HoloLens Frequently Asked Questions


HoloLens is the first holographic computer developed by Microsoft to create and consume holograms. Here is a list of frequently asked questions related to HoloLens. Some of these FAQs are curated from the official HoloLens website.

What is HoloLens

Microsoft HoloLens is the first fully untethered holographic computer running Windows 10. It is completely untethered–no wires, phones, or connection to a PC needed. Microsoft HoloLens allows you to place holograms in your physical environment and provides a new way to see your world.

What is a hologram

A hologram is an object like any other object in the real world, with only one difference: instead of being made of physical matter, a hologram is made entirely of light. Holographic objects can be viewed from different angles and distances, just like physical objects, but they do not offer any physical resistance when touched or pushed because they don’t have any mass. Holograms can be two-dimensional, like a piece of paper or a TV screen, or they can be three-dimensional, just like other physical objects in your real world. The holograms you’ll see with Microsoft HoloLens can appear life-like, and can move, be shaped, and change according to interaction with users or the physical environment in which they are visible.

Why do we need Holograms

We’ve made incredible advances as an industry in the ways we interact with computers. However, we are still constrained because we must conform to the ways computers recognize our commands through a keyboard or by touching a screen. Using holograms, you can place your digital content, such as apps, information, and even multi-dimensional videos, in the physical space around you, so you can interact with it in the same ways that you interact with physical objects.

How can I see holograms mixed with my real world with Microsoft HoloLens

Microsoft HoloLens generates a multi-dimensional image visible to a user so that he or she perceives holographic objects in the physical world. Holographic objects seen with Microsoft HoloLens can be placed in physical locations you choose, move according to their own rules, or remain in a specific location regardless of where you are or in which direction you are looking.

How can I interact with holograms using Microsoft HoloLens

The holograms you’ll see with Microsoft HoloLens can appear life-like, and can move, be shaped, and change according to interaction with you or the physical environment in which they are visible. Use gestures to create, shape, and size holograms. Use your gaze to navigate and explore. Use your voice to communicate with your apps. Microsoft HoloLens understands your movements, gaze, and voice, enabling you to interact with content and information naturally. Using holograms, you can place your digital content, such as apps, information, and even multi-dimensional videos, in the physical space around you, so you can interact with it.

Who will benefit most from Microsoft HoloLens

We are excited about the possibilities that Microsoft HoloLens will enable. We believe developers, commercial organizations, designers, and creators will find unique value in Microsoft HoloLens.

For developers, Windows 10 on Microsoft HoloLens is the premier holographic platform that enables you to help develop the future of holographic computing. Built on Windows 10, Microsoft HoloLens will be a revolutionary tool for businesses—transforming how companies, designers, and creators work with three-dimensional data to bring products and information to life.

Where can I buy a HoloLens

You can order a HoloLens from www.microsoftstore.com website. A HoloLens costs USD $3000 plus taxes.

In what countries and language supported by HoloLens?

Currently, HoloLens is available in the United States (including Puerto Rico) and Canada in English language only.

What are system requirements to build HoloLens apps

Here is a list of software and hardware requirements for HoloLens. 

  • Recommended operating system, Windows 10.
  • Windows 10 SDK
  • Visual Studio 2015 Update 2 or later 

The HoloLens emulator is based on Hyper-V and uses RemoteFx for hardware accelerated graphics. To use the emulator, make sure your PC meets these hardware requirements: 

  • 64-bit Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education (The Home edition does not support Hyper-V)
  • 64-bit CPU
  • 8 GB of RAM or more 

In the BIOS, the following features must be supported and enabled: 

  • Hardware-assisted virtualization
  • Second Level Address Translation (SLAT)
  • Hardware-based Data Execution Prevention (DEP)
  • GPU (The emulator might work with an unsupported GPU, but will be significantly slower)
  • DirectX 11.0 or later
  • WDDM 1.2 driver or later 

What are the tools I need to develop HoloLens Apps

Regardless of the type of app you're building, these tools will facilitate your app development experience: 

Where can I learn more about HoloLens including latest news and learning resources?

C# Corner provides latest information about HoloLens. C# Corner HoloLens category also has many articles and tutorials that explain how to build holographic apps to target HoloLens devices.

Check out more details here: http://www.c-sharpcorner.com/technologies/hololens

Where can I download HoloLens Emulator

You don’t need HoloLens device to build, debug, and test HoloLens apps. Microsoft provides a HoloLens emulator that can be used to build and test HoloLens targeted apps on your PC without a physical HoloLens and comes with the HoloLens development toolset. The emulator uses a Hyper-V virtual machine. The human and environmental inputs that would usually be read by the sensors on the HoloLens are instead simulated using your keyboard, mouse, or Xbox controller. Apps don't need to be modified to run on the emulator and don't know that they aren't running on a real HoloLens.

Download the emulator here >

How to build my first HoloLens app?

Here is an article that explains How to get started with HoloLens.

http://www.c-sharpcorner.com/article/getting-started-hololens-app/

Do I need to learn Unity to build HoloLens apps?

NO. Unity is a 3-D gaming engine to build games. If you plan to build 3-D apps, you will need to learn DirectX or Unity.

References: 

More to come

I will be adding more FAQs to this article. Feel free to post your questions and comments.