Creating software for HoloLens is difficult when you don’t have one. Not only do we have to take the abilities of the hardware on faith, we also have to assume that functions exist. On top of this, we want to develop an application that will be intuitive, and responsive to a user’s needs.
During a discussion about the menu design we realized we could prototype almost 80% of Holonize by changing a couple of assumptions. Even better, we could release it in the wild much sooner than expected.
Our specs tell us our device needs to:
- Connect to the internet so we can download objects.
- Browse the internet with a web browser.
- Detect and quantify user movement.
- Provide a display that lets the user see reality as well as superimposed 3D objects.
- Recognize a “location” to provide object positioning.
- Support UDP to communicate to others when an object is being moved or interacted with.
Most of this can be done on a device that’s ubiquitous. One that’s in every household, and probably in your hand right now. We can do this with mobile phones and tablets to give the user a “window” into our augmented reality.
The only thing mobile devices can’t do is map a room. Which posed a problem. How would we know where an object was supposed to be displayed?
Enter the QR code.
If we printed a QR code or similar design on a piece of paper, Holonize could recognize this as the position for displaying an object i.e. scan a QR code, recognize it, access the internet to find out what object should be displayed there, display the object on top of the QR code.
So, time to create a new functional specification for Holonize for mobile!!!