HoloLens: 2.5 Hour Battery Life Under Heavy Use, Limited FoV Confirmed

by Ian Hamilton • January 19th, 2016

Video of a presentation by an apparent Microsoft evangelist provided some intriguing data points on Microsoft HoloLens, including that its battery lasts around 2.5 hours under very heavy use and 5.5 hours with regular use. The video also indicates a limited field of view for HoloLens, confirming as accurate an estimate last year by UC Davis researcher Oliver Kreylos.

The virtual objects seen in HoloLens are shown in a space that’s roughly equivalent to a 15-inch screen held a few feet from your face, according to the video. Kreylos commented on Reddit:

Assuming he’s referring to a 16:9 monitor with 15″ diagonal, the resulting FoV — if taking those numbers literally — is 30.47° x 17.42°. So I guess my original estimate of 30° x 17.5° was dead on after all.

The way Microsoft markets the fully mobile HoloLens headset is a bit confusing because the company often shows a camera’s view of a scene showing a person wearing HoloLens as well as the entire physical space around the viewer with virtual objects shown everywhere around them. It looks a bit like the mixed reality streaming being tested by Colin and Sarah Northway with HTC Vive. While the Northways are merely providing a way for people to watch their game Fantastic Contraption in a more social way, Microsoft is promoting a unique $3,000 piece of hardware and the way its presented may give a false impression of what the hardware is capable of showing a person wearing it. More recently, engineers started posting videos that show a first-person perspective with virtual objects inserted into the scene.

The video also suggested there’s no hard limit to the HoloLens field of view.

“As the manufacturing process gets better and the power consumption and the circuity and all that stuff as that continues to improve, future versions the intent is we’ll try to improve the size of that [Field of View],” the presenter said.

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