Ultimate HoloLens Resource List

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Tips | UI Design | Real World Use | How It Works | UWP | How TosUnity | Cool Demos | Apps

HoloLens Performance recommendations
Recommendations and guidelines when developing for the HoloLens

Side by Side HoloLens Recording Comparison (Streaming vs. On Device)
When WiFi is good, record via streaming instead of on the device directly

How to prepare a Unity project for Git
This stack overflow answer shows a great way to setup Unity for Git repository. Step 1 can be ignored for HoloLens development since it is using Unity 5.5.

Optimizing Shader Load Time in Unity
Shaders are small programs that execute on the GPU. Optimizing shaders are important for HoloLens development.

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UI Design
Microsoft HoloLens: 3 HoloStudio UI and Interaction Design Learnings
This video discusses some best practices for 3D UI and interaction design.

Defining the best practices for HoloLens – Welcome to the wild, wild west
Join the discussion in a Slack channel to discuss best practices for HoloLens 3D UI and interaction design.

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Real World Use
Hololens shows up in cool Honda NSX promo video
Honda shows off a cool HoloLens demo to promote their NSX automobile.

Microsoft HoloLens and Lowe’s, working to redefine your next home renovation
Lowe’s, the home improvement store, brings customers a new way to experience full-scale design and appliance options while maximizing precious floor space in the store.

Ignite Innovation Keynote demoing the HoloLens Lowe’s app
A video demo of the Lowe’s HoloLens app that shows a new Kitchen remodeling app

Transforming the global elevator service industry with the Microsoft HoloLens
Using HoloLens, thyssenkrupp, a global elevator service company, will be able to empower more than 24,000 of the company’s service technicians to do their jobs more safely and efficiently.

Practical HoloLens: Lubricating a Mower
Something as simple as opening up a PDF in while working on a mower can really help productivity. There is even a suggestion for a future app…

Volvo is testing HoloLens to speed up car development
While this isn’t actually in place yet, Volvo is using the HoloLens to ultimately reduce the development time of a new car model from 30 months to 20 months.

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How It works
How HoloLens Displays Work – The Imaginative Universal
This is an in-depth look at the HoloLens display technology actually works.

Microsoft’s official HoloLens hardware page
Microsoft shows how the adjustable headband is designed and shows the different sensors and optics the HoloLens device has.

Microsoft HoloLens Specifications
This contains the full list of hardware, sensors, specs and more for the first-ever wearable HoloLens holographic computer system.

HoloLens Actual Field of View FOV Captured
Through what appears to be a fluke, a HoloLens records the actual FOV and not the entire 720p space.

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UrhoSharp – 3D/2D Engine – Xamarin
UrhoSharp is a cross-platform high-level 3D and 2D engine that can be used to create animated 3D and 2D scenes for your applications using geometries, materials, lights and cameras.

Launch a 3D Holograms app from a 2D XAML app and going back to it using UWP
This blog post shows how to create a 2D XAML app which will be able to display 3D holograms and go back to the 2D view.

How to deploy an App to the HoloLens Device – Step by Step
This article shows how to deploy a UWP app to the HoloLens step by step.

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How Tos

Install the tools
Get the tools you need to build apps for the Microsoft HoloLens.

Turn HoloLens off and on
Sometimes it is the simple things. This article shows how to turn the HoloLens on and off as well entering standby mode and even charging the battery.

Understanding the Gaze and Adding a Gaze Input Cursor into your Unity 3D Holographic App
This article shows how you can utilize the Gaze input on the HoloLens

Understanding the Gesture and Adding Air Tap Gesture into your Unity 3D Holographic App
This article explains how to integrate Gesture into your HoloLens app.

How To Setup a Simple Unity Project using the Vuforia Library
The Vuforia Unity extension allows Unity developers to easily use the Vuforia augmented reality library with the HoloLens.

Advanced HoloLens Emulator Input
This help page shows the different types of input as well as the different input control modes and the ways to use the emulator to control an app.

Holograms 100 – Getting started with Unity
This Microsoft tutorial shows how to get started with HoloLens development using the Unity game engine.

Holograms 101E – Deploy to HoloLens Emulator
This Microsoft tutorial shows how to create a complete HoloLens application and run it on the Emulator.

Holograms 101 – Getting started with the HoloLens
This Microsoft tutorial shows how to create a complete HoloLens application and run it on the HoloLens device.

Holograms 210 – Getting started with Gaze
This Microsoft tutorial gets the reader up to speed quickly with using Gaze with the HoloLens.

Holograms 211 – Getting started with Gestures
This Microsoft tutorial shows how to use Gestures to allow your users to interact with holograms on the HoloLens device.

Holograms 212 – Getting started with Voice
This Microsoft tutorial show how to use voice input on the HoloLens device.

Holograms 220 – Getting started with Spatial Sound
This Microsoft tutorial shows how to get started using spatial sound.

Holograms 230 – Getting started with Spatial Mapping
This Microsoft tutorial shows how to get started with spatial mapping. Spatial mapping combines the real world and virtual world together by teaching holograms about the environment.

Holograms 240 – Getting started with HoloLens Networking / Sharing
This Microsoft tutorial shows how multiple HoloLens devices can share the same interactive experience.

Getting the most out of the HoloLens Companion App
The HoloLens companion app is the best way to record what the HoloLens is seeing. It has plenty of other features which this article describes.

How to Record from your HoloLens TWO different ways
This article discusses both ways to record what your HoloLens is seeing – directly on the device and streamed through the HoloLens app.

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Performance recommendations for Unity
This Microsoft documentation shows general Unity performance recommendations you want to use when developing for the HoloLens device.

How to Deploy a Unity Game to the HoloLens Device – Step by Step
This article shows how to deploy a Unity app to the HoloLens step by step.

Microsoft HoloLens Hand Tracking – Building Blocks
This article shows the import pieces of code need to have the HoloLens handle hand tracking.

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Cool Demos
HoloBeam Tech
This demo app uses a stereoscopic camera to create a 3D point cloud which can be streamed in real-time to a user wearing the HoloLens.

Medical Imaging – DICOM Volume Rendering on HoloLens
This demo uses real medical imaging data to display the data in 3D

HoloLens-Aided Neurosurgery
Emergency neurosurgery might soon be a lot safer, with the help of augmented reality. Duke surgeons and engineers are experimenting with using the HoloLens goggles to project virtual, 3D images of patient’s brains onto their heads, with the goal of guiding neurosurgeons during operations.

HoloLens with Object Tracking
Iowa State University created a demo of the HoloLens working with the Kinect with Marker-less Object Tracking.

Image Recognition in HoloLens using Microsoft Cognitive Services
This video shows an demo of an app where the HoloLens is asked to scan an image. The HoloLens examines what it sees and uses the cognitive services to say what it think it saw.

Microsoft HoloLens Holo Raid
Holo Raid is a game for HoloLens similar to Robo Raid. Transform your living room into a space portal to shoot alien raiders.

Video: HoloLens Projection – Skeletons!
This proof of concept demo shows how to use the HoloLens to project augmented reality information onto a human body. An external sensor is used to track the body and sent to the HoloLens which projects a skeleton onto the person.

HoloLens Magic Window Demo
This is a demo of the Magic Window effect which has a virtual world just beyond some space. Sometimes the world can’t be reached, other times it can.

HoloLens Developer Challenge: Wizard Battle (Mage)
This demo shows voice recognition and particle effects for a developer challenge.

HoloLens Developer Challenge: Wizard Battle (Sorcerer)
This demo shows different particle effects for the same developer challenge.

HoloLens Bed Demo
This demo shows a photo realistic bed being placed in the room and then they style of bed being switched out.

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Here is a list of Made for HoloLens Apps
This is a frequently updated list of apps made specifically for the HoloLens that are available in the Windows store. It also lists, separately, apps that work on the HoloLens, but weren’t made especially for the HoloLens.

Top 5 Apps in the HoloLens Store on Day 1
This video shows the top 5 apps that were in the HoloLens store on the very first day.

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Tips | UI Design | Real World Use | How It Works | UWP | How TosUnity | Cool Demos | Apps

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SIEGE Conference 2016 Recap

Giving a talk at the SIEGE Conference

I had the last minute opportunity to speak at the Southern Interactive Entertainment and Games Expo (SIEGE Conference) over the weekend. During the first part of the week, I was asked to present on the HoloLens. The reason for the last minute ask was because of Hurricane Matthew and previously scheduled speakers not being able to make it to the conference.

This was not my first time at the SIEGE conference. I’ve had the opportunity to speak at the conference in the past. I enjoyed the conference this year as well. I was able to meet some great people and have a lot of conversations around augmented reality and the HoloLens device in particular.

In attendance you will find both Indie game studios, one man teams, students, professionals, traditional game studios, investors, composers, and even lawyers. The keynotes are really great. The first year I attended I was able to meet Nolan Bushnell, co-founder of Atari.

This year, the creator of the infamous game Myst, Rand Miller was interviewed in the first keynote. It was a great session!

Also, Nick Laing, Senior Producer at Turn 10 (makers of Forza Motorsports), also gave a fantastic talk around personal leadership. While his talk was geared toward game production, much of what he talked about was very applicable to those who are starting their own business and are on the path to entrepreneurship.

True leadership, no matter where you are going to end up, it starts at the personal level and it’s a deeply personal endeavor.

Personal Leadership is the process of self-influence in which a person can aid and support themselves for accomplishment. This is responsibility for yourself, this is setting standards for yourself, this is holding yourself accountable.

If you are thinking of creating your own game as an indie game developer, this notion of personal leadership or self-discipline is super important. I’ve have the opportunity to work out of my house for the last 16 years. When I first started working from home, I couldn’t separate work from home.

This is a common struggle for many. For some, they can’t focus on the work that needs to be done because of distractions at home, or just the overwhelming feeling of everything at home that needs to be done. For others, and I fall into this group, the issue is more that they don’t work at home as much as they live at work. It is hard to set aside time to do things around the house because the stack of work is always there. Fortunately, I’ve gotten much better over the years at separating work and home.

It takes discipline to start work and to then stop work when it is appropriate. When you start your own company, or launch your own indie game studio, the number of tasks increase. Besides the technical aspect of work that will ultimately pay the bills (graphic design, software development, art creation, etc.), you also need to do the paperwork of the company, like submitting invoices, paying bills, doing the bookkeeping, paying taxes, etc.

I believe that time management doesn’t exist. It comes down to self-management. Time is what it is. We can’t manage it, but we can manage ourselves.

This notion of self-management is more than just self-discipline. Self-discipline is about doing what needs to be done even if it doesn’t feel good. Self-management is about knowing what needs to be done and prioritizing those important things to be done in an efficient manner.

I’ve mentioned the book Essentialism before, but I listened to the book again on the way back from the conference. When you run a business, you get a lot of opportunities and you have to decide which opportunities are worth doing. Where should your time be spent?

Self-management says we need to set a priority based on what needs to be done and then have self-discipline to actually do them in that order, regardless if we feel like it or not.

The SIEGE Conference live streamed my HoloLens session

The talk I gave this year at SIEGE was around spatial mapping for the HoloLens. I’ll be giving a similar talk at CodeMash in January of next year. So if you are close to Ohio you should check it out.

Also, I have a Master Class talking all about spatial mapping in a more concise manner (because of the power of video editing) in the Learn HoloLens membership site. So if you are interested in learning about the HoloLens you should check out the site. Enrollment for the LearnHoloLens.com membership site is only open a couple of times a year.

We did the alpha launch of LearnHoloLens.com the first week of September. I’ll be reopening enrollment the first week of November for our beta launch. If you want to be notified when membership opens, make sure you sign up on the waiting list.

The first month’s Master Class was all about using spatial mapping with the HoloLens. This month, the Master Class will be all around using the Emulator. This way you can get started immediately with HoloLens development even if you don’t have a device.

Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality are going to continue to grow. Make some time to get in on the ground floor to learn how to work with AR and MR using the HoloLens.

I provide free videos on YouTube every week, including this week’s video. Enjoy!


HoloLens Actiongram: Grim Reaper vs the Mime


I took a break from developing demos for the HoloLens to play around with some of the apps currently available. This week’s video features the Actiongram app from Microsoft and the Land of the Dinosaurs app.

The Land of Dinosaurs app is a Virtual Reality type of app, much like the HoloTour.

The Actiongram app is still in beta, but it seems to be running pretty solidly. It lets you add a few pre-recorded items to a scene and you can change the scale, rotation, and position of each “actor”. You can also specify when it should start playing – immediately, on gaze, after X seconds, etc.

I enjoyed playing with the app, but definitely had to clean up and trim up the shots once I saved the videos. The videos record 30 seconds at a time.

Playing with Actiongram was a nice diversion. Did you notice the butterfly that landed on the flowers?

On a side note, if you are going to be in or around Atlanta for October 7th-9th let me know. I’ll be speaking at SiegeCon. I’ll be doing a talk on the HoloLens around spatial mapping.

If you have a minute, you should leave me a comment and let me know what topic, app or demo you’d like me to cover next.

Enjoy the video and have a great week!

HoloLens RC Racer HoloWheels Early Tests


This week I’m working with the code I started last week. I think I’m going to spend some time on this demo to try and make it a proper game at some point in the future.

I’ve scaled down the car and it currently has ridiculous acceleration. I’ve added in a ramp that I can drag around. I also brought in spatial mapping so the car will drive on the floor and crash into the furniture.

I actually had a lot of fun driving this little car around. It felt a lot like driving an RC car. While this is just a toy, it was fun to play with. This makes me think it is a start for a nice game. I have a couple of game design posts and one of them talks about the difference between a toy and a game.

The spatial mapping wireframe changes color based on how far the camera is from that part of the mesh. This is built into the HoloToolkit and I didn’t have to do anything special for it.

I want to add in spatial understanding and create a track around the room include jumps that would allow the car to land on surfaces that are considered platforms or chairs or “sittable”.

Side Tangent

My biggest problem currently is time. Saying yes to something means saying no to something else. Some people say it is saying no to everything else. I don’t quite fall into that group, but only recently have I been thinking about the contents of the book Essentialism by Greg McKeown. It finally became clear that I can’t do everything and there will be tradeoffs.

Currently, I’m running the LearnHoloLens.com membership site and creating YouTube videos every week as well as sending out HoloLens and Augmented Reality emails to my fellow code ninjas. These commitments every week mean I can’t do other things like play Forza Horizon 3 or any of my backlog of games. My pile of shame is pretty high, but that is a post for another day.

Enjoy the video!