HoloLens – Hello World

What a day it has been… today I unboxed my HoloLens and started my augmented reality adventures.

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After going through the tutorial and learning about Gaze, Gestures and Voice commands and then ofcourse some initial playing around with Holograms, RoboRaid and my first HoloLens Skype call it was time to get ready and start work on my first HoloLens app.

But first I needed to get the right tools:

  • Install the tools on the Windows Dev Center is good place to start, it offers links to the most recent versions of the HoloLens Emulator and Unity HoloLens (currently still in technical preview).
  • Microsoft HoloLens application for Windows is an awesome tool the let’s you live stream the video from your HoloLens to your PC and makes it easy to create videos of your augmented world.

After updating Visual Studio, installing the emulator, installing Unity 3D and creating a Unity account and for good measure, following Unity 3D on Twitter, I figured I was ready to go.

I watched the welcome to Unity video and figured as a coder it might be easier to start with a simple Visual Studio only trial app. Well…. After looking at the DirectX 11 template app  that comes with installed with the SDK and running a colorful cube in the HoloLens emulator I quickly figured I needed an easier start so I build a 2D Universal Windows Application with my “Hello AR World” message. On this page I found how to an over the air WiFi deploy directly from Visual Studio to the HoloLens, nice!

Oh, and after messing around with ‘transparent’ settings for the background of my Window I suddenly remember something Dennis had told me: HoloLens knows no black and so black is considered transparent.


Note: The screen capture shows the transparent window much darker than how you really see it when you wear the HoloLens.

Tip: use Cortana if you need to reboot, just say ‘Hey Cortana’ followed by ‘Reboot’.

Also, I have a feeling my laptop is going to need an upgrade soon… 8GB of memory appears to be barely enough to run the necessary HoloLens emulator, twice I’ve had to restart my machine and make sure that the emulator is started first, before starting other apps.

Next step… building a Unity 3D application… to be continued 🙂