Microsoft’s HoloLens Not Fit for AR-Assisted Surgery, Study Suggests

Participants were less accurate and became more tired when completing a task with the HoloLens, compared to the naked eye

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With the right device, some programming, and the flick of a switch, augmented reality (AR) can change the world—or at least change what we see a few centimeters in front of our eyes. But while the industry rapidly expands and works hard to improve the AR experience, it must also overcome an important natural barrier: the way in which our eyes focus on objects.

A recent study shows that our eyes are not quite up to the task of simultaneously focusing on two separate objects—one real and one not—in close proximity to one another.

The results, published 6 May in IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, suggest that accomplishing an AR-assisted task that’s close at hand (within two meters) and requires a high level of precision may not be feasible with existing technology. This could be unwelcome news for researchers attempting to design certain AR-assisted programs.

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