HoloLens lets you create holograms, objects made of light and sound that appear in the world around you, just as if they are real objects. Holograms respond to your gaze, gestures and voice commands, and can interact with real-world surfaces around you. With holograms, you can create digital objects that are part of your world.

A hologram is made of light and sound

The holograms that HoloLens renders appear in the holographic frame directly in front of the user's eyes. Holograms add light to your world, which means that you see both the light from the display and the light from your surroundings. HoloLens doesn't remove light from your eyes, so holograms can't be rendered with the color black. Instead, black content appears as transparent.

Holograms can have many different appearances and behaviors. Some are realistic and solid, and others are cartoonish and ethereal. Holograms can highlight features in your surroundings, and they can be elements in your app's user interface.

Holographic dog walking on the floor

Holograms can also make sounds, which will appear to come from a specific place in your surroundings. On HoloLens, sound comes from two speakers that are located directly above your ears, without covering them. Similar to the displays, the speakers are additive, introducing new sounds without blocking the sounds from your environment.

A hologram can be placed in the world or tag along with you

When you have a particular location where you want a hologram, you can place it precisely there in the world. As you walk around that hologram, it will appear stable relative to the world around you. If you use a spatial anchor to pin that object firmly to the world, the system can even remember where you left it when you come back later.

Holographic building maquette sitting on a table

Some holograms follow the user instead. These tag-along holograms position themselves relative to the user, no matter where they walk. You may even choose to bring a hologram with you for a while and then place it on the wall once you get to another room.

A hologram interacts with you and your world

Holograms aren't only about light and sound; they're also an active part of your world. Gaze at a hologram and gesture with your hand, and a hologram can start to follow you. Give a voice command to a hologram, and it can reply.

Holographic motorcycle design fitted on a real-life motorcycle body

Holograms enable personal interactions that aren't possible elsewhere. Because the HoloLens knows where it is in the world, a holographic character can look you directly in the eyes as you walk around the room.

A hologram can also interact with your surroundings. For example, you can place a holographic bouncing ball above a table. Then, with an air-tap, watch the ball bounce and make sound when it hits the table.

Holograms can also be occluded by real-world objects. For example, a holographic character might walk through a door and behind a wall, out of your sight.

A hologram is whatever you dream up

As a holographic developer, you have the power to break your creativity out of 2D screens and into the world around you. What will you build?

Holographic imaginary world in living room