Microsoft HoloLens Demo: MobiDev Showroom
This demo project showcases the capabilities of Microsoft HoloLens for product presentation and educational purposes
Business goals: Engagement and retention of customers via presentation of products in the mixed reality environment
Product: HoloLens application that allows the user to interact with digital 3D models + back end used as to store and send models to the application as Unity bundles
Applied technologies: C#, Unity3D, HoloLens Toolkit libraries, Lua/UniLua, PHP, Yii2, PostgreSQL, AR/MR-specific testing
This demo originally aimed for presenting industrial and medical equipment in mixed reality, as well as for interactive learning. Check this video to see the HoloLens in action!
It is worth noting that later on we created a second mixed reality demo that enabled a shared virtual space involving a desktop, a HoloLens, and virtual reality headsets. This also shows promise for remote education, VR conferencing, and entertainment.
for industrial use
Formation of a technology stack was quite obvious for this case. The combination of C# and Unity 3D is endorsed by the official Microsoft tutorials for HoloLens development. Additionally, we used such specific libraries as MixedRealityToolkit-Unity and MixedRealityDesignLabs_Unity. The server side for this particular demo was written in PHP; however, any general-purpose programming language for Web would work.
Worth mentioning is the use of Lua to write dynamic scripts that enabled custom interactions with models outside the bundles that contained them. A good example of such interaction is removal of an element or a layer (e.g. the hood of a car) in order to see what's behind it.
Getting the most out of hardware capabilities
Every feature of the HoloLens has been mastered by our team: scanning and object recognition features, voice commands and gesture input to make control more natural, spatial sound and mapping to make environments more realistic, and the tools to develop native HoloLens applications of any required functionality. Furthermore, the commercial version of the HoloLens, intended for corporate use, opens the doors to more advanced device management and customization.
Implementing software features for demo purposes
Our demo currently features 3 main functional parts:
• Demonstration of 3D models (e.g. cars and medical equipment) in order to either attract potential buyers or explain how it works, with previewing, scaling, and conducting other interactions.
• Integration with the Internet of Things for monitoring purposes. The HoloLens is capable of retrieving metrics—e.g. human heart rate or equipment temperature—and showing them to the HoloLens user in real time along with any required content.
• 3D human anatomy atlas to show the educational potential of the headset.
Performing HoloLens-specific testing
In order to make the product as smart and responsive as users would demand it to be, we complemented development with our elaborate testing procedure. Our QA team created a testing environment required to check scanning of various surfaces, creation of meshes in different rooms, occlusion, object recognition, and, of course, interactions between the user and the software. The process can be tailored to particular requirements of any project.
Alex Vasilchenko, Web Development Group Leader
"Without a doubt, Microsoft should keep upgrading the hardware capabilities of the HoloLens – for example, equipping its next generation with an increased field of view, which proved crucial. Another step towards the breakthrough on the corporate market is making the headset more affordable, even by enterprise standards. Eventually it will pay off, since the spheres of possible application include industrial environments, manufacturing, medicine, architecture, interior design, and gaming.
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