Tag-along hologram sample

Shows how to render a hologram that follows the user.

Note: This sample is part of a large collection of UWP feature samples. You can download this sample as a standalone ZIP file from docs.microsoft.com, or you can download the entire collection as a single ZIP file, but be sure to unzip everything to access shared dependencies. For more info on working with the ZIP file, the samples collection, and GitHub, see Get the UWP samples from GitHub. For more samples, see the Samples portal on the Windows Dev Center.

Specifically, this sample uses a device-attached frame of reference with stereoscopic billboarding, linear interpolation, velocity estimation, and image stabilization to render a holographic message that the user can always comfortably see.

This sample supports one operational mode: upon app launch, a flat billboard will fade in close to the center of the field-of-view (FOV) of the device. As the user wearing the device moves and looks around, the billboard is adjusted to follow changes in device position and orientation so that it is always visible to the user. The user can affix the hologram to its current position using an air tap gesture, and pick it back up by air tapping again.

Holographic rendering best practices

This sample demonstrates best practices for user comfort. The motion of the billboard is dampened so that it is part of the world, not affixed to the eye, and image stabilization is configured to follow the billboard's position and velocity.

Note The image stabilization plane can be observed via the Windows Device Portal.

Holographic rendering of vector graphics using low-bandwidth distance function textures

Additionally, this sample demonstrates how to render high-resolution, anti-aliased text as a hologram using less memory bandwidth by generating signed distance values that are used to recreate the shape of the text in applicable pixels during the hologram render pass. This is a suggested method for enhancing holographic output.

This technique can be applied to any high-resolution, antialiased image representing a vector graphic; this sample uses DirectWrite to create the text at app startup, and generates the signed distance values after Direct3D device-based resource loading is complete.

Reference The method used is as described by Chris Green in the following text: Improved Alpha-Tested Magnification for Vector Textures and Special Effects, Chris Green, Valve Software, 2007.

Additional remarks

Note The Windows universal samples for Windows 10 Holographic require Visual Studio to build, and a Windows Holographic device to execute. Windows Holographic devices include the Microsoft HoloLens and the Microsoft HoloLens Emulator.

To obtain information about Windows 10 development, go to the Windows Dev Center.

To obtain information about the tools used for Windows Holographic development, including Microsoft Visual Studio and the Microsoft HoloLens Emulator, go to Install the tools.


The following Windows Universal APIs are used to demonstrate spatial locations, and holographic rendering in this code sample:

System requirements

Client: Windows 10 Holographic

Phone: Not supported

Build the sample

  1. If you download the samples ZIP, be sure to unzip the entire archive, not just the folder with the sample you want to build.
  2. Start Microsoft Visual Studio and select File > Open > Project/Solution.
  3. Starting in the folder where you unzipped the samples, go to the Samples subfolder, then the subfolder for this specific sample, then the subfolder for your preferred language (C++, C#, or JavaScript). Double-click the Visual Studio Solution (.sln) file.
  4. Press Ctrl+Shift+B, or select Build > Build Solution.

Run the sample

The next steps depend on whether you just want to deploy the sample or you want to both deploy and run it.

Deploying the sample to the Microsoft HoloLens emulator

  • Click the debug target drop-down, and select Microsoft HoloLens Emulator.
  • Select Build > Deploy Solution.

Deploying the sample to a Microsoft HoloLens

  • Developer unlock your Microsoft HoloLens. For instructions, go to Enable your device for development.
  • Find the IP address of your Microsoft HoloLens. The IP address can be found in Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > Advanced options. Or, you can ask Cortana for this information by saying: "Hey Cortana, what's my IP address?"
  • Right-click on your project in Visual Studio, and then select Properties.
  • In the Debugging pane, click the drop-down and select Remote Machine.
  • Enter the IP address of your Microsoft HoloLens into the field labelled Machine Name.
  • Click OK.
  • Select Build > Deploy Solution.

Pairing your developer-unlocked Microsoft HoloLens with Visual Studio

The first time you deploy from your development PC to your developer-unlocked Microsoft HoloLens, you will need to use a PIN to pair your PC with the Microsoft HoloLens.

  • When you select Build > Deploy Solution, a dialog box will appear for Visual Studio to accept the PIN.
  • On your Microsoft HoloLens, go to Settings > Update > For developers, and click on Pair.
  • Type the PIN displayed by your Microsoft HoloLens into the Visual Studio dialog box and click OK.
  • On your Microsoft HoloLens, select Done to accept the pairing.
  • The solution will then start to deploy.

Deploying and running the sample

  • To debug the sample and then run it, follow the steps listed above to connect your developer- unlocked Microsoft HoloLens, then press F5 or select Debug > Start Debugging. To run the sample without debugging, press Ctrl+F5 or select Debug > Start Without Debugging.