Microsoft HoloLens - Hands-On Testing.

At Zoar, we enjoy checking out new technologies. We are lucky enough to get a pair of Microsoft Hololens in our office. Hololens brings interactive virtual experience in the concept of MR (Mixed Reality). Let see how this technology can bring innovations to businesses.

In the digital media world - We are probably by now familiar with Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) as there are many games and marketing apps being developed using these technologies. In 2016 Microsoft has launched HoloLens, a wearable device that enables MR (Mixed Reality) experience for users. Lets take a look how this device works and its implications on MR.

Microsoft HoloLens

Mixed Reality (MR) attempts to combine virtual objects to interact with the real world. If you ever had experiences with AR apps, you'll notice the 3D objects simply appears/overlays on your device's screen, but not being able to anchor physically to the surrondings. E.g. Pokemon Go and catching Pikachu "inside" the wall in your room.

With MR HoloLens, now you will be able to see Pikachu running around On your bed, and then watching it jumping on your dining table outside. This is because HoloLens when activiated will perform spatial mapping of your surrondings - it builds a 3D world On-The-Fly when you walk around your house with the lens. You can get more details here on the technicals.

MR allows virtual objects to interact with real world physics.

Enough explainations - here is a game RoboRaid demo (provided free on Microsoft App Store) which I've tried at home.

Few interesting points to note:

  • - Your room has turned into a 3D Game level, where Robo bugs are spawning out of your walls!
  • - You can aim by moving your head which changes the cursor location.. Currently it's a straight line vector only
  • - Lasers are fired with the "Tap" Gesture... (HoloLens controls are by Gestures / Voice).
  • - Missed shots will break walls.
  • - HoloLens captures your motions too - so you can actually move towards holes and check out the waterpipes behind!
  • - Ignore the cat (at 3s of the clip), he's sleeping peacefully on the sofa - there are no bugs and walls breaking down :)

This game is a good demostration of HoloLens capbilities in terms of entertainment. Graphics are smooth and the in-built speakers are not bad supplying quality sound effects. Perhaps one can create a Zombie game.. that chases you around in your home, you can hide in your room, or even under the dining table (Hololens maps furnitures as well!), imagine that ;).


HoloLens has many common utility apps in-built and available to download from Microsoft Store, such as Skype, Edge explorer and even Remote Desktop. In the below clip we have tested remoting to our developement server. Performance is quite smooth and has no jitters.

Next time we'll have a look at Holograms which allow users to place virtual objects in the surroundings. I guess an application of that is for Interior Designers to preview or design homes, with 3D-modelled furnitures and decorations.

Next Article.