June 27, 2017

Jerry Nixon: “Why you must build a HoloLens app”




Microsoft’s Developer Evangelist Jerry Nixon wrote a blog post: Why you must build a HoloLens app, on March 27th. I don’t know how, but I missed it. Today, I am reading his blog together with you. I will also try to read between his lines, hopefully we can get something we didn’t know before.

I haven’t watched Channel 9 videos often recently, so, I am not really familiar with Jerry. Only know him after watch his Developer’s Guide to Windows 10 Preview (with Andy Wigley). Andy has been a regular on Channel 9. Anyway, important thing is Jerry is from Microsoft, and he know pretty much everything regarding Microsoft’s plans in UAP and HoloLens development. It all depends on how much he is allowed to say. We know he can’t say too much before April 29th, but as long as he is talking, we can heard something from his tune, or guess some lines that are not printed.



Regarding HoloLens programming, He said,

On top of all that black magic is HoloLens, introducing a new set of holographic APIs for app developers. Though it leverages Windows Core and though it leverages UAP, the device-specific APIs that enable the holographic experience are going to be different to what app developers do today. This means developers can use what they know, but will need to learn this new paradigm.

This means when we develop for HoloLens, it still follows UAP scheme. You create an UAP app (I don’t know if there is other choices in for Windows 10). You probably also add “HoloLens Extension”, if such thing exists. Basically there are things we already know: like coding for UAP, and things we don’t know: like HoloLens related APIs. HoloLens APIs is very much already in Windows 10 preview, but Windows 10 SDK doesn’t yet include HoloLens. I am sure we will see that during BUILD.

HoloLens is going to be a commodity. That means it is going to be cheap (which is relative, I know). When you include HoloLens in a solution, you aren’t including an investment in some strange, proprietary whatever. You are just including HoloLens, with a standardized version of Windows, a standard application model, with standard languages and APIs, and everything you can expect a development team to already know or easily learn.

Well, I don’t want to read too much. But when he put HoloLens and commodity in same sentence, I can’t stop speculating. Did he just said HoloLens is going to cheap or develop for HoloLens is going to cheap, or both? He did say: HoloLens is going to be a commodity. Take a note, please.

Don’t let HoloLens become a specialty skill. You are going to find the SDK just like every other Microsoft property. It will be standard and asynchronous, full of controls, methods, and classes.

Ok, it’s going to be asynchronous, like any WinRT APIs, but what those controls look like is interesting thing to find out. Obviously they are different from regular controls we do in XAML for PC and phone.


UAP, HoloLens, Recommended Readings – Developer’s Collection