A couple of weeks ago, I made a post on the study materials I planned on leveraging to learn how to program for the Microsoft HoloLens. This weekend was the first time I finally started digging into studying. I quickly identified that the videos I intended to use might have been a bit off on exactly what I wanted to learn.
To be open and honest with everyone with my adventure, I wanted to share this and point you towards the resources I’ve decided to leverage instead. As I had mentioned in the last post, My Microsoft HoloLens Adventure – Preparing Study Resources. I had looked over some Basics videos back in March when I first started looking into this. I hadn’t touched those since March as I was getting kind of bored with it and it was all I had done when I was in college.
The next section in that post was Universal Apps, which I had never worked with. I started watching the Developing Universal Windows Apps with C# and XAML video. I quickly realized that it was going to be too high-level for me since I had such a limited experience. I tried searching for the videos they mention at the beginning of that course but was unable to find them on MVA. However, I was able to find Windows 10 Development for Absolute Beginners. In the first 10 minutes, I was able to figure out how to get my first 2D Application running for HoloLens. Yes, all it was is a button that shows text that says Hello World, but it was an app!
As I continue my adventure of learning how to program for the HoloLens, the first step is actually learning how to program! I am lucky enough that I took some programming classes while in College and I’ve done a lot of Scripting in Windows PowerShell – this helps me understand programming constructs. I just need to become more well-practices in the area of Object Oriented Programming and understanding the C# Syntax.
To do this I actually started digging in a bit back in March covering some of the basics to refresh my memory. One of my favorite resources is the Microsoft Virtual Academy. I haven’t watched much but the first video I started watching was Bob Tabor’s C# Fundamentals for Absolute Beginners. As the subject says this is for absolute beginners so I’ve done a bit of skimming on a lot of the videos, but it gives a good introduction if you haven’t programmed before. I most likely will continue to skim these videos occasionally just to keep my mind fresh since I haven’t written a full blow application before.
The next video series I intend to watch is the Developing Universal Windows Apps with C# and XAML. The reason I am wanting to check with video out is my applications I want to have work across all Windows Platforms – this is something I’ve never done so it’ll be a challenge to pick it up. The nice thing about using this as a stepping stone is Universal Apps will not only work on HoloLens but also Windows 8+ Windows PC’s and Windows Phones.
When developing for the HoloLens there are two different types of app models, let’s explore each one.
2D HoloLens apps will be the easiest ones to build – at least I think it will be for me. These apps are just like any other Windows Universal App, except the HoloLens will project the 2D App on a wall, or in front of you while using the HoloLens.
Holographic Apps are a very new concept – this is what makes the HoloLens a truly magical experience. You will see 3D renderings throughout your house, office, or where ever you are using the HoloLens at.
To start developing for HoloLens you must understand the different ways to interact with the HoloLens. This includes
I’ve started my adventure of learning how to program for the Microsoft HoloLens. If you haven’t heard about this new adventure please check out my blog post My Microsoft HoloLens Adventure – Introduction. On that blog post I have a video introducing myself, and my intentions. In addition I’ve included a video of the unboxing of the Microsoft HoloLens. Throughout this blog post I will highlight the steps required to get your PC setup to program the HoloLens.
Windows 7 SP 1 or greater (Windows 10 recommended) – Must be Professional, Enterprise or Education edition
Hyper-V enabled on the system
64-bit CPU with at least 4 cores
8 GB of RAM
BIOS that supports:
Second Level Address Translation (SLAT)
Hardware-based Data Execution Prevention (DEP)
GPU that supports:
DirectX 11.0 or later
WDDM 1.2 driver or later
Open Control Panel
Click Turn Windows features on or off
Restart computer when install finishes
Installing Visual Studio 2015:
To write applications for the HoloLens you must use Visual Studio 2015 with Update 2 installed to write the Universal Windows App. Luckily you can use the Visual Studio 2015 Community edition at no cost! The community edition will provide enough features for you to get started, however if you are an experienced developer and want to dig into more depth you may want to evaluate the Professional or Enterprise editions. To compare what each edition has check out the Compare Visual Studio 2015 Offerings page.
To develop for the HoloLens doesn’t require that you have a HoloLens – although it does make it more entertaining! If you do not own one do not fear – you can download and install the HoloLens Emulator.
I’m back!!! It’s been almost a year to the day! I previously had claimed I was going to become much more active in my blogging and that turned out to be a lie. I had just started a new job and was expecting to have more ‘free’ time – that was laughable in retrospect. It’s been one of the busiest years in my life, and not really looking like it’ll slow down at all.
However I am pushing myself to do more! When the HoloLens developer application opened sometime back in 2015 – my gut wants to say early 2015 but I can’t say for certain I applied to be a developer, I thought for kicks it might be fun. I filled out the application 100% honestly and figured I’d never be accepted.
On February 29th of 2016 I received an email that I was accepted into wave 1 – I was shocked, thrilled and thought there is no way I can justify the cost. I spent weeks contemplating if I would drop the money and if I did what would I even program on it?
After about 1-2 weeks of pondering a couple of ideas for applications I decided I could justify the expense, then weeks – heck months passed before I actually got the purchase link from Microsoft. I spent a few more hours considering it and decided to take the plunge. I received the purchase link email from Microsoft on Monday May 9th at 9:33 AM – I read it around 6:00 PM. I made my purchase at 7:32 PM. I received an email that the HoloLens shipped from Shanghai China Tuesday at 11:17 PM. From looking at the tracking history the HoloLens went from Shanghai to my door step within 26 hours.
I still had a full work day to knock out so I didn’t get to actually open the HoloLens for another ~9 hours. While doing the opening I made an unboxing video which can be seen below. I do apologize for the echo but I didn’t have a good quality mic available.