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Displaying stereo video from two cameras


Is it possible to connect two external USB cameras (one from each eyepiece on a microscope) and display them as separate 2D video streams, one to each eye using HoloLens? The goal here is to create a 3D augmented microscope display.



  • Hi,
    HoloLens has only one usb mini a (at last the model I've tried at the holographic academy). Then, even if it would be possible you are making become a totally independent wireless device a wired connect totally coupled device.
    I believe that your is the case where you have to stream contents of your camera to a streaming server so that then hl can connect and use that source.
    Also looking at the msdn documentation you don't have access to a single eye but the HolographicFrame type is your friend to render and create the first worldwide 3d augmented microscope experience...


    P.S. very nice idea!

  • Sounds like this is impossible with the V1 hardware. One of the Build 2016 sessions mentioned that the USB port was only available for debugging and power - no additional peripherals can be connected. Seems like a major flaw which limits many scenarios requiring additional hardware.

  • As for the rendering part:
    @gsantopaolo: Maybe going through the DirectX/Direct3D stack it could be possible to render for one eye only? I am not saying it should be done, but at least the calibration app is able to render for one eye only, so there must be a way to get it done.

  • edited April 2016

    Adding on to my colleague Gian @gsantopaolo said, I also seem to remember that you can't connect a USB device to it by default. The mini usb is only for charging. As far as stereo rendering in DirectX of course you can you can render what ever you want, but that's your custom code and logic. That would be interesting to see that actually.

    Dwight Goins
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  • I'm having difficulty finding this to even be possible...considering the closest thing to setting individual eye imagery I can find is the following: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/windows.graphics.holographic.holographicstereotransform.aspx

    ...which seems, at least to my inexperienced eyes, to be useless for this purpose.
    Does anyone know of a way to access the individual eye imagery? If its possible to isolate each screen and access/set its data independently then I see the rest as fairly simple....but I see no evidence suggesting Microsoft has made this possible with their API.

  • Perhaps thinking about stereo projection in this case is missing the point of the HoloLens. The experience with HoloLens is "Holographic" and based on 3D geometry and not simply the stereo vision trickery of 3D glasses that you would use to watch a 3D TV or in a 3D Theatre.

    A 3D augmented microscope would be more about the computer vision preprocessing of the two USB camera feeds coming from each lens to construct the 3D geometry of what the microscope sees to then render that geometry as holographic imagery. Photogrammetry of the two stereo feeds alone however would not likely provide a very satisfying holographic experience since the angle of view through the microscope is very limited and static (unless the thing you are observing through the microscope is moving, but that introduces other challenges).

    If you are serious about enhancing the image from a microscope I suggest you look into Light Field image capture.

    Displaying captured light fields on the HoloLens strikes me as a far more interesting proposition than trying to do stereo projection of 2D image streams.

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  • nope it has only one hub so you cant connect two cameras at a time

  • @jaybo_nomad said:

    Is it possible to connect two external USB cameras (one from each eyepiece on a microscope) and display them as separate 2D video streams, one to each eye using HoloLens? The goal here is to create a 3D augmented microscope display.


    @jaybo_nomad Not sure how much more help it will be but I discovered that isolating two cameras in Unity3d to two layers (one for each eye) allowed for control over what each eye can see. I can't go into more detail here but look into it and you might find what you're looking for.

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