Much of the conversation surrounding Microsoft’s HoloLens mixed reality (MR) head-mounted display (HMD) following its reveal earlier in 2015 has been to do with its potential. The initial concept videos promised much, but its on-stage demonstration back in January still left plenty of questions. Today the company’s Build developer conference, Microsoft began to talk about actual uses of the device in the real world. A partnership with Trimble was even revealed, showcasing uses within the construction industry.
A brief video at the Build keynote speech revealed a number of uses that Trimble had come up with for HoloLens. The first and most obvious of these was using holograms to bring up virtual architecture, replacing traditional paper-based plans. Users were able to get an in-depth look at a miniature version of a new building and easily change its design, editing it with a mouse. Perhaps the most enticing aspect of this, and certainly the one that relates most to virtual reality (VR), was the ability to scale up the building to a life size scene, fully immersing users in an accurate representation of the finished product.
HoloLens wasn’t restricted to the planning phases of construction, either. Trimble also showcased the HMD being used during construction itself, allowing workers to make sure they used the correct implementations. The HMD was even shown connecting with someone else wearing the HMD in an office far away. Ambitiously, the device brought up a virtual representation of that person’s body, allowing the two to work together to ensure that the correct work was being carried out, interaction with the same virtual menus in real time.
It’s certainly an exciting look at HoloLen’s real applications, although just how accurate these uses turn out to be with the consumer product remains to be seen. VRFocus will continue to follow HoloLens closely, reporting back with the latest update on it.