At HoloHack 2017 you will be building on the Hololens, for this you will need to prepare your computer with the following:

Installing & setup for developing with the HoloLens

If you are not a developer

If you are not a developer and won’t be deploying to the HoloLens (ex relying on a dev on your team to do so) then all you need to ensure is you have your tools installed (ex Maya, etc) on the computer you bring. You can work in your tool of choice and give the assets to your Unity developers or – download the latest version of Unity and participate in Unity’s Collaborate feature to add things to the project being used by the team. You don’t need the tools below – though if you want to experiment with them by all means download them (they do take up a good 12+ GB though)

if you are a developer

If you are a developer – download the tools Unity, Visual Studio, and the HoloLens Emulator

  • Windows 10 is required if you want to use Unity and build for the HoloLens. It is possible to be on an earlier edition of Windows but you will be only able to code, not build or deploy.
  • If your PC runs Unity (Personal edition is free and works great) or Visual Studio 2015+ (Community Edition is free and works great), you’ll likely be OK to develop for the HoloLens. The system requirements are fairly minimal, unless you want to run the emulator. See the URL below for “install the tools” for further info on Emulator requirements)
  • If you want to use the emulator you must be on 64 bit Windows 10 Professional, Enterprise, or Education Edition. Home Edition will not run the emulator (because Hyper-V is not enabled in Home edition). You can still deploy apps to the HoloLens though with Home, you just can’t use the emulator. ◦Install the tools listed in the “Installation checklist for HoloLens” section at
  • If you don’t yet have Unity installed, download and install the latest version and ENSURE DURING SETUP of Unity you choose Windows Store .NET Scripting Backend to enable the Windows Store app support (which is what HoloLens Apps are)
  • If you already have a recent (5.5+) version of Unity installed, check in your File-Build Settings you have the module loaded for Windows Store. If not click the button Unity presents to download/install it as shown below
  • If you already have Visual Studio 2015 installed, you’ll want to ensure you run the setup again and make sure “Tools (1.4) and Windows 10 SDK (10.0.10586)” is checked off otherwise you won’t be able to build HoloLens apps
  • If you already have Visual Studio 2017 installed, you’ll want to ensure you run the setup again and choose the Universal Windows Platform development and Unity workload otherwise you won’t be able to build HoloLens apps
  • When the tools are done installing run through a test project
  • When that’s done try the following to ensure you can deploy to the Emulator (or if you don’t have it, test that you can build by running up to Chapter 6 step 12 “When Unity is done building, a Windows File Explorer window will appear.”)

Source Control

If you are using Unity, it’s probably easiest to use collaborate since it integrates directly with Unity. You can use git, though working across projects can be challenging and it’s a manual effort. Try out Collaborate – it makes it easier.

Optimizing models

Microsoft now owns Simplygon which works AWESOME for optimizing models to run on the HoloLens! Check it out at – the Simplygon Connect edition is free! (It does require Windows 10)

Learning more

The Mixed Reality Academy has a lot of great tutorials

The HoloToolkit has lots of great features though can take a bit to wrap your head around how they manage instances and objects

Developer, design, and other technical documentation

Let us know if you have any technical issues – sooner if possible! We want you to have all the time you can hacking 😊