What Microsoft is doing right now should make you sit up and pay attention

Back in August of 1995, while I was still in college, Microsoft released Internet Explorer 1.0 for Windows 95. Windows NT was given version 1.5 a couple of months later.

In November of 1995, IE 2.0 was released for both operating systems.

By August of 1996, IE 3.0 was released free of charge and it was actually bundled in the operating system.

Now you may be wondering what this has to do with the here and now and Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 10…

Well, by bundling the browser into Windows, it made the web main stream. While the web was actually created in 1991, it wasn’t until 1996 that many people knew of it’s existence.

Now, over two decades later, it is hard to imagine a world without the internet.

Microsoft is going all in on 3D and it shows because…

Microsoft is now bundling Mixed Reality into Windows.

They have included mixed reality inside of the Windows Creator’s Update that was just released.

What does this mean? Well, it means that…

Mixed Reality is going main stream…

I remember watching Microsoft’s Build 2015 conference from the comfort of my desk chair as it streamed live and seeing Alex Kipman reveal this new standalone PC that you wore on your head called a HoloLens.

It wasn’t April 1st, but it sure felt like it was a joke. How in the world is there a device that is actually placing holograms in the world?

“This is awesome! … if it is real …” is what I kept thinking…

I was skeptical, but I still immediately signed up to get the device. I successfully signed up under Wave 1. The device was going to cost $3,000 – ouch!

But I didn’t care, this was the future … if it was real…

The HoloLens device was real!

I kept a close eye on all things related to the HoloLens. It wasn’t a joke. It was real. This device could actually produce holograms that understood the real world! It had this cool new piece of technology called the Holographic Processing Unit (HPU).

The HPU is responsible for taking the data from the different input camera the HoloLens has and convert that data into something useful.

Spatial Mapping

The HoloLens has the ability to scan the room and create a 3D mesh that represents the real world. This is the work that the HPU is doing.

Then, as a developer, you can work with that 3D mesh.

This means you can have holograms walking around in your living room and then run into the side of the couch. You can create dynamic levels based off the furniture in the room like Young Conker.

It means you can have a holographic person walk into the room and sit down in a chair or on a couch and have a conversation with you like the game Fragments.


Businesses are looking for developers who can make these mixed reality experiences

Not only can you make these awesome experiences for your own enjoyment, but there are businesses who are currently looking for developers with this skillset.

There are a number of businesses who have already purchased HoloLens devices and are looking for developers that have the skillset needed to created these science fiction type of experiences.

Some of the companies that are working with the devices are Volvo, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Honda, Japan Airlines, and thyssenkrupp Elevator, are just a few…


What is Mixed Reality exactly?

Virtual Reality is a fully immersive experience where the user’s focus is solely on the virtual world. Popular VR devices are the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive.

Augmented Reality, on the other hand, augments the real world through some viewport, typically a mobile device, by adding virtual elements over top of the real world.

Mixed Reality allows the user to be aware of both the real world and the virtual world at the same time.

Mixed reality breaks down the barriers between physical and virtual realities.


You can get a head start on this ground breaking technology today!

I’m Chad Carter and I’ve been a professional software developer for over two decades now.

I received my HoloLens device in April of 2016 and have been working with it ever since. In September of 2016, I started a premium membership site at LearnHoloLens.com.

Every month, I release premium master classes to the members as well as have Live Q & A sessions.

If you want to see how you can shortcut your Mixed Reality and HoloLens development journey, head over to Learn HoloLens. Enrollment is only open to the public a couple of times a year.

It is currently open.

Do be aware that the doors to the membership will close at midnight on Thursday, April 13, 2017.

If you are reading this during a time when enrollment is closed, go ahead and jump on the notification list so you can know when it opens again.

Mixed reality is the future. If you want to make sure you aren’t left behind, head on over to LearnHoloLens.com and check it out.

Mixed Reality/HoloLens Development Free Live Webinar

freeMRwebinar

About 5 months ago, back in November, I did a webinar as an introduction to HoloLens development. In fact, it was 4 webinars.

They were well received, so I’ve carved out some time to do another webinar to talk about Mixed Reality and HoloLens development. Like last time, I’ll be doing 4 different webinars.

The content for all the webinars will be the same. The only difference will be the date and times of the webinar. I wanted to make it so you’d be able to come and that is why I’m doing them at different times and on different days.

You can get all the details and sign up for the webinar that fits into your schedule over at https://learnhololens.com/webinar

Some of the content that will be discussed is how to get started developing for mixed reality and the HoloLens device as well as showing the easiest way to get started working with gaze, gestures, voice recognition and even spatial mapping.

If you have questions, I’ll have a time at the end for Q&A where you can ask anything related to Unity or HoloLens development. I do these Q&A’s every month in the premium membership site, but here is a chance for you to get your questions answered.

I talk a little more about this in this weeks’ video:

Go ahead and find a time that works for you at https://learnhololens.com/webinar

I’ll see you on the webinar!

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. 🙂