The current immersive mixed reality headsets are tethered to a PC so developers have some flexibility on input devices, the typical experience is with an Xbox Game Controller or the announced Motion Controllers.
The HP Mixed Reality Headset arrived first and I setup my development workstation with the required Windows 10 Insider Version, Visual Studio 2017 and Unity 2017; it’s all set to go without having to do additional setup steps to use my recently delivered Acer Mixed Reality Headset.
Time to code for Windows Immersive Mixed Reality! The device setup is done, the Mixed Reality Portal works and inside-out tracking rocks! We’re not anymore bound by the sensor placement requirements of Oculus Rift or setting up HTC Vive lighthouses on high poles. I’m also enjoying the HP Mixed Reality Headset build quality and the headband feels secure and cushioned nicely compared to other models I’ve used.
It took a while to update to the Windows 10 Insider Build (1703-16251.0) — so a bit of patience or doing the dev workstation update with a high-speed Internet link and SSD OS drives; the price paid for being an early adopter.
I followed the notes on the Mixed Reality – Install The Tools alongside Mixed Reality – Immersive Headset Setup guide to configure Windows 10 Creators Update. I updated to the latest available Windows 10 Release (1703 15063.502 as of writing) and hoped that I’m in good enough driver state for the workstation I use with my Oculus and HTC Vive setup.
Time to plug-in my new Mixed Reality Headset just in case the workaround mentioned in the guide is still needed. I’m using an ASUS GTX-1080Ti Graphics card on an ASUS ROG MAXIMUS VIII motherboard for reference. My setup concern is with the USB3 ports — that it is hardware and driver compatible; and to a lesser extent hoping the Head Mounted Display (HMD) is clean without dead/bright pixels.
I finally received delivery of my personal pre-ordered Microsoft Mixed Reality Immersive Headsets. I ordered the listed units after they were announced at //BUILD without waiting for the bundle offers for the controllers just to get the headsets early. There were two models available for order at the Microsoft Store from Acer and HP; the HP Windows Mixed Reality Headset Developer Edition arrived first.
Unity started out as a gaming platform and with friendly licensing terms for new game developers it gained quick popularity. New devices from VR Systems such as the Oculus, Vive, Cardboard, Daydream and sensors like the Intel RealSense and Google Tango provide a Unity SDK to get an easy to use development environment that handles user input and displays 2D and 3D graphics.
Microsoft launched the Mixed Reality platform starting with the HoloLens and Unity continues as one of the support development systems and works nicely with Visual Studio. An additional consideration is while Unity typically uses Mono to support cross-platform builds; on the Microsoft Windows platform, it can build and execute on .NET and IL2CPP (Intermediate Code to C++ for native recompilation) and target the Universal Windows Platform.
Unity WebGL build is a quick and relatively easy way to release and showcase an application. The main difficulty is how to integrate it to an existing web site instead of a stand-alone site where web server settings are readily changed. Most web tutorials tackle the basic setup involving content type provider mappings to get the WebGL app working especially for compressed packages. On IIS, the key step is updating web.config to apply the mappings.