This is how Microsoft's HoloLens will address its biggest flaw

Microsoft HoloLens news
Microsoft HoloLens news

It's difficult to envision how or when Microsoft HoloLens will become a practical reality, but even those who talk highly about its potential keep mentioning the same exact flaw.

"The biggest issue with HoloLens's holographic viewing is that the field of view is limited," noted our very own News Editor Michelle Fitzsimmons in our HoloLens hands-on review.

"[It] amounts to the size of a monitor in front of you – equivalent to 15 inches," she said to illustrate what it looks like to strap on and demo the mixed reality headset.

Microsoft HoloLens news

What you think you see

Last year, Microsoft acknowledged this widely echoed complaint when HoloLens project head (at the time) Kudo Tsunoda prepared us for the worst, saying it won't improve anytime soon.

Here's the solution

Hearing that same sentiment echoed through the press, I asked the Microsoft team about how it plans to one day address the narrow field of view dilemna.

The answer is simple: it's not. Instead, it's going to leave it up to others to address widening the field of view for now. The actual hardware is more likely to come from someone else.

Microsoft HoloLens news

What you actually see

"We have nothing to announce with regard to a new HoloLens today," Terry Myerson, Executive View President of Windows & Devices at Microsoft, told me at Computex 2016.

"But there will be partners who build products with wider field of views with Windows Holographic. I'm certain of that."

Who could refine it?

Microsoft announced that it has at least 16 partnerships with hardware companies throughout the PC industry, and all of them are already supporting its new Windows Holographic platform.

HTC, Asus, Dell (along with Alienware), MSI and Lenovo are the manufacturers that could refine Microsoft HoloLens and fix its glaring field of vision issue.

Microsoft HoloLens news

This could be the future, though

What's interesting is that, the more I hear Microsoft executives talk about HoloLens, the more it's become obvious that it's building a truly hardware-agnostic VR and AR software platform.

By inviting developers to expand its mixed reality vision first and putting its HoloLens hardware second, Microsoft is powering the next Windows, not the next vendor-alienating Surface 2-in-1.

Matt Swider