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The Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning maintains two Microsoft HoloLens' for augmented reality, or AR, exploration. Microsoft HoloLens is a self-contained, holographic computer, enabling you to engage with your digital content and interact with holograms in the world around you. Currently, the HoloLens is available for exploration in the Visualization Lab located in the CITL within EWFM Library, as well as in our Building C Developers' Lab for those interested in developing for the device.

Faculty interested in using or learning more about the HoloLens should contact their Instructional Technologist.

Available Apps

There are hundreds of HoloLens apps currently available in the Microsoft store. Many of these can be downloaded for use upon request. Below are just a few apps already available for use on the CITL HoloLens:

  • Holo Tour - Explore the beauty and history of Rome or uncover the hidden secrets of Machu Picchu. Effortlessly move and look around your real world to naturally interact with the elements of the tour. Immerse yourself with a unique combination of 360-degree video, spatial sound, and holographic scenery that creates a very real sense of presence.
  • Holo Flight - Visualize real flight data in 3D as holograms. The user can walk around and explore various parts of the visualized flight space. Simply gaze at airplanes to see detailed flight information or even hear ATC conversations with spatial sound. Different zoom levels of the terrain allow the user to see a broader view but also detailed information for a specific airport, including the control tower’s point of view.

  • Actiongram - Enables new forms of storytelling. Direct your own mixed reality videos, blending holograms with the real world. Choose from an eclectic and regularly expanding gallery of holographic characters, props, and visual effects that are made for storytelling.

  • Holo Elements - The periodic table in AR. Designed specifically for HoloLens, using gaze and air-tap you can select an element from a 3D periodic table. Then, specific information about that element will be presented including a 3D representation of the molecular structure of the chosen element which you can walk around and inspect in detail.

  • Robo Raid - A game created by Microsoft for the HoloLens to get first-time users better acquainted with the HoloLens environment. Defend your home from a robot invasion in this mixed reality first-person shooter.

Using the HoloLens

It's important to note that the HoloLens is completely self-contained. It does not need to be tethered to an external computer in any way. Be sure the HoloLens is fully charged before using. To turn on, press and hold the power button for about 5 seconds. Place the headset on your head and tighten or loosen to snugly fit your head by adjusting the wheel on the back of the visor ring. You can adjust the volume and brightness by using the controls on the sides. It is highly suggested that all users run the gesture tutorial (labeled "Learn Gestures" on the Start screen) before getting started with the HoloLens for the first time.

The HoloLens uses gestures as a means of navigation. There are a few primary hand gestures used: 

Bloom. Opens a start menu. To bloom, hold out your hand with your palm up and your fingertips together. Then open your hand.

Gaze. Moves the cursor and highlight items for selection. Turn your whole head, not just your eyes, and the cursor will follow.

Air Tap. Used to select/initiate items. Gaze at the item. Hold your hand straight out in front of you in a loose fist, then point your index finger straight up toward the ceiling.Tap your finger down, then quickly raise it back up again.

Tap and Hold. Used to move, resize, zoom, pin, scroll, resize, etc. To tap and hold, start with an air tap, but keep your finger down instead of raising it back up again.

Voice Commands

Although the HoloLens is designed to primarily support hand gestures to navigate,  you can also use these basic voice commands. To see more commands, check out Cortana on HoloLens, or just say "Hey Cortana, what can I say?"

Select. Use this instead of air tap. Gaze at a hologram, then say "Select."

Place. Instead of air tapping to place a hologram, say "Place."

Face me. Gaze at a hologram, then say “Face me” to turn it your way.

Bigger/Smaller. Gaze at a hologram, then say “Bigger” or “Smaller” to resize it.

Hey Cortana, go to Start. Use this instead of bloom to get to Start.

Hey Cortana, shut down. Turn off your HoloLens.

Hey Cortana, move <app name> here. Gaze at the spot you want the app to move to.

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