Over the past few years, the development of technology has led to an increasing range of interfaces and devices that we know and use daily. This evolution is so significant that technology has gone beyond the simple computer screens that we know. Indeed, it has become accessible at our fingertips, and now in front of our eyes.
Blending the real and virtual worlds
Mixed reality is the technology where the environment and elements of the real and virtual world merge and interact with each other, pushing farther the possibilities of interaction between these two worlds.
Far from being a hype, its very existence heralds the dawn of a new technological revolution. Indeed, this immersive technology opens the doors to new uses, to different user profiles. This is how it becomes a technology with a strong potential of democratization.
Currently, access to mixed reality is possible through the use of the device conceptualized by Microsoft: the Hololens glasses (I and II). If this technology is still in its experimental and exploration phase, it could well be further democratized and disrupt the current ecosystems.
The HoloLens is a pair of standalone (wireless) mixed reality glasses developed by Microsoft. Christophe Rit, innovation architect for Microsoft France, even specifies that “Hololens is a standalone holographic laptop, which runs on Windows 10”. By the time this article is written, there are two versions of these glasses, the latest being more powerful and lighter than its predecessor.
These glasses unveil a whole new world of interactions, applications, games and experiences that have been untapped until now. Indeed, the distinctive feature of these glasses is that they have a screen where holographic images are overlaid, visible only through the glasses. The user can move around the holographic object, manipulate it and experience it as if it were really present thanks to Hand & Eye Tracking. In a way, the Hololens offers a new canvas to play, learn, communicate and interact with. This device is a technological gem on both the hardware and software side, where Microsoft provides assistance and training tools in an intuitive interface to widen the field of vision and provide more natural interactions in any circumstance.
How can mixed reality and Hololens be implemented in the workplace?
According to a study from Harvard Business Review, 87% of organizations surveyed stated that they are currently exploring, piloting and deploying mixed reality projects. Mixed reality is set to change the rules in many areas of society. For professionals, its use is creating a new paradigm where the scope of applications is wide, transforming and improving the working methods and conditions of many professions.
Nothing better than an immersive solution to immerse customers in the world of a brand? This is the challenge met by the Cognac producer, Rémy Martin, who deployed Hololens in its Los Angeles stores to offer an immersive experience in the heart of the Champagne vineyard to discover the know-how and characteristics of the house.
This is an opportunity to bypass the traditional long poster panels recounting the history and culture of the brand by offering a new experience that is more immersive, more engaging, more impactful and thus, more memorable. Moreover, it is possible to imagine other possible applications for this product at the retail outlet or in customer presentations: virtual configurator, immersive projection, event animation…. These glasses are therefore not to be taken lightly and can open new dimensions to the customer experience!
In the light of the new technologies that are constantly enhancing the industry, the latter is facing new challenges: productivity, time saving, cost reduction and many others. Since the COVID-19 health crisis, the industry is getting more and more innovative by adjusting and transforming production processes and factories in order to be more agile than ever. For instance, the L’Oréal group wanted its teams to adapt quickly to this new context by accelerating technological transformations. Using Hololens 2 and Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, the group was able to carry out missions such as industrial equipment installations, technical assistance and quality audits via real-time remote control. The pair of glasses virtualized the operator’s environment and provided physical elements they could click, move and grasp. The outcome: performance optimization, time savings, cost reduction and simplified collaboration.
As for Japanese automaker Toyota, they have reshaped the way their operators work to accomplish critical tasks faster, safer and more efficiently. For example, inspecting the thickness of the paint on cars used to take two days, but now with Hololens, it only takes two hours according to them. The company also used the innovative tool to assess workstation safety and to train employees.
The rise of mixed reality also embodies a revolution in the workplace, particularly in the industrial sector. This technology creates a new and promising field of possibilities to improve productivity, training or even to stimulate innovation. More than just a new technological gimmick, it is a new work culture focused on innovation and collaboration that has been created and is here to stay.
If you want to know more about the features in the Hololens and their possible applications, we organized a webinar on the subject.
Eager to find more information about 3D tech?
Light & Shadows believes in the potential of 3D technologies. We strive to better meet the needs of each of our clients, in order to provide them with a memorable virtual experience.
You can find all the information about the integration of 3D technologies in the marketing process by dowloading our white paper. (English version)
Feel free to contact us for more specific information about how we can help you to do good with new technologies!