Introduction To HoloLens

In this article we will discuss how we can understand HoloLens, and the prerequisites for setting up the environment.

In this article we will discuss how we can understand the HoloLens prerequisites, such as setting up the environment and so on. We can build holographic apps and run the apps in the HoloLens device. There is no separate SDK for HoloLens, we can build holographic apps using Visual Studio 2015 with the Windows 10 SDK.

Actually, I was eager to learn HoloLens when it was introduced by Microsoft, but unfortunately it is very costly --  $3000 for one device. Microsoft has now introduced the HoloLens Emulator for Visual Studio 2015. It is highly recommend to install the Unity game engine as an easy way to get started creating holographic apps.

Background

Holographic is a mixed-reality platform development by Microsoft and it's built around the API of Windows 10. It uses various sensors, a high definition stereoscopic 3D optical head mounted display, and spatial sound to allow for augmented reality applications. It responds to you gaze, gestures and voice commands, and can interact with real world surfaces around us.

Prerequisites

You have to download the following software and install them on your PC.

  1. Windows 10
  2. Visual Studio 2015
  3. Windows 10 SDK
  4. HoloLens Emulator
  5. Unity HoloLens Technical Preview

Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition

You can download and install the free community edition of Visual Studio 2015 from Microsoft Developer portals.

HoloLens Emulator

It enables you to run the apps on Windows Holographic in a virtual machine without a HoloLens device. This package also includes holographic DirectX project template for Visual Studio 2015. You can download and install the HoloLens Emulator here

Note

Your system must support Hyer-V for the HoloLens emulator installation required in your PC.

Unity HoloLens Technical Preview Beta 20

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 Run time which is now available to download for free on the Unity website. You can download and install the Unity HoloLens here

System Requirement

Required hardware is Hyper-V and RemoteFx for the Hololens emulator

Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education with 64 bit. 

  • 64 bit CPU
  • CPU with 4 cores
  • 8GB RAM 

Additionally, a graphics card is required

Note

The windows 10 home edition does not support Hyper-V

Setting up the Environment

If you want to know how to install the Window 10 SDK, HoloLens Emulator and Unity HoloLens, the step-by-step guide is available on

We have discussed Windows 10 SDK features in my previous article. Now, let's start the HoloLens Emulator steps.

Double Click “EmulatorSetup” and then click Run button.

The Microsoft HoloLens Emulator window will open; select a checkbox “Install the Microsoft HoloLens Emulator 10.0.11082.1039 to this computer" then Click Next button.

 

The Windows Kits Privacy window will be opened and select checkbox “No,” then click Next button

  

The License Agreement window will open and click Accept button.

  

You can select the features you want to install into your system and click Install button

  

Installing features is in progress as in the below screen shot.

  

After successful installation of the HoloLens Emulator, click Close button.

  

How to develop, build and run the Holographic App

We are going to discuss how to develop, build and run the Holographic Hello World App and show the demo in HoloLens Emulator. We will see the step by step guidelines for the Holographic Hello World App creation here

Step 1

Open Visual Studio 2015. Go to file menu, point to new and then click new project. New Project window will open, you can select an installed template like “ Holographic” under the Windows on Visual C# Template, and then select a Holographic DirectX 11 App (Universal Windows) and type Project Name HoloHelloWorld. Choose the project location path and then click on the OK button.

  

Now, you can see the HoloHelloWorld project structure as in the following screen shot.

  

Step 2

Now, if you can run the Default Cubed Apps with the HoloLens Emulators, you can see how an apps looks, as shown below:

Select a Debug and HoloLens Emulator 10.0.11082.1039 option to run the apps

  

Step 3

Now, let's start to run the existing universal Windows Hello World app in HoloLens emulator. You can learn the Universal Windows apps step-by-step guidelines in the my previous article:

Now, if you can run the UWP Hello World Apps with the HoloLens Emulators, you can see how an app looks, as shown below:

Select Debug and HoloLens Emulator 10.0.11082.1039 option to run the apps

  

Note

You can also read this article in my blog here. 

Reference

Conclusion

I hope you understood the HoloLens and how to develop, build and run it on HoloLens Emulator. I have covered all the required things. If you find anything that I missed in this article, please let me know. Please share your valuable feedback or suggestions.