Microsoft HoloJS allows JavaScript developers to build HoloLens apps

(c)iStock/KeremYucel

Many see Microsoft HoloLens as a pair of mixed reality smartglasses, but they may not be aware that the HoloLens is an underlying application development platform called Windows Holographic – an application programming interface (API) which is a part of the Windows 10 API.

Developers use the Windows Holographic platform to design augmented reality applications for the Universal Windows Platform (UWP). Microsoft has added another designing instrument to their kit that enables them to enhance their designs a bit extra. Called the HoloJS, the tool allows the developers to create UWP apps supporting HoloLens via JavaScript and WebGL.

The HoloJS was released on GitHub with little fanfare and was found by WalkingCat, a Twitter account that is a source of numerous Microsoft discoveries. WalkingCat pointed to the open-source project recently placed on GitHub that uses Microsoft’s Chakra JavaScript engine created for the company’s Edge web browser.

According to Microsoft GitHub description, “HoloJS is a C++ library that hosts Chakra to run JavaScript code, and also hosts ANGLE to handle OpenGL ES graphics calls. OpenGL ES calls are translated from WebGL calls by the JavaScript app. When running on a Microsoft HoloLens, HoloJS supports holographic rendering.” This means that developers proficient in JavaScript and WebGL can put their expertise to build holographic UWP apps for HoloLens.

Microsoft provides documentation for HoloJS that should help developers get started, as long as they are using Visual Studio 16 with Update 3 and have access to the HoloLens emulator.

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