The HoloLens and Its Impact On Manufacturers

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Wednesday night, Microsoft began shipping HoloLens development kits out to a very select few. This impressive piece of technology is the pinnacle of augmented reality technology and opens up a new world of possibilities. Businesses will be able to collaborate like never before, training practices will be revolutionized, and so much more is possible with this incredible piece of technology.

The HoloLens is an augmented reality headset that utilizes a system of motion tracking cameras that record the user’s movement. It offers the ability to transport two HoloLens users into the same room and interact as if they were standing right next to each other. With all of the communication technology that is out there, many hold a face to face meeting in higher regard than an email or a phone call. As supply chains and business partnerships continue to stretch farther around the globe, these face to face meeting are increasingly more difficult to schedule. With the HoloLens, a face to face meeting can take place anywhere a HoloLens is available.

Manufacturers can also find the HoloLens extremely helpful in certain circumstances. If a technician or engineer is visiting another facility and isn’t available to troubleshoot an issue with an important piece of equipment, the HoloLens can play a crucial role in fixing the problem. The individual can be contacted and strap on their HoloLens and investigate the problem for themselves. They can even direct an onsite technician on how to address the problem at hand.

Even more amazing, the HoloLens can record holographic sessions like a video. Training videos will become much more effective. When it comes to training, videos can offer great information on demand to not only new employees, but also seasoned employees that need a refresher on certain procedures. However, they lack the in-depth, 3 dimensional experience that comes along with watching an actual person perform the action. Taking a skilled employee off the line to train new employees can cause your manufacturing line to slow down for the day. But now those actions can be recorded in holographic form. This offers an incredible learning experience where the trainee can walk around the hologram to see exactly how the process should look and run from all angles. When it comes to manufacturing a 2 dimensional video can only offer so much, but 3 dimensional training videos on demand can ensure your employees know exactly how to complete any job.

Augmented reality systems have been a prime focus for many manufacturers because of the applications they offer to staff and management. However, no augmented reality set up offers the level of immersion the HoloLens has displayed. Tesla has been reportedly working with Google Glass on their manufacturing line but the HoloLens seems like it might be the next step in augmented reality for manufacturers and businesses of all kinds.

The applications of this incredible technology is only limited by the imagination of the wearer. Any process that could benefit from bringing an individual that is not immediately available into the mix is now possible with the HoloLens, even if an individual is half way around the globe. As of now, development kits cost around $3,000 but are not currently available for consumer markets. The relatively low-cost is only expected to fall as the manufacturing process continues to improve and components become more affordable. The price as of now is even competitive when compared to other augmented reality systems while also offering more applications than the competition. We’ve talked a lot about the benefits of augmented and virtual reality for industrial manufacturers, but it will be particularly exciting to see how manufacturers put the HoloLens to work.

Additional Resources:

Boosting Your Bottom Line With Virtual Reality & 3D Modeling: https://mfgtalkradio.com/boosting-your-bottom-line-with-virtual-reality-3d-modeling/

Virtual & Augmented Reality’s Impact On Manufacturing: https://mfgtalkradio.com/virtual-augmented-realitys-impact-on-manufacturing/

Sources:

http://www.industrytap.com/hololens-liberates-us-drudgery-2d-experience/35757

http://www.pcworld.com/article/3050455/hands-on-how-hololens-handles-creating-shared-experiences.html