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Does the 1 app at a time limit mean 3D Widgets like in the HoloLens Demos aren't possible yet?

The App Model documentation says you can only run 1 app at a time, and that entering Holographic View makes the Mixed World disappear.

Does this mean we can't create functional 3D Widgets like we've seen demoed in previous HoloLens presentations like the following?

If so, are there plans to remove this limitation in the future?

Best Answers


  • It'd be nice if holographic apps could provide a textured mesh to persist in the shell as a launch point, similar to how 2D apps persist with a splash screen.

    There'd need to be an upper limit on physical dimensions and poly count, probably more.

    Related though-- I'm expecting at some point I'll misplace an app by bringing it into say, the garage, pinning it, and forgetting I did it. That'll be a fun scenario to experiment with.

  • AshAsh
    edited March 2016

    I think you can pin apps in multiple places. So you might have an instance of, for example, Skype pinned in the garage, but also in the kitchen and the lounge. I don't think you'll be able to lose an app.

  • james_ashleyjames_ashley ✭✭✭✭

    It looks like you cannot play a netflix movie in one pin while having a conversation on skype next to it. Remembering pin locations isn't quite the same. I don't think it's really a limitation though -- this is exactly how UWP behaves, and before that WinRT and before that Windows Phone. This is an efficient way to operate when you are running on battery. Documentation also says you can have background processes, though (again, just like UWP) so maybe this will allow a little bit of give?

    James Ashley
    VS 2017 v5.3.3, Unity 2017.3.0f3, MRTK 2017.1.2, W10 17063
    Microsoft MVP, Freelance HoloLens/MR Developer

  • BryanBryan ✭✭✭

    Documentation shows way more limits on background tasks than all other UWP. Sounds like that may just be temporary while they finish implementation.

    That said, I'm not seeing any way to create holographic widgets like the weather one they've demoed multiple times (and pictured above).

    If not supported, I'd still like to know if this is in the future plans or if it was nixed.

  • @Bryan - this is purely conjecture, but it could be a developer kit restriction for now. The processing power on the CPU is relatively low, so perhaps they are planning to enable simultaneous execution in a later edition once a more advance hardware is available.

  • BryanBryan ✭✭✭

    @JasonZ, that's probably part of it, but I'd suspect it's more a limit on not having an API ready that would let multiple interactive meshes, spatial anchors, & animations avoid collisions with each other, and with other 2d window pins. I just hope this is a v1.0 limit and not a total nix of what we've seen demoed.

    Would be nice to get a definitive answer from someone on the team :smile:.

  • The "Windows 10" operating system, is only limited to number of apps verses the definition of the monitor, so at some point, I think yes, we will use multiple apps.

    AnonOccupy #3DataBas #TransparentSEE #M1rr0R #Empyreon

  • This reminds me the time of Windows 8 "metro" and "desktop" apps. Two totally different environments inside the same OS. Thanks God Microsoft decided to fix this, hopefully they will do the same with the "2D" and "Holographic" separate modes.

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