Manage the Hololens via Intune

by | Jul 19, 2019 | Workplace

I want to share my experience with managing the HoloLens via Intune. Let’s start with explaining why our customer want to manage the Hololens. They continuous develop applications running on the Hololens to demonstrate and explain how their products work. The product itself develops continuously. Therefore the application needs to be updated as well on a regular bases. Sure, it’s also possible to side-load the application, but this is labor-intensive.

Please note; It wasn’t an easy journey before we found a configuration that fits the requirements and was business ready. 

The objectives to manage the Hololens via Intune

  1. The possibility to distribute and update apps quickly.
  2. It is activating the kiosk-mode (multi-app with bloom function) for the visitor account. It increases the user experience because it’s no longer required to fill in the password. Imagine it’s a challenge to type a password at a hologram keyboard.

Keep in mind; management capabilities are limited in the Windows 10 version Holographic. It’s okay because the device has a specific purpose of running 1-2 application during demonstrations. To archive the objectives, we can use Intune configuration profiles like shared multi-user and Kiosk mode.

Requirements

  • Upgrade license for Windows Holographic to Holographic for Business
  • Intune (July 2019 update)
  • A HoloLens 1803 or higher.
  • User account – Azure Active Directory account with the EM+S license (or Intune direct & Azure Active Directory P1)

    Configuration

    The configuration below is an example of my recommended configuration but read the  ‘caveats’ chapter carefully before you start managing the Hololens yourself.

    Create an Intune upgrade edition configuration policy.

    Intune configuration edition upgrade (Holograpic for Business)

    Create a Windows 10 – Shared multi-user device policy and set the following configuration policies.

    • Enable Shared PC mode
    • Enable Guest account – guest
    • Disable account management

    When the account management is turned on in shared PC mode, accounts are automatically deleted. Deletion applies to accounts in Active Directory and Azure Active directory, and local accounts created by guests. Account management occurs automatically at a sign-off time and during system maintenance periods.

    Intune configuration Shared computer configuration

    Create a Windows 10 – Kiosk profile and set the following configuration policies.

    • Select a kiosk mode – Multi app kiosk.
    • Target Windows 10 in S mode devices –
    • User logon type – HoloLens visitor.
    • Select one or multiple HoloLens applications that need to appear in the start menu.

    Note – Multi app kiosk mode enables the HoloLens bloom function, in single mode app this is disabled.

    Intune configuration - Multi-user app

    Caveats

    Read the following warnings/facts carefully in case you consider to manage the Hololens via Intune. Any item is confirmed via a support case and couldn’t be improved at that moment. I will contact the product managers regularly to verify if those warnings are still valid.

     

    1. Using the kiosk-mode with a visitors account is possible but users need to be patient because loading the applications in the start menu can take up to 30 seconds.
    2. It’s not possible to grant access to the device hardware via a configuration policy; this results in that the app asked the user to enable the camera and microphone every time. Applicable in the kiosk mode scenario where a visitors account is used.
    3. In case you need to distribute an application, you have the option to make it available in the Company portal or require the application. When you choose to make it available often the installations ‘hangs’. I recommend only to use required applications the same application will be installed in seconds.
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