If you have finally jumped on board with Microsoft’s new flagship AR headset, the HoloLens 2, it is useful to know what kind of killer apps are available to make it worth your while. Here are a few of our favourite HoloLens 2 apps and games.
Graffiti 3D allows you to unleash your inner rebel by giving you the ability to draw anywhere, or on anything, using the holographic power of the HoloLens 2. Being able to draw in the air using the punch and drag gestures is very satisfying, in conjunction with being able to change colours and styles by looking at your palm, it is a very intuitive and fluid system that works flawlessly. Unlike some other drawing apps for the system, Graffiti 3D allows you to share your drawings or work on them in a collaborative effort in real time with multiple systems, it also allows for some quality of life improvements over its competitors like partial line erase and clone and move tools for your doodles or sketches. This is a very powerful tool that is fantastic for users of all ages. Its easy controls and precise inputs allow for an enjoyable and creative experience.
Graffiti 3D is free on the Microsoft store.
While not exclusive to the HoloLens 2 (as it was released on the first-generation device also), it is only right to pay respect where it is due. Holotour is VR tourism as it should be, with fantastic presentation as well as a wide selection of locations to explore at your leisure. Whether it be the Colosseum in Rome or Machu Pichu in Peru, the stunning video and lifelike spatial sound will make it feel as though you are there, maybe add a fan to feel the wind on your face! In addition to this, you are not alone, you are joined by a tour guide on your adventures who will fill you in with any relevant information regarding the area you are seeing. In these times where we are urged to stay indoors and overseas travel has come to a standstill for the most part, its oh so welcome to finally be able to see the outside world and all it has to offer.
HoloTour is free and is available from the Windows Store, it is around 7GB and will not take up too much space. If you are interested in seeing new places or reliving memories, this is a great app to do so.
MRTK samples hub
MRTK samples hub is a great new tool to get to grips with all the ways in which gestures can be used to control your device. It uses the augmented reality systems and hand tracking to show lots of different ways in which the pinch and drag gestures can be used to great effect. There are lots of examples and scenarios to explore, such as the manipulation of various graphs and objects in real time. I believe that this is a great tool to use as a beginner to get to grips with the intuitive ways that the device can be used, as well as for more advanced users that may learn of some untapped potential inside the headset. This tool also gives you the reigns with the building blocks to build your own scenarios and examples to be shared online.
The MRTK samples Hub is a free application on the Windows Store and is a very small install. I would recommend as it is a handy tool to keep on hand when teaching new users or to brush up on some more advanced skills in the future.
Algorithmic Nature is a a beautiful and therapeutic experience in which you can decorate your surroundings with a stunning array of flowers, plants and vines, allowing you to completely transform your home with the power of the HoloLens. From planting the seeds to watching them bloom, this is a truly tranquil experience for anyone looking for the opportunity to take a step back and enjoy the little things while the artificial nature takes over. This application is free on the Microsoft store and is a beautiful, calming experience.
Insight Heart is the first in a planned series of applications aimed at teaching medical students and those interested in anatomy, you are guided through by a virtual assistant name ANI who will chaperon you through the functions of the application. Impressive visuals of infarction, arterial hypertension, and atrial fibrillation improve the educational methods and can take medical education into the next level. In this application, you can control the heart by using gestures or voice commands. A high-resolution heart hologram will be floating in front of you. You can move, rotate and scale the heart and experience the heartbeat in real time. There is an option to freeze and unfreeze functions so that you can examine the details at your leisure. It is both a great education tool and a cool conversation piece when entertaining guests.
Insight heart is also a free application that is available on the windows store.
SynchroXR 2019 is a viewing platform for Synchro Pro models, this is software mainly used in the construction sector to view blueprints. Created models can be scaled and rotated allowing you to see every aspect of the design. The software boasts “4D” project scheduling visualisation capability in which you can show off the design at any point in its construction timeframe. This is a great piece of software for designers and architects to show off their work to would be clients. The creation software also features a “clash” reporting capability that automatically detects potential construction complications in a project, while its “what-if” analysis functionality lets users plan for potential risks and delays.
While the software to view the designs on the HoloLens is free on the windows store, you would have to pay a premium for the PC software in order to create the designs on a computer.
HoloMeeting 2 is a remote collaboration platform that allows the users to converse through the medium of augmented reality. The software allows the users to create personal customised avatars to be used within the app, giving a sense of personality to the experience. Users can input images and other media in order to create an experience akin to a real-life meeting. This is a powerful tool, especially in today’s world of social distancing, we have a great alternative that is streamlined for the ease of the user. The software boats high audio fidelity as well as the ability to have the on-board cameras track and convey the movements of hands to further enhance the feeling of immersion.
HoloMeeting 2 is Free on the Microsoft store.
HoloChemistry is a holographic molecular builder that allows the user to create molecules at an atomic scale. You can pick from any element from the periodic table and bond them together to see what you can create. This app is also available to be used in a collaborative manor by multiple users at once, meaning that this is a great tool for the classroom environment in which students can work together on multiple systems in order to create their desired molecules. Boasting the whole periodic table and a sharing platform for your creations, this is a great learning tool for any age or ability.
HoloChemistry is Free, but after a trial, a subscription model is in place.
On a more light-hearted note, we have Fragments, an AR detective game where you are tasked with solving murders wherever you are. This is achieved by allowing you to access “memories” in order to gain clues and eventually catch the killer. This app brings you into the mind of a detective and flex your mind as you begin to collate all the information on the walls around you. Will there be a clue behind the sofa? Always best to check! Evidence can blend into walls, floors, under tables and on top as well so you must keep your wits about you as you search every inch. As well as there you are greeted by various life size holograms that will help you, but it will be up to you and the high-tech tools at your disposal to bring the perpetrators to justice. This emotive and well told story will grip you and the stunning visuals will keep you engrossed and immersed in the crime fighting world you have been thrust into.
Fragments is free on the Windows store and is well worth a look to flex your crimefighting muscles.
Aliens, check! Shooting, check! Your living room, double check! Robo raid is a fun blast of a first-person shooter in which you are tasked with defending your homestead over 3 action packed levels. Armed with only your power of gestures, voice commands and gazes you must target incoming enemies and dodge their attacks in order to stay alive. This game uses spatial mapping to make every room a game level, making replayability inevitable and a must in order to get the most out of this game.
RoboRaid is free on the Microsoft store.
glTF Viewer is an application that allows the user to view .glTF/.GLB model files in 3D inside the HoloLens System. This is a great tool that give you the opportunity to create a model on your PC and then import the file onto your system to be viewed. You are able to view as many models as you like at any one go, once a model has been inserted it can be manipulated via the use of gestures such as pinch and drag in order to move and resize at your pleasure. Voice commands can also be used to reset or remove models from a scene.
The app also boasts the ability to collaborate on a scene if you are connected to the same network, allowing for multiple users to synchronise their creations together for a group project. The app is only able to view .glTF or .GLB models but any other model file type can be converted using a multitude of applications in order to make them accessible by the app.
glTF Viewer is Free on the Microsoft store.
VMS Trainer is a powerful training scenario creation tool in which you are able to use a series of shapes in order to complete the task. Each shape will be shown to the user in order and will have to be places in the correct spot before moving on to the next set. The beauty of VMS trainer is its entrusting of the tools to make the resources yourself, inside the HoloLens. This kind of tool is very few and far between and streamlines the experience to ensure creation is easy and worthwhile for the users. It is great for both teachers and students to use and create their own assets to suit any particular need. Each step can be accompanied by text to give instructions or hints towards the end goal.
VMS Trainer is $99.99 or £83.49 and is well worth the investment to unleash the power of this programme for students and teachers alike.
Holoproperty is a mixed reality application that allows property developers to showcase their assets without having to enter a sight, or even have a site available to visit. With this software it is remarkably simple for a developer to change furniture or colours on the fly in order to give a thorough and flexible view of what a development will look like in detailed 3D.
This package will allow this well-established industry to evolve and move into the digital age that has not been available until now. HoloProperty is free on the Windows Store.
A great meeting application is using Hololens + Spatial for virtual meetings, this allows all attendees to work together and collaborate using avatars derived from delegates real photos.
Spatial’s excellent system is truly ground breaking, allowing users to work together in a very natural way, teams can share ideas, search and drag images from the internet into the room with a simple gesture, and add content instantly from a PC or mobile phone.
It is free to register for their 4 user package, there is also an enterprise package for more than 4 users.
Ever wanted to be transported back in time around 65 million years to the Mesozoic Era, just to see what the wildlife was like? Land of Dinosaurs allows you to do just that. Similar to HoloTour, mentioned previously, this app grants you the opportunity to see first-hand the size and scale of many prehistoric creatures, with many being larger than average houses it is an impressive sight to see. In addition to this, spatial sound ensures that you can hear any dinosaurs creeping up from behind. This is great for a chill session to enjoy the sights and sounds of the era, and a great party piece to wow any guest with a slight interest in what came before. Land of Dinosaurs costs £2.49 on the windows store.
While many apps are aimed at enterprise users and are not available on the Windows Store, these are some that are that we believe to be more than worth your time.
Whether you’ve finally jumped on board with Microsoft’s new flagship AR headset, the HoloLens 2, it is useful to know what kind of killer apps are available to make it worth your while. Here are a few of our favourite HoloLens 2 apps and games.
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