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.
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.
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.
Microsoft's HoloLens is certainly a leap into the future of mixed reality interfaces, but it's not without drawbacks.
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.
News: Trimble Releases SketchUp Viewer, the First Commercial HoloLens Application in the Windows Store
Visualization is one of the obvious commercial applications for technology such as Microsoft's HoloLens. The ability to see the assets of a project in different scales—from micro to larger-than-life—with a quick air tap will play a large part in the coming augmented reality revolution. Whether the assets are art for a game, interior design, raw financial data, or architecture, data visualization will play an important role in the future. This is due, in part, to our ability to absorb informat...
Have You Seen This?: HoloChess Is a Great Example of How to Make a HoloLens App Without the Hardware
I am often asked about getting started with HoloLens development and most of the time my answer, in short, is: Install Unity, install Visual Studio, install the HoloLens emulator, and make something.
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.
One of the most highly-cited drawbacks to the HoloLens is its limited field of view (FOV), but now it appears that Microsoft has solved that problem.
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.
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.
In the world we live in now — a world of complete data overload — new ways to sort through that data moves well past "nice-to-have" and firmly into the needs category. Mind mapping has been one tool that allowed someone to break down large problems into like components and help visualize the problems in different ways. Now thanks to Data Experts gmbh's Windows Store release Holo-Mind, we can do that in 3D on the HoloLens.
Obviously this is just a teaser, and who knows how soon we'll see something like this in real life, but just go ahead and watch the video first before you continue reading.
The limitless applications of 3D data visualization will enable a more efficient approach to many of life's problems. Each day, developers exploring this technology are finding new ways to solve these problems in mixed reality; 3D modeling, easier house management, spinal surgery, and forest fire management are just a few recent examples of ways 3D data visualization can benefit us all.
For those of us that were blown away by the spatial mapping and user experience in Fragments and Young Conker, the version of spatial mapping that came stock in the HoloToolkit was lackluster at best. It became apparent really quick that to get an amazing presentation would require some heavy shader knowledge and some badass mesh culling skills, at the very least.
You've likely seen some impressive art carved out of a bush or tree before that looked like it required a lot of work and skill to create. While that may have been the case in the past, software engineer Javier Davalos used the Microsoft HoloLens to turn a bush into a perfect topiarian sphere with no training whatsoever.
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.
A few days ago, I pulled up the Windows Store on my HoloLens and saw a few new applications. One that caught my attention was Oriental Museum, which lets you explore China's Forbidden City, and the other one is very similar free demo app called Secrets of Ancient Egypt by Link Development.
One of the more surprising omissions from the HoloLens' original app selection was email. You could write a word document or make a spreadsheet but only email through the browser. While not a major encumbrance, Microsoft's addition of Outlook makes the whole office experience feel complete.
Spending time in a holographic environment brings the virtual world to life, but it doesn't actually create much interaction with your physical environment. So Daenet created a concept app called HoloTwin to demonstrate how holograms and real-world devices can interact with one another. While very simple, HoloTwin uses a holographic light bulb as a virtual switch for an actual, physical LED light. While you wouldn't want to strap on the HoloLens every time you wanted to adjust the lighting in...
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.
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.
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.
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.
You know the drill. It's time to d-d-d-duel! This time you're a part of the Shadow Games in a way you've never been before, thanks to Micorsoft's HoloLens.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
Thanks to Project-Infrared, there's now a pretty straightforward way to add motion tracking to the HoloLens: Connect it to a Kinect.
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.
Empea Berlin, a Germany-based company specializing in augmented, mixed, and virtual reality software, released a Facebook video a few months back showing off their experiments in smart home technology. Using a Raspberry Pi and a HoloLens unit, they were able to make a virtual remote control for an air conditioning unit. The remote is complete with various modes, temperature controls, timers, and other features. There have been no updates on this project since they first showed it off, but hop...
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.
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.
The HoloLens is a natural medium for 3D data visualization, which offers a far more ideal approach over 2D screens to managing multiple resources simultaneously and grasping the bigger picture. We've already seen how management is using holograms to oversee cities, firefighters, and the military, and now training for sports teams is being addressed with VAR Football.
HoloLens developer Arvizio has expanded its collaboration suite of tools for enterprises with a device that can stream and record mixed reality experiences in high-definition for local and remote audiences.
When figuring out how to arrange your furniture in a new room, you traditionally have to measure everything and use your imagination. HoloPlanner has a better idea: just place holographic furniture in the room so the Microsoft HoloLens can imagine it for you.