HoloLens emulator and documentation now available for developers

Microsoft today finally unveiled details about HoloLens, including preorder dates for the HoloLens Development Edition, when it will ship, what comes in the kit, and specs. While the kit costs $3,000, Microsoft has also released an emulator for those that want to test their app without the device.

The emulator and the HoloLens toolset can be a huge boon to developers that can't afford $3,000 for a HoloLens Development Edition. Developers must install the following for the toolset:

  • Visual Studio 2015 Update 2
  • HoloLens emulator
  • Unity Technical Preview

Microsoft notes that while the SDK runs best on Windows 10, it also supports Windows 7, 8, 8.1, Server 2008 R2, and Server 2012. Since the emulator utilizes Hyper-V, the user must have the following:

  • 64-bit Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education (The Home edition does not support Hyper-V)
  • 64-bit CPU
  • 8 GB of RAM or more
  • GPU (The emulator might work without an unsupported GPU, but will be significantly slower)
  • DirectX 11.0 or later

  • WDDM 1.2 driver or later

  • In the BIOS, the following features must be supported and enabled
  • Hardware-assisted virtualization

  • Second Level Address Translation (SLAT)

  • Hardware-based Data Execution Prevention (DEP)

Microsoft has also created a number of simulated rooms for the emulator, which were captured in real environments using HoloLens. These can be useful for testing an app in multiple environments.

  • DefaultRoom.xef - A small living room with a TV, coffee table, and two sofas. Loaded by default when you start the emulator.

  • Bedroom1.xef - A small bedroom with a desk.

  • Bedroom2.xef - A bedroom with a queen size bed, dresser, nightstands, and walk-in closet.

  • GreatRoom.xef - A large open space great room with living room, dining table, and kitchen.

  • LivingRoom.xef - A living room with a fireplace, sofa, armchairs, and a coffee table with a vase.

The firm also noted that in order to see the room at all, the developer must update the app to render the spatial mapping mesh in the scene. Otherwise, the user will only see the holograms, and not the simulated room behind it.

You can find out more about the HoloLens toolset here. There are two tutorial videos on the page that are currently listed as "coming soon".

You can find out more about the HoloLens emulator here and documentation here.

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