It’s rare that you get to see a product that feels like something from the future. While VR headsets have been steadily getting better over the last few years, looking at most headsets largely means looking at more of the same. Microsoft’s Hololens, though, breaks the mold by aggressively going into the AR field. This mixed reality headset has a lot of hype around it, but few have actually used it. The purpose of this Microsoft Hololens review is to cut through the hype and take a detailed look at the utility of this high-end AR/VR product.
Microsoft Hololens: Specs
|Resolution||2.3M total light points|
|Field of View||35-degree|
|Sensors||Motion, cameras, microphone, ambient light|
The first thing we need to note in this Microsoft Hololens review is that the Hololens is very specifically not (just) a virtual reality device. Rather, it makes use of mixed reality – including elements of AR and VR – to create a computer experience that’s unlike anything else on the market. It’s very much the kind of device that takes sci-fi tropes like being able to see floating screens and animations in mid-air and turns them into a reality.
It’s currently geared more towards developers than most products on the market, but it’s nonetheless, an interesting piece of technology that has huge potential applications. This feels much less like a game accessory and much more like something that will have a huge impact on the future of computing.
Pros and Cons
Microsoft Hololens: Design & Requirements
In terms of design, users of Hololens are largely looking at a headset that’s halfway between AR glasses and a traditional virtual reality headset. The vast majority of users report that these headsets are comfortable, with a design that’s definitely meant to be used for lengthy periods of time. It’s also clear that what users are working with now is just an early iteration of what might become a more refined design.
The single most surprising thing we need to mention in this Microsoft Hololens review is that the device is truly standalone. You’re not going to have to look for a powerful computer or upgrades to your existing rig – this device does everything on its own. What you will need, though, is a Windows device that can communicate with the Hololens itself. The Hololens will do all the heavy lifting, but you’ll need to communicate with a more traditional device to keep things running.
Microsoft Hololens: Controls & Display
There are no controls for this device, which makes the Microsoft Hololens that more fun. There are a variety of sensors in the headset which will read your movements, so you will interact with the programs with your bare hands. This removes one of the big barriers that has held back many other VR headsets, and it shows. If you can ignore the weight of the design on your head, you’ll feel like you’re really stepping into another world.
The display is absolutely crystal-clear in most cases. The data you view overlays the real world, but everything rendered by the headset is truly amazing. This is less like being inside a program and more like transporting your computer or television screen into thin air. There’s nothing like it on the market right now, and it’s honestly hard to look at any other AR product the same after using the Hololens.
Microsoft Hololens: Setup
When we started this review, we started by unboxing the device. Unfortunately, this meant we had to charge the headset before we did anything else.
Once the headset is charged, you can power it on and run through the calibration exercises. This will help to teach you exactly what gestures you need to use when wearing the device. Once you’ve done that, you can connect to a Wi-Fi network. From there, all that’s left to do is to learn how to go to the start screen so that you can start making the most out of your Hololens experience.
Microsoft Hololens: User Experience
Our Microsoft Hololens review is one of many, and several users have their own points of view on the device. While many of these tech-insider reviews can be useful, some of the most important reviews come from real consumers.
For instance, one user marveled at how he could set up the device and explore his own home. It’s a good look at how much you can move around with the Hololens compared to some other devices, especially those that tend to be tethered to PCs.
Another user was less impressed. He noted a narrow field of view, which several other reviews have noted as well. This user urges others to wait for the next iteration of the device, which seems to be a piece of fairly common wisdom when it comes to the Hololens.
Insofar as this Microsoft Hololens review is concerned, this device really is the future of wearable computing. It’s a joy to use and it’s amazing every time you find something new. Unfortunately, the prohibitively high price for what’s essentially the 1.0 version of the device makes it very hard to recommend to anyone who isn’t specifically building programs for the Hololens.
Have you had any experiences with the Hololens? Are you excited about its potential, or are you waiting to hear more? Don’t keep your thoughts to yourself – make sure to get in contact with us below.