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.
Until then, a video recently appeared on YouTube from creator Kei Voxel, of VoxCellDesign, showing off his take on a magic window. You can see Kei Voxel's simple and elegant UI/UX design in HoleLenz as he air taps to create circular windows on the wall he's looking at with the HoloLens. Through these new windows, you can see the sky and a mountain range on the distant horizon.
He also shows off the ability to change the skybox (the pictures of the world outside through the windows) he is using by opening and closing a single window. Again, a very simple and elegant design. He then rounds out the illusion by adding similar windows on the floor, with a view of the earth from above. It looks as though his office is floating through the atmosphere.
This video led me to another that he has created, for an application he has in the works called "HoleLenz Gate." It's a similar use of skyboxes, with one major difference; Unlike HoleLenz, you can walk through the hole that is created and stand in the space you see on the other side.
To be honest, I was suddenly really impatient to try these applications out, so I reached out to Kei Voxel. It appears that HoleLenz will be out on the Windows Store very soon, and HoleLenz Gate will follow shortly thereafter.
HoleLenz has just passed certification. I guess it will take up to 24 hours to be visible in the Store. HoleLenz can only make small holes. Next, I will release "HoleLenz Gate" soon. You can step through the hole to another space with this HoleLenz Gate.
We live in an extremely complex world these days, and it seems to get more complex as the days move along. As a result, I have become a big fan of minimal design in recent years. If you see me referring to something as simple or minimal, that is meant to be high praise. It means the designer has avoided the pitfalls of being seduced into adding unnecessary layers to his or her application.
Now... I am really curious how it will work with my fear of heights.
What is your favorite interface design you have seen so far on the HoloLens? Let us know in the comments below.