Great mixed reality experiences combine elements of both the physical environment and interactive digital content. It is well worth considering the impact and affect that the physical space you intend to work in will have on the overall experience, both in terms of performance (tracking) and usability (accessibility and legibility) of holograms. You can follow these simple steps to ensure you follow best practice for preparing your space for mixed reality:
1. IMPROVE tracking by doing some interior decoration
Your HoloLens will use features in your physical space to track the movement of the device and render holograms in stable locations. Good rules of thumb is to ensure there are many, unique, high contrast objects and features in your space. For instance you might want to add patterns to your floor, work in a space with exposed surfaces in the ceiling or add a few detailed objects (tools, plants etc) to your room. Workshop spaces tend to track well as they tick a lot of these boxes.
2. Things to AVOID and be aware of:
Reflective surfaces can play tricks with the cameras on your HoloLens and reduce tracking performance. Black surfaces can be difficult to detect. Repetitive features (such as tile patterns) can also cause problems. Featureless spaces (such as very large or empty rooms) will also track poorly. Inconsistent features (such as there being a lot of detail only on the ceiling, or one wall) can produce inconsistent tracking. Modern office spaces tend to track badly as they tick a lot of these boxes.
3. Plan for scale, access and interaction
Reaching out and touching a hologram creates a compelling experience and is intuitive for most users. Make sure you place holograms where you can physically access them, and avoid placing holograms behind walls, high above or below you, or beyond physical obstacles that may impede access. As a general rule, always make sure you are able to walk around and experience every part of the hologram you are working with, so try to choose and prepare a space that is physically larger than the hologram you are viewing whenever possible.
4. Share the experience
At a minimum, make sure you can share what you are seeing on the HoloLens with others using Miracast or mixed reality capture through device portal. Ideally, use a position marker and allow everyone to participate directly in the mixed reality experience either with mobile devices or multiple HoloLens.
5. Plan for visibility
Avoid working in very bright spaces where light in the room can wash out light being projected by the HoloLens. If you need to work in very bright environments, fixing some window tint film to the outside of the HoloLens can reduce the amount of light entering your eyes and improve visibility.