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posted by martyb on Wednesday February 27 2019, @11:23PM   Printer-friendly
from the hollow-holo-promises dept.

Microsoft Significantly Misrepresented HoloLens 2's Field of View at Reveal

To significant anticipation, Microsoft revealed HoloLens 2 earlier this week at MWC 2019. By all accounts it looks like a beautiful and functional piece of technology and a big step forward for Microsoft's AR initiative. All of which makes it unfortunate that the company didn't strive to be clearer when illustrating one of the three key areas in which the headset is said to be improved over its predecessor. [...] For field of view—how much of your view is covered by the headset's display—[Alex] Kipman said that HoloLens 2 delivers "more than double" the field of view of the original HoloLens.

Within the AR and VR markets, the de facto descriptor used when talking about a headset's field of view is an angle specified to be the horizontal, vertical, or diagonal extent of the device's display from the perspective of the viewer. When I hear that one headset has "more than double" the field of view of another, it says to me that one of those angles has increased by a factor of ~2. It isn't perfect by any means, but it's how the industry has come to define field of view.

It turns out that's not what Kipman meant when he said "more than double." I reached out to Microsoft for clarity and found that what he was actually referring to was not a field of view angle, rather the field of view area, but that wasn't explained in the presentation at all, just (seemingly intentionally) vague statements of "more than twice the field of view."

[...] But then Kipman moved onto a part of the presentation which visually showed the difference between the field of view of HoloLens 1 and HoloLens 2, and that's when things really became misleading.

Microsoft chief defends controversial military HoloLens contract

Microsoft employees objecting to a US Army HoloLens contract aren't likely to get many concessions from their company's leadership. CEO Satya Nadella has defended the deal in a CNN interview, arguing that Microsoft made a "principled decision" not to deny technology to "institutions that we have elected in democracies to protect the freedoms we enjoy." The exec also asserted that Microsoft was "very transparent" when securing the contract and would "continue to have that dialogue" with staff.

Also at UploadVR, Ars Technica, and The Hill.

See also: Stick to Your Guns, Microsoft

Previously: U.S. Army Awards Microsoft a $480 Million HoloLens Contract
Microsoft Announces $3,500 HoloLens 2 With Wider Field of View and Other Improvements

Related: Google Drafting Ethics Policy for its Involvement in Military Projects
Google Will Not Continue Project Maven After Contract Expires in 2019

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  • (Score: 0, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28 2019, @12:15AM (7 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28 2019, @12:15AM (#807890)

    It is weird how Microsoft and Amazon have strangely become the most ethical large tech companies. I would not have expected that twenty years ago. It's not that their ethical conduct is especially good, but everyone else's moral compass is pointing straight down.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28 2019, @12:17AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28 2019, @12:17AM (#807892)

    If your moral compass is pointing straight down, it is a Plumb Bob, and you probably got it from Bob Jones Plum University. Or, it's your dick.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28 2019, @12:28AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28 2019, @12:28AM (#807897)

      It's probably both.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by takyon on Thursday February 28 2019, @12:28AM

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday February 28 2019, @12:28AM (#807896) Journal

    Is Microsoft defined by its leadership or by its rank-and-file developers? Because if you read TFS you'll find that the CEO wants to do business with the U.S. Army, it's just the lowly devs that are objecting to it. Similar story at Google with Project Maven.

    These companies could fire their whiny devs, or just create some subsidiary or joint venture to handle the autonomous killer robot work. To be conducted with zero fanfare.

    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28 2019, @12:47AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28 2019, @12:47AM (#807904)

    It's employee's market [] now. As result, those employees have power []. That's all.

    • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Thursday February 28 2019, @02:55AM

      by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <> on Thursday February 28 2019, @02:55AM (#807952) Homepage Journal

      That this particular employee - or rather, contract programmer - did _not_ have power during the Dot-Com Crash led to my first, very early and purely _private_ experiments with what ultimately turned out to be Soggy Jobs.

      There is one respect in which AC's gripes are valid, in that it is incredibly difficult even for highly qualified applicants to get interviewed. This because I've read - and RSN will supply the [needed citation] - that the average job board post results in one thousand applications.

      Were I such a hiring manager, I would trim that down to a much smaller number of resumes, with the winners in this First Cut being those applicants whose first names have a prime number of letters - "Un", "Ann", "Peter" and so on.

      Among my aims for Soggy Jobs is to greatly _reduce_ that initial pile of one thousand resumes by enabling _every_ applicant to be far far more judicious in selecting which jobs to actually apply for.

      For example you could for public companies, read their financial reports. When many - not all, but _many_ job board posts are _anonymous_, the only way to determine whether you'd even want to apply is to actually go ahead at do so. Surely there is some reason?

      I am to give the power _back_ to the applicants by making it trivially easy to apply _everywhere_ you would actually want to work, to make it easier to avoid commuting by listing companies that are _not_ in Tech Hubs - Vancouver, Washington in my own case - as well as to avoid getting spammed by the body shops because you will _not_ have a profile on my site, nor will you have a resume. The _only_ way someone will find out you're looking for work is when someone actually _receives_ your resume.

      Indiegogo launch coming in... Real... Soon...

      Yes I Have No Bananas. []
  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28 2019, @01:41AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28 2019, @01:41AM (#807927)

    > The military is not the enemy

    Are you sure? Nukes done away with the US's nation-level foreign threats some 50 years ago. Nuclear power-plants could have resolved US dependence on foreign oil too and saved America every single war post-WW2. What "friendly" service has the military done for you lately? Really, what positive value of the moral kind does the military-industrial complex add to your existence? Cause from over here at the sidelines, it sure looks like a boot firmly pressed against your face.

    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Thursday February 28 2019, @03:41PM

      by Freeman (732) on Thursday February 28 2019, @03:41PM (#808156) Journal

      Once the world really got the picture of how destructive and environmentally unfriendly Nuclear bombs actually are, they ceased to be useful in conventional wars. They exist only for MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) reasons. They could possibly have a use in a last resort kind of situation, but generally that'd be likely to trigger a MAD situation. Nukes will do us no good in conventional warfare, because we actually want a world where we can survive. You think too much CO2 is bad for the atmosphere / environment. How about detonating a few dozen Nuclear Warheads or even just one or two?

      The military doesn't exist to make moral decisions. The military is there to win. The civilian leaders are the ones that should be making the moral decision to go to war or not. Sure, even military personnel should have some moral compass, but that moral compass is based on wanting to protect their own country. Chivalry ended a very long time ago, perhaps the last widespread act of Chivalry in war was this: []

      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"