Working with accessories

HoloLens provides the ability to work with accessories via Bluetooth. Two common scenarios for using accessories are substitutes for the air-tap gesture and the virtual keyboard. For this, the two most common accessories are the HoloLens Clicker and Bluetooth keyboards. Microsoft HoloLens includes a Bluetooth 4.1 radio and supports Bluetooth HID and Bluetooth GATT profiles.

Pairing Bluetooth accessories

Pairing a Bluetooth peripheral with Microsoft HoloLens is similar to pairing a Bluetooth peripheral with a Windows 10 desktop or mobile device:

  1. From the Start Menu, open the Settings app
  2. Go to Devices
  3. Turn on the Bluetooth radio if it is off using the slider switch
  4. Place your Bluetooth device in pairing mode. This varies from device to device. On most Bluetooth devices this is done by pressing and holding one or more buttons.
  5. Wait for the name of the device to show up in the list of Bluetooth devices. When it does, select the device then select the Pair button. If you have many Bluetooth devices nearby you may need to scroll to the bottom of the Bluetooth device list to see the device you are trying to pair.
  6. When pairing Bluetooth peripherals with input capability (e.g.: Bluetooth keyboards), a 6-digit or an 8-digit pin may be displayed. Be sure to type that pin on the peripheral and then press enter to complete pairing with Microsoft HoloLens.

HoloLens Clicker

The HoloLens Clicker is the first peripheral device built specifically for HoloLens and is included with the HoloLens Development Edition. The HoloLens Clicker allows a user to click and scroll with minimal hand motion as a replacement for the air-tap gesture. It is not a replacement for all gestures. For instance, bloom and resize or move gestures use hand motions. The HoloLens clicker is an orientation sensor device with a simple button. It connects to the HoloLens using Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE).

The HoloLens Clicker

To select a hologram, gaze at it, and then click. Orientation of the clicker does not matter for this operation. To scroll or pan, click and hold, then rotate the Clicker up/down or left/right. While scrolling, you’ll reach the fastest speed with as little as +/- 15° of wrist rotation. Moving more will not scroll any faster.

There are two LEDs inside the Clicker:

  • The white LED indicates whether the device is pairing (blinking) or charging (solid)
  • The amber LED indicates that the device has low battery (blinking) or has suffered a failure (solid)

You can expect 2 weeks or more of regular use on a full charge (i.e., 2-3 hours on a wall charger). When the battery is low, the amber LED will blink 10 times over a 5-second period if you press the button or wake it from sleep. The amber LED will blink more rapidly over a 5-second period if your Clicker is in critically low battery mode.

Bluetooth keyboards

English language Qwerty Bluetooth keyboards can be paired and used anywhere you can use the holographic keyboard. Getting a quality keyboard makes a difference, so we recommend the Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard or the Microsoft Designer Bluetooth Desktop.

Bluetooth gamepads

You can use a controller with apps and games that specifically enable gamepad support. Gamepads cannot be used to control the HoloLens user interface.

Xbox Wireless Controllers that come with the Xbox One S or sold as accessories for the Xbox One S feature Bluetooth connectivity that enables them to be used with a HoloLens. The Xbox Wireless Controller must be updated before it can be used with HoloLens.

Other brands of Bluetooth gamepads may work with the HoloLens, but support will vary by application.

Other Bluetooth accessories

As long as the peripheral supports either the Bluetooth HID or GATT profiles, it will be able to pair with HoloLens. Other Bluetooth HID and GATT devices besides keyboard, mice, and the HoloLens Clicker may require a companion application on Microsoft HoloLens to be fully functional.

Unsupported peripherals include:

  • Peripherals in the Bluetooth audio profiles are not supported.
  • Bluetooth audio devices such as speakers and headsets may appear as available in the Settings app, but are not supported to be used with Microsoft HoloLens as an audio endpoint.
  • Bluetooth-enabled phones and PCs are not supported to be paired and used for file transfer.

Unpairing a Bluetooth peripheral

  1. From the Start Menu, open the Settings app
  2. Go to Devices
  3. Turn on the Bluetooth radio if it is off
  4. Find your device in the list of available Bluetooth devices
  5. Select your device from the list and then select the Remove button

Disabling Bluetooth on Microsoft HoloLens

This will turn off the RF components of the Bluetooth radio and disable all Bluetooth functionality on Microsoft HoloLens.

  1. From the Start Menu, open the Settings app
  2. Go to Devices
  3. Move the slider switch for Bluetooth to the OFF position