I cannot abide bullshots

So, I just watched this The dawn of the age of holograms talk on TED.

And, right from the very first frame of the holographic footage in the demonstration—giving the impression to the audience that this is what they would see if they were wearing a Hololens—what you are seeing is a total and utter bullshot. In REALITY, what you see through the Hololens view window is more “like standing 2 feet away from a 15″ monitor” and it entirely cuts off anything that goes beyond that small window. The demonstration in the talk, while showing partly what the general idea of augmented reality is about, is also a total and utter bullshot of the Hololens tech that this “talk” is really just a glorified advert for.

Here’s the lie:



Here’s a much better representation of what the real thing actually looks like (albeit with low quality holograms and minus the 3D effect and sense of absolute position in the real world that you get in the actual headset, obviously):

And, if you pay attention to Microsoft’s own ad for Hololens, you can see the limited view window there too—during those few moments where Microsoft is being a bit more honest—but even here it’s intentionally trying to make the effect as subtle as possible, so the casuals and noobs will largely miss it entirely:

Also, none of us should drink the Kool-Aid about the “preserving your peripheral vision” line in the official Microsoft ad. It’s a hologram, so you can already see all around the room anyway; no limited-size window is actually necessary to avoid you bumping into stuff or whatever. AR is not VR, where you are totally immersed in the experience and can’t see anything else outside of the simulated world.

Here’s the truth:

Half real; half bullshot

So, sure, the idea’s cool, but right now it’s not all it’s cracked up to be (as anyone who’s actually demoed it will attest to):

Alex Kipman is basically a marketing tool, spewing out a lot of meticulously composed and well rehearsed marketing bull—and that gets my back up.


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