Mimesys, whose core focus has always been about creating holographic representations of humans for virtual and augmented reality, has released a video showing off their holographic communication platform in action. This new communication tool uses a combination of virtual reality, with the HTC Vive and a Kinect, and mixed reality, with the HoloLens, to allow the users to have virtual meetings from anywhere in the world as though they are in the same room.
News: Five Windows Holographic Mixed Reality Headsets Have Now Been Seen, but Most Have Not Been Touched
Some of the products I have been looking forward to seeing the most during CES 2017 has been the upcoming Windows Holographic virtual reality headsets. These are VR headset that will run a version of the Windows Holographic platform, which will allow users to have a similar experience as the HoloLens with a mixed reality environment. Of the six headsets that could have possibly made it to CES, five had shown up. Unfortunately, most of them are behind glass.
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.
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.
For those of us that were blown away by the spatial mapping and user experience in Fragments and Young Conker, the version of spatial mapping that came stock in the HoloToolkit was lackluster at best. It became apparent really quick that to get an amazing presentation would require some heavy shader knowledge and some badass mesh culling skills, at the very least.
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.
Once you've designed some holograms with HoloLens, you'll need to get them to interact with the environment. That's where Spatial Mapping comes in. There are five basic purposes for using HoloLens's Spatial Mapping with your app:
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.
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.
We live in a marvelous age, a time where technology is driving us forward as a species at a rapid pace, and tech-driven miracles are becoming more and more commonplace. While the human race may not be focused on building the largest wonders of the world, as it once was in history, the current order of wonders are much smaller in scale—even internal.
A few days before Christmas last year, we saw the first glimpse of HoloSuit, a new motion controller by startup Kaaya Tech. This full-body motion controller is designed as a tracksuit with sensors that can be used to control devices such as a computer or Microsoft HoloLens, and now it's getting ready to start production, with an upcoming Kickstarter campaign planned to go live soon.
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.
A few days ago, there were flying piranha, snakes, and dragons roaming around freely at the Anaheim Convention Center in California, but they weren't real or even hallucinations—they were holograms brought to life with the Microsoft HoloLens.
Thanks to Project-Infrared, there's now a pretty straightforward way to add motion tracking to the HoloLens: Connect it to a Kinect.
Microsoft's HoloLens comes with helpful features for capturing video and photos, but sharing whatever you record isn't as straightforward as you might expect. So here are the many ways to get your media off the device to share with the world.
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.
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.
Students from Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center have been working on an augmented reality system to help teach music in a project called Music Everywhere.
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.
With the release of the HoloLens, Microsoft has put itself in both a great position while giving the competition a serious target to aim for. This is normally the case for anyone that is first to the market with a new idea, and now we've finally got a good competitor HoloLens coming. Stereolabs, a company known for its impressive 2K stereo camera, will be entering the mixed reality head-mounted display space with a Developers Kit as soon as early-2017.
Meta's long-awaited Meta 2 development kit finally began shipping in late-December last year, after having been delayed about six months. While very few have received a dev kit at this point, some more information about the headset has just been announced; Depth-sensing technology from pmdtechnologies is included in the dev kit headset.
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.
Augmented reality began on smartphones but technical limitations have prevented further development. Google's Tango (formerly Project Tango) aimed to change all that, and with Lenovo's help, they now have their first device.
Crayon, a free 3D drawing application by the mysteriously named arkalian, showed up in the Windows Store recently, so I gave it a try like I do all new apps for Windows Holographic. Truthfully, I loaded it up not expecting much, but wow, was I wrong. It's a simple idea, but it's executed well enough to make it a truly great experience on the HoloLens.
"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.
If anyone has every told you that they see music they listen to, they have synesthesia. It's a fascinating neurological phenomenon where people experience crossed responses to stimuli, and no one knows exactly how common this is. A rough estimate claims that one in every 5,000 to 100,000 people is a synesthete, but it could be far more common or rare. Nobody really knows.
Sky Zhou, also know as Matrix Inception on YouTube, is no stranger here on NextReality. We loved his Pokémon concept game for HoloLens, as well as his D3D Keyboard that lets HoloLens users leave notes around the house. He just can't seem to stop creating cool mixed reality apps, and he's already got another one in the works.
HoloLens developer Michael Peters of In-Vizible has released quite a few videos since receiving his HoloLens last year. Many of his experiments are odd and funny, but some include serious potential approaches to data visualization. In the videos embedded below, you'll specifically see stock market information beautifully rendered in different ways to help understand the data.
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.
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.
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.
If you've played the game Portal by Valve before, you've most likely popped one portal onto the ceiling and another directly below it on the floor, dropped your Companion Cube in, and then watched it fall forever. Well, now it has been done in real life, in an actual hallway, not in a rendered world.
True innovation tends to come from the places we least expect as developers. The Microsoft HoloLens is still a very new product, and some of the other headsets are still just ideas, so the rules for mixed reality are not set in stone. That means all the real problems to be solved are yet to come.
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.
The HoloLens is a natural medium for 3D data visualization, which offers a far more ideal approach over 2D screens to managing multiple resources simultaneously and grasping the bigger picture. We've already seen how management is using holograms to oversee cities, firefighters, and the military, and now training for sports teams is being addressed with VAR Football.
DigiLens, a company specializing in optical waveguide technology, recently announced that they had closed a $22 million round of strategic investment, also known as Series B funding. This round brought in Sony, Foxconn, Continental, and Panasonic, as well as more traditional venture investors such as Alsop Louie Partners, Bold Capital, Nautilus Venture Partners, and Dolby Family Ventures.
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.
Microsoft's HoloLens is certainly a leap into the future of mixed reality interfaces, but it's not without drawbacks.
The largest and arguably most widely known event of its type, especially in the US, the Sundance Film Festival is an annual celebration of independent film—ones made outside the Hollywood system. This year, a new type of experience appeared at the Sundance Film Festival in an installation called "The Journey to the Center of the Natural Machine." This mixed reality presentation offered the user the newest type of storytelling in a long and important line—continuation of the species kind of im...