January 19, 2016 weblog
More info surfaces on HoloLens battery life, field of view
This month HoloLens made news and comments about its battery life were sprinkled with words such as "disappointing" and "not great." The writers were referring to revelations about battery life for the anticipated device, in anticipation of the HoloLens early edition, to ship to developers later this year.
According to tech watchers, there is no firm date yet for when it will be available for general users.
The Development Edition will ship this year for $3000. As we reported last month, this is an augmented reality headset; some call it an "untethered wearable." Microsoft's definition of HoloLens: The first holographic computer running Windows 10. You get to place holograms in your own physical environment.
Meanwhile, there was recent news about battery life based on remarks of Microsoft Technical Evangelist Bruce Harris. He was talking about HoloLens at a Tel Aviv event.
David Nield in TechRadar reported that battery life would amount to just 2.5 hours under "heavy load" and 5.5 hours maximum. "You're going to have to stay pretty close to a power source, apparently," he said.
Interestingly, reader comments tended to go with the view that 2.5 or 5.5 hours depending on use is absolutely fine for a type of device which is not intended to be worn 24/7. HoloLens will be used in short bursts at home and within easy reach of a charger, the same in the office, said a comment on the Petri IT Knowledgebase site from prettyconfused. "People won't be wearing them from the moment they get up on a morning till they go to sleep."
But wait, what does that 5.5 hours number represent? What kinds of work are not "heavy load"? Mark Walton in Ars Technica wrote that five hours of battery life only applied when working on Word documents or e-mail. Intensive use most likely pertains to gaming and 3D applications, said Walton. Also, he said, "It's not yet clear whether the users will be able to charge the HoloLens while using it."
In addition to battery life, other details are currently interesting HoloLens watchers. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are used to link the HoloLens headset to other devices. The field of view is apparently equivalent to a 15-inch monitor. That is to say that the "Field of view is similar to a 15in monitor about two feet away from your face," said Brad Sams in the Petri IT Knowledgebase.
Also, "There's the news that two HoloLens devices can be linked together if you want to join up with a friend in fending off an army of virtual ants invading your living room," said Nield in TechRadar.
Sams said you don't even have to be in the same room as your friend; the link can be shared over the Internet depending on available bandwidth.
According to Sams, Harris said that any universal application that can currently run on Windows 10 will run natively out of the box on HoloLens.
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