First view of the Magic Leap HMD drops, let’s guess the FOV

So Magic leap just announced its HMD, the “Lightwear” (plus accessories) .  I was really hoping for something a bit more wraparound and less cyberpunk. Immersion is really helped by a good field of view (FOV), but immersion might not be what ML is focusing on. The FOV shown looks kinda small. Can we guestimate the FOV?

From an article in Rolling Stone, we get this quote;

Magic Leap’s Lightwear doesn’t offer you a field of view that matches your eyes. Instead, the Magic Leap creations appear in a field of view that is roughly the shape of a rectangle on its side. Because the view is floating in space, I couldn’t’ measure it, so I did the next best thing: I spent a few minutes holding out first a credit card in front of my face and then my hands to try to be able to describe how big that invisible frame is. The credit card was much too small. I ended up with this: The viewing space is about the size of a VHS tape held in front of you with your arms half extended. It’s much larger than the HoloLens, but it’s still there.

Ahh! some numbers. Half of my arm’s length holding a VHS tape is 318mm. A VHS tape is 187mm long. Using that trig I learned and never thought would be useful in real life;We get an angle of 16.4 °, which we double for an HMD FOV of 32.8°, or roughly the same as Hololens (35°). Since the article also says the FOV is larger than the Hololens, I must have a longer arm than the writer of the article. The takeaway is that it’s comparable, and not a great increase in FOV size at all. Later in the article Abovitz admits that they are working to improve the FOV, probably in later versions. For reference, most folks view their desktop computer monitors so they have a 70° FOV.

Basically, the setup is a battery/computer-pack you wear on a belt or in a pocket, a single controller (very Oculus puck-like), and the headset. Said to be very comfortable. No specs on CPU, GPU, display or battery life.  Now to get my hands on one.

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