How to run a demo with Microsoft Hololens and share your screen

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I was fortunate to use the Microsoft Hololens for a couple of days to experiment and prepare for a demo. Here are some practical tips for doing a demo with this device.

This is a short instruction on how to use the Microsoft Hololens for demo purposes. For heavy usage with a lot of holograms, you can expect a battery life of 2,5-3 hours when fully charged. Make sure you have used the Hololens for at least 1 day before engaging in a demo. This gives you enough confidence to use the device in a demo situation. This video shows some of the basic gestures and the main menu.

Start Menu on Microsoft HoloLens

Prepare your demo.

Connect to WIFI

Make sure you have access to the demo room at least one hour before the demo. Connect to the local WIFI network. If you cannot connect to your local office WIFI you can always use your phone tethering WIFI . https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/holographic/connecting_to_wifi

Place holograms in the room

Scan the whole room. Make sure you walk around and scan tables and sofas from all sides. Make sure there are no people or animals walking around while scanning since they will be seen as inanimate objects.

After scanning you can place some windows screens on the walls. For example some browser widows with YouTube, news and some image as a first impression. Place some holograms in the room. The Hololens is aware of the physical objects in the room so you are able to place objects on top of the table or sofa.

You can prepare the feature Robotraid feature. Please note this game is less suitable for people with a low tolerance to violence.

Actiongrams (found in the menu) are also very impressive holograms.

How to set up your laptop to share the screen of the Hololens.

During the demo you want to share your screen with your audience. And since you are probably running the demo in a group and you do not have 20 Hololenses laying around you need to have some form of sharing your screen. This is the tricky part. If these steps are not working you need to run through them again. I experienced different behavior when connecting to an office WIFI, using an Android and an iPhone tethering (the iPhone did not work somehow).

The mirroring is delayed by a couple of seconds, but it will allow other people in the same room to see what is seen by the Hololens user. Sound is also mirrored. Due to the time delay it can be a bit confusing. The framerate is much less than the real Hololens experience and depends on the quality of your WIFI connection. Make sure you use a high quality HDMI cable when you want to share your screen on a presenter or a big TV screen.

Connect your computer (Windows 10 of course) to the same WIFI network as your Hololens. Make sure it is a secure WIFI network (WEP, WPA, or WPA2) and no “open WIFI”. Download the Hololens app on your computer .

This app is only available in the countries where the Hololens is sold. At the time writing these instructions the Hololens is only available in the USA. Change the localization of your Windows computer to the USA. Press the Start button and type “Country”. Change country to the USA and close this window. Now you can install the app.

First enable your Hololens for screen sharing

For this you have to enable the Developer Mode and enable the Device Portal

  1. Gaze at the Settings tile and perform the air tap gesture. Perform a second air tap to place the app in your environment. The Settings app will launch after you place it.
  2. Select the Update menu item.
  3. Select the For developers menu item.
  4. Enable Developer Mode.
  5. Scroll down and enable Device Portal.

Connect your Hololens to the app

Find the IP address on the device under Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > Advanced Options. Keep this screen open to make sure that you can type this number in the Windows machine you are using for screen sharing.

Open the Hololens app on your PC and press add.

Add the IP number of your device in the following screen and press “connect”

The device will display a PIN number. You can enter this number in your machine. Next you have to enter a username and password. This can be any username (does not has to be a Microsoft Account (MSA)  or an account on your network). Make sure your use the same password :-).

How to use the Hololens Companion app

The companion app is very handy to share a live stream of the user of the device.  Below are some screen shots.

https://www.microsoft.com/microsoft-hololens/en-us/apps

Final tips

Some final tips for usage of the companion app.

  • Recording video is very easy whit the command “Hey Cortana record a video”.
  • Using live steaming you can show what the user of the Hololens is seeing.
  • Via camera you can start a photo or video recording. In the version I was using the video recording stopped when I switched over to another tab.
  • You can view the recorded video’s and photo’s at the next tab. I was only able to download one video at the time.
  • The tab app manager you can use to launch apps remotely. This is a handy support for inexperienced Hololens users.

Enjoy your demo.

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About Author

Robbrecht van Amerongen is Business Innovation Manager at AMIS Services. He has a vast experience in managing software development and delivery projects and growing the development unit of AMIS. He is able to utilize new technologies and methodologies to valuable products and services for his customers. His expertise lies in all aspects of software engineering; ranging from continuous delivery, provisioning, cloud computing, user experience and wearables.Robbrecht is also an Agile coach and Certified Agile Master. He has experience in managing Agile projects with Scrum (first with DSDM) ranging back to 1999. Robbrecht is a strong proponent of the agile principles. Robbrecht is agile examiner for the agile foundation, practitioner and master certificate.

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