Microsoft Corp. has announced two new applications for its augmented reality (AR) device HoloLens that can connect the industrial workplace with AR. The new apps were revealed at the recent Microsoft’s annual developer conference highlighting upcoming products.
Microsoft ‘Remote Assist’ will connect the users in the field with remote help by layering reality while Microsoft ‘Layout’ will let users design floor plans with 3-D layouts.
Technicians in the field often find themselves needing to apply their knowledge on the fly and often collaborate with experts on the phone or over devices when reference materials cannot cover what’s needed. With Microsoft Remote Assist, a distant experts can see exactly what the technician is seeing via a video call and can even annotate and augment the reality that the technician sees on the fly.
Remote Assist connects with Microsoft’s collaboration tool teams to allow image sharing and AR annotation. Using freehand drawing, both the technician in the field and the remote expert can “draw” over the technician’s vision with colored lines and arrows.
It’s also possible to display images, such as 3-D renderings of equipment or components alongside reference sheets to help facilitate technical communication.
The Remote Assist development for HoloLens follows two years of customer feedback to Microsoft about the usefulness of AR for collaboration.
Layout provides a sense of context and space not available with in 2D drawings or 3D computer renderings also allows users to “visualize” how equipment will positioned in relation to other equipment on the production floor. Layout also allow users to measure the distance between objects in the visual field allowing for exact placement.