What Do I Need To Build HoloLens Apps

In this article, I talked about technical skills, tools, and steps you need to build Microsoft HoloLens apps.

 

 
Microsoft has started selling its first holographic computing and mixed-reality device, HoloLens. HoloLens is priced at US$3,000 plus taxes.
 
I am sure many of us who will not have the physical devices would like to learn building HoloLens apps and test them out. So, here is a good news for Microsoft developers. They don’t need to have a physical HoloLens device to build HoloLens apps.
 
1. Hardware Requirements
 
HoloLens development requires the following minimum system configurations: 
  • 64-bit Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education (Hyper-V support)
  • 64-bit CPU with 4 cores or equivalent
  • 8GB RAM
  • BIOS support enabled for hardware-assisted virtualization, second Level Address Translation (SLAT), and Hardware-based Data Execution Prevention (DEP)  
2. Software Requirements
 
To build HoloLens apps, you will be using Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform and pretty much building Windows Store apps. A completed HoloLens app can be deployed to the Windows Store.

You will be using Windows 10 and Visual Studio 2015 Update 2 to build HoloLens apps. Depending on 2D or 3D, you may have to install Unity framework.

Here is a list of tools you will need to build HoloLens apps:

Windows 10 Pro or higher operating system

Start building with Windows 10

Visual Studio 2015 Update 2 and Windows SDK

Visual Studio 2015 Update 2 and the latest version of Windows SDK are required to build HoloLens apps.

To build Universal Windows Apps, you can use C# and XAML languages. If you’re not familiar with Universal Windows apps, you may want to get started here >

Windows Device Portal

The Windows Device Portal for HoloLens lets you configure and manage your device remotely over Wi-Fi or USB. The Device Portal is a web server on your HoloLens that you can connect to from a web browser on your PC. The Device Portal includes many tools that will help you manage your HoloLens and debug and optimize your apps.

HoloLens Emulator

You may also need to install the HoloLens emulator. The HoloLens emulator allows you to test holographic 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.

Unity Framework and More

Currently, there are two kinds of HoloLens apps – 2D apps and Holographic apps.

2D apps can use any tools for building Universal Windows Apps suited for environments like Windows Phone, PC and tablets.

Holographic apps need tools designed to take advantage of the Windows Holographic APIs. The Unity Framewowk is recommended to build 3D apps.

Summary
 
I hope this article has helped you to get started with your first HoloLens app. Come back and check HoloLens category page for more HoloLens related news and articles. Feel free to share your experience with us.