HoloLars talks HoloLens

On this episode of Eat Sleep Code guest Lars Klint talks about his experience with Microsoft’s newest mixed reality device the HoloLens. Lars clarifies difference between Mixed Reality, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. We discuss SDKs and development with Unity (3d) and UWP (2d).

Lars Klint

Lars is an author, trainer, Microsoft MVP, community leader, authority on all things Windows Platform and part time crocodile wrangler. He is heavily involved in the space of HoloLens and mixed reality, as well as a published Pluralsight author, freelance solution architect and writer for numerous publications. He has been a part of the software development community for the past 20 years and co-organises the DDD Melbourne community conference, organises developer events with Microsoft, and also runs a part time car restoration business. He has spoken at numerous technical events around the world and is an expert in Australian Outback Internet.

Show Notes

Transcript

00:00 Ed Charbeneau: This podcast is part of the Telerik Developer Network. Telerik by Progress.

[music]

00:18 EC: Hello, and welcome to Eat Sleep Code, the official Telerik podcast. I’m your host, Ed Charbeneau, and with me, today is Lars Klint. How are you doing, Lars?

00:26 Lars Klint: I’m good. How are you, Ed?

00:28 EC: I’m doing great. Lars is joining the show from Australia. How are things down there?

00:34 LK: Well, I am, yeah. And it’s getting into autumn now, fall, as you guys call it. And I like to say it’s getting cold, but I know, in parts of the world, that 15, 20 degrees is not cold… I’m in Celsius. That’s 60 degrees Fahrenheit or so, but it’s starting to get a bit colder down there. And we hear lots of Australians complaining about it, for sure.

[chuckle]

01:00 EC: It’s funny. A lot of people forget about the fact that some people are experiencing spring and some are in fall or autumn. And I remember one year, Steam, the company that does all the gaming stuff online, they had this big spring sale. They built the webpage, so if you looked at it upside down, it was a fall sale, and if you were in Australia, the page would rotate the other direction, and if you looked at it upside down, it’s spring.

01:29 LK: It’s very clever.

01:30 EC: I thought that was awesome.

01:32 LK: Yeah, that’s pretty good. And it’s interesting last… I’ll just give you a bit of a tidbit of a fact about Australia that most people don’t actually realize is, where I live, which is near Melbourne, in the southern part of Australia, we have ski fields. I’m an hour and a half from a ski field. And most people just go, “What? You get snow in Australia? What?” And we do. We have… It’s not a long season. It’s probably about eight weeks or something, but yeah, you can go skiing. There’s quite a few ski fields around me. There you go. That’s today’s trivia for Australia.

[chuckle]

02:03 EC: We know you’re from Australia, Lars. Tell us a little bit more about yourself. What do you do as a developer?

02:09 LK: I’m a freelance developer, so I’m doing my own thing but it involves a whole bunch of stuff and just to rattle off a few things, I’m a fellow podcaster as well. I run a podcast as well called The Dane and The Pain and we do tech stuff. It’s not as developer-centric as you guys, but it’s still pretty cool tech stuff that we find around the internet. I’m doing it with a guy I’ve never met that lives in Alaska, which makes it really interesting and we met through social media.

02:39 LK: I run a bed and breakfast, where I live, and I also have a used car business, parts and stuff for classic cars, but I also do software, obviously. And my thing is HoloLens, at the moment. I travel around the world. I do a number of different HoloLens talks. I do a workshop. I try and get the device into as many hands as I possibly can because this is just utterly mind-blowing when you actually get into it. That’s my thing in the moment, is HoloLens, but traditionally, I’ve come from the Windows Phone background, been doing the whole Windows Phone, Windows 10 UWP journey, along with a lot of other HoloLens developers, actually.

03:23 EC: People out there probably maybe have heard of the HoloLens or something like Gear VR or some of the other virtual reality things. Let’s talk a little bit about what is the HoloLens. What exactly is this device? And why is it different or how is it different from these other things that are out there?

03:44 LK: Sure. Let me start with what that isn’t. There’s a whole range of products, which is in the virtual reality space. We’re talking the Oculus, which most people would have heard of, which is owned by Facebook. You’ve got the Gear VR that you were talking about from Samsung. You got the HTC Vive. All of these devices gives you a new reality. They give you a virtual reality, which is why they’re called VR devices. And what is significant with them is that the designer or the developer that is in charge of that experience replaces everything, which is why it’s virtual. You see nothing of the real world, you can’t see where you’re going. Often, you’re tethered to another computer that actually runs the simulation or the experience, and that’s extinct, right? It’s great for… It’s been a lot of gaming, VR games, I guess, is what people see the most.

04:40 LK: It does a lot more than gaming. I’ve seen a great demo, a prototype of a forklift simulator, people learning to drive a forklift, without actually crashing into things. Or if they do, it doesn’t matter. That’s the virtual reality. And then there’s augmented reality, which a lot of people also know about. And augmented reality is, you see your actual reality and you have, often a mobile device, like your iPhone or your Android phone, and you hold that up in front of a trigger point. That trigger point could be a brochure, it could be a playing card, it could be whatever it might be that this device can recognize often with a camera, and then it augments the reality based on that trigger point.

05:18 LK: Say, a deck of cards that has a monster game, the monsters come out of the cards. Or you have a brochure for a speedboat, and when you hold your device over that brochure, the speedboat pops out of the brochure and sits there and bobs on virtual water. And it’s really, really neat. It’s a very powerful way of showcasing little experiences that are contained and often you are limited to what you can see through the screen which is your mobile device. But it’s taken off. Augmented reality is really what is being invested in the most for a lot of marketing purposes because you can just use your mobile devices. You don’t need a specific device for it. So that’s VR and AR.

06:04 LK: And now, get to HoloLens, is what’s called mixed reality. And the reason it’s mixed is that you have… Just like augmented reality, you have the real world that you can see and then you overlay digital assets on it, so digital 3D objects. But the really cool thing, and why it’s mixed, is that these digital assets can interact with the physical world. So that’s kind of… The best example I have is that… Say you have a physical table, and this table is in your room and you place a holographic ball on this table and you tip the physical table, the holographic ball will roll off. So there’s a full integration between the physical and the digital reality, and that’s why it’s so incredibly powerful and why I’m so in love with it. Does that makes sense?

06:54 EC: Yeah, it’s a really interesting tech that we haven’t seen anywhere else before. It’s completely unique as far as I’m concerned. I haven’t seen anything that’s able to do this. And from the understanding I have of it, I believe it uses the Kinect hardware in some capacity to scan the room around you rather than scan you within the room, like it does on the Xbox.

07:18 LK: That’s right.

07:18 EC: So it’s able to map the surfaces around you in three dimensions and have that spatial recognition.

07:25 LK: Yeah, exactly. It’s called spatial mapping and it is, as you say, it’s an evolved version of the Kinect that you have on your head. The HoloLens is not a particularly attractive device, but it is like a half-helmet that you wear on your head. It’s quite light. It’s actually… It’s not annoying, it sits reasonably well on most people’s heads, and then it scans the entire environment around you, so you have this full 3D mapping of the room that you’re in. And you do have to go around and map the room initially so that it gets a 3D map of it, but then that means that you now have a full, essentially, virtual model of the room that you can then place these hologram on. I’ve seen really, really cool examples of what you can use it for. It is quite mind-blowing, it’s hard to explain without trying it on and if you do get the chance to try it, by all means, go for it. It’s really cool.

08:28 EC: Yeah. I think that you hit the nail on the head with saying you really have to experience it to understand it, and I think any real good groundbreaking technology that usually sums it up well, you have to experience it to really get the idea of what it’s capable of. Imagine trying to explain a television to somebody whose never seen it before type of thing.

[laughter]

08:53 LK: Yeah, that’s a good point and it’s…

08:55 EC: You were talking about when you have to map the surfaces around you, that experience alone is actually pretty interesting. I’ve had the ability to do that before, and when you walk around and you air tap, and you can see the HoloLens actually drawing the mesh in front of you.

09:14 LK: You can.

09:15 EC: I thought that was pretty impressive.

09:17 LK: It is. And it’s really a nice visual feedback as well that it’s doing its thing. Microsoft has done really well with… It is, by all means, a prototype device that they’re selling, but it’s just feels so well-made both in terms of hardware. It is a bit fragile. Sure, you don’t wanna drop it, but it feels sturdy enough that you can use it for hours, but also the software and just the whole STK that comes with it. It allows you to use it as a developer, it just feels very robust already. I’ve been quite enamored with it, it’s really quite a well-written piece of software, which is… I shouldn’t say I wouldn’t expect that from Microsoft, but for any company that has had problems in the past with this sort of prototype software but it works really well.

10:05 EC: Yeah. Before we move on too, I just want to mention the audio. It does audio really well without headphones, without like heavy headphones on your head, so you can see like other VR headsets, you have to wear cans on your head.

[chuckle]

10:20 EC: What’s the microphone… Or, sorry, not the microphone, it does have one of those but, what’s the audio system like on this?

10:28 LK: Yeah, so just a really brief recap at the hardware. It has a pretty rudimentary 32-bit processor, which most people are surprised at that, but it only has 4GB of RAM, so it wouldn’t make sense having 64-bit necessarily. And it has what’s called a Holographic Processing Unit or a HPU. That where the magic happens. There’s reports of it doing about a trillion calculations a second, that’s completely dedicated to the hologram, so that’s why it is so responsive in real-time accuracy. But, as you said, it has a microphone which is incredibly accurate. It’s the best voice recognition system I’ve tried, apart… Yeah, well, no, it is… Bar none, it is the best I’ve tried.

11:14 LK: But it also has the audio and it’s using what’s called Head Related Transfer Function or HRTF and it’s a way of simulating your actual ears. The way that your ears work, it has this binaural directional sound input and your brain knows that if a sound reaches one ear before the other, well then the object that’s emitting the sound is in that direction. So that’s how you get direction and distance for sound and the HoloLens does that to 100% accuracy as well. If you attach sound to a hologram in your experience, the HoloLens will have that sound as if it was where it is. If feels like that the sound is at that hologram, it’s very very accurate and very impressive.

12:00 EC: Yeah, I’ve had the chance to try this out at Build. So, is that Build last year, 2016?

12:06 LK: Yup.

12:06 EC: We got to walk on Mars, and then, there was a… That was more of a VR type of a situation. And then there was a room, a home setting where you sat down on a couch, and walked around a room and decorated it with holograms, and the sound and just the ability to place things on surfaces was impressive.

12:28 LK: Yeah. Yeah, you’re bringing up a really good point, actually, there. You’re saying that was more like a virtual reality experience, and it’s one of the things that I’ve been really passionate about is, if you have a HoloLens and you’re building software or apps for it, make sure it is a HoloLens app or a mixed reality app, because it’s so easy to get into the catch of saying, “Oh, this is so awesome. We should build this.” And just go and build it. And what you end up with, often, is a virtual reality experience. And there’s nothing wrong with that in such that it can be impressive and engaging and immersive and all of the right things, and it’ll work beautifully, but why do that on a $3,000 device, when it would work on a $400 device? So, when you have access to this mixed reality capability with spatial mapping, make sure you take advantage of it. Make sure that your holograms interact with the real world. Let them sit on the couch, or jump up on the table, or disappear behind your bookshelf or whatever it might be, but take advantage of the fact that you can interact with your physical environment.

13:31 EC: Yeah. You were talking about the SDK for this, so let’s jump back to that. What is the SDK like? What are some of the input methods on the device and how do you access those through the APIs and whatnot?

13:52 LK: It is actually just the Windows 10 SDK that comes with Windows 10 for developers. You don’t need specific software to build HoloLens apps. You need the HoloLens emulator, which is a reasonably-sized download, that runs on HyperVM, so you need Windows 10 Pro or Education or Enterprise, just not home. And that’s all you need. And then you need Visual Studio, of course, and then Unity, which we’ll go back to in a minute. And the SDK allows you to do relatively complex things with little effort. So there’s been a lot of work done in abstracting all the really icky stuff away from you, something like recognizing gestures. One of the main inputs to the HoloLens experience is gestures. And, essentially, there’s two gestures. There’s what’s called a ‘ready state’ which is, essentially, you form a fist in front of you and you have the back of your hand facing towards you, so the palm is away from you, and you lift your index finger, that’s it. That’s called a ready state. And then when you move your index finger down in a tap motion, that’s called the ‘pressed state’, so you have ready and pressed, and that’s about it.

15:11 LK: And the combination of that, you can do a tap, you can do a hold. You can do a hold and then move your hand to manipulate it into a navigation or a manipulation gesture, but that’s it. And the framework captures that for you. So you just need to say, “I wanna listen out for a tap gesture or a hold gesture.” And the SDK will trigger the right events for you, so that you can react to that appropriately. And, I don’t know, I’ve had questions saying, “Oh, but can I create my own, say, swipe event?” And yeah, you can. You can do a swipe gesture but it means that you have to capture the raw input or output from what the HoloLens is seeing, and then you have to build your own gesture recognizer on top of that, and it’s just fraught with danger. Not only is it really really difficult to do…

[laughter]

16:02 LK: Yeah, you’re laughing already ’cause it is, right? It’s not a trivial thing to do. But, say you were able to do a swipe gesture that was relatively stable and reliable, how do you educate your users? Your users are not gonna expect that they can do a swipe. So, there’s this… All these other design issues that comes with it. That means that just stick to the gestures that come with it.

[laughter]

16:23 EC: Yeah, there’s a similar feeling, when the web really started to pick up, with mainstream applications and stuff, everybody wanted to create their own user interface for the web. It’s like buttons weren’t good enough, we wanna create all these weird methods of inputing things, and methods of scrolling the webpage. I remember… I think it may have actually been Microsoft that did this. They had a webpage, it may have been the Edge webpage. It scrolled left to right instead of up and down.

[chuckle]

17:00 LK: And did it have the blink tag as well?

17:02 EC: Yeah. It’s like, “Please don’t do things like… Just… ” There’s a set user interface to this. In the case of the HoloLens, it’s these tap gestures and air tap and there’s a bloom gesture as well, that it’s like… What’s that like? Like the escape button. It brings up your menu and start button?

17:22 LK: Yeah. That’s right. It’s like you held your hand and then you open your hand into an open palm from the bottom and then that is a bloom. And that means you can always… Either you exit the app or you bring up the start menu if you already exit the app. And you can’t override it. It’ll always work. So that’s like the other gesture. But because you can’t do much with it…

[laughter]

17:47 LK: I tend to not, really. It’s like you say an escape gesture, essentially.

17:52 EC: So, unless you’re giving this thing to a nine-year old child that learns everything extremely quick, you might not wanna do the custom gesture.

18:01 LK: No, please don’t. It’ll just confuse everybody.

18:07 EC: So, what else can we expect from the development perspective on here? What are some of the tools that you use for 2D and 3D design of an application?

18:21 LK: Yeah. I just wanna briefly just touch on the other two main input methods. There’s Gaze, which is analogy to an old PC, is your mouse cursor. So, wherever your head is pointing… So it’s not your eye tracking. There are rumors that there’s been patent… That patent’s been made on eye tracking for the HoloLens, but it’s your head. So, wherever your head is pointing when you move your head, that’s your cursor, essentially. That’s how you select things, that’s how you gaze at things. So that’s called Gaze. And then you have Voice. So, everything in HoloLens can be done with voice. And it’s… Again, it’s really, really simple to implement voice commands. It’s so rudimentary that… That is not the problem with voice, or the difficulty. The difficulty is how to design your voice commands. How do you actually make sure that they make sense and they don’t overlap, and they don’t become how to remember and all that stuff. But the building of or the implementation of it is not hard. So, those are the three main input methods.

19:21 LK: In terms of tooling, it’s Visual Studio, just like we know and love that you use for C#. It’s all C#. It’s UWP, so Universal Windows Platform app or Windows 10 app is what you’re building. And then, obviously, you have Holographic, Windows Holographic. Sorry, now it’s called Windows Mixed Reality, they keep changing the name, Windows Mixed Reality components that you add to make it a 3D app and you use that through Unity 3D. So, Unity 3D is like the de facto HoloLens 3D development tool. You’re not bound to using it but if you don’t… Again, you’re just gonna make your life difficult. I couldn’t see a scenario where you wouldn’t use Unity to build… Especially your first app for HoloLens. And Unity has now become much more integrated with HoloLens development. Initially, it was… The development path was really quite long. So, you would build your 3D scene in Unity, you would attach things to it, you would then… You would build it in Unity to make sure it worked. You would then export it to a Windows 10 holographic app. You would import it into Visual Studio, you would build it, you would deploy to the emulator, you would fire up the… And it was just… And you would do that every time you had to make a change. It was a really, really long development cycle just to do little changes.

20:49 LK: So, luckily now we have the holographic simulator in Unity 3D, which means that you can use a Xbox 360 or a Xbox One controller to simulate movement in your HoloLens app. So you can run your app in Unity with a Xbox controller, which makes it really quick and very easy to do. And then, eventually, you will wanna test it on the emulator through Visual Studio and then, eventually, of course on a real device as well. So, that’s the development cycle.

21:19 EC: So, this brings up a lot of questions. First one, you talk about these emulators, so that means you could feasibly build and test an application without actually owning the hardware. Right?

21:36 LK: Absolutely. And in fact, I’ve done a Pluralsight course on HoloLens development, on the fundamentals of it, and I don’t use a physical device in it at all. It’s all based on the emulator and the free tooling that you can get. So, yeah, you can absolutely do that. I wouldn’t recommend publishing an app to the store before you tried it on a real device, but you can.

21:57 EC: Yeah. But if you’re somebody that’s interested in the device and you wanna kick the tires and see what the development process is like and you know you’re not gonna be able to get a hold of one of these things right away but you just wanna play with it. Right? Like nerds and geeks love to do like myself. It’s like, okay, I can just download this thing, it’s free, and I can play with it and see what the fuss is all about. So, that’s really cool. And you said Unity is powering the 2D part of the application. Right?

22:32 LK: The 3D as well. Unity is a 3D tool but you can absolutely do 2D experiences as well with it. Although because it’s UWP, if you’re doing a 2D app, you might as well build it as a standard Windows 10 UWP app through Visual Studio with a standard tooling that comes in Visual Studio 2017. And you can then deploy it and you can tag it holographic as well as mobile or desktop or whatever it is your Windows 10 target is. The HoloLens runs Windows 10 like any other Windows 10 device.

23:07 EC: Yeah. So, I’m getting the seasonal allergies and I think my UWPs are coming across as Unities, so bear with me folks. So, UWP, if you’re building UWP application for the HoloLens, since it’s a standard UWP app, one thing that’s really cool is Telerik… Sorry, Progress, the makers of the Telerik UI controls have released a… Have open-sourced their UI for UWP framework. So, that means you’ve got charts and graphs and all types of UI components that you can make really rich applications with, especially if you’re not the designer type, creating some of these charts and graphs and stuff can be real painstaking. So that’s all open source and free.

24:03 LK: Yeah, you can, absolutely. And I’ve seen people on HoloLens actually having their whole desktop kind of on their desktop. So, on their desk, their physical desk, they’ll have all their desktop Windows floating or sitting on the wall and you could… That’s a 2D app and you can actually do that with the Telerik controls as well.

24:24 EC: Can you mix these 2D and 3D items together? Can you have a UWP app that has some 3D aspects to it using Unity?

24:33 LK: Not really. There’s been a lot of questions…

24:34 EC: No, it’s either one or the other?

24:36 LK: Yeah. There’s been a lot of questions around that because it would be cool if you could say… You could have… So Office, for example, is now completely holographic compliant… Sorry, I keep saying holographic… Mixed reality compliant. It’s called mixed reality now. So you can run full Office Suite, Office 2016 on your HoloLens. And people say, “Well, can I actually get… In PowerPoint, it would be cool if I could get the 3D effects coming out of the slides and all that stuff.” But no, that’s not part of it yet. You either build a Unity 3D app or you build a 2D UWP standard app. That’s the choices right now.

25:17 EC: Yeah. I guess where I was going with that is you could have your 3D application, say you’re doing maintenance on a machine or something and then have an output where you’ve got charts and graphs in the UWP app that show you the down time or something that’s happened with this machine over a certain period…

25:37 LK: Like a heads-up display or something?

25:39 EC: Yeah. So that may not be something that you could do.

25:44 LK: Not really. The whole mixing of it in the same app becomes tricky. You can have your Unity project output XML code, and like a XML project, generally, you would have it as a direct 3D project, so to kind of… There’s not much editing you can do in Visual Studio once it comes out of Unity but you can certainly also do it as a XML app, and that will give you… It will give you some control of what you can do but it’s not a lot yet. I think that will change though. I think that’s a requirement that most people will have, this whole mixture of traditional desktop computing and the 3D elements of it.

26:20 EC: How about multitasking? Would you be able to have, say, a 3D app running and then another app pinned to the wall somewhere in your room?

26:31 LK: It depends on the type of app that you’re creating. You can. And most of the apps that people produce is a stand alone experience. So a lot of the games that’s come out, there’s a really, really nice example of mixed reality called RoboRaid, where little robots come out of the walls in your room, that if you exit that app, it disappears. And then if you start it up again, it’ll know where you were in the game, it will start up again in the same point, but it doesn’t interact with the other apps that you have. Whereas, you may have something like a video player or standard UWP apps, you could have them just like you have Windows on the desktop, you can place them around the room there. So there is some capability of interaction but it’s still… It’s one of those things that is not quite there yet. A bit like the collaboration story about multiple HoloLens seeing the same experience is also in a trial stage still.

27:28 EC: Okay. So are there any examples of things you’ve been able to build with the HoloLens you’d like to talk about?

27:37 LK: Yeah. To be honest, I’ve been mainly focusing on teaching and education with the device because I’ve been so excited about showing it to everybody. But I’ve built… It’s maybe been like, “Ooh, that’s a nice feature, let me try and build something that does that feature.” And there just aren’t a lot of example apps out there. So I’ve been spending my time building educational apps, if that make sense. So you can build this app as well and it will show you this and this and this. So, in terms of interaction and engagement, there might not have been as exciting as learning the ropes of how to build an app. But I’ve seen other MVPs in… So, I’m a Microsoft Windows Platform MVP, Windows Platform Development, and that’s where a lot of the HoloLens developers live. I believe there’s soon coming and maybe a mixed reality MVP or something. And a lot of the Windows Platform developers, there’s a couple of guys in Holland that are really prolific in building some very cool stuff. Rene Scholten is another guy who is very, very on the forefront of building HoloLens app, and he’s been doing some really cool stuff with flight simulators and all that sort of stuff. But me, I don’t have anything I’m that proud of that I wanna show to people, but if you wanna check out my… Of course, it is one of them.

28:58 EC: So, I’ll help clarify that a little bit. This device is so new, there’s some examples from Microsoft out there but there’s no… It’s not like something like C# that’s been around 10 years, you can go look at a million sample apps or open source projects to learn. So the folks that have these things right now, like yourself, are pioneering that space and putting some of those GitHub repositories out and demos, sample apps and stuff.

29:28 LK: There’s so much trial and error in this that it’s kind of, “Oh, does it do that? Yes or no? Or if it does, can it do this as well?” It’s very much that sort of explorative journey, still, that we are on.

29:38 EC: Yeah, it’s not quite the space for… Here is my billion dollar idea, not quite yet. I’m sure there are some folks that are out there that are working on those type of things as part of a big company or something, but for the most part, the community is building the building blocks for the future of developing these apps.

30:03 LK: Yeah. Like as examples on GitHub, there are libraries for using Three.js or JavaScript frameworks to building HoloLens apps. There’s a guy in Florida that’s built a whole Kinect library, so you could actually attach a Kinect for extra spatial mapping of your room. There’s some really cool stuff that are coming out as part of your toolbox that’ll make building even more awesome apps a lot easier. But the majority of the very shiny and very impressive apps that we are seeing are coming from Microsoft at the moment, which is fine. I don’t have a problem with that because they’re driving their ideas. But having said that, if you are interested in this, there’s a slack team called Holo Developers, which anyone can join. And there’s something like 700 HoloLens developers on that now, that is very active. I’ve been told that it’s much better than any forum because there’s so much back and forwards about ideas and showing off what you’ve done and getting feedback and all that. So there is a very vibrant community, but it’s still very small.

31:08 EC: Yeah, and I think we haven’t really quite touched on this subject enough. This device isn’t, like… Technically, like a gaming device, right? There’s lots of business-type application for this device.

31:26 LK: Oh, there is. Yeah. I’m writing my next Pluralsight course at the moment which is more of giving you ideas about what you can use, not just for the HoloLens, but digital realities in general, and for me, something like education or healthcare or infrastructure engineering, those are the areas that I think HoloLens is very, very good at. Just, as an example, imagine you have an architect that’s designing a building. You have the engineer on site that’s in charge of building that building and he comes across a problem. If they both have a HoloLens on, they can in live… In real time, live see what the other is seeing and they could point out fixes and immediate issues so that there’s no e-mail trail, there’s no pictures being taken. It’s just an immediate sequence of saying, “Hey, what if we move that over here? Would that fix the problem?” And that kind of collaboration, to me, is where this device shines, like the whole immediate overlay on your physical reality that you can share is really, really powerful.

32:36 EC: Yeah. And I think travel would be a really interesting application for this as well. I could imagine visiting historical sites and seeing things like buildings that don’t exist in that space anymore being overlaid so you can see what the historical features were of the landscape and stuff like that. I think it’d be really cool.

32:56 LK: Absolutely.

33:00 EC: Yeah. So, there’s a lot of non-gaming type of applications out there.

33:03 LK: To me, it’s not a gaming device. It does gaming really well and two of the best-mixed reality applications, to me, is a game called Fragments that uses the space you’re in to create a memory puzzle game that you have to solve, so you use your existing walls and ceilings and doors and everything. And the other one is RoboRaid that I mentioned before. And those two are games, but they’re also, by far, the best examples of mixed reality.

33:30 EC: I think, just like in real life, we learn by playing games.

[chuckle]

33:36 LK: Oh, yeah. It’s all a bit of a game, really.

33:36 EC: In the digital world, it’s like, everybody wants to make video games and that’s where we tend to usually head first, but the business side of this thing is simply amazing. We’ve got a lot of cool apps to look forward to in the future.

33:52 LK: I have no doubt.

33:55 EC: So, you said you’re working on some Pluralsight courses. Do you have some up already? And what are those?

34:01 LK: I do. Yeah. I’ve actually got a fair few. Well, the main thing, in terms of HoloLens, is HoloLens development fundamentals. That was released a couple of months ago, so in late January, three months ago now, I guess. And that’s probably… That’s still… I’m getting so much good feedback, still, on that as being very easy to understand and very easy to get started with HoloLens. And it’s… It’s just a really good sort of basic foundation course. But I’ve got, I don’t know, 10 or 12 other courses as well, and some of them are what’s called play-by-plays, which are more conversational on other topics as well. So it’s a good platform for me, anyway.

34:47 EC: And you said you were giving workshops and talking at conferences and things. Do you have any events coming up that you want to share?

34:55 LK: Sure. So we’re recording this in late April and at the start of June, I’m going to DevSum, which is in Stockholm, in Sweden. And I’m doing a HoloLens workshop there with Jimmy Instromm, who’s another really, really good HoloLens developer. And from there, I’m going to a… I’m doing a HoloLens talk there as well, and the week after, I’m at NDC, in Oslo. And I’m doing another HoloLens talk there as well and I’m actually doing a private talk as well. So that’s another thing that, if people are interested, I’m happy to come out and do talks as well to companies or developers or whatever it might be. And then, in Denmark, I’m doing three public workshops. Two are two-day workshops. I’m doing another one-day workshop. And then, again, in August, I’ll be here back in Sydney, in Australia, doing NDC Sydney. And there’s another couple of events coming up in what will be the fall in America, I guess, in October, November, that aren’t quite published yet. But yeah, there’s lots coming up in terms of HoloLens.

36:00 EC: Awesome, and where can we find your podcast at?

36:04 LK: So, the podcast is daneandthepain.com. You can also find it on your iTunes or whatever podcast app that you prefer and just look for The Dane and The Pain. Or you can find it via my website on larsklint.com.

36:18 EC: Well, Lars, I appreciate you being on the show and we’ll include all this good stuff in the show notes, including some ways to get ahold of you for any of the HoloLens workshops that you’re giving or any of that type of stuff. I’m sure we can follow you on Twitter as well. Where can we find you?

36:37 LK: Yep, @larsklint. It’s all just my name, it’s pretty easy.

36:41 EC: Yeah, I try to keep things the same way myself. So, I appreciate your time, man. It’s fun talking about the HoloLens. I’m working one myself soon and tinkering with it. I’ll have to check out some of your stuff when I get it.

36:56 LK: Absolutely. Thanks for having me on the show, man. It was excellent. Thank you.

[music]

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