The FOV will grow with us as we learn how best to manage user attention and direct their gaze.

  • Windows Holographic is officially planned to be opened up to third parties, increasing the likelihood that FOV will increase.

  • I'm curious as to whether the current FOV decision is primarily economics, resolution, physics, or usability.
    1. Economics/hardware: economics: cost of two larger screens at same pixel density
    2. Resolution: assuming current hw/battery/heat can only support so many pixels (x2), they decided higher res trumped bigger FoV.
    3. Physics: does a higher FoV mean they would have to start curving the screen or doing other tricks to keep the whole thing in focus? Would it have to be customized like a pair of glasses?
    4. Usability: Current model does not do eye tracking. Would a larger FoV just irritate users as they see stuff, but still have to completely turn their head to interact with it? Limited FoV encourages devs to keep things "tight" to avoid motion. (This one seems unlikely...) Would a larger screen mean a bulkier unit just to contain them?

    My guess/hope is it's 1 and 2, which means we can eventually get there. If it's 3, then that's going to be a problem.

  • ContextVRContextVR ✭✭✭

    Given the portable VR backpacks from MSI and HP announced around Computex, we see the AR/VR convergence starting to happen, and the argument for the superiority of an all-in-one untethered device is now open to debate.

    Luminosity and positional tracking aside, you can now pair a Meta with the lightweight Omni backpack and have an immersive experience with a larger FOV and higher power delivered by the PC.

    Can't wait to see how the Windows Holographic app store pans out, and what happens to developer incentives when other AR/VR device vendors become supported.

  • @Cacrawf: Good points. Personally, I think that all possibilities are surmountable in time. I hope that Microsoft is the company which does it, because no matter what others say, I've seen a lot of good things in how they organize many of their products/tools. Not always perfect, for sure, but I generally like their APIs and Holographic is no exception. I hope that they maintain their lead and do more good things.

  • I've had my HoloLens on my head now for around 20 hours over 4 days. At first the FoV was a bit jarring, mostly due to the sheering as I got (too) close to holograms. At this point, though, I'm extremely used to and comfortable with the FoV. I've learned to take a step or two back -- which has really improved my ability control and interact with holograms.

    If the FoV got much bigger, I feel it would interfere with my perception of reality. I want the hololens to augment my world, not obscure it. Aesthetically, a larger FoV would look prettier, but in practice, as a business tool, I feel a larger FoV would get in the way.

    I think most of the FoV hate comes from comparing this platform to a VR headset -- which it's not. They're two very different use cases.

  • Jarrod1937Jarrod1937 ✭✭✭

    @OwenGr said:
    I've had my HoloLens on my head now for around 20 hours over 4 days. At first the FoV was a bit jarring, mostly due to the sheering as I got (too) close to holograms. At this point, though, I'm extremely used to and comfortable with the FoV. I've learned to take a step or two back -- which has really improved my ability control and interact with holograms.

    If the FoV got much bigger, I feel it would interfere with my perception of reality. I want the hololens to augment my world, not obscure it. Aesthetically, a larger FoV would look prettier, but in practice, as a business tool, I feel a larger FoV would get in the way.

    I think most of the FoV hate comes from comparing this platform to a VR headset -- which it's not. They're two very different use cases.

    That's about the feelings I have of it as well, with the exception that I think a higher/taller FOV would be nice. However, the width is just right to keep you grounded in your environment. Though, there are some use cases where a wider FOV would be nice, like simulating a large screen.
    Which leads me to think that as large of a FOV as possible should be made available on the hardware, and it is up to the developer to designate a proper FOV. I am not sure if hardware, assuming it's technically feasible in the first place, should limit the FOV, as that is making an assumption about all use cases. If someone has trouble with the FOV being too large, then that is the fault of the software in my opinion.

  • @Jarrod1937 said:
    That's about the feelings I have of it as well, with the exception that I think a higher/taller FOV would be nice. However, the width is just right to keep you grounded in your environment.

    I actually had a sentence about this, but somehow it got lost in my proof-reading. I agree completely, a few more degrees in the vertical would help a lot.

  • AcylumAcylum
    edited June 2016
    Yeah, I agree - while currently, the FOV is tight, the feeling of restrictiveness can be mitigated by choices that the developer makes in the scale of the content. For example - Robo Raid experience takes place at distances of around 2-3 meters with real scale objects of about a meter or less - so most of the experience can be contained in the FOV. Fragments, on the other hand, takes place - sometimes as close as a meter and the people and virtual elements are at 1:1 scale - watching this content is like looking through a mail slot. Developers would need to scale their experiences for this fov size. Is it an ideal solution? - no, but it's definitely a consideration for Hololens developers for this version of the hardware.
  • JeromeJerome ✭✭

    A too big FOV will cause issues because we'll move or eyes not our head. And there's no iris tracking System today, so the HoloLens will not be able to change the projected environment correctly. They have to improve it for sure, but it's not so simple.

  • Jarrod1937Jarrod1937 ✭✭✭

    @Jerome said:
    A too big FOV will cause issues because we'll move or eyes not our head. And there's no iris tracking System today, so the HoloLens will not be able to change the projected environment correctly.

    I'm not sure if that's an issue. Each object can have different portions at different stereo separation amounts. There should be no reason why the lack of eye tracking would limit the FOV.

  • I strongly believe the biggest limitation at this time is the FOV. No matter how you try to adjust the Hololens, things get easily clipped off view. It is way too small. You get "used" to it, of course, and learn to live with it, but it is quite annoying.

    I don't agree with those saying it would cause issue with the environment. Usually when I interact with a window, I'm not walking around. You can easily see the surroundings with the holograms, it's just not an issue. However, having to look thru a tiny view is hard to put into words. It's just frustrating IMHO. If the FOV could be bigger, it would seriously add tremendous value to the product and to usability.

  • JeromeJerome ✭✭

    I'm sure MS is working to increase the FOV for the next generation and I want it for sure. Another reason I understand from last year posts, the lense used is hard to create and bigger the lense is more reject they have from the production line.
    Personaly I think they have to increase the battery life, CPU power (and RAM) and hand recognition first to be able to handle more holograms, more animations, more physics and detect both hands.
    Bigger FOV also means bigger projection system (more power required) and bigger lenses (higher cost)
    Well... the next generation will be certainly incredible :-)

  • edited June 2016

    I think it worthwhile to continue bumping this thread and nudge an actual response on the topic. I think that most of us can handle an explanation related to battery, image separation, expense, and other possible reasons. Personally, I'd prefer that to the apparent dismissal of the topic.

    I reiterate my support and enthusiasm for HoloLens and will continue using it. If FOV increases in future models, my support and enthusiasm will do the same, and perhaps in greater proportion.

  • Bump! FOV is very important for the experience, coming from a game design perspective. Nothing more frustrating than having to design around FOV limitations in order to maintain an immersive experience. Even if the peripherals are blurry till you focus on them, there needs to be something! Just allowing a model to cut off won't do it.

    This has an application not only in games but in training and simulation as well. Recreation of a room of machines for maintenance instruction for example needs to encompass models on scales that are not friendly with the FOV offered currently.

    That said, I absolutely LOVE this hardware and am so happy to have the opportunity to develop for it, so in that respect - THANK YOU Microsoft!

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