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We found 7 critical HoloLens details that Microsoft hid inside its developer docs

Mark Hachman | March 3, 2016
The resolution, app memory limits, power restrictions, how to remotely control the HoloLens—it's all here.

6. You can record holograms, but only briefly

Microsoft allows apps to capture what the front-facing camera sees, and also what holograms you’re seeing. Microsoft calls this nifty feature mixed-reality capture, and you can launch it from the HoloLens device itself in one of two ways: either by telling Cortana, “Hey Cortana, take a picture [or video],” or by navigating to the main HoloLens menu.

Either way, however, your recording time is limited to three minutes. In addition, when the HoloLens is recording the mixed-reality capture, the HoloLens refresh rate will drop to 30Hz to coincide with the recording, which will also be recorded at 30Hz. Both video and still pictures will be captured at 1408x792 resolution, Microsoft says.

7. You can control the HoloLens remotely

Microsoft has tailored a version of its Device Portal to the HoloLens as well. That may sound a bit dull, but Microsoft also uses the portal to provide a look into how the HoloLens views the world.

Chances are that the Device Portal will probably survive the developer environment and make it to the consumer version. Within the app you can connect the HoloLens to a network, watch its performance (and temperature) fluctuate in real time, command it to re-scan a room, and even send it text, which will float in the air as a hologram, via the keyboard. Here’s an even niftier feature, below: 3DView, which allows you to see what the HoloLens sees, in sort of a vaguely Terminator-esque perspective.

It might not be enough to offset the limitations we outlined earlier, but it does go to show the level of polish that Microsoft has applied to the HoloLens experience. 

Kudos to Microsoft for exposing this level of detail to the developer community at large, and not hiding it behind a password or other protection. By doing so, you can wade through Microsoft’s Windows Holographic pages and draw your own conclusions.

The point isn’t that HoloLens is going to be better or worse than the Rift or other virtual reality devices—it’s that it’s going to be different. Geeks have a decent understanding of how a PC and smartphone works. But the HoloLens will require a new vocabulary, and we’re just beginning to learn the language.


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