Virtual and mixed reality are pretty great, but they offer somewhat solitary experiences most of the time. Microsoft is trying to change that with its HoloLens platform, improvising a way to create a mode it’s calling Spectator View. With Spectator View, you can give others a third-person window into what you’re seeing through HoloLens, and all you really need is a second HoloLens headset and a camera.
Of course, that’s simplifying it a little, and what you need essentially depends on how intricate you’d like to get with Spectator View. Microsoft outlines its Spectator View hardware shopping list on its website. The essentials include a PC compatible with the HoloLens emulator, a HoloLens headset, a DSLR camera, and the cables and mounts to connect them all together.
The article found on Microsoft’s website acts as a tutorial for getting up and running with Spectator View. Perhaps most importantly, it links to the GitHub project for Spectator View, along with instructions on how to build your own Spectator View rig, how to calibrate the camera and HoloLens, and how to run the compositor in Unity.
The end result is a third-person set up that not only shows what the HoloLens user sees, but the also the user themselves. Spectator View is meant to be an alternative to simply recording a first-person viewpoint through a HoloLens headset, and it offers the advantage of a stationary view that doesn’t shift and jerk around with the motion of the user.
Microsoft envisions a few different use cases for HoloLens Spectator View. Depending on the quality of the camera in your set up, you can use Spectator View to capture higher quality videos and images than the standard HoloLens headset is capable of – perfect for an app listing on the Windows Store, for instance. You can also use Spectator View to provide live demonstrations of HoloLens apps, just like Microsoft does when it’s showing off HoloLens at trade shows and press events.
If you want to get started with Spectator View, all the information you need can be found through the source link below. It’s a fairly involved process, but Microsoft offers in-depth instructions and notes on getting a Spectator View build up and running.