Getting Started With HoloLens

Start Building Holographic Apps with Microsoft HoloLens

Windows Holographic is a mixed reality platform for developers. Developer can leverage the Holographic API  with Windows 10 to built the apps through holographic experience. Microsoft HoloLens is the holographic device that lets you create holograms, objects made of light and sound that appear in the world around you. This looks just as if they are real objects around you and you can interact with them using  gaze, gestures and voice commands. Interesting !! Yes, of course ! This is the new era of development and it’s like building the future.

Over the past few years I worked extensively with the amazing device Kinect for Windows and as always, I “’Thank You” for your continues encouragement on my work that I shared over past years and for sharing very positive feedback on my Kinect for Windows SDK Programming Book.  Now, for me it is time to take step ahead and explore the new device HoloLens, and I will keep continue sharing cool stuff over here based on my learning.  To start with, this post is all about getting started with the development with HoloLens.

Here is the series of Post :

  1. Start Building Holographic Apps with Microsoft HoloLens
  2. Bringing Your Universal Windows Apps to Microsoft HoloLens
  3. Run an existing Universal Windows App (UWP) Package with HoloLens Emulator
  4. Developing Holographic Apps with Unity 3D and Microsoft HoloLens
  5. Projecting your Holographic apps in a Real Space Surroundings using HoloLens Emulator
  6. Understanding the Gaze and Adding a Gaze Input Cursor into your Unity 3D Holographic App
  7. Understanding the Gesture and Adding Air Tap Gesture into your Unity 3D Holographic App
  8. Visualizing Spatial Mapping of a Real Space in your Holographic App using HoloLens Emulator

The HoloLens SDK was just made available during  //Build Conference.  And the Development Kit also starts  shipping to developers who are already opt for it.  But, for now you don’t need to worry even if you don’t  have the devices in your hand ! You can start building the application with Visual Studio 2015 Update 2 and the HoloLens Emulator.   The emulator works really well; and you can easily simulate gazing, the gestures , even the speech recognition etc.

Holographic motorcycle design fitted on a real-life motorcycle body

Image Source : https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/holographic/hologram

Development Environment

Following are the list of items that you ensure to have it installed get it started.

Refer Install the tools for details of installation check list and system requirements.

HoloLens Emulator in Action
HoloLens Emulator in Action

Building Different Types of Apps

Holographic Apps uses the Universal Windows Platform, and all the Universal Apps can be run on Microsoft HoloLens.  On the other hand, to built the holographic 3D elements using Unity. So, here is the option you can choose for.

  • Building Universal Windows Application; and run it like a 2D which uses Holographic API for accessibility.
Universal Windows Apps Running on HoloLens Emulator
Universal Windows Apps Running on HoloLens Emulator

Building a rich, real world 3D holographic elements and use Holographic API’s for them.  To get start with Unity is perfect fit and and that’s why we installed Unity HoloLens SDK toolkit) .

3D Holographic Application
A 3D HoloLens Application

Image Source: https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/holographic/

Development Skills Set

What skills do I need to start building the apps for HoloLens ? Of course this could be your first question !  Well, if you are Microsoft Stack developer building Universal Apps, Device Apps using C# you are all set to go.   Adding Unity 3D in your skill set is an added and huge advantages for building 3D applications.

So here is the list of things that I think of, will help you to get you started building apps for HoloLens

  • Visual Studio 2015
  • .NET
  • Universal Windows Platforms (UWP) App development with C# and XAML
  • Unity 3D / 3D Modeling
  • Building Game with Unity 3D  & Writing C# Script.
Creating New Project for HoloLens
Creating New Project for HoloLens

While above list will let you get started there are lot of things like Audio, Video, Mixing , which we can get into very slowly.  Watch this Video to get a quick glance …

Microsoft HoloLens: Developers Discuss Team Skills for Development

Getting Started Resources

HoloLens Academy
HoloLens Academy

Discussion Forum

HoloLens App Development Discussion Forum

Connect @ Social

Here is the few twitter handler to follow and get regular updates on HoloLens

…And… There are many more..but at least this will get you started and helping your first app to built and run on the HoloLens Emulator.

Thanks,

Abhijit

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Written by Abhijit Jana

I am a Modern and Cloud App Development Consultant working at Microsoft. Presently I am focusing on adopting and delivering world class solution on N+1 Technologies, where I mainly drive engagements on Universal Windows Platforms, Microsoft Azure, IoT and Cross Platform and Device related application Development. I am a former Microsoft MVP, Author of Kinect for Windows SDK and HoloLens BluePrints book and Run Daily .NET Tips . To know more about me click here.

15 comments

  1. Hello abhijit, i’m new to unity and using the tutorial I was able to create a basic 3D cube. Can you tell me how to create chairs and table and all other stuff in unity which will intern be a hologram in my App

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    1. Hi Pankaj, To create asset like table, chair you need to use some other 3D design software like Maya. Additionally you can look for Free assets available over unity Asset Stores.

      Like

      1. Thanks for the reply,
        Actually I wanted to create the basic furniture available in our living room like chairs, sofa, table and other stuff. Will these be available in the Assets Store? Because I can’t go with another software (Like Maya) to design these things.

        Like

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