Scientific disclosure with Microsoft HoloLens

Holo Nuclear Fission

The Holo Nuclear Fission project has the dual purpose of transmitting concepts of nuclear physics with the help of mixed reality, demonstrating the effectiveness of this new technological approach in the field of teaching and exhibition, especially in scientific dissemination. Hololens turns out to be an excellent tool for collaboration and sharing of complex concepts such as scientific ones.

The experience

Two or more participants can follow a physics lesson provided by a teacher of the future. After a brief introduction on the topic, the teacher presses a key physically present on the dashboard but highlighted in the holographic world by a special graphic animation. The pressure of the physical key causes, in the holographic world, the activation of a "machine for generating atoms". After having explained the operation summarily, the teacher presses the second (physical) key on his dashboard and gives rise to the creation of a uranium-235 atom (in the holographic world). At this point the visitor is involved in first person. The teacher will invite him to activate, by pressing another physical button, a neutron gun to bombard the uranium atom. In order for the fission to be successful, it will be necessary to impress the correct amount of energy to the neutron. The teacher will allow the visitor to "play" with the settings to allow the person to experience the dynamics occurring at the atomic level. If the visitor does not autonomously find the right amount of energy to impress on the neutron, the teacher will suggest to him the correct value that will actually give rise to the fission. Teacher and visitors can watch together the animation that describes the fission process.

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    Physical Station

    The workstation is designed to accommodate 2 "active" participants, physically interacting, and a physical installation consisting of a base with two command bridges on which 5 physical buttons are placed. All active or passive participants present in the experience are equipped with a Microsoft Hololens viewer.

Technical Details

The technological challenge faced in this experience is represented by the interfacing of physical devices with the holographic world, specifically the smart button Flic with Microsoft Hololens. To ensure that communication takes place without delay and regardless of the presence of an internet connection, a private network has been set up, with the help of a wifi access point, to which the Hololens and the Android smartphone have been connected. Through the Flic application installed on the mobile phone, all 5 physical smart buttons have been paired, configuring them to send a REST call via HTTP directly to the Hololens at the time of pressure. The Unity application receives the pressure event from the private network and interprets it coherently to the flow of events of the holographic experience.


The experience aims to make the interaction between man and machine as natural as possible, avoiding having to train the visitor to perform specific gestures or commands, but using simple physical buttons that do not require any specific preparation.