18 Jun 2019
Dynamics 365 and Mixed Reality
This year Dynamics 365 took a bold leap into the future with the incorporation of mixed reality. The HoloLens 2 literally creates whole new ways of looking at business and industrial issues.
The HoloLens 2
Mixed reality is Microsoft's term for combining real and virtual objects in one visual experience. Its tool for delivering the experience is the HoloLens 2. The first version shipped in 2016. The HoloLens 2 offers a wider field of vision and more processing power.
It's a wireless device worn over the eyes. The wearer can see normally while viewing virtual objects overlaid on real-world ones. It's aimed not at the consumer market but at business and industry. It features an ARM processor, a holographic processing unit (HPU), and a modified version of Windows 10.
Mixed reality is akin to augmented reality, but it creates a tighter connection between virtual and physical objects. A virtual object can remain anchored to its physical counterpart as the user moves around. In science-fiction movies, users manipulate holographic objects by pointing. The HoloLens 2 may be the closest thing in real life to that. The user can control the virtual objects with hand gestures in the air.
Dynamics 365 Guides
This isn't just a technology for staged demos. Microsoft offers real applications in Dynamics 365 to take advantage of mixed reality. It's a valuable training tool, as shown byDynamics 365 Guides.
Hands-on learning is a tricky process. It requires a lot of going back and forth between the learning environment and the reference materials. Dynamics 365 Guides bring them both together in a single view. The software overlays the object which the learner is working on with identifying information and directions. The MR environment lets users know what they're working with and what they have to do. They can develop skills faster than they'd be able to if they had to keep going back to a computer screen for explanations.
The Guides software provides feedback to program administrators on how the learners are doing. They can find out whether some people are having trouble in specific areas, and they can make informed decisions about when the learner should proceed to the next lesson.
Microsoft will provide tools for creating interactive content. A guide can include photos, videos, and 3D models.
Currently the software is in preview status. Businesses that have HoloLens units can gain experience with it, but it may not be ready for full-scale deployment. Interested parties can sign up for the Preview Insiders Program.
Solving a tough problem often calls for bringing in an expert from a remote location. Having them arrive in person is inconvenient, though, and they can do only so much with a phone call or even a video conference. With Microsoft's Remote Assist, remote experts can offer a more complete presence and a more natural kind of help. As many as 50 people can participate at once.
Experts can share a desktop or application window and have it appear in a technician's HoloLens view. They can indicate and highlight objects as part of the explanation they give. By using gestures, they can draw, place arrows, and add images. The technicians will see them associated with the object the expert is annotating. Voice commands can manipulate virtual objects as well as managing the call.
Adding MR to your business
With the help of the HoloLens and Dynamics 365, employees will have vast new opportunities to improve their skills and collaborate on solving problems. The information and the work environment come together in one view, saving time and making work more intuitive.
We're building a team to bring mixed reality to your business. Contact us to stay informed, and you can be among the first to take advantage of this exciting technology.