Hololens First Impression

A bit disappointed.

It is a hologram viewer with an API and toolset that is for bringing holograms to the user’s environment.

The biggest disappointment is that I came with an expectation of a device and associated toolset (APIs, IDE, etc.) that would augment, or more specifically, enhance the user’s current environment when wearing it. The Hololens doesn’t quite do that, at least as in my vision, not yet and won’t anytime soon.

The Hololens, as per it’s name, is really for interacting with or just seeing holograms, rather than for enhancing your reality in simple ways as you go about life. It’s more meant to just augment some very specific moments in very specific (and unchanging) places, but not until lots and lots of development occurs first.

I’d envisioned the Hololens could detect and track moving objects that aren’t holograms. Out of the box it doesn’t come close to this. It may come, and various technologies such as OpenCV may be useful, but this won’t happen until lots of new development first occurs.

There’s a lot more to say but that is a good summary at this point.

Mostly the setup and initial testing and initial development went smoothly.

Do find it annoyingly difficult to scroll browser windows. All else seems to work nicely.

But how can it be useful immediately.?

Well, since it is wearable, then the benefit is having two hands mostly free and browsing with voice.

That means Cortana comes into play, and being a user of Amazon Echo and OK Google, I find Cortana woefully behind in most every way.

In short, Cortana sucks, and is really hard to get value from this poor technology that unfortunately is baked into Hololens (but can be turned off).

Anyway, Hololens can be useful for cooking. For instance for displaying recipes while preparing food. I’ll try this and report back.

Hololens is currently designed to be useful in static spaces which you spend a lot of time in. Wearing Hololens out and about is mostly good for nothing.

So that’s another summary statement that is mostly on the mark.

I saw a u-tube of a guy wearing Hololens while driving in his car. He wasn’t doing anything with it, just wearing it and driving. That is the extent of the value, which is to have a heavy and somewhat awkward hat on, while driving. He apparently was willing to pay $3000 for his high tech hat.

At the point of writing this I am in the 200 series of Hologram Academy, but haven’t finished it yet. It’s an easy to follow course, but the most time consuming parts of these apps if they were started from scratch is the graphics/visuals, and in the training samples graphics are completed already by Microsoft. This more or less hides the great amount of development that must occur to bring original holographic apps to life. Sure 3rd parties will likely fill the void, but they’ll need to. My issue here is the enormous time it will take to develop the most simple apps.

Having worked a number of years with Dynamics CRM, from version 3 up to 2015, I was always amazed by the development costs, when it’s touted as an easily customizable application. Yeah, once the customization is done, it still takes a lot of development (code writing) to make it useful. I think Hololens apps will follow this path.

Will finish the academy demos and come back and write more, but this sums up first impressions.


Author: microsofttechnologist

Hard core coder on the Microsoft stack.

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