June 27, 2017

HoloLens: Some Early Bits for Developers

 

microsoft-hololens-life-on-mars
Microsoft has said that it will unveil Windows Holographic SDK during the BUILD conference in 4/29~5/01/2015 . It also “plans to get Project HoloLens into the hands of developers by the spring“. It appears to me, there will be major unveiling about many things what don’t know about HoloLens. Its technical details will be shown, which gives us certain confidence on what it can deliver. Before that day, we are still in the dark about many things of our interest. Recently I am able to dig into some online discussion about Holographic application development, and found some interesting bits for developer who wants to know about HoloLens.

First is an entry on StackOverflow (a developer exchange site), stating “I’m building a HoloLens app and need to figure out how to dock a control along the edge of a wall within a room”. Obviously this dev is not aware that he in under NDA. So, we know someone is working on HoloLens application development.

Some Important Information About HoloLens

The second piece of information is on Microsoft own developer site: Channel 9, there is a post about something called HoloLens API: ​Windows.​Mirage.​Hologram​ Framework. It appears in Windows 10 build 9926.  Here I quote his entire post:

well, in case you are interested, there are many new pdb files in Windows 10 9926 symbols packages are actually the Windows Holographic stuff, including device drivers, shell components, sample apps, HoloStudio, and SDK stuff like the simulator etc, among them there are some Windows.Mirage.*.dll files looks like the WinRT API surface for Holographics stuff, I extracted some symbols from them.

notice there are many 3D models/animations stuff, but also some UI controls like

Windows::Mirage::HologramFramework::Controls::Button
Windows::Mirage::HologramFramework::Controls::ListView
Windows::Mirage::HologramFramework::Controls::TextBlock
Windows::Mirage::HologramFramework::Controls::TextBox

and there are many “markup” related stuff, even mentions Xaml: Windows::Mirage::HologramFramework::XamlMarkupXmlNamespace

So, maybe we can build holograms in Xaml

This looks like WinRT namespaces instead of C#, but C# should have something equivalent too. Those should look very familiar to people who ever wrote code for Windows and Windows Phone apps. Question is how do they look? Also, it looks like xaml is used too. The mentioning of simulator is very interesting. I wonder how that works for holographic UI.

Two Important Questions About HoloLens

Finally, NUI World has found the following info from same Windows 10 build 9926:

Windows.Human
Windows.Human.Gestures
Windows.Human.Hands
Windows.World
Windows.World.Lighting.Prototype
Windows.World.Sensors
Windows.World.Surfaces
Windows.World.Surfaces.Prototype

So, combine with above we have:

  1. Human – Namespace for the HoloLens wearer, tracking gestures, voice and gaze, dealing with human interaction.
  2. World – Namespace for everything around the HoloLens wearer, which is 3D mapped by HoloLens.
  3. Mirage – Namespace for Holographic UI, 3D models, media(image, video, sound), animation. In other words, it represents the virtual world.

 

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  • Rico Alexander

    Excellent finds.

  • Smeagel4T

    It should be noted Intel has placed some “Augmented Reality” demo displays in some Best Buy stores. Or at least, our local Best Buy has one. The demo uses Microsoft Surface tablets. I’m not entirely sure why Intel is doing this, and why they’re doing it in a Best Buy. But hey, there it was.

    The concept was a bare red mountain scape model a bit like a model train layout (without the trains and tracks). You hold the Surface up in front of the model and a little Martian rover vehicle appeared that you could use touch controls on the Surface to drive around. So the “terrain” was physical real-world, and the vehicle was virtual.

    You could pan the Surface all over place, and the vehicle remained very solidly glued to its proper spot on the “terrain”. Pretty impressive.

    I had been wondering just how precisely the Surface’s sensors could maintain tracking of the Surface’s motion. If this Intel demo was an accurate indication, then I’m absolutely amazed. So I can easily see using a Surface, or any Windows 10 based tablet or cell phone, as an emulator for the HoloLens.

    • Sean Leith

      I should go checking it out tomorrow. Thanks.