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Does the HoloLens have a GPS sensor in it?

Also does anyone have a list / spec sheet of sensors and technical hardware or are we still waiting on that?

Best Answers

Answers

  • Thanks for the link...

  • You could get a rough location using their WiFi.

  • there appear to be limitations on Bluetooth link type; I do not know if you could ask a win 10 phone for example for gps data...

    but you might create a co-ord feed between auth device on same network deemed to be 'close to you' to get gps from phone.

    geolocation is critical for apps bound to certain real world loc - e.g. the hololens becomes an loc authorized terminal for an app when in particular loc.

    ...notice me senpais...

  • @karma_terminal said:
    there appear to be limitations on Bluetooth link type; I do not know if you could ask a win 10 phone for example for gps data...

    From the docs: Bluetooth-enabled phones and PCs are not supported to be paired and used for file transfer

    So no - definitely no interfacing with phone/PC over blue tooth.. and I aint sure how I feel about that right now :)

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

  • You could build the feature into the software as it is Windows Universal and then if it is run on a device that supports GPS then just have a REST API for location information.

    Scenario:
    I have my Windows 10 phone and my Hololens running my software, my Hololens can use my phone's location via the API.

    Or you could use a SignalR derivative.

  • Not having GPS is really unfortunate. A key sell of the device is that it is not tethered, stand-alone, and can go anywhere. But now I have to get GPS sensor data from a phone (i.e., I'm tethered in that sense), or do far less precise location via Wi-Fi. I had a few app ideas that I was exploring with a requirement of location data, so I really hope this gets prioritized for inclusion in the consumer version of the device.

  • @nihaue I don't really see Microsoft adding GPS to the HoloLens. It's meant to be used indoors, where an accurate GPS signal is hard to get. They probably won't add a GPS for the same reason that laptops and tablets don't have them, just not enough use cases to justify the extra feature based on the HoloLens' intended use.
  • wintermootwintermoot ✭✭
    edited March 2016

    Device is not designed for outdoor use. This is stated in the FAQ part of the documentation. They're focusing around indoor contexts of use. Geolocating via connected wifi is sufficient for designing in this space imo. Hololens' awareness of the world is based on a per room scan. In the docs, they give an example of walks down long corridors needing to deal with re-scanning earlier content in in the large space.

    Sources: https://dev.windows.com/en-us/holographic/faq and https://dev.windows.com/en-us/holographic/spatial_mapping_design

    "Can I use my HoloLens outside? The HoloLens is designed for indoor use."

    "One additional detail to be aware of is that the 'range' of spatial mapping data is not unlimited. Whilst spatial mapping does build a permanent database of large spaces, it only makes that data available to applications in a 'bubble' of limited size around the user. Thus if you start at the beginning of a long corridor and walk far enough away from the start, then eventually the spatial surfaces back at the beginning will disappear. You can of course mitigate this by caching those surfaces in your application after they have disappeared from the available spatial mapping data."

  • outside doesn't necessarily mean 'on the plains, in a field'. you could well be on the metro, and want to know where you are. that seems legitimate without asking the poor thing to spacially map a whole world, no?

    more so, consider terminal or other applications which are enabled for use in holographic space based on geolocation. accuracy beyond, this is your ip so I know your kinda here(ish) might be very nice.

    ...notice me senpais...

  • That's pretty buried in the FAQ, and unfortunate nonetheless. Intention of the device or not, I think it would please customers to enable that scenario, and definitely open-up a whole new set of application possibilities (e.g., navigating in a forest by seeing known GPS waypoints/people behind/through the trees at real life scale, time machine that allows you to take physical real-world historical locations back in time).

    With regards to spatial mapping limitations in such a context, I wouldn't be as concerned with that at far distance. If I had GPS, I would know where I am and what direction I'm facing. Using public mapping data, I can know about roughly where buildings are relative to that, and in some cases their 3D shape.

    Granted brightness might become a factor that cannot be overcome outdoors. I don't know, I don't have a device yet.

  • @Dave_W - It's like a laptop inasmuch as it combines compute and display, but it's also a wearable that doesn't fully block out the real world. In that sense, I think it might be logical to assume that one would wear outside. As has been pointed out already though, it is currently designed for indoor use only.

    Wouldn't it be great to be able to walk through a home before it's built on the exact site where it will sit, at real-world scale though?

  • @nihaue I really like that idea, and it reminded me of a video that Microsoft released a while ago. This actor actually uses the HoloLens in a large open space, lit by what looks like indirect sunlight. This is definitely a dramatization but I like where it is headed. The scene I'm referring to is at 1:24.

  • @Dave_W that video you shared, is kinda what I'm getting at. There's no WiFi on that construction site (I know it's dramatization) but the concept of taking a floor plan and visualizing it on what's currently being built is interesting. How would you accomplish something like that without location coordinate and elevation data? Probably a future implementation of the device and software?? Thoughts?

  • GPS only works decently well outside, but the hololens is really poor outside (the lenses aren't bright enough to compete with the sun, and the structured light doesn't work as well). And even if it did, the GPS' accuracy aren't good enough for the accuracy needed for a good hololens experience.

  • GPS on a good day gives you ~5m with a clear view of the sky. However if you're looking to use that to place holograms in the environment around you, that is rarely good enough*.
    And we haven't even touched on compass to orient the holograms correctly, which is going to give even worse alignment between the real world and your holograms.
    And from my experience using my HoloLens outside, in the daylight it's almost impossible to see the holograms - they get too transparent due to the bright light behind them.

    *it is possible to use wave-based GPS receivers with a nearby basestation (RTK) to get sub-inch accuracy, but these are quite elaborate and expensive setups that usually only surveyors use.

  • MondayMonday admin
    edited April 2016

    @jowildes said:
    @Dave_W that video you shared, is kinda what I'm getting at. There's no WiFi on that construction site (I know it's dramatization) but the concept of taking a floor plan and visualizing it on what's currently being built is interesting. How would you accomplish something like that without location coordinate and elevation data? Probably a future implementation of the device and software?? Thoughts?

    Jowildes,
    If you happened to catch Kevin Collins's talk at //Build about Lowes... project showed shortly here @24 seconds: He had a great talk about the use of poster/tag images to align holograms 1:1 to real life objects. This is the way I would suggest tackling the project it sounds like you are interested in based off your posts.

    Cheers,
    Ryan

  • @dotMorten Agreed. For dealing with detailed coordinated within the spatially mapped Holographic environment, using strictly GPS is not a great strategy.

    My line of thought had more to do with what GPS is good at "location". I believe there are lots of scenarios for holographic apps that could benefit from filtering data based on which customer site the user is currently at or that provide basic land mark and nearby POI details.

    Course grain location could also be used in conjunction with other fine grain capabilities like spatial mapping and computer vision as part of the model and data alignment logic or work flow to setup and load appropriate information in the field.

    A small wearable Bluetooth gps device could also obtain its course grain location fix while in transit to other indoor locations for mobile HoloLens users. The device could then access that information when initializing the application on site.

    Of course there are lots of limitations with AR/MR at this early stage, but one of the cool things about this space that I find interesting is consider the potential and what will soon be possible.

    Windows Holographic User Group Redmond

    WinHUGR.org - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - @WinHUGR
    WinHUGR YouTube Channel -- live streamed meetings

  • james_ashleyjames_ashley ✭✭✭✭

    This discussion seems to have turned into why can't hololens be more like google glass. Perhaps the reason HoloLens doesn't have GPS is so we don't get mired in trying to recreate AR experiences for smart phones. We already have those -- on our phones! :)

    Personally, those aren't the sorts of experiences that get me excited; they've already been done to death. Completely resurfacing a room using spatial mapping and 3D models, like in the Lowe's app and Fragments game, is way more cool and mind-bending.

    HoloLens is much closer to the holodeck than it is to a mobile phone wayfinding app.

    It's cool that @HoloSheep has outlined an ingenious solution for adding GPS support if a project really needs it.

    James Ashley
    VS 2017 v5.3.3, Unity 2017.3.0f3, MRTK 2017.1.2, W10 17063
    Microsoft MVP, Freelance HoloLens/MR Developer
    www.imaginativeuniversal.com

  • Was thinking WiFi too which most smartphones share> @BBELtd said:

    You could build the feature into the software as it is Windows Universal and then if it is run on a device that supports GPS then just have a REST API for location information.

    Scenario:
    I have my Windows 10 phone and my Hololens running my software, my Hololens can use my phone's location via the API.

    Or you could use a SignalR derivative.

  • FYI

    Using GlobalSat Bluetooth Receiver and UWP. No special needs although it took me a while to get it working due to this weird bug (?) where a BT device is listed multiple times and yet only one of them connects.

  • Lack of GPS because 'not designed for outdoor' is lame, sorry. You can put a sun visor on it for better viewing, and avoid super-bright/shiny/wet areas for tracking, but we've tracked very well in a sunny parking lot. So this seems like something that's remedial.
    A GPS would allow me to have apps that know, at least, which job site I'm at, to know which data sets to load. Wifi? I'm probably tethered to my phone. And it's gonna be the same no matter where I am. So, yeah, for now, I have to grab the GPS location from the phone (hack). No compass means, no direction.
    What does such a chip cost, really? A buck? Please, MS, ADD GPS NEXT TIME!
    Does it have an IMU? If not, why not?

  • HoloLens uses an IMU to do head tracking. Great feedback, Dave. Keep it coming.

    James Ashley
    VS 2017 v5.3.3, Unity 2017.3.0f3, MRTK 2017.1.2, W10 17063
    Microsoft MVP, Freelance HoloLens/MR Developer
    www.imaginativeuniversal.com

  • I wrote an article discussing BLE GPS linking with Android at:

    http://www.gamedev.net/page/resources/_/technical/virtual-and-augmented-reality/gps-on-the-microsoft-hololens-r4497

    Let me know if helps anyone out.

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