Development overview

Developing holographic apps uses the Universal Windows Platform. All holographic apps are Universal Windows apps, and all Universal Windows apps can be made to run on Microsoft HoloLens. With Windows 10 and familiarity with middleware tools like Unity, you can start building holographic experiences today.

Basics of a holographic development

To make holograms possible, Windows exposes an entirely new set of features to developers. There are six fundamental building blocks for mixed reality holographic apps:

Interaction with HoloLens has been designed around gaze, gesture and voice. This is sometimes referred to as GGV. The environmental understanding features like coordinates, spatial sound and spatial mapping provide the ability for holograms to interact with both the user and the world around them.

Holograms are made of light and sound, which depends on rendering. Understanding the experience of placement and persistence, as demonstrated in the HoloLens shell is a great way ground yourself in the user experience.

Tools for developing on HoloLens

The tools you use will depend on the type of app you want to build.

  • 2D apps can use any tools for building Universal Windows Apps suited for environments like Windows Phone, PC and tablets. These apps are experienced as 2D projections and can work across multiple device types.
  • Holographic apps need tools designed to take advantage of the Windows Holographic APIs. In particular, if building an app we recommend using Unity. Developers interested in building their own engine can use DirectX and other Windows APIs.

Regardless of the type of app you're building, these tools will facilitate your app development experience:

Getting started

After installing the tools, we recommend following the tutorials in the Holographic Academy. When you're ready, you can submit your app to the Windows Store to publish an app for other HoloLens users.