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Holographic vs Immersive App API differences

Hi, newbie here.

I understand that the HoloToolkit supports both Hololens and Immersive Headset experiences, and that you can distinguish between the two by using the HolographicSettings.IsDisplayOpaque boolean, making shared code work for both devices (see Mixed Reality 250 tutorial).

From a high level, I read that Immersive Headsets and Hololens understand spatial anchors, but that Immersive Headsets don't use gestures or spatial mapping.

  • Is there anything else that Immersive Headsets can do that Hololens can't? I couldn't find any in my readings on the Coordinate Systems.
  • Is there a clear difference between the Windows APIs that can be used between holographic and immersive apps?

Any response would be greatly appreciated,

Best Answers


  • @ahalim, thanks for your reply! You're right about those two bullets. But some interesting food for thought: I'm wondering if those are just current limitations rather than permanent ones.
    It seems like on this page, while they clearly state that Motion Controllers are for immersive headsets only, they also state that Hololens can utilize hardware accessories that are Bluetooth. So what's stopping them from developing a HoloLens motion controller in the future that is Bluetooth?

    Also, regarding Stage frame of reference, the documentation online states "Not supported yet" for Hololens and that the only reason why is because room-scaled apps on HoloLens currently needs to use spatial mapping.

    But you are right about those two bullets. As it stands today, those are features that are only tied to immersive headsets. Thanks for pointing it out!

  • Good points from all. Thanks for your inputs. I'm still in the learning phase, so this helps me gather my future thoughts on where I want to go with this.

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