How to create your own HoloLens sun screen

How to create your own HoloLens sun screen

At the Ocean Industries Concept Lab (OICL) we use the Microsoft HoloLens to explore how AR can help mariners navigate ships in the Arctic. However, when using the HoloLens in bright light conditions the graphics disappear more or less completely.

Using the HoloLens with sun screen on a ship bridge during bright light conditions in the Arctic. Photo: Jon Fauske.

Before our latest field trip to Svalbard we found a quick and dirty solution to this problem: we attached a window tint film to the headset. The do-it-yourself sun screen turned out to be highly effective, resulting in clear and bright AR graphics even in arctic conditions. Read on to get the template and learn how to use it! (And no, you don’t have to go to the Arctic to use the sun screen.)

Designing the template

In order to create the sun screen you need some sort of light blocking material, such as window tint film. We got some from a car accessories shop in Oslo. Since the HoloLens visor is doubly curved the film will not stick perfectly to the surface. However, this does not seem to affect the usability or performance of the sun screen.

But how do you attach the film to the headset? We wanted to be able to easily attach and detach the sun screen from the headset without needing adhesive tape, allowing us to quickly adapt the headset to varying light conditions. By keeping some of the paper from the template attached to the film, it’s easy to put each end of the sun-shield into the open slots on each side of the HoloLens.

The sun screen is quickly attached by sliding the paper ends into the slots on each side of the HoloLens.

As a result, the sun-shield is firmly attached, and will not fall off unless you deliberately pull it out. This solution also allows you to add more than one sheet of film if you need to block out more light.

How to create a HoloLens sun screen

First, download the A4 template or the Letter template. Print the template at actual size (100%). And yes, you need to buy some window tint film.

Click to download the template in PDF format.

  1. Cut roughly along the outer, dotted line. Also cut out the four small, dotted rectangles
  2. Use adhesive tape to attach the paper template to the tinted film along the edges of the paper, and by covering the small rectangles
  3. Cut along the solid line
  4. Cut the paper (not the film!) along the remaining dotted line, and discard the middle piece of the paper
  5. Add some adhesive tape around the edges of the remaining paper, making sure the paper is attached to the film.

Enjoy the augmented view!

Researcher Jon Fauske using the HoloLens with sun screen during bright light conditions in the Arctic.

Thanks & credits to Jon Fauske, Kjetil Nordby and Nick Stevens.