A powerful holographic experience

HoloLens a new approach

In the past few years, Microsoft has made many changes. One of the products they invested in is the HoloLens (known as Project Baraboo), which brings a new era in technology. The HoloLens device is a pair of smartglass developed and built by Microsoft. It runs on Windows 10 operating system and has a set of sensors that bring cutting edge technology in your space. Currently, it’s a little expensive. The development edition costs $ 3,000 and the commercial suite for business costs $ 5000. As Microsoft announced, the new HoloLens is expected be released with a great reduction in price and a larger field of view in the first quarter of 2019.

Indicatively, some of the features of HoloLens are as follows:

CPU –     Intel 32-bit (1GHz)
Memory – 2 GB RAM, 1 GB HPU RAM
Storage – 64 GB (flash memory)
Display – 2.3 megapixel widescreen stereoscopic head-mounted display
Sound – Spatial sound technology
Input – Inertial measurement unit (Accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer)
Camera – 2.4 MP
Weight – 579 g (1.28 lb)

My Holographic experience

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I had the opportunity to work on HoloLens device in the last year and it was really great. It’s based on the use of two cutting edge technologies, spatial mapping and spatial sound. Spatial mapping merges the real with  the virtual world and as a result all the holograms seem real, while Spatial sound provides a 3D sound simulation experience using direction, distance and environment simulations. I can say that I have encountered some difficulties as HoloLens is a relatively new tool and many things had to be created from scratch, although the Microsoft  libraries from  Mixed Reality Toolkit (known as HoloToolkit)  were very helpful.

From the very beginning I encountered many difficulties and I came to the conclusion that many other developers will face them too. So, I created some tutorials to help others figure out the stuff I did. I also created two medical education applications together with my team in the Medical Physics Laboratory, with director professor Dr.Bamidis.

The application “AsclepiOS” was an innovative and pioneering application that combined the scenario-based learning method of teaching with the Microsoft’s HoloLens technology. This combination will further help medical students to understand as well as to participate in the diagnosis procedure from an earlier stage in their studies. The Asclepi0s application was presented in the Excellence Awards at ECEL 2017 which took place in Porto and it was one of the ten finalists.

The “Ascending and Descending Pathways of Central Nervous System” application was developed in collaboration with the University of Leeds and specifically with Professor Dr. James Pickering, who together with his team guided us to build an application for the neural anatomy lesson. The application was presented and piloted in the neuroanatomy courses of Professor Dr. James Pickering at the University of Leeds and there were quite positive comments. A small part of the project is represented in the video below.

I have also built an application for blind people, which aims on the indoor and outdoor navigation (guided and non-guided) for visually impaired individuals and offers an amount of services that help in everyday life, such as face detection-verification, facial expression detection, environment recognition, optical character recognition etc.

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In the context of this new, good cooperation of Microsoft Hellas with the Department of Medical Physics, I presented the applications that have been built in the Laboratory of Medical Physics, in the booth of two big events that took place in Thessaloniki, VOXXED Thessaloniki 2017 and DEVit 2018.

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On January of 2018, a workshop for “Introduction to Augmented and Mixed Reality” was organized by “Thessaloniki .NET Meetup” team in the Coho workspace where I presented the chapter “3D Visualization from the HoloLens world”. I talked about the new era of mixed reality and we developed the basic elements for HoloLens (hand gestures, eye gaze, voice commands, spatial audio, holograms, spatial mapping).

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The technical information for HoloLens was collected by the sources: Microsoft Mixed Reality Docs, theverge.com.

Not a HoloLens / WMR team member

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