Depending on the crowd you are in, you can either look really cool or particularly uneasy when you put on a Virtual Reality headset (see the image below for the latter).
Ultimately, this type of technology definitely looks high tech, but does it have real outcomes that normal businesses can take advantage of?
Outside of the obvious uptake of this technology in the 3D games market, education and health sectors have also taken large strides in the area due to the benefits that it can offer in:
- Conferencing, and
Virtual Reality is being used to train employees in dangerous or risky environments - like pilots training on simulators and surgeons practicing complex procedures, but it is also being used to reduce the training demands on organisations for mechanical roles. Immersive learning at its most powerful!
Conferencing and Collaboration
Virtual Reality is able to bring digital workers together in digital meetings where there is real-time event coverage. Instead of merely seeing the other person on a screen, users can feel as they are in the same room with each other to achieve real collaborative outomces, despite being miles away. Virtual meetings are becoming the norm rather than the exception.
Virtual Reality can save time and money by reducing the need for workers to travel in order to make decisions and complete projects. There is an increasing amount of architects from across the globe that are using Virtual Reality to evaluate designs and Virtual Reality can allow retail shoppers to virtually try on garments or see what homewares will look like in your house.
What is Microsoft's Approach?
Microsoft HoloLens comes in either a Development Edition or Commercial Suite. It takes advantage of the first fully self-contained holographic computer for developers and then further extending that extra enterprise features around security and device management.
The main aim here is to integrate advanced sensors to work closely with the optical systems and processing units so that the user can move freely and interact with holograms.
3rd Party headsets with motion controllers
If you are more interested in Mixed Reality, you can attach your preferred headset with a motion controller to a compatible Windows PC. From there, you can personalize your virtual home with 20k + apps around travel, sports, culture etc. You also have the ability to play movies and open additional screens to improve productivity.
How do you take advantage of this?
HoloLens is the focus of development in the business application space and definitely the space to keep an eye on.
Over the next 12 months, more and more virtual training applications will become available. There are already Australian companies building HoloLens enabled training in rail and other manufacturing industries. The ability to deconstruct an entire train and virtually walk through the parts is already here.
The best recommendation for businesses is to start the process of exploring how this approach to training your staff may increase your speed to market, as opposed to simply a compliance tick list.