Hello everyone.

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.

Hololens First Impression

Well, my Hololens's got delivered today! To share, here is my first impression:

  • The holograms are extremely stable. This is one thing I noticed in the tethered Meta 2 videos they've posted, that the holograms aren't well anchored and move a tad. To me, this is the most important part of AR, and the Hololens does it well.
  • I had a hard time imagining what black as transparent would look like and if it would allow for darker colors...etc. Interestingly, your eyes don't seem to mind a semi-transparent but dark object when it's next to a lighter colored element as a contrast reference.
  • The holograms are pretty darn sharp to my eyes. I'm not expecting super crisp detail, but they are certainly sharp enough to not cause any eye strain or give any difficulty in reading or seeing something.
  • The much talked about FOV. I really don't mind the FOV width, though I would like to have the FOV height be larger. I am not sure about the technical problems going for a non-standard aspect ratio, but the Hololens could benefit from it greatly. With that said, your brain adapts to it pretty fast and it almost (keyword, almost) becomes a non-issue.
  • The gesturing is pretty smooth, though when I was filling out a lot of forms my arm got tired of being extended, but then it was outside the gesture frame. A few times I thought a gesture didn't register (when typing) but the device was just being sluggish and registered two characters at the time... Somewhat annoying but I haven't experienced that sluggishness since.
  • The keyboard seems to be missing the ` key, on QWERTY keyboards this is the ~ key without holding shift. If it is there I was unable to find it. I had to reset my password to not use that character for my account.
  • Fragments is freaking awesome! Definitely highlights what it can do. Excites me for my game, though I am not sure if I can achieve the same level of polish they achieved in the game, but I'll certainly give it a try!

If anyone without a device has any questions about the Hololens (not a specific application), let me know and I'll see if I can answer.

Answers

  • @Jarrod1937 Thanks for your detailed review! This helps those of us who are still wondering if it's worth it to participate at this early stage.

    May I ask if you were part of Wave1 or Wave2? Just trying to see where Microsoft is in the shipping schedule.

  • Jarrod1937Jarrod1937 ✭✭✭
    edited May 2016

    I think they announced they started shipping wave 2 last week. I am part of wave 2, which is ahead of their 2-3 months per wave schedule. And yes, aside from the FOV limitations I mention, I am blown away by the Hololens.

  • Thanks again @Jarrod1937 I am part of Wave 2 also, but haven't received an invitation yet.

  • Jarrod, you can use the feedback hub to submit feedback that the keyboard is missing the `. Thanks!

    ===
    This post provided as-is with no warranties and confers no rights. Using information provided is done at own risk.

    (Daddy, what does 'now formatting drive C:' mean?)

  • Jarrod1937Jarrod1937 ✭✭✭

    @Patrick said:
    Jarrod, you can use the feedback hub to submit feedback that the keyboard is missing the `. Thanks!

    Where is this feedback hub, do you mean the feedback option on the main menu of the Hololens? If so, it is kind of hard to talk about a missing character on the device it's missing on :D

  • Jarrod1937Jarrod1937 ✭✭✭

    I figured I'd give a continuation of my and others impressions of the Hololens. Since this is for a work application and varying types of people will be using it, I have been having people demo the Hololens:

    • Most seem to find it pretty intuitive. The hardest part is getting them to understand how to put it on correctly.
    • The gestures seem intuitive to them, initially they have a hard time, but usually learn within the first few minutes of using it.
    • I've only had one person complain about the FOV. Though, interestingly, for them, it wasn't an aesthetic issue, they actually found the FOV confusing. However, they learned to adapt after explanation.

    Software development:

    • For the most part, what is already released allows you to do a great deal. The HoloToolKit for Unity is a life saver.
    • However, the lacking support for a dynamic nav mesh, or some sort of dynamic (as in, can be generated at runtime) path finding, is a bit troublesome. As an Electrical Engineering student, I don't have the time to try and roll my own solution for a non-work project. Perhaps one of the existing path finding solutions work out there, but after fiddling with Apex, I have been unable to get it to compile with UWP.

    In regards to the battery and charging:

    • I found the lack of an angle connector a bit disconcerting, as it can easily put extra pressure on the connector joints. As you can see below, I bought an angle adapter.
    • The battery life is actually pretty respectable. Lasting on average 3-4 hours, depending on usage. However, for our work application, I need the battery life to last longer, so I am experimenting with power banks. I was never given an answer to what the current battery's mAh is, so I am not sure how much the bank will extend the life (it's 8000 mAh). Together with the angle bracket, this allows the unit to charge off of the bank while running, the bank simply goes into your pocket or is clipped on.


  • I agree about the battery life. It would be better if it had a longer life. Great post.

  • Jarrod1937Jarrod1937 ✭✭✭

    @Fireholo said:
    I agree about the battery life. It would be better if it had a longer life. Great post.

    You can't blame them, last thing you want is more weight on your head. However, the power bank approach is good for those who need it. As an update to that, the Ravpower banks work the best for the Hololens. The Hololens charger outputs 2.5A, while most power banks output 2.1A (or so they say). 2.1A isn't enough to charge the Hololens in use without the battery draining. It seems it must use the QC 3.0 output on the Rav for it work, the Hololens is pretty current hungry.

  • Hey Jarrod,

    Thanks a lot for the detailed review! Do you think it is worth buying a Hololens for $3000 USD ($4000 CAD since I'm in Canada)? I'm on Wave3 and I've already received the invitation but still debating on it. I need to make up my mind asap.

    Thanks!

    Frank

  • Jarrod1937Jarrod1937 ✭✭✭
    You're quite welcome. I know I had a lot of questions before, so I try to be detailed for others.
    If you have the money to spare, yes, I would say it's worth it. Even though the development tools are a bit sparse at the moment (more so, shortcuts/libraries for us single devs), it's a really cool platform to develop for.
  • JeromeJerome ✭✭

    @franklixuefei said:
    Hey Jarrod,

    Thanks a lot for the detailed review! Do you think it is worth buying a Hololens for $3000 USD ($4000 CAD since I'm in Canada)? I'm on Wave3 and I've already received the invitation but still debating on it. I need to make up my mind asap.

    Thanks!

    Frank

    I just receive mine :) (in montreal)
    well... if you want to use it like a standard customer, its not for you. its really for dev usage for now.
    if you dont plan to develop with it, its better to wait.

  • Hello Jarrod,

    Could you tell me more about the Ravpower model that works with Hololens?

    Is it that one?
    Turbo 20100 Power Bank
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01IVMXW7G?tag=rav200pm067-20&keywords=quick+charge+portable+charger

    Do you need special cables to connect it?
    or is it usable out of the box with Hololens?

    Thank you,

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