January 18, 2018

UAP, HoloLens, Recommended Readings – Developer’s Collection

 

uap

 

BUILD Conference is less than one month away (29th, April). I’m collecting some of my posts relating to app development on Windows 10, some of my findings/thoughts about developing for HoloLens.  My intention is to give you one-place-for-all approach, but it’s obviously not. However, if you have done Windows or Windows Phone development before, the links I gave in the posts are pretty much it. For the moment, there isn’t much really, but remember to get a good understanding of the following terms: UAP, Mobile Extension, Adaptive UI, SplitView, RelativePanel, Metro Design Language (the term may have changed, but influence has not). There is a little bit of Windows Holograhic APIs, but nothing materialized. We are expecting to hear a lot more during BUILD conference.

I have a couple of other writings related to this topic. I will add them here when they come out.

By the way, it is a good idea to download and install Windows 10 Technical Preview and Windows 10 Technical Preview SDK. Before install the SDK, download and install Visual Studio 2015 CTP6 first, which can be downloaded on the same link with the SDK. I suggest you install them on a VM. There are some instructions on PCWorld. Also, please make sure you have about 50GB or more space on your hard drive for the whole thing.

 

HoloLens: Some Early Bits for Developers

Developers: Get Yourself Ready for HoloLens

Digest the Windows 10 Technical Preview SDK (Updated)

 

Optional Readings:

What Is Mixed Reality, Really?

How HoloLens Will Change Windows UI – (1) Break of Screens

How HoloLens Will Change Windows UI – (2) Another Dimension

Natural User Interface: Is Natural Always Better?

PC + HoloLens: Would It Work?

PC + HoloLens: How It Works

Xbox + HoloLens: How Can They Work Together?

HoloLens Misconception – 3D

From HoloLens to “True” Hologram: How?

 

 

Some Business Ideas with HoloLens – (16) Holo-Map

This is the 16th in a series of “Some Business Ideas with HoloLens”. Read other posts here.

HoloLens - Copy

 

Holo-Map

Development Effort: 9/10
Business Value: 5/10
Wow Factor: 8/10
Map in 3D is nothing new. Bing map has 3D (now bird’s eye view), Nokia Here map has 3D view. But we are not talking about just 3D map, we are talking about holographic map. The difference lies in two levels: 1. The currently 3D map’s so-called 3D mode is not really 3D, they are a few 2D images of the same object in different angles. 2. With holographic map, it is more than 3D. You can walking around a building to see any aspect of it continuously, the same way to see a real building, but in your living room.

I am trying to find a use case other than just “Wow, that’s amazing”. For something to last, it has to be more than looking good. It has to make your work or your life easier. One shortcoming of our map software is they lack depth information. If you are going somewhere you have never been before, you want to know how it looks from different directions in the perspectives of sitting in the car. There are many times, I miss the target driving with map (a digital one or a paper one). If I know which way I am driving to, I can put on HoloLens to have a better look at it before I leave home. So, it is more important to have a driver’s view, instead of a bird’s eye view.

It is impossible to map the entire globe in 3D, and no need to do so. Only if most cities are mapped in 3D, that would be helpful. I don’t know how much work there is in doing that, it is not something anyone can do other than a few biggest companies any way. When they are done, smaller businesses can provide tailored maps for specified purposes.

Some Business Ideas with HoloLens: (1) Holo-IKEA

Since the HoloLens was announced at Microsoft’s Windows 10 event two week ago, I have been reading some articles and many enthusiastic discussions about the limitless potential uses for HoloLens. Some are well thought out ideas, some are more of fascinations. People are intrigued by what it could bring the world of business, entertainment, gaming, even daily life. But most of them haven’t gone through careful thinking, in term of market acceptance, technical difficulty, effort to implement, and things as such. I am mainly a software developer, with an engineering background, and some weak business management experience, thought though I could put some of the ideas into my brain for a spin, hope the result can be helpful for readers who are interested. Many ideas are inspired by online discussion. Some of them are my own. I don’t take ownership to any of them. To be sure, this is just a tiny set of what is possible. However, you can go wild starting from this.

I give each idea a rank in the following areas: Development Effort, Business Value, Wow Factor, in scale of 1 to 10. Because Windows 10 holographic APIs are not available yet, there are many things unknown, but based on what is already known, it not hard to take a good assumption of what will come.

This is the first in a series of “Some Business Ideas with HoloLens”. Read others posts here.

HoloLens

 

Holo-IKEA:

Development Effort: 4

Business Value: 8

Wow Factor: 8

IKEA is the first thing come to mind after watching the HoloLens promo video. I have found many people echoed this idea (they were probably thinking about it before I do). The reason for that is: 1. IKEA is not just a retailer, they design, they make and they sell. They probably already have the 3D models of each product they sell. Even they don’t, create them or just scan them using HoloLens wouldn’t be so much more work if they design each piece they sell. 2. IKEA products are mostly straight lined, box-like, which are easy to 3D-model, and require little physics, except for mattresses. In holographic applications, dealing with physics (weight, stiffness, flexibility, elasticity) are usually harder than dealing with geometry.

The idea is for IKEA to release an holographic app to Windows Store. The app will contain all IKEA products, organized in categories. People put on their HoloLens at home, fire up Holo-IKEA app. They can choose a product, say, a dresser, then put it anywhere in the room, because the app has the geometric information of both the room and the dresser. User can instantly see if the furniture of choice fits in the space, and if the style and color matches what they already have. Better yet, they can virtually move the real furniture around to fit the virtual one (this requires some coding work, but can be done). And they can do the order from the app.

Development effort is relatively low for IKEA, main reason is they design their products they sell. Software side of work is relatively straight forward. It does require the room’s geometry info but just basic API calls as expected. Ordering and transaction processing would be the main work, but if in app payment is possible then the work minimized.

No matter IKEA is an pure retailer or not, IKEA is in retail business. As we have seen, retailers are facing competition from online businesses. IKEA is probably in good business right now, but no one can ignore the changes the online business has brought to the retail. I think IKEA should give this idea a serious run through if they believe HoloLens will have any impact on their business.

In retail business, IKEA is just an obvious example, many others in the business can certainly come with similar idea. Home Depot comes to mind. What is different with Home Depot is that they sell products made by others, to have all products 3D modeled is simply impossible. Maybe 3D scanning with HoloLens would work, but still, they may have to choose a selected set of products that are easily to deal with holograhically, and have obvious use cases, like tiles, flooring products, etc.