Don’t get me wrong.
The Hololens is great and negative reviews doesn’t mean it is absolutely horrible.
I believe everything in life has room for improvements. When I heard that the Hololens was only available to developers, that stirred my suspicions.
I Have The Right To Review
I believe that I have the right to make a review on the Hololens since I’ve been closely working with it for 72 hours straight as a software developer at Microsoft’s Holographic Hackathon in San Francisco at UploadVR. I’m not some random hater on the internet who is saying this all from doubt. I am using my experience to review.
Our team worked on creating a scanned static map of UploadVR’s room and letting users shrink and expand on voice command and track movements from other Hololens’ users in the room. We also had sticky features where we can share notes with any other users. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to integrate that feature.
We won the category of “Best Data Design”!
Limited Hand Gestures and Facial Recognition Not Included
My first exposure to the Hololens was through Youtube:
That was all the information that I had before I had the actual product in my hands.
I thought wow the Hololens can do anything?! Anything!? But wait, it’s $3000, so I didn’t bother to research any further since the price lost my interest.
During the hackathon, I expected facial and multiple hand gesture recognition since those technologies already exist. I had high expectations for the Hololens to do everything with the available technology that we currently have since it costs $3000.
Since I own a leapmotion, I thought it can recognize hand gestures similar to the leap.
Since Facebook has computer vision technology that recognizes faces pretty well. The idea of facial recognition being available also came from a Microsoft’s forums. Shortly before the developer release of the product, Microsoft made a forum for everyone to contribute app ideas for the Hololens and vote for the most popular one. One of the popular one was a project where there should be an app where it recognizes a person and make a note to the user who that person is, so a real-life Facebook profile.
No, it did not have any of that. There were only two recognized hand gestures: the bloom and tap. The bloom is where you have one hand in front of you, and you do this “mmnhh that’s a spicy meatball” gestsure and gracefully release all your fingers. The tap, like its name, is one index finger and tap as if your index is doing a body wave.
Pretty limited hand gestures and disappointed that there wasn’t facial/body recognition.
Spatial Mapping Technical Issues
The great feature about the Hololens is spatial mapping. Spatial mapping is needed fo hologram to know where they want to be in real-life space. Every time Hololens start, there is visible scan that’s spatial mapping working its magic to see your space.
Our team heavily relied on spatial mapping for our UploadVR room map. However, whoever uploads our app, they have to remember where to stand in the same place they uploaded their project because the Hololens is the position origin (0,0,0) coordinate in its spatial space. This can be troublesome because another developer who is really tall stands at 0,0,0 and it switches to another developer who is significantly shorter, the spatial mapping won’t collaborate correctly. So, someone else is doing most of the development instead of the whole group because of height issues. Make sure you form a Hololens group with people of same height as them! haha
There are times hololens opens multiple blank windows for some odd reason.
For first timers the image resolution might be disappointing, I thought it would be HD like the videos but that’s just the camera lol when you wear it image quality is like 480p.
Yes, the Hololens was really fun, but definitely not ready for the public. A person with a technical background is best suited to use it.
I heard the Meta is the same as Hololens but better. Meta can recognize any hand gestures and let you interact with the Holograms. It’s not getting as much media attention as Hololens due to Microsoft’s close community.
I would love to try out a Meta.
˘\_( õ ‹3 ó)_/˘ MK