We have decided to phase out the Mixed Reality Forums over the next few months in favor of other ways to connect with us.
The first way we want to connect with you is our mixed reality developer program, which you can sign up for at https://aka.ms/IWantMR.
The plan between now and the beginning of May is to clean up old, unanswered questions that are no longer relevant. The forums will remain open and usable.
On May 1st we will be locking the forums to new posts and replies. They will remain available for another three months for the purposes of searching them, and then they will be closed altogether on August 1st.
So, where does that leave our awesome community to ask questions? Well, there are a few places we want to engage with you. For technical questions, please use Stack Overflow, and tag your questions using either hololens or windows-mixed-reality. If you want to join in discussions, please do so in the HoloDevelopers Slack, which you can join by going to https://aka.ms/holodevelopers. And always feel free to hit us up on Twitter @MxdRealityDev.
Some hard lessons I learned from Hololens
I received my hololens last spring and spent the summer writing hololens apps and trying out others apps.
During this time I showed hololens to a few dozen people. This experience was as eye opening as it was disappointing.
I put down the hololens in September and didn't pick it back up until a few days ago.
The main takeaway from my experiences is this: not one person ever asked to try the hololens again after trying out the samples like holo raid, fragments and holotour. In one case it was someone who help design a hololens app in Unity; she never asked to see her work in-situ a second time.
Which is sort of surprising given that all but one said it was really cool. But, when I did try to entice people to try out some more apps, I was greeted with what seemed to be a general sense of terror. Some put it back on for a few minutes, most made excuses and avoided doing so, and some outright refused to try it again.
I now realize some of the major issues that most people had: they either have vision problems or coordination problems and spatial memory issues.
While some of them wear glasses, most of them do not. I now know that almost all of them actually have vision problems but they have not sought treatment, and in fact some are trying very hard to hide the problem. These problems made the need for stereoscopic focus an issue. All of them drive, most them should not!
Some also have basic coordination problems, for example most could not tighten the headset on their own using the knob at the back, even after being shown how.
One person was unable to perform the very first calibration task of aligning their finger even after a half hour of trying.
Another person who I had been to Peru with just a few months prior did not recognize the place the holo tour started at was exactly at a spot he had spent hours at so recently.
Now to be clear, these were all regular day to day people, old and young, professionals, video designers, video game players.
I never would have expected the actual difficulties some of them had would arise! One of them designed several dozen animated characters and props for one of my Hololens Unity projects, but was unable to adapt to the actual device comfortably enough to try it again.
Another thing I have noticed is the difficulty of people to use proper spatial thinking and introspection, (even in this community). For example, many people confuse in their minds eye the direction the camera faces, and what will be seen from different perspectives. This leads to expectations like being able to do a two-way conversation where hololens wearers can see one another, and without the goggles on. This is not made better by marketing that shows these sorts of things!
So these human factors issues I hadn't expected compound on with the expected ones like the unfashionable nature of wearing goggles, poking and talking to invisible objects, discomfort with the device and of course FOV issues.
The path to adoption might be steeper than I had originally thought.