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Put holograms over real world objects

I have 3D drawing of some big industrial equipment with pipes spanning several rooms and floors. I have imported these drawings into Unity and am able highlight single pipes.

Now I would like to overlay the real pipes on the industrial site with the holograms of the pipes, so that I can follow the pipe from room to room and floor to floor using the hololens.

I could of course align the hologram with the physical pipe by moving and rotating the hologram manually, but I believe it would not be very precise.

The alignment process I had in mind was to ask the user to gaze and tap at pre-defined reference points on the physical pipe at one end of the pipe and then use these reference points to overlay the holographic pipe over the physical pipe. I guess I will need three reference points to get correct alignment.

Is my alignment process doable? Can I anchor a pipe hologram to three anchor points (I have managed to use one)? Do I need to use one anchor and then calculate rotation vectors using the other two get the alignment correct? How can I calculate this?

Best Answer


  • CurvSurfCurvSurf ✭✭
    edited November 2016

    Overlaying manually a virtual pipe onto a real one is practically unrealistic.

    We have to find the exact parameter values of radius, position, and orientation of the real pipe.

    1. Radius: We may have to compare the two radii by looking along the axes aligned in holographic view. Practically unrealistic, because we have to be inside the real pipe.

    2. Postion: What is the position of the real pipe? One of the two end-points? Middle point? Can we determine (pick) the point in holographic view?

    3. Orientation: Even if we can rotate a virtual object in holographic view, the real problem lies in the center of rotation. How can we define (pick) the center of rotation in holographic view?

    We human recognize 3-D objects according to stereoscopic visual perception. We can recognize well the positional differences in lateral direction but not in radial direction. In other words, we can compare well similar lengths in orthogonal to the view direction, but not in parallel to.

    A computational agent (machine or algorithm) processing 3-D data does not suffer such difficulties, because it does not need to look the data in holographic view or dispaly. It runs around and touches and analyzes the 3-D data.


  • Hi kem,
    how you did that?
    can you please share your code.

  • @kem

    Sorry that this is super late, was wondering if you were able to get decent results with the poster Calibration in the Companion Kit.

    I have tried it myself but it is always a couple centimeters off which has been deemed as a failure since it's wanted with zero manual calibration.

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