Microsoft has confirmed the investigation of HoloLens 2 display issues after numerous reports from early adopters. It follows several weeks of complaints on Reddit, where users say they're receiving anything from a brown tint to bands of color or rainbow effects.
Creator Alex Kipman initially responded to complaints with details on how the HoloLens 2's display works. The new improved headset features a binocular system that forms an image at the back of your eye, rather than in front of it. Eye-tracking helps to correct color, so users should do eye-tracking calibration to ensure the best experience.
Unfortunately, some users say the issue persists even after calibration and other troubleshooting steps. This suggests some may have defective units, and Microsoft now says it's looking into those cases.
— César Berardini (@cesarberardini) December 18, 2019
“Microsoft continues to invest and innovate in the field of display technology. Microsoft HoloLens 2 contains a new type of display that more than doubles the field of view of the original HoloLens and is the result of a set of balanced display trade-offs,” it told roadtoVR. “We are aware of reports from some developers experiencing issues with their displays and we're working closely with them to understand the underlying cause.”
How Many Headsets are Affected?
At the present time, its unclear how many headsets are affected by the issue. Early indications suggest plenty of HoloLens 2 devices don't experience issues, but general display quality seems to vary between units.
“Different devices have different severity of the issue, so I would refrain from making statements like ‘its not as terrible as people make it out to be'. It's good that your devices are not too badly affected, but ours rendered text completely unreadable and the color issue is so severe on ours you cannot distinguish the content behind the banding,” writes Reddit user Daemonhahn, who received several headsets yesterday, all with the issue.
Meanwhile, many are having significant trouble actually getting their hands on one of the headsets. The shortage of devices compounds the issue, with support agents telling developers they can't get them a replacement of their $3500 headset.
Issues are of course expected in pre-release versions of the headset, but one display expert is reporting that artifacts present on early versions are still present in the finished product.
The other features of HoloLens 2 – its hand tracking, ergonomics, and speech recognition – seem to work perfectly. Unfortunately, though, the display is such a vital part of the device that any prolonged issues in that regard will outweigh the positives.