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How Microsoft's HoloLens could shape the future of enterprise

1 year, 11 months ago

For those who aren’t across the latest news from the tech industry, Microsoft has just released the HoloLens headset which was announced early last year. These futurist-looking smart glasses give users an augmented reality experience through Windows Holographic technology: in layman’s terms, pop these wireless goggles over your eyes and the in-built computer will blend a digital display with the physical world around you. This technology is not to be confused with virtual reality, where the user is fully immersed in a completely different world. Augmented reality focuses on blending the real with the virtual by overlaying the physical environment with images and projections. 

What does this have to do with industry? 

The device itself looks like it belongs more on the set of Star Wars than on an industrial site, and skimming over all the mumbo jumbo might make the HoloLens sound more like a consumer gimmick than anything else. However, it’s clear that Microsoft wants its latest innovation to be much more than that; the tech giant has seemingly marketed towards enterprise more than anything, releasing a bunch of videos showcasing applications in manufacturing, architecture, engineering and more. By wearing the headset, users can bring 3D models to life,visualise project phases and enhance communication between teams both on site and across the globe. 

The true impact of this technology remains to be seen 

Given the infancy of the HoloLens, it’s difficult to predict whether it will completely transform the future of business or fizz out as a shiny toy for those with too much room in their budget. Part of the outcome will rely heavily on how Microsoft can collaborate with other companies to make the HoloLens compatible with various programs and features, especially given how the device has been advertised with such broad functionality. Many innovations are released with truly promising designs, but are let down by a lack of ongoing development and genuine practicality. 

Stick with the notepad sketches for now 

Ultimately, the HoloLens appears to be filling the void between Oculus Rift (a full virtual reality experience) and Google Glass (more of a smartphone extension). We will be keeping a keen eye on its progression to see whether it truly lives up to the hype; innovation in technology is a key factor in the evolution of the worksite and can have an impact across industries of any kind.