Out of all the virtual reality or augmented reality devices that are planned to be released over the span of this year, Microsoft HoloLens AR device is the one that stands out the most. In essence, all VR devices use – or will use – basically the same concept. And yet, out of all the names that the market expects – such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and the still mysterious PlayStation VR only to name a few – the Microsoft HoloLens is the one that has taken a rather different approach to it all.
Instead of adopting the idea of a device that cuts you off from the outside world almost entirely (the HTC Vive has also announced that it will have a mode where you can see what’s happening ‘outside’ by using the front camera), the HoloLens will focus more on the augmented reality element. So instead of immersing yourself in a wholly virtual experience, you take virtual elements and add them to the way you see the world around you.
Because of that, the Microsoft HoloLens is the best candidate that you can find for a whole different approach to things such as education, engineering, constructions and so on. But because of its difference in nature and the way it applies the virtual and augmented reality, the headset comes with a wildly different set of ups and downs. At least if you are to compare it to the other examples of virtual reality devices.
For instance, the HoloLens will use hardware and specifications that are less proficient than the ones we find in the likes of Oculus Rift – that make a point of excelling in things such as gaming. The device’s core component is a 1 GB RAM Microsoft Holographic Processing Unit, that is put to function along a 32-bit Intel Chip, 2 GB of RAM and 64 GB of flash storage, as well as a meager 2-megapixel front facing camera.
With these specifications come limitations too. For example, the maximum supported resolution for each eye is 1268 x 720, while the lowest goes to a very modest 634 x 360, with the upside of everything running at 60 frames per second or more. On the other hand, Microsoft makes the point that in case of an AR/VR device such as the HoloLens it’s not the resolution that counts, it’s the holographic resolution – which is 2.3 million light points.
The device also seems to have a limitation when it comes to immersion, from one point of view. It doesn’t appear to be able to display holographic objects closer than 2 meters ahead. And while the HoloLens will be able to record holograms that can be later displayed, it is only briefly.
Image Source: 1