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How to Create an Augmented Reality Application for HoloLens 2 in Unity

In this comprehensive guide, we'll take you through the step-by-step process of creating an augmented reality (AR) application for HoloLens 2 using Unity. Our goal is to provide you with a clear understanding of each stage, offering detailed code snippets and their explanations to help you confidently embark on your AR development journey for HoloLens 2. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced developer, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and practical skills needed to bring your AR ideas to life on the HoloLens 2 platform.

Building Augmented Reality Apps for HoloLens 2 in Unity

Learn how to complete your Unity assignment with our comprehensive guide on creating augmented reality applications for HoloLens 2. Dive into the world of immersive AR development as we provide step-by-step instructions and code samples, enabling you to not only complete your Unity assignment but also gain valuable skills in crafting AR experiences for HoloLens 2.


Before we delve into creating the AR app, make sure you have the following prerequisites in place:

  • Unity Installed: Ensure you have Unity, a powerful game development platform, installed on your development machine.
  • Visual Studio with UWP Tools: You'll need Visual Studio with Universal Windows Platform (UWP) tools to develop and deploy applications for HoloLens 2.
  • HoloLens 2 Device: To test your AR applications, you'll require access to a HoloLens 2 device. Alternatively, you can begin with the HoloLens 2 emulator for initial testing.

Step 1: Setting up the Unity Project

Objective: To create a new Unity project and configure it for HoloLens 2 development.

```csharp // Creating a New Unity Project // This code is not scriptable; it's a manual process. Create a new Unity project through the Unity Editor. // Importing the Mixed Reality Toolkit (MRTK) // Import MRTK through Unity's Package Manager or Asset Store. // Configuring Project Settings // These settings can be configured manually through Unity's Player Settings. // Ensure that the project is set up for Universal Windows Platform (UWP) and HoloLens 2. ```

Step 2: Creating an Image Tracking Database

Objective: To prepare image markers for tracking.

```csharp // Importing and Configuring Images // In Unity, create an ARTrackedImageManager and add reference images through the Unity Inspector. // Configure image markers for tracking within the Unity Editor. ```

Step 3: Creating a Cube Object

Objective: To add a 3D cube object that will be displayed when a marker is detected.

```csharp // Adding a 3D Cube // Create a 3D cube GameObject through the Unity Editor and add it to your scene. // Customize the cube's appearance and behavior as needed. ```

Step 4: Setting Up the Camera and ARSession

Objective: To configure the camera and ARSession components.

```csharp // Creating an ARSessionOrigin // Create an ARSessionOrigin GameObject through the Unity Editor. // This object manages the AR world space and serves as the anchor for virtual content. // Attaching the HoloLens Camera // Add a HoloLensCamera prefab to your scene to configure camera settings for HoloLens 2. ```

Step 5: Creating an AR Tracked Image Manager

Objective: To set up image tracking.

```csharp // Adding ARTrackedImageManager // Create an ARTrackedImageManager component and attach it to a GameObject. // This manager is responsible for handling image tracking and recognition. ```

Step 6: Scripting Image Tracking Behavior

Objective: To script the behavior of image tracking.

```csharp // Creating ImageTrackingController Script using UnityEngine; using UnityEngine.XR.ARFoundation; public class ImageTrackingController : MonoBehaviour { private ARTrackedImageManager imageManager; public GameObject cubePrefab; void Awake() { imageManager = GetComponent(); } void OnEnable() { imageManager.trackedImagesChanged += ImageTrackingChanged; } void OnDisable() { imageManager.trackedImagesChanged -= ImageTrackingChanged; } void ImageTrackingChanged(ARTrackedImagesChangedEventArgs args) { foreach (var trackedImage in args.added) { if (trackedImage.referenceImage.name == "YourMarkerImageName") { Instantiate(cubePrefab, trackedImage.transform); } } } } ```

Explanation: This script, `ImageTrackingController.cs`, handles image tracking behavior. When a marker image is detected, it instantiates the cube prefab at the position of the tracked image.

Step 7: Attaching the Cube Prefab

Objective: To prepare the cube prefab.

```csharp // Creating a Cube Prefab // Create a cube GameObject as a prefab in your Assets folder and customize it. // Assign the cube prefab to the `cubePrefab` field of the ImageTrackingController script // in the Unity Inspector by selecting the GameObject with the script attached. ```

Step 8: Building and Deploying to HoloLens 2

Objective: To build and deploy your AR application to the HoloLens 2 device.

```csharp // Building for UWP // Build your Unity project for UWP through Unity's Build Settings. // Configure UWP settings for your specific project requirements. // Deploying with Visual Studio // Use Visual Studio to deploy your app to your HoloLens 2 device. // Ensure that your device is connected and set up for development. ```

Step 9: Testing Your AR App

Objective: To test your AR application on the HoloLens 2 device.

```csharp // Wearing the HoloLens 2 // Put on your HoloLens 2 device and point it at the marker image to observe the 3D cube // appearing when the marker image is detected. ```


In conclusion, this guide has taken you on a comprehensive journey through the development of an augmented reality (AR) application for HoloLens 2 using Unity. By providing clear explanations and practical code snippets, we've equipped you with the skills to embark confidently on your AR development endeavors. Whether you're a novice or an experienced developer, the knowledge gained here will empower you to bring your AR concepts to life on the HoloLens 2 platform. As you explore further and apply these principles, the possibilities for immersive and innovative AR experiences are limitless.