Preparing for Microsoft Mixed Reality Partners

Last week my machine decided to freeze up. I had installed the latest NVIDIA graphics drivers and Windows also decided to install updates. When I came down to work on my video I was greeted with black screens. After rebooting, I kept getting the blue screen of death.

I won’t go into all the details here as I don’t want to bore my email readers as I talked about it last week, but I will say that after spending time working through the issue I decided it was time to update my graphics adapter.

I had my eye on the GTX 1080 Ti and went ahead and bought it after my blue screen escapades. I’m not too upset because now I’m ready for the upcoming collaborative headsets from Acer, ASUS, HP, Dell and Lenovo.

To be clear, none of these devices will require this powerful of a device. In fact, the devices will need less horsepower than those running HTC Vive or the Rift. An i5 with an Intel HD graphics 620 (GT2) equivalent or greater DirectX 12 API capable GPU is the critical pieces that need to be in place.

I can’t wait for these devices to ship. My understanding from reading online articles is that developers editions should be shipping soon with a possibility for consumer versions to be released in time for the holiday season.

The video this week is an unboxing video of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti from NVIDIA. I hope you enjoy it.

Learning to Program with Code.org

If you receive my email every week, then you will already know that I’m really impressed with http://code.org.

It uses the Blockly programming language which helps people to get started programming without getting bogged down in a particular language’s syntax.

The gist of the video below is that I think it is an awesome tool to help folks who are thinking about getting into programming, regardless if they are in grade school or if they are thinking of a career change.

If you are looking to learn to program (or know of someone who is) I’d recommend going through the Code.org exercises and see what you think.

Happy Coding!

Medieval VR on the HoloLens

The Unity Asset Store is really a phenomenal thing. In a matter of an hour I was able to start a project from scratch and search for free medieval assets and bring them in to a new project without any idea what I was going to create.

First I found free music that can randomly generate itself.

https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/34407

Then I found a cool cartoon character.

https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/19641

Finally, I found a neat little cartoon house.

https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/16674

I started a new project in Unity and brought in the HoloToolkit for Unity and then imported each of those projects.

Simply opening the house scene and removing the First Person camera and adding in the HoloLens Camera and InputManager I was off to the races. I actually placed the camera in the middle of the house and then placed the character in the house facing the camera.

Finally, I created an object to hold the music script to play the music.

I said it was an hour, but it was more like 30 minutes and then another 30 minutes of me deploying to the HoloLens and recording and editing the video.

I’m happy with the results. What do you think? Leave me a comment and let me know!

By the way, this was deployed using Visual Studio 2017. If you are using Visual Studio 2015, stop what you are doing and go grab 2017 right now. It is really excellent.

In order to make Unity use it instead of VS 2015, simply open up preferences and browse to devenv.exe in the VS 2017 folder.

Little Holographic Dragon

Dragons are cool. Holographic dragons are even cooler. I bring a little dragon into my world after coding a simplistic AI state machine to go through the different actions and emotions this little guy has.

Plus, since I have some sort of awful congestion thing going on, you can just listen to some music while you watch the little dragon dude do his thing instead of hearing my voice. 🙂