Bug fix and minor feature update for HoloBlocks

HoloBlocks has been updated to resolve some bugs and annoyances, available in the store now.  Here's the change list. 

  1. Fixed a bug that caused the "finish" button to disappear during room scan if you walked behind it. 
  2. Scanning UI now follows you instead of remaining fixed in one place.
  3. Fixed a bug that caused a frame-rate hit when clicking on the spatial mapping mesh during room scanning
  4. Menu can now be moved and resized after placement using the move and resize tools
  5. Menu automatically orients to the user, so you don't have to always face the same direction as when it was initially placed
  6. Menu can no longer be collapsed
  7. Other minor bug fixes

HoloBlocks available now in the #hololens store

Download HoloBlocks now, free on your HoloLens. Build something awesome and share it with us by tweeting a picture to @DeckTwelve

Get the app from the store 

HoloBlocks is still in development and you will notice some rough edges but you'll also have a lot of fun!  Here is a list of known issues in this build to help keep you on the happy path. Bug fixes are in the queue, we'll let you know when they're live. 

  • Frame rate drop occurs if you air tap on spatial mapping mesh while room scan is in progress
  • Walking behind "finish" button will cause it to disappear. Restart app to work around problem.  
  • Menu cannot be repositioned after placement.   

HoloBlocks (formerly Project Blocks) update

Project Blocks is now HoloBlocks

Coming soon to the Windows Store for Microsoft HoloLens for free!  Along with the name change comes some new blocky art, a finalized list of features for the first release, and a healthy dose of lessons learned.  Without further ado, here's what you can expect when HoloBlocks lands on your HoloLens.

Basic building blocks

Challenge your creativity and ingenuity as you build with simple, classic building block shapes including cube, cylinder, semi-circle, triangle, and bridge.  Select a shape from the menu and air-tap to place at the cursor location.  Tap and hold to fine-tune its placement by moving your hand in any direction. 

Pro tip: try placing shapes from different perspectives and see how they behave. 

HoloBlocks menus-- create and modify

HoloBlocks menus-- create and modify

Basic manipulation tools

Move and scale placed blocks to add a bit of dimension and variety to your creations.  Tap and hold on a block to start manipulating, simply complete the tap gesture to finish. 

Fun with physics

Use the push tool to apply some force!  Push a block and watch it tumble, try pushing from different perspectives and see how things change.  Looking for a more drastic change?  Turn gravity off and experience how fun and challenging it'd be to build with blocks on the International Space Station!  Zero-gravity + push = tons of fun.

Zero-gravity physics running amok

Zero-gravity physics running amok


That's it for today, follow us on twitter for more information and lessons learned from development.

Project Blocks running in the HoloLens Emulator

Hello everyone!

While waiting patiently for our HoloLens devices to arrive we've started putting together a fun little project that's become a useful test environment for some of the concepts we're interested in exploring-- Project Blocks

I've been reliving my toddler years by playing with blocks in the HoloLens emulator, which is fun on its own. Building mega-structures out of kiddie blocks with an actual HoloLens should be a blast!

Testing out a bunch of systems for upcoming projects with a simple building block application.

This video shows some of the in-progress systems we're exploring

  1. Animated SpatialMapping shaders
  2. Tag-along user interface (thanks HoloToolkit!)
  3. Plane finding, especially important when physics are involved (again, thanks HoloToolkit!)
  4. Simple vertex-lit shader (all objects aside from SpatialMapping in one draw call)
  5. Object placement with air-tap
  6. Object placement with drag gestures (shown briefly at 0:37)
  7. HoloLens input module for Unity's EventSystem

More to come, including a public release once our devices arrive and we get some proper testing done.

Diffuse Wireframe shader for HoloLens

Understanding where you are in the HoloLens emulator can be difficult with the default wireframe shader.  If you find yourself getting lost in your scene, try this tweaked wireframe shader which includes diffuse lighting from a directional light.  Simply import it into your scene and use wherever you'd use the wireframe shader.  Make sure to add a directional light to you scene as well. 

Download the shader

Wireframe plus diffuse lighting