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.
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.
While all of my previous Have You Seen This? posts have all focused on individual HoloLens apps in the Windows Store, this time I'll be sharing a couple at once. These holographic applications are really simple in scope, so there is not a lot to say about them, yet they are interesting enough for me to want to share them with you.
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?
Magic Leap, the virtual-reality software group backed by Google, just released a teaser video on their YouTube channel. In a word, it's amazing.
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.
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.
For those of us on the fast ring of the Windows Insider Program — Microsoft's continual beta program for the Windows operating system — the constant updates can be a bit of a pain. But there is a trade-off. We get to try the new features long before they come out to the public. So if you like to see the new shinies before everyone else, and don't mind the sometimes two or three major updates in a week, then this is definitely the option for you.
User interfaces for computers have evolved over the years, from the introduction of the keyboard and mouse on the personal computer, to touchscreens on mobile devices, to natural voice recognition. However, the same cannot be said for robots or drones—until now.
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.
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.
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.
Would you like to know what your next house is going to look like? With the HoloLens, you can just plop a hologram down in an open outdoor area and find out.
The HoloLens can do some pretty crazy things such as create a robot invasion in your walls, but it can also help you do simple stuff, like hanging frames, paintings, or anything else on those walls—after you repair them from the robot attack, of course.
HoloLens users will have a handful of ways to interact with the mixed-reality, holographic world. Gaze Input lets the user control a cursor in their field of vision. In other words, it's essentially a mouse that you control by looking around.
We're on the verge of an amazing evolution of technology where we can work and play in virtual worlds that merge with our own—or let us escape into our imaginations entirely. But creating virtual, mixed, and augmented reality experiences requires resources and hardware that not everyone has access to. If you want to build something awesome with the Microsoft HoloLens (or one of the other awesome platforms), we want to help you do just that.
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.
In recent weeks, Unity has made a few great leaps forward for HoloLens development. These new features will increase iteration speed inside Unity and quickly increase the output of applications in the mixed reality space. Of these new features, let's take some time to talk about Holographic Emulation and why this will do so much for the development community.
Magic Leap has always been intensely secretive about its work on its augmented reality headset, so it's interesting that they're now publicly recruiting developers to build software for the device before its launch.
We've experienced the HoloLens, learned a lot about the Meta 2, but almost nobody knows exactly what to expect out of Magic Leap's mixed reality headset. Thanks to a patent dug up by Quartz (which we saw first on Tech Insider), we now might have a better idea.
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.
In the world we live in now — a world of complete data overload — new ways to sort through that data moves well past "nice-to-have" and firmly into the needs category. Mind mapping has been one tool that allowed someone to break down large problems into like components and help visualize the problems in different ways. Now thanks to Data Experts gmbh's Windows Store release Holo-Mind, we can do that in 3D on the HoloLens.
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.
The human body is amazingly complex, and seeing inside one poses a variety of challenges whether you're dealing with an actual human or some kind of facsimile. Mixed reality offers the ability to get the best of both worlds by creating a holographic teaching tool for human anatomy.
After many months of endless speculation over the mysterious augmented reality platform Magic Leap, software engineers worldwide have been waiting for any news of what development environment this amazing technology might use. Thanks to Paul Reynolds, the former Magic Leap Senior Director of SDKs and Apps, we no longer have to guess. Just like existing mixed, augmented, and virtual reality platforms, developers will be able to use their experience with Unity and the UNREAL engine.
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.
Mixed reality (MR) feels like an amazing, almost mind-blowing futuristic technology—but only once you've experienced it for yourself. Words, images, and even videos simply cannot describe the experience in full. If you want to really peer into the future and experience MR for yourself, you can sign up and just go in many cities.
Empea Berlin, a Germany-based company specializing in augmented, mixed, and virtual reality software, released a Facebook video a few months back showing off their experiments in smart home technology. Using a Raspberry Pi and a HoloLens unit, they were able to make a virtual remote control for an air conditioning unit. The remote is complete with various modes, temperature controls, timers, and other features. There have been no updates on this project since they first showed it off, but hop...
The Meta 2 developer kit has finally begun shipping! Gary Garcia, the senior director of customer success at Meta, just sent out an email that they are shipping out to the first round of preorder customers. Waves will be building from there, up to far higher manufacturing rates near the end of Q1 of 2017.
Mixed reality filmmaking isn't a new concept. Disney managed to make it work in 1988 with Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but not without an enormous amount of work. We haven't seen many mixed reality films of that scope since, and perhaps that's because it's still hard to accomplish. Filmmakers don't look through a viewfinder or monitor and see the fully rendered result on screen—but that can change with mixed reality headsets like the HoloLens.
Move over, Spike Jonze; Microsoft has published a mixed reality music video featuring holograms of Reggie Watts filmed through a HoloLens.
Gesture Input works hand-in-hand with Gaze Input. If you think of Gaze Input like a mouse cursor, Gesture Input is how you "click" in HoloLens—which Microsoft calls "tapping." It's kind of like a touchpad, only in 3D.
In December of last year, UK-based Zappar successfully raise $84,356 for their ZapBox mixed reality headset—over $50,000 more than their goal. Well, they just blew that sum out of the water when they announced this morning that they've closed a Series A round of funding with $3.75 million.
Have You Seen This?: HoloChess Is a Great Example of How to Make a HoloLens App Without the Hardware
I am often asked about getting started with HoloLens development and most of the time my answer, in short, is: Install Unity, install Visual Studio, install the HoloLens emulator, and make something.
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.
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.
360world, a Hungary-based tech company involved in motion control and augmented reality, released information today about their latest products, the CLAIRITY HoloTower and CLAIRITY SmartBinocular. These tools are designed to bring augmented reality into the hands of air traffic controllers, via Windows Mixed Reality, to greatly improve their workflow over tools already in use.
Microsoft began shipping the Development Edition of its much-anticipated HoloLens—the world's first untethered holographic computer—back in March. As the name implies, it was only available to developers (we got ours near the end of April), but Microsoft has recently opened up the program to anyone who wants one—not just developers.
If you've ever made graphs and charts, you know it can be a struggle to represent a large amount of data. It's something that just doesn't work very well on a flat surface. In virtual and mixed reality, however, the data can exist all around you.
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.