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Virtual, Mixed and Augmented Reality in The Workshop

The Workshop has a variety of tools and resources for creating content for and in Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality

Physical Location

Workshop logo red square.jpgThe Innovative Media department is located in The Workshop on the lower level of the James Branch Cabell Library.

901 Park Avenue, Suite 078

Microsoft Hololens in The Workshop

The Microsoft Hololens is available for in-house use to the VCU Community. If you need assistance beyond this guide, email or call 804.827.3594 to set up an appointment.


Required for checkout:  Microsoft Hololens box, any of the PCs with the Hololens app installed.

In the Hololens box you will find:  One Hololens headset (nosepiece falls off sometimes, watch for it), one wall charger, one USB cord and one Hololens Clicker (the Clicker is not as effective as hand gestures and voice, see below).

The Microsoft Hololens does not need to be tethered, running independently of any computer because it is driven by Windows 10 internally. However, if you wish for viewers to see what you are seeing you will need to run the Hololens app, installed on the Alienware PC in the Gaming Studio, the App Development PC or the 98" Planar monitor in the workstation area.

Initiating the Microsoft Hololens

Power on and adjust headset

  1. Press the power button on the end of the device arm, on the left. 
  2. Note that the brightness and volume buttons are on top of the device arms - volume to your right, brightness to your left.
  3. Put on the headset and use the adjustment wheel for a good fit. You may need to readjust this occasionally to maintain proper focus.
  4. After the device boots up, you may see open holograms left hovering around the room by previous users. Until you get used to the controls, just ignore them.

Controls and actions

Instead of using a cursor with a mouse, like you do on a computer, you use your gaze (your whole head, not just your eyes). And instead of clicking, you use hand gestures or your voice.   

  1. Blooming opens the Start Menu. To bloom, hold out your hand, palm up and fingertips together, release fingers. 
  2. Use your gaze to move the cursor. When a hologram is ready to select, it will be highlighted.
  3. Air tapping triggers action. To air tap, bring your pointer finger down, then quickly raise it back up again. Some have found more success with moving the thumb to meet your pointer finger, somewhat like pinching.
  4. To zoom, drag or scroll, do the air tap but do not bring your fingers back apart, then move your hand accordingly.

Navigating Through The Apps

The Menu

  1. The Hololens Menu is where you will find the Settings and all the installed apps.
  2. Be sure to click the + symbol to see all the apps.
  3. Taking images or videos will put your files in the Hololens app for downloading (see next section).
  4. The Bloom hand gesture will bring the Menu back up at any time, even when you are currently running an app.
  5. You may also speak commands by preceding your request with "Hey Cortana." For example, if you wanted to turn the device off, you'd say "Hey Cortana, Shut Down." You can see a whole list of commands by saying "Hey Cortana, what can I say?

Connecting the Microsoft Hololens to the Hololens Desktop App

In the Workshop, the PCs for the Gaming Studio, App Development station and the 98" Planar display all have the Hololens app installed from the Microsoft Store.

WiFi and IPv4  

  1. The Hololens must be connected to WiFi before the app will recognize it. Connecting is similar to connecting a mobile device or laptop. Simply launch the Hololens Menu and choose Settings \ Network & Internet \ WiFi \ Make sure WiFi is turned and log into your preferred network from the list of available networks. Now would be a good time to click Advanced Options and write down the IPv4 address, you will need this soon.
  2. Once connected to a WiFi network, launch the Hololens app on a computer and click Add under Choose youHololens.  
  3. You will now be on a page asking for an IPv4 address (Remember, you find the IPv4 address by navigating in the Hololens back through Settings \ Network & Internet \ WiFi \ Advanced Options).
  4. After you enter the IPv4 address, you are asked for Device Credentials. Click Reset Credentails and a PIN number will appear in front of you in the Hololens. Enter the PIN and create any login and password you like. Click Done and you can now click on the Hololens you just configured. Congratulations, you're in!

Desktop App usefulness

  1. Live Stream will connect the Hololens camera to the app so others can see what you see.
  2. Photos & Videos is where you will find any media you have captured, either from within the Hololens or using the app's Camera.

Hololens Live Stream