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.
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.
Microsoft's HoloLens is certainly a leap into the future of mixed reality interfaces, but it's not without drawbacks.
Now that we've set up Vuforia in Unity, we can work on the more exciting aspects of making physical objects come to life on the HoloLens. In this guide, we will choose an image (something that you physically have in your home), build our ImageTarget database, and then set up our Unity camera to be able to recognize the chosen image so that it can overlay the 3D holographic effect on top of it.
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.
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.
Welcome back to this series on making physical objects come to life on HoloLens with Vuforia. Now that we've set up Vuforia and readied our ImageTarget and camera system, we can see our work come to life. Because in the end, is that not one of the main driving forces when developing—that Frankenstein-like sensation of bringing something to life that was not there before?
Microsoft's HoloLens comes with helpful features for capturing video and photos, but sharing whatever you record isn't as straightforward as you might expect. So here are the many ways to get your media off the device to share with the world.
Numerous examples exist of doctors and surgeons using HoloLens to plan surgeries. The device has even been used to view reference images during a procedure and stream it to a remote audience. Until recently, it has not been used to augment the surgeon's view of the patient during a live surgery.
For those of us on the fast ring of the Windows Insider Program — Microsoft's continual beta program for the Windows operating system — the constant updates can be a bit of a pain. But there is a trade-off. We get to try the new features long before they come out to the public. So if you like to see the new shinies before everyone else, and don't mind the sometimes two or three major updates in a week, then this is definitely the option for you.
Students from Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center have been working on an augmented reality system to help teach music in a project called Music Everywhere.
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.
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.
Microsoft announced yet another exciting partnership for HoloLens today — thyssenkrupp, an industrial engineering company best known for their elevators — continuing to prove how useful augmented reality is in the workplace.
Complex games in mixed reality require a pretty detailed scan of the room, and getting this process right can be both time-consuming and annoying. Computer science students at the University of Washington decided to fix that by turning it into a game.
The way we tell stories is about to change. Imagine you're hearing a story when suddenly characters and images from the tale start to appear in your world. This immersive way of storytelling is in the not-so-distant future thanks to the Microsoft HoloLens and Rémy Martin.
3D modeling is usually a very long and complicated process. Manipulating the thousands to millions of vertices, faces, and triangles to the correct shape you want is just the first part of the process, and can take a good while depending on the level of detail needed. From there, you need to texture the model by applying the UV coordinates and placing the textures in the correct places. And all of this isn't even including the process of creating normal maps.
HoloMaps, an application by Seattle-based Taqtile, is available for free on the Windows Store. Taqtile, whose Vice President of Product Management was Microsoft's former Director of Business Development, is one of the few partners currently in the Microsoft HoloLens Agency Readiness Program. This interactive 3D map they have created, powered by Bing, offers more than just a top-down view of the world on the HoloLens.
After what appeared to be an issue with the Windows Store for HoloLens not showing many newer applications, including one that I had released over a month ago, Microsoft finally squashed the bug. So, at first glance, it would seem as if there were lots of new HoloLens projects that just appeared in the store, even though they've likely been hiding out there for a while. HoloTerrain is one of those apps.
If you've played the game Portal by Valve before, you've most likely popped one portal onto the ceiling and another directly below it on the floor, dropped your Companion Cube in, and then watched it fall forever. Well, now it has been done in real life, in an actual hallway, not in a rendered world.
News: Alex Kipman Just Said What All HoloLens Enthusiasts Are Thinking — 'The Phone Is Already Dead'
According to Alex Kipman, HoloLens inventor and futurist at Microsoft, the smartphone is already obsolete. In an interview with Bloomberg, Kipman boldly stated that the HoloLens will eventually replace the smartphone and drive society right into a new augmented normal.
Microsoft Build 2017, the first of Microsoft's big developer conferences for the year, is just a few weeks away. This very popular conference, which has been going on since 2011, is known to sell out fast. In 2015, it sold out in under an hour, and in 2016, in less than 5 minutes. This year was no different, according to VentureBeat; While not quite as fast as last year with so many rumors of HoloLens on the horizon at the time, this year's Build was sold out in 8 hours. And for this year's B...
We're on the verge of an amazing evolution of technology where we can work and play in virtual worlds that merge with our own—or let us escape into our imaginations entirely. But creating virtual, mixed, and augmented reality experiences requires resources and hardware that not everyone has access to. If you want to build something awesome with the Microsoft HoloLens (or one of the other awesome platforms), we want to help you do just that.
Pokémon GO has had an incredible impact on gamers in a way we've never seen before, but you can only do so much in augmented reality on a smartphone. It's clear we're headed for more immersive experiences, but the Amsterdam-based development studio Capitola VR already created a proof-of-concept version of the game that works on the Microsoft HoloLens.
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 in January.
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.
News: This Guy Playing IRL Super Mario in Central Park Is One of the Coolest & Most Fun Demos of What MR Can Do
There's a general belief that augmented and mixed reality is going tied to enterprise solutions for the foreseeable future, and most developers in the field are focused on business use-cases. Without a dramatic breakthrough in the next couple of years that will likely be the case, making that decision the sensible one.
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?
Virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive tether to desktop computers with robust GPUs in order to harness their power. The free-roaming, cordless Microsoft HoloLens forgoes those chains but loses a bit of graphical processing power in the mix. However, a recent report suggests we may get the best of both worlds.
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.
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.
When you wear a holographic computer on your face, you gain some things and lose others. That's certainly the case when using Skype in Microsoft's HoloLens. Some video chats will work better because your caller can see what you see, rather than your face—but others just feel weird.
The release of Unity 5.6 brought with it several great enhancements. One of those enhancements is the new Video Player component. This addition allows for adding videos to your scenes quickly and with plenty of flexibility. Whether you are looking to simply add a video to a plane, or get creative and build a world layered with videos on 3D objects, Unity 5.6 has your back.
One of the truly beautiful things about the HoloLens is its completely untethered, the-world-is-your-oyster freedom. This, paired with the ability to view your real surroundings while wearing the device, allows for some incredibly interesting uses. One particular use is triggering events when a user enters a specific location in a physical space. Think of it as a futuristic automatic door.
It seems to me you can't swing a dead cat near an augmented reality developer without hearing the word Vuforia escape their lips. PTC's software solution has become the go-to for most developers in the mobile AR space, and since they recently added full support for the HoloLens in Unity, I figured it was about time we learn to make something with it.
Thanks to Project-Infrared, there's now a pretty straightforward way to add motion tracking to the HoloLens: Connect it to a Kinect.
Deaf people primarily communicate through sign language, so understanding spoken languages can prove challenging. To bridge that gap in communication, the HoloHear team built a mixed reality app at a Microsoft HoloLens Hackathon in San Fransisco that translates the spoken word into sign language.
Being part of the wild frontier is amazing. It doesn't take much to blow minds of first time mixed reality users — merely placing a canned hologram in the room is enough. However, once that childlike wonder fades, we need to add more substance to create lasting impressions.
Tricking your eyes into seeing 3D images isn't all that hard in movies or even in virtual reality, but when you start projecting holograms into the physical world, you run into some difficult problems. Microsoft obviously figured them out with their HoloLens, but how? The process is pretty amazing.
News: Unity & Microsoft Are Giving Away $150,000 for HoloLens Apps & Loaning Out HoloLens Developers Kits
At the Microsoft Build 2017 conference in Seattle this past week, 3D application and game platform Unity, partnering with Microsoft, launched a contest that drives HoloLens developers to realize their ideas into a full-fledged application and possibly win money for it.