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.
News: Try Windows 10's Mixed Reality Portal on Your PC with Insider Build 15048 — No Headset Required
If you're part of the Windows 10 Insider Program, build 15048 launched this morning, and included a nice big unannounced surprise. You can now launch the Mixed Reality Portal and enable the simulation to try out mixed reality right from your PC, even if you don't have one of the new Acer dev kits.
Augmented and mixed reality started as a lofty promise that's just now taking form, but with several companies taking somewhat different approaches, it's hard to understand what's what. Let's take a look at the three big players and what they're doing: HoloLens, Meta, and Magic Leap.
"Necessity, not novelty," is a phrase I use often when it comes to HoloLens development. It would be fair to call it my mantra, or mission statement, as I prototype and explore software creation on this new frontier of mixed reality.
News: Alex Kipman Just Said What All HoloLens Enthusiasts Are Thinking — 'The Phone Is Already Dead'
According to Alex Kipman, HoloLens inventor and futurist at Microsoft, the smartphone is already obsolete. In an interview with Bloomberg, Kipman boldly stated that the HoloLens will eventually replace the smartphone and drive society right into a new augmented normal.
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.
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.
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.
News: Unity & Microsoft Are Giving Away $150,000 for HoloLens Apps & Loaning Out HoloLens Developers Kits
At the Microsoft Build 2017 conference in Seattle this past week, 3D application and game platform Unity, partnering with Microsoft, launched a contest that drives HoloLens developers to realize their ideas into a full-fledged application and possibly win money for it.
The list of HoloLens applications continues to grow as more companies discover ways to enhance their operations using augmented reality. Air New Zealand is the latest to show interest in the technology, demonstrating their vision for AR in a new concept video.
Today at Microsoft Build 2017 in Seattle, Washington, ScopeAR announced that their mixed reality smart instruction development platform, Worklink, will now work with the Microsoft HoloLens in addition to the mobile devices that are currently supported.
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.
Virtual reality headsets are all the rage these days, and among the menagerie of tech companies gunning for the top spot, there's one mysterious startup that is ahead of the game—Magic Leap—and you can tell just by watching their latest demo video of their product in action.
Soon, users will no longer need an expensive headset or even a smartphone to experience mixed reality. The new Microsoft update will be bringing mixed reality applications to every Windows computer next month. This new upgrade to Windows 10 named the Windows 10 Creators Update.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
This morning, in an early morning session at GDC 2017, Brandon Bray, a senior program manager lead at Microsoft, revealed a mixed reality headset made in collaboration with Acer—a different headset than the one we saw from Acer at CES 2017 earlier this year. Also at the event, the name for Microsoft's holographic system seems to have changed from Windows Holographic to Windows Mixed Reality.
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.
Thanks to Project-Infrared, there's now a pretty straightforward way to add motion tracking to the HoloLens: Connect it to a Kinect.
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.
An interesting new use-case for the Microsoft HoloLens appeared in a YouTube video from Washington-based DataMesh last month. In it, you can see the HoloLens working in conjunction with the Microsoft Surface Studio, Surface Dial, and Surface Pen for 3D model detailing and visualization in real time.
When Microsoft release an update to the HoloLens Development Edition at the end of May, there were a bunch of cool new features added in. Among them: New voice controls that make working in the HoloLens operating system much easier.
In response to the flurry of doubtful headlines about Magic Leap today, set off by an unflattering article from The Information, Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz released a short blog post quickly detailing what to expect from the company over the next year. The gist comes down to this: big things are happening in 2017.
Complex games in mixed reality require a pretty detailed scan of the room, and getting this process right can be both time-consuming and annoying. Computer science students at the University of Washington decided to fix that by turning it into a game.
As a commercial and potentially consumer product, one might assume it very unlikely to see the Microsoft HoloLens in the military marketplace. And that assumption would be completely wrong. One company from the Ukraine is currently working on using the mixed reality head-mounted computer for 360-degree vision inside armored tanks. If a tank crew could see the entire battlefield there are in, they would likely have a better chance of accomplishing their mission and avoiding damage. Tanks are l...
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.
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.
While the early stages of any new technology always seems amazing because of the utilitarian, almost altruistic software concepts it inspires, mixed and augmented reality will still see its fair share of corporate apps. That might be a good thing, however, as Volvo's plan goes past general information and advertising to make a truly helpful tool for prospective car buyers.
The future of augmented and mixed reality offers many possibilities, mostly because we're still figuring out everything it can do. While Meta is open to exploration, they've spent a lot of time thinking about what the future of this technology will be.
News: Detailed 3D Mining Maps & Future Reclamation Views Highlighted in Proof-of-Concept HoloLens App
LOOOK, a Seattle-based mixed reality and development studio, can now peer into the future with their new geotechnical engineering visualization application for Microsoft HoloLens.
Humans learn best by doing or through an experience, and so the holographic environments provided in virtual and mixed reality are ripe with educational opportunities. HoloStudy took this to heart and created an educational science app that teaches you with animated models you can explore in your own space.
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.
If you have a HoloLens, you can now control the lighting throughout your home or office via holographic controls using the free Hue Lights app in the Windows Store. The app, made by California-based AfterNow, works with the Philips Hue colored lighting system and is much more polished than the prototype we saw in January.
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.
The US Department of Education has put together a competition called the EdSim Challenge with a $680,000 purse to facilitate next-gen education. The event calls upon augmented and virtual reality, as well as video game developers, to bring immersive simulation concepts to prepare the workforce of the future.
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.