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...

News: Spatial Maps Can & Will Be So Much More for Mixed Reality

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...

News: Vuforia AR Starter Kit Hits the Unity Asset Store for Free

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.

News: Taqtile's HoloMaps Gives HoloLens Users Ability to View, Scale & Draw on 3D 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.

Video: Haptics Make Holograms Touchable on the HoloLens

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.

Video: HoleLenz Adds Magic Windows to HoloLens & Gives Portals to New Worlds

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.

How To: Buy a Microsoft HoloLens

Microsoft's HoloLens project is shaping up to be the forerunner of augmented reality. With jaw-dropping features that would allow you to bring entire football games into your living room and control software with your eyes, there's plenty to be excited about with the upcoming AR headset. Up until now, HoloLens has been seen as potential vaporware, considering that the technology it brings to the table is so futuristic that some folks have thought it wouldn't be possible any time soon. But a r...

News: The Scaling Ratios Every HoloLens Dev Should Know for Clean Text in Mixed Reality

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.

News: HoloTube Brings YouTube to the HoloLens, but It Needs to Be Way Better

HoloTube, a new unofficial YouTube app for the Microsoft HoloLens, brings a whole bunch of new content to the mixed reality headset. While it's nice to have, the experience feels focused on quantity, not quality. HoloTube has a simple interface most people will recognize. You get a page of video categories, and as you drill down through each option you're presented with videos to watch. You can view regular, flat videos on the wall (or wherever you like)—which has its merits.

News: Smart Home Proof of Concept Uses a Raspberry Pi to Control Air Conditioner with HoloLens

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...

News: Check Out These Awesome Mixed-Reality Movies Made with the HoloLens

Mixed reality filmmaking isn't a new concept. Disney managed to make it work in 1988 with Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but not without an enormous amount of work. We haven't seen many mixed reality films of that scope since, and perhaps that's because it's still hard to accomplish. Filmmakers don't look through a viewfinder or monitor and see the fully rendered result on screen—but that can change with mixed reality headsets like the HoloLens.

News: Stimulant's HoloLens App Helps Navigate Inside Buildings

We've got Google Maps to help us out when we need to navigate outdoors, but Google can only map out so many indoor locations without getting creepy. And that's where Stimulant comes in. This "innovation studio" built a HoloLens app that lets you map out an area, define locations, and use the headset to get instant directions to any defined location.

Video: PokéLens—A HoloLens Concept Game with Project Downloads

Ready to finally play some Pokémon on your HoloLens? Here is your chance! KennyWdev has released a video showing off his newest build of PokéLens, a Pokémon clone for the HoloLens similar to Pokémon GO. In the video, you get to see two Pokémon battle it out on what appears to be an office floor. Apparently, Pikachu is "super effective." This coincidentally appeared online the same day that another developer, Sky Zhou, showed off his Smash Brothers-style Pokémon game.

News: HoloLens Will Be Your AR Piano Teacher in the Future

You've likely seen light-up musical keyboards that teach you how to play a song with visual cues, but few of those devices exist and have a limited number of songs you can actually learn. But Karl Baumann and his HoloLens Hackathon team figured out that in mixed reality, you can learn music with visual cues with any piano.

News: Doctors Use 3D Holograms on the HoloLens to Aid in Collarbone Repair During Surgery

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.

News: Will the HoloLens Forget About Gaming?

Microsoft's HoloLens has many applications in the business world, both large and small, but what about gaming? Initial demos gave the impression that we could expect amazing first person shooters, platformers, and even Minecraft. Yet, as Newsweek noticed, the HoloLens was nowhere to be found at E3 this year.