In December of last year, UK-based Zappar successfully raise $84,356 for their ZapBox mixed reality headset—over $50,000 more than their goal. Well, they just blew that sum out of the water when they announced this morning that they've closed a Series A round of funding with $3.75 million.
When I first started with HoloLens development last April, one of the first things I created was a window. The purpose of that window was to be attached to a wall and give the illusion of being in a different space—an effect that is often referred to as a "magic window" effect by developers. My goal was to create the feeling of being in the penthouse of a skyscraper, and it's one that I hope to get back to working on soon.
"Necessity, not novelty," is a phrase I use often when it comes to HoloLens development. It would be fair to call it my mantra, or mission statement, as I prototype and explore software creation on this new frontier of mixed reality.
Now that we've got all of our software installed, we're going to proceed with the next step in our HoloLens Dev 101 series—starting a fresh project and building it into a Holographic application. Then we will output the application to the HoloLens Emulator so we can see it in action.
Thanks to Project-Infrared, there's now a pretty straightforward way to add motion tracking to the HoloLens: Connect it to a Kinect.
We've been hearing some interesting rumors in the last few days that are stirring up all kinds of speculation about the potential upcoming consumer release of the HoloLens. However, MSPoweruser has speculated a bit further past the consumer HoloLens release to a possible HoloLens 2 as soon as Q3 2017.
Microsoft's HoloLens is certainly a leap into the future of mixed reality interfaces, but it's not without drawbacks.
Many new developers are diving right into the Microsoft HoloLens, but augmented and mixed reality are fairly big subjects in terms of learning. There's a lot to cover and, unfortunately, very few places for someone brand new to Windows Holographic to begin lessons.
In the past, to see a pre-constructed state of the house that you would one day live in, you had to be able to read blueprints or hire an artist to sketch it out. Later came the ability to have a 3D rendering of that house on a screen, but you'd still have to work hard to envision it in real life.
If the rumors are right, Microsoft has decided to cancel the second version of the HoloLens, and they will instead move onto version three of their mixed reality headset. In the latest report, Thurrott's Brad Sams states that the expected release date of this new Windows Holographic device wouldn't be until 2019, a long two years away for those of us putting full effort into HoloLens app development.
A group of researchers from Stanford University and Princeton University has put together the largest RGB-D video dataset to date with over 1,500 scans of over 700 different locations across the world, for a total of 2.5 million views. This dataset, called ScanNet, has been semantically annotated for use in research projects. The purpose of this type of data, of course, is to teach our future robot overlords to both see and understand what they capture better. In the process, our computer-bas...
If you have a HoloLens, you can now control the lighting throughout your home or office via holographic controls using the free Hue Lights app in the Windows Store. The app, made by California-based AfterNow, works with the Philips Hue colored lighting system, and is much more polished than the prototype we saw last month.
We live in a marvelous age, a time where technology is driving us forward as a species at a rapid pace, and tech-driven miracles are becoming more and more commonplace. While the human race may not be focused on building the largest wonders of the world, as it once was in history, the current order of wonders are much smaller in scale—even internal.
In this first part to my series on getting started with Windows Holographic, we are going to cover everything you need to get set up for developing HoloLens apps. There are many pieces coming together to make one single application, but once you get used to them all, you won't even notice. Now there are different approaches you can take to make applications for HoloLens, but this way is simply the fastest.
True innovation tends to come from the places we least expect as developers. The Microsoft HoloLens is still a very new product, and some of the other headsets are still just ideas, so the rules for mixed reality are not set in stone. That means all the real problems to be solved are yet to come.
Autodesk offers some of the most popular software for computer-aided design (CAD) projects, which involve all sorts of 3D rendering. Their tools are clearly suited for use with the Microsoft HoloLens, but so far very little supports HoloLens development outside of Unity. Why is that?
With any continuously active software, it can start to become fairly complex after a few years of updates. New features and revisions both get layered into a thick mesh of menu systems and controls that even pro users can get bewildered by. If you are new to a certain application after it has been around for many years, it can be downright intimidating to know where to begin.
In this first part of our tutorial series on making physical objects come to life on HoloLens, we are going to set up Vuforia in Unity.
Imagine wearing your HoloLens, then reaching out to touch a hologram and actually feeling it. Mind blown, right?! Now imagine that same hologram responding to your touch. I don't mean in the way holograms currently respond to an air tap, but a much more refined and precise touch. Maybe you touch a character on the shoulder and it turns around to see you, or maybe you hit a button in the air and it reacts accordingly.
Gesture Input works hand-in-hand with Gaze Input. If you think of Gaze Input like a mouse cursor, Gesture Input is how you "click" in HoloLens—which Microsoft calls "tapping." It's kind of like a touchpad, only in 3D.
In mid-November, Vuforia officially released Vuforia 6.1, which has full support for the Microsoft HoloLens. They also released their AR Starter Kit to the Unity Asset Store, which contains scenes that show you how to use Vuforia features. While I have yet to find any confirmation, I believe it is safe to assume that the AR Starter Kit will work with the HoloLens. I already had a Vuforia tutorial planned for this week, so as soon as I know for sure, I will begin working on it.
Unless you had a master of visual effects for a parent, you had to imagine the floor was actually lava when playing the classic furniture-hopping game. With a Microsoft HoloLens, however, you don't have to imagine anything.
It's no surprise that the Microsoft Kinect can provide far better motion tracking than the HoloLens currently can on its own, but at least one developer didn't want to wait for the company's own eventual implementation. Kyle G, founder and CEO of Wavelength Studios, projected his movements using a Kinect into a holographic zombie.
Designing for mixed reality, especially for the HoloLens, can present unique challenges. Dong Yoon Park, a Principal UX Designer at Microsoft with a passion for typography, recently gave a talk to the Windows Holographic Users Group Redmond (WinHUGR) about the pitfalls he ran into trying to convert what started out as a 2D iOS app 5 years ago to the newer 3D Holographic frontier with Unity.
Mixed reality (MR) feels like an amazing, almost mind-blowing futuristic technology—but only once you've experienced it for yourself. Words, images, and even videos simply cannot describe the experience in full. If you want to really peer into the future and experience MR for yourself, you can sign up and just go in many cities.
The HoloLens opens up new, digital locales within our physical world, so it was only natural for the HoloLens Challenge to ask developers to create a portal into one. One developer rose to the task and gave life to wall art, turning it into an interactive game called Future Boy.
Wish your dull room was a little more refreshing? Through the power of mixed reality and the Microsoft HoloLens, one app can transform your space into a relaxing tropical island.
The latest beta of the popular open-source media player VLC just hit the Windows Store, which means it not only runs on Windows 10 and Xbox One, but the HoloLens as well.
Data visualization has many applications in virtual and mixed reality, since a third dimension literally adds important depth to the represented information. A new app called HoloFlight is a good example of this, combining flight-tracking data and the Microsoft HoloLens to surround you with a look at every plane in the sky.
If you've been to the doctor enough, you know that the medical staff can make a variety of mistakes from time to time. They're human and that's normal, but errors in the medical field can often have significant negative impacts. At Boston's 2016 HoloHacks event, a team of developers created HoloHealth to mitigate human error in common healthcare tasks.
Late last year, two surgeons from the Instituto de Ortopedia e Traumatologia de Jaraguá do Sul in Brazil started using a combination of 3D printing and the Microsoft HoloLens to help plan spinal surgeries. And now, with the rest of their team, they've successfully performed a surgical procedure on their first international patient using their 3D impression planning and augmented reality process.
Don't let the lack of owning a HoloLens stop you from joining in on the fun of creating software in this exciting new space. The HoloLens Emulator offers a solution for everyone that wants to explore Windows Holographic development.
Crayon, a free 3D drawing application by the mysteriously named arkalian, showed up in the Windows Store recently, so I gave it a try like I do all new apps for Windows Holographic. Truthfully, I loaded it up not expecting much, but wow, was I wrong. It's a simple idea, but it's executed well enough to make it a truly great experience on the HoloLens.
Mimesys, whose core focus has always been about creating holographic representations of humans for virtual and augmented reality, has released a video showing off their holographic communication platform in action. This new communication tool uses a combination of virtual reality, with the HTC Vive and a Kinect, and mixed reality, with the HoloLens, to allow the users to have virtual meetings from anywhere in the world as though they are in the same room.
HoloLens developer Michael Peters of In-Vizible has released quite a few videos since receiving his HoloLens last year. Many of his experiments are odd and funny, but some include serious potential approaches to data visualization. In the videos embedded below, you'll specifically see stock market information beautifully rendered in different ways to help understand the data.
Sky Zhou, also know as Matrix Inception on YouTube, is no stranger here on NextReality. We loved his Pokémon concept game for HoloLens, as well as his D3D Keyboard that lets HoloLens users leave notes around the house. He just can't seem to stop creating cool mixed reality apps, and he's already got another one in the works.
The HoloToolkit offers a great many, simple ways to add what seems like extremely complex features of the HoloLens, but it can be a bit tricky if you're new to Windows Holographic. So this will be the first in an ongoing series designed to help new developers understand what exactly we can do with the HoloLens, and we'll start with voice commands.
A few days before Christmas last year, we saw the first glimpse of HoloSuit, a new motion controller by startup Kaaya Tech. This full-body motion controller is designed as a tracksuit with sensors that can be used to control devices such as a computer or Microsoft HoloLens, and now it's getting ready to start production, with an upcoming Kickstarter campaign planned to go live soon.
If anyone has every told you that they see music they listen to, they have synesthesia. It's a fascinating neurological phenomenon where people experience crossed responses to stimuli, and no one knows exactly how common this is. A rough estimate claims that one in every 5,000 to 100,000 people is a synesthete, but it could be far more common or rare. Nobody really knows.