What you need to know

  • A new video shows off the Apollo 11 mission inside the HoloLens 2.
  • The video is from Epic Games and uses Unreal Engine.
  • The holographic elements of the experience are rendered by a PC and streamed to the HoloLens 2.

A new video from Epic Games shows off Apollo 11: Mission AR inside the HoloLens 2 (via Road to VR). The interactive demo includes detailed renderings of the Apollo 11 moon landing and allows people to interact with parts of the ship at different stages of the journey.

The demo uses Unreal Engine and features 7 million polygons within a physically-based rendering environment. It includes dynamic lighting and shadows, volumetric effects, and multi-layered materials. It's important to note that these are not rendered by the HoloLens 2. Instead, the holographic elements are streamed wirelessly from a network PC running the latest version of Unreal Engine.

The demo requiring external hardware is unique. The HoloLens 2 is a standalone AR headset. One of its selling points is that it doesn't require external hardware. During the demo, the HoloLens 2 sends eye tracking, voice, gesture, current device positioning, and spatial mapping input to the PC on the network. Then, the PC streams the rendered holographic content back to the HoloLens 2.

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While the demo does not run exclusively on the HoloLens 2, it shows another capability of the device, the ability to work in conjunction with more powerful hardware. A doc from Epic Games goes into more details on how the streaming process works and guides developers through the process.