HoloLens Terminator Vision

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

Today's project could be called the must do project for Mixed Reality...

Building the Terminator Vision HUD in HoloLens


James Cameron’s 1984 film The Terminator introduced many science-fiction idioms we now take for granted. One of the most persistent is the thermal head-up-display (HUD) shot that allows the audience to see the world through the eyes of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800 character. In design circles, it is one of the classic user interfaces that fans frequently try to recreate both as a learning tool and as a challenge.

In today’s post, you’ll learn how to recreate this iconic interface for the HoloLens. To sweeten the task, you’ll also hook up this interface to Microsoft Cognitive Services to perform an analysis of objects in the room, face detection and even some Optical Character Recognition (OCR).


The first step happens to be figuring out how to recreate the T-800 thermal HUD display.

Locking the HUD into place

By default, the Canvas will be locked to your world space. You want it to be locked to the screen, however, as it is in the Terminator movies.


La vie en rose

Terminator view is supposed to use heat vision. It places a red hue on everything in the scene. In order to create this effect, you are going to play a bit with shaders.


Making the text dynamic

To hook up the HUD to Cognitive Services, first orchestrate a way to make the text dynamic. Select your HUD object. Then, in the Inspector window, click on Add Component -> New Script and name your script “Hud.”




In this post, you discovered how to recreate a cool visual effect from an iconic sci-fi movie. You also found out how to call Microsoft Cognitive Services from Unity in order to make a richer recreation.

You can extend the capabilities of the Terminator Vision app even further by taking the text you find through OCR and calling Cognitive Services to translate it into another language using the Translator API. You could then use the Bing Speech API to read the text back to you in both the original language and the translated language. This, however, goes beyond the original goal of recreating the Terminator Vision scenario from the 1984 James Cameron film and starts sliding into the world of personal assistants, which is another topic for another time.

Project Information URL: https://blogs.windows.com/buildingapps/2017/03/06/building-terminator-vision-hud-hololens

Project Source URL: https://github.com/gdfonda/Terminator-Vision

REMEMBER: these articles are REPUBLISHED. Your best bet to get a reply is to follow the link at the top of the post to the ORIGINAL post! BUT you're more than welcome to start discussions here:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.