Getting Started With HoloLens App

This article demonstrates how to install the HoloLens Emulator on Windows 10 and build your first HoloLens app using Visual Studio 2015 Update 2.

What HoloLens Is

HoloLens developed by Microsoft, is essentially a holographic computer built into a headset that lets you see, hear and interact with holograms within an environment like living room, office space and so on.
 
Yesterday, at Build 2016, Microsoft announced HoloLens development. As of March 30, the HoloLens devices have started shipping to consumers in the USA.
 
If you do not have a HoloLens device, it doesn't mean you can't build HoloLens apps. Microsoft had released a HoloLens Emulator, that allows you to build and test your HoloLens apps using Visual Studio 2015 Update 2. 

Tools required

Before you can build a HoloLens app, you must have the following tools installed on your PC. 

  1. Visual Studio 2015 Update 2
    If you choose a custom install, ensure that Tools (1.2) and Windows 10 SDK (10.0.10586) is enabled under Universal Windows App Development Tools node. All editions of Visual Studio 2015 Update 2 are supported, including Community. Download here
  2. HoloLens Emulator
    The emulator allows you to run apps on Windows Holographic in a virtual machine without a HoloLens. This package also includes holographic DirectX project templates for Visual Studio. Download here
  3. Entity HoloLens Technical Preview Beta 10
    The Unity engine is an easy way to get started building a holographic app. HoloLens support in Unity is available through a custom version of the Unity Editor and Runtime which is now available to download for free on the Unity website. The Unity HoloLens Technical Preview is based off of the Unity 5.4 Beta builds. Be sure to check back regularly for updated Unity builds.
    Download here

Now, you're done installing all necessary tools, let's get started. 

Getting Started

Here are the steps to get started with HoloLens App:

  1. Start Visual Studio 2015
  2. Create a new project
  3. Click Visual C# and Windows and Universal then select Holographic
  4. Click on Holographic DirectX 11 App (Universal Windows)
  5. Provide the name and location of project
  6. Click OK 


Now choose supported target version and minimum version, then click OK button. In my case, I have selected Windows 10.

 
This is the default project structure. This should look familiar to most of the Visual Studio users.


 

Build and run the project. The HoloLens Emulator takes time to run and you might get some errors to. It took me about 5+ minutes to see the results.
 
You need to select HoloLens Emulator from emulator lists before build.
 
 
 
First screen will show you the OS is starting.


And finally, you should be able to see the finished build and HoloLens UI on your screen.


 
Wallah! Exciting! I am very excited to start building more useful Holographic apps.
 

Conclusion

This article shows how we can start working with HoloLens on Windows 10. Article also covered the installation process of Microsoft's new HoloLens Emulator. Stay tuned for more articles. Feel free to share your feedback and comments.