Just like the Windows PC experience starts with the desktop, Windows Mixed Reality starts with the home. The Windows Mixed Reality home leverages our innate ability to understand and navigate 3D places. With HoloLens, your home is your physical space. With immersive headsets, your home is a virtual place.
Your home is also where you’ll use the Start menu to open and place apps and content. You can fill your home with mixed reality content and multitask by using multiple apps at the same time. The things you place in your home stay there, even if you restart your device.
The Start menu consists of:
Switch between the pinned apps and All apps views by selecting the plus or minus buttons. To open the Start menu on HoloLens, use the bloom gesture. On an immersive headset, press the Windows button on your controller.
To launch an app, select it on Start. The Start menu will disappear, and the app will open in placement mode, as either a 2D window or a 3D model.
To run the app, you’ll need to then place it in your home:
2D apps, created for desktop, mobile, or Xbox can be modified to run as mixed reality immersive apps using the HolographicSpace API. An immersive app takes the user out of the home and into an immersive experience. Users can return home with the bloom gesture (HoloLens) or by pressing the Windows button on their controller (immersive headsets).
Apps can also be launched via an app-to-app API or via Cortana.
Select Adjust on the app bar to reveal controls that move, scale, and rotate mixed reality content. When you’re finished, select Done.
Different apps may have additional options on the app bar. For example, Microsoft Edge has Scroll, Drag, and Zoom choices.
The Back button navigates back to previously viewed screens in the app. It will stop when you reach the beginning of the experiences that have been shown in the app, and will not navigate to other apps.
With HoloLens, you move through physical space to move around your home. With immersive headsets, you can similarly walk in the available virtual space. To cover larger distances, you’ll use teleportation.
Cortana is your personal assistant in Windows Mixed Reality, just like on PC and phone. HoloLens has a built-in microphone, but other headsets may require additional hardware. Use Cortana to open apps, restart your HoloLens, look things up online, and more. Developers may also choose to integrate Cortana into their experiences.
You can also use voice commands to get around your home. For example, point at a button (using gaze or a controller, depending on the device) and say “Select.” Other voice commands include “Go home,” “Bigger,” “Smaller,” “Close,” and “Face me.”
Windows Mixed Reality has a number of built-in apps, such as: