Being a Robert Downey Jr fan – I had one of those awesome moments when I watched Ironman for the first time and when the hologram comes to life in the movie!
The other thing I remember is the message from Howard Stark to Tony Stark – “I am limited by the technology of my time…”. That was in 2008 on a sci-fi movie but in 2021 in real life it is super cool to see such technology is coming close to day to day real life use. I am super happy to have an opportunity to learn and explore such cool technology in the world of modern day business use and align with Business Applications. I am writing this blog series to share my learning experience about Mixed Reality in the world of Microsoft business applications!
What is mixed reality anyway?
Example 1: You are walking on a street with Google maps on for navigation. You switch on Live view (If you have never used it – try it to know how cool it is) and scan your surroundings and Google maps will overlay the virtual guidance on the live view of what you see on the street = Augmented reality
Example 2: Let’s say Max Verstappen wants to practice at the Monaco circuit – He visits a VR gaming arcade and loads the circuit sits in a Formula 1 like car and carries out any number of practice sessions as he likes with a VR headset on. = Virtual reality
In a bit more complex terms when we overlay a digital world into our real world and have a viewing experience on a device like Microsoft HoloLens it augments our visual experience and hence it is called as Augmented reality. On the other hand if we completely enter into a digital world with our sensory experience (Visual/Sound) by wearing a VR headset such as Microsoft Mixed reality immersive headsets then it is Virtual reality.
If we consider Augmented reality and Virtual reality as 2 extremes of the spectrum, Mixed reality falls somewhere in between. It helps blend our physical world with a digital world to create a visual and sensory experience that complements each other.
Why do we need Mixed Reality?
The last 2 years of our lives have been a unique learning experience. We have been confined to stay within our home for the most extent without any work related or social contact. Although we are digitally connected with video and audio calls, there are certain business scenarios that really demand physical like collaboration and Mixed reality applications would definitely take us a step further
Training and Development
You have a newly hired employees who joins your organization. Even though the employee is expert in the domain – there is a certain amount of practice and training needed to get familiar with your company specific equipment and operating procedures. With your expert employees being busy or working from home, recording the training on a mixed reality applications which guides the employee to quickly get upto speed and become productive will take the industries a long way on the recruit to onboard journey.
This can be used especially used in professions which have specific expert knowledge which is scarce and concentrated in specific parts of the world – Eg: Only 1 doctors who knows how to perform a specific procedure living in India and a patient in Europe needs that procedure to be performed immediately.
Lets say you are setting up a new manufacturing facility and there are 200 machines part of the setup. Would it not be nice to wear a HoloLens and walk around the manufacturing facility and look at all the 200 machines come to life in a augmented reality version of the wearhouse.
And a lot more real life challenging scenarios may become possible and also more efficient with the use of Mixed reality!
How does Microsoft use Mixed Reality in Business Applications?
There are 2 Dynamics applications that are designed to make use of mixed reality:
- Dynamics 365 Remote Assist
- Dynamics 365 Guides
Curious to know more… Stay tuned to my next blog !
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