Unity Technologies and Microsoft announced full support for Microsoft HoloLens in the Unity development platform. The news was delivered by Microsoft during the Build conference keynote.
HoloLens is Microsoft’s entry into the VR market that uses a holographic display to create a Heads-up-display. Running Windows 10, the holograms are designed to blend with real life environments to make them seem as real as the physical objects in a room.
Similar to the heads-up display of other VR headsets but with more interactivity and ‘holograms’. Microsoft HoloLens claims to create fully interactive digital objects and spaces that blend in to the real world, “creating new ways to create, communicate, work, and play”.
Don’t expect this to come cheap though, one Microsoft executive told The New York Times, the HoloLens will cost more than a games console.
Microsoft has been demoing the headset technology at the Build conference this week. The announcement that HoloLens and Unity will be compatible points to an interesting looking future for the technology.
From the press release:
Microsoft and Unity are closely collaborating to make Unity an optimal authoring solution for HoloLens with customized tools, workflows and optimizations built on top of Unity’s ability to efficiently create 3D and 2D experiences.
Through Unity, developers should be able to leverage the unique characteristics of Microsoft HoloLens such as spatial mapping, gaze, gesture, voice recognition, and the ability to anchor holographic objects to specific locations in the real world. The Unity tools for Microsoft HoloLens will be available for Unity Pro and Unity Personal Edition users at no additional cost.
See the HoloLens in action with this video from The Verge:
“Microsoft HoloLens unshackles game and app designers from traditional screens creating a freedom to completely reimagine how we view and interact with information, education, entertainment, creative tools, social networks, remote healthcare and more,” said Steffen Toksvig, VP of Strategic Technology at Unity Technologies. “We’re happy to be working with Microsoft to ensure Unity is the best development engine for such an exciting new platform. Our work will ensure a seamless and efficient development experience that takes full advantage of the unique features and capabilities of Microsoft HoloLens.”
“Expanding our relationship with Unity Technologies was a natural next step in bringing content to Microsoft HoloLens,” said Yusuf Mehdi at Microsoft. “We are very excited to unveil this partnership and look forward to the possibilities it will open for developers creating experiences for Microsoft HoloLens.”
Unity’s Microsoft HoloLens support follows an April 17 announcement that Microsoft and Unity would be working together to better integrate Unity and Visual Studio. This agreement has an important impact for the many developers new to Unity looking to develop game and non-game applications for Microsoft HoloLens.