Is Apple Going To Challenge Microsoft HoloLens In Augmented Reality Market?

Microsoft's HoloLens, the first augmented reality device, started shipping to developers on March 30. While most people who have used the device believe it could represent the future of technology, they also feel that the current beta version is somewhat limited.

Mashable likes the build and design of the HoloLens.

"I noticed immediately that the final 1.3-pound (579 grams) well-balanced HoloLens Development Edition was the most comfortable HoloLens headset yet and, not for nothing, with its smooth matte-black finish, curves and sunglass-like visor, it's a pretty cool-looking device. Microsoft told me that it's made dozens of adjustments since the last time I tried it. It showed."
Microsoft HoloLens
The limited field-of-view on the HoloLens has frustrated many users. [Photo by Ted S. Warren-Pool/Getty Images]The author, Lance Ulanoff, doesn't feel as bothered as others by the limited field-of-view the HoloLens offers. However, WinBeta explains why it could be a major issue.

"Whatever the reasons, the field of view is narrower than you'll probably want. The thing that struck me most about the field of view problems was not that the screen was too small, but what happens when you want to change the field of view," says author Kip Kniskern.

Kniskern and others say that to understand the limited field-of-view, one has to think of holding a smartphone about eight inches from your face. When a holographic image is too large for that space, it will clip off and sour the immersive experience.

A Reddit poster, Theadmira1, received his HoloLens and says he loves it so far.

"Finally got our hands on the HoloLens and wanted to share some footage directly from the lens. I'm abso-f*****g-lutely in love with this thing. This is the PC to VRs Atari and I've been waiting since the first time I put on the DK1. The FOV sucks, but I feel the tracking, wireless, and OS issues would be harder to overcome and then already have those areas dialed so it's really only a matter of time."
Microsoft's HoloLens has caused a lot of excitement on Twitter.
If for some reason Microsoft doesn't fulfill their duties in bringing augmented reality to the mainstream, perhaps Apple can deliver a more complete augmented reality experience. According to MacRumors, Apple is likely working on both virtual and augmented reality projects.
"Apple is investigating multiple ways virtual and augmented reality could be implemented into future iOS devices or new hardware products. It isn't yet known when a VR or AR product will launch, but Apple's focus on the technology has ramped up over the past several months."
The article adds that Apple has hired hundreds of employees who specialize in both augmented and virtual reality, including computer science professor Doug Bowman, who once led Virginia Tech's Center for Human-Computer Interaction. He not only specializes in three-dimensional user interface design, but has written a book on the subject covering 3D interfaces.

Judging by the initial response to the HoloLens, it will take at least three or four more years before a complete consumer-oriented augmented reality device hits shelves. Are you excited about augmented reality? Do you think Microsoft's HoloLens has more promise than virtual reality devices such as the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive? Let us know in the comments section.

[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]