Kinect to HoloLens Holograms

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This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: Channel 9.

Joost van Schaik shares a great project that meshes the old and new worlds (so to speak).

Scanning physical objects with an Xbox One Kinect to use as Holograms in HoloLens



There are several demos out there that show obviously scanned models of people or physical objects used in HoloLens applications. I think it was fellow MVP and Dresdener 3D genius René Schulte who first used his bust in a demo or at least went public with it. Unfortunately I have not been able to find very much about the actual process used to do the scanning and get to this result, so I have been trying to kludge together a procedure to make a full color 3d scan of a physical object – myself – and show it in a HoloLens.

Shopping list

For this you will need the following hardware:

And the following software:

Setting up the hardware...

Downloading additional software...

The actual scanning

Converting to a format usable for Unity

Importing in Unity and showing the colors



Lessons learned

  • First of all – already mentioned in passing, make sure there is enough light, and prevent shadows. This is harder than it sounds. You will notice scanned Holograms tend to look rather pale when created with insufficient light.
  • The handheld setting is way harder to use than the stationary setting. Consider placing objects on a rotary platform rather than moving around it with the Kinect
  • Move or rotate the object you want to scan slowly (or move the Kinect slowly)
  • You will have to fiddle a lot with settings before you get the result you want
  • Larger objects (like humans) are way easier to scan than small objects
  • Make anything you don’t want on the scan as black as and non-reflective as possible

Concluding remarks

Unity will complain regularly about an error in the shader in the editor, but it still seems to work fine. Having no clue about shaders and how to write them yet, I tend to ignore it. The resulting project, although containing no code written by me at all, can be found here.

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