With the software installation out of the way, it's time to build the framework within which to work when building an augmented reality app for Android devices.
If you've contemplated what's possible with augmented reality on mobile devices, and your interest has been piqued enough to start building your own Android-based AR app, then this is a great place to to acquire the basic beginner skills to complete it. Once we get everything installed, we'll create a simple project that allows us to detect surfaces and place custom objects on those surfaces.
Now that ARCore is out of its developer preview, it's time to get cracking on building augmented reality apps for the supported selection of Android phones available. Since Google's ARCore 1.0 is fairly new, there's not a lot of information out there for developers yet — but we're about to alleviate that.
AR Dev 101: Create Cross-Platform AR Experiences with Unity & Azure Cloud, Part 1 (Downloading the Tools)
In this series, we are going to get you to the edge of building your own cloud-based, cross-platform augmented reality app for iPhone, Android, HoloLens, and Meta 2, among other devices. Once we get the necessary software installed, we will walk through the process of setting up an Azure account and creating blob storage.
AR Dev 101: Create Cross-Platform AR Experiences with Unity & Azure Cloud, Part 2 (Installing Project Nether & MRTK)
As we aim for a wireless world, technology's reliance on cloud computing services is becoming more apparent every day. As 5G begins rolling out later this year and network communications become even faster and more reliable, so grows our dependency on the services offered in the cloud.
Continuing our series on building a dynamic user interface for the HoloLens, this guide will show how to rotate the objects that we already created and moved and scaled in previous lessons.
Every industry has its own jargon, acronyms, initializations, and terminology that serve as shorthand to make communication more efficient among veteran members of that particular space. But while handy for insiders, those same terms can often create a learning curve for novices entering a particular field. The same holds true for the augmented reality (also known as "AR") business.
As a developer, before you can make augmented-reality robots that move around in the real world, controlled by a user's finger, you first need to learn how to harness the basics of designing AR software for a touchscreen interface.
An incorrectly scaled object in your HoloLens app can make or break your project, so it's important to get scaling in Unity down, such as working with uniform and non-uniform factors, before moving onto to other aspects of your app.
Introduced along with the iPhone X, Animoji are animated characters, mostly animals, that are rendered from the user's facial expressions using the device's TrueDepth camera system to track the user's facial movements.
Just in time for the holiday season, Lenovo has released its Mirage AR head-mounted display with the Star Wars: Jedi Challenges game and accessories. Unfortunately, while its price point is a fraction of most other AR headsets, at the moment, it does have a few issues with the setup process.
So after setting everything up, creating the system, working with focus and gaze, creating our bounding box and UI elements, unlocking the menu movement, as well as jumping through hoops refactoring a few parts of the system itself, we have finally made it to the point in our series on dynamic user interfaces for HoloLens where we get some real interaction.
So after being teased last Christmas with an email promising that the Meta 2 was shipping, nearly a year later, we finally have one of the units that we ordered. Without a moment's hesitation, I tore the package open, set the device up, and started working with it.
This is a very exciting time for mixed reality developers and fans alike. In 2017, we have seen a constant stream of new hardware and software releases hitting the virtual shelves. And while most of them have been in the form of developer kits, they bring with them hope and the potential promise of amazing things in the future.
Now that we have unlocked the menu movement — which is working very smoothly — we now have to get to work on the gaze manager, but first, we have to make a course correction.
In the previous section of this series on dynamic user interfaces for HoloLens, we learned about delegates and events. At the same time we used those delegates and events to not only attach our menu system to the users gaze, but also to enable and disable the menu based on certain conditions. Now let's take that knowledge and build on it to make our menu system a bit more comfortable.
In this chapter, we want to start seeing some real progress in our dynamic user interface. To do that, we will have our newly crafted toolset from the previous chapter appear where we are looking when we are looking at an object. To accomplish this we will be using a very useful part of the C# language: delegates and events.
Alright, calm down and take a breath! I know the object creation chapter was a lot of code. I will give you all a slight reprieve; this section should be a nice and simple, at least in comparison.
After previously learning how to make the material of an object change with the focus of an object, we will build on that knowledge by adding new objects through code. We will accomplish this by creating our bounding box, which in the end is not actually a box, as you will see.
We started with our system manager in the previous lesson in our series on building dynamic user interfaces, but to get there, aside from the actual transform, rotation, and scaling objects, we need to make objects out of code in multiple ways, establish delegates and events, and use the surface of an object to inform our toolset placement.
Now that we have installed the toolkit, set up our prefabs, and prepared Unity for export to HoloLens, we can proceed with the fun stuff involved in building a dynamic user interface. In this section, we will build the system manager.
Alright, let's dig into this and get the simple stuff out of the way. We have a journey ahead of us. A rather long journey at that. We will learn topics ranging from creating object filtering systems to help us tell when a new object has come into a scene to building and texturing objects from code.
Many developers, myself included, use Unity for 3D application development as well as making games. There are many that mistakenly believe Unity to be a game engine. And that, of course, is how it started. But we now live in a world where our applications have a new level of depth.
The reveal of Apple's new ARKit extensions for iPhones and iPads, while not much of a shock, did bring with it one big surprise. By finding a solution to surface detection without the use of additional external sensors, Apple just took a big step over many — though not all — solutions and platforms currently available for mobile AR.
The release of Unity 5.6 brought with it several great enhancements. One of those enhancements is the new Video Player component. This addition allows for adding videos to your scenes quickly and with plenty of flexibility. Whether you are looking to simply add a video to a plane, or get creative and build a world layered with videos on 3D objects, Unity 5.6 has your back.
Way back, life on the range was tough and unforgiving for a HoloLens developer. Air-tap training was cutting edge and actions to move holograms not called "TapToPlace" were exotic and greeted with skepticism. The year was 2016, and developers had to deploy to their devices to test things as simple as gauging a cube's size in real space. Minutes to hours a week were lost to staring at Visual Studio's blue progress bar.
Being part of the wild frontier is amazing. It doesn't take much to blow minds of first time mixed reality users — merely placing a canned hologram in the room is enough. However, once that childlike wonder fades, we need to add more substance to create lasting impressions.
When making a convincing mixed reality experience, audio consideration is a must. Great audio can transport the HoloLens wearer to another place or time, help navigate 3D interfaces, or blur the lines of what is real and what is a hologram. Using a location-based trigger (hotspot), we will dial up a fun example of how well spatial sound works with the HoloLens.
One of the truly beautiful things about the HoloLens is its completely untethered, the-world-is-your-oyster freedom. This, paired with the ability to view your real surroundings while wearing the device, allows for some incredibly interesting uses. One particular use is triggering events when a user enters a specific location in a physical space. Think of it as a futuristic automatic door.
Soon, users will no longer need an expensive headset or even a smartphone to experience mixed reality. The new Microsoft update will be bringing mixed reality applications to every Windows computer next month. This new upgrade to Windows 10 named the Windows 10 Creators Update.
Welcome back to this series on making physical objects come to life on HoloLens with Vuforia. Now that we've set up Vuforia and readied our ImageTarget and camera system, we can see our work come to life. Because in the end, is that not one of the main driving forces when developing—that Frankenstein-like sensation of bringing something to life that was not there before?
Now that we've set up Vuforia in Unity, we can work on the more exciting aspects of making physical objects come to life on the HoloLens. In this guide, we will choose an image (something that you physically have in your home), build our ImageTarget database, and then set up our Unity camera to be able to recognize the chosen image so that it can overlay the 3D holographic effect on top of it.
In this first part of our tutorial series on making physical objects come to life on HoloLens, we are going to set up Vuforia in Unity.
You may remember my post from a couple weeks ago here on NextReality about the magical scaling ratios for typography from Dong Yoon Park, a Principal UX Designer at Microsoft, as well as developer of the Typography Insight app for Hololens. Well, his ideas have been incorporated into the latest version of HoloToolkit, and I'm going to show you how they work.
The HoloToolkit offers a great many, simple ways to add what seems like extremely complex features of the HoloLens, but it can be a bit tricky if you're new to Windows Holographic. So this will be the first in an ongoing series designed to help new developers understand what exactly we can do with the HoloLens, and we'll start with voice commands.
With any continuously active software, it can start to become fairly complex after a few years of updates. New features and revisions both get layered into a thick mesh of menu systems and controls that even pro users can get bewildered by. If you are new to a certain application after it has been around for many years, it can be downright intimidating to know where to begin.
Now that we've got all of our software installed, we're going to proceed with the next step in our HoloLens Dev 101 series—starting a fresh project and building it into a Holographic application. Then we will output the application to the HoloLens Emulator so we can see it in action.
Don't let the lack of owning a HoloLens stop you from joining in on the fun of creating software in this exciting new space. The HoloLens Emulator offers a solution for everyone that wants to explore Windows Holographic development.
In this first part of my series on getting started with Windows Holographic, we are going to cover everything you need to get set up for developing HoloLens apps. There are many pieces coming together to make one single application, but once you get used to them all, you won't even notice. Now there are different approaches you can take to make applications for HoloLens, but this way is simply the fastest.