Microsoft Introduces New AR/VR Apps for Remote Assistance, Layout Visualization


Microsoft appears to be seeing strong traction with HoloLens in the enterprise space, and the company continues to expand its “Mixed Reality” platform in that sector, promising businesses time and money savings. Two new applications from the company aim to bring useful underlying functionality to enterprises.

Revealed on the Windows 10 Blog today, Microsoft Remote Assist is a new HoloLens app which seeks to remotely connect firstline workers—those who go hands-on to fix issues and maintain important equipment—with those who can support them with important information. The app steams a first-person view from the worker (via HoloLens), and allows collaborators to remotely annotate the view in real-time. It appears that the annotations aren’t just simple picture-on-picture markings, but actual augmented annotations that properly ‘attach’ to the view of the real world. Images can also be inserted into the scene.

In the concept video above, we can see that the collaborators are able to connect across different devices, including PC and mobile, offering a floating video chat window to the HoloLens user. Microsoft says this is made possible through Microsoft Teams integration, and the company promises “industry-leading identity and security measures”—especially important as businesses may be broadcasting sensitive information over such platforms.

The second application the company introduced today is Microsoft Layout. Supporting both HoloLens and Windows VR headsets, the application aims to help big businesses create virtual layouts for large facilities, in order to ensure that equipment fits correctly before being purchased and brought into the facility. The app also supports collaboration by connecting stakeholders to a feed of the virtual layout for discussion and editing in real-time.

The concept video above shows how layouts can be viewed just as easily through HoloLens or Windows VR headsets.

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Microsoft says that both applications will be part of Microsoft 365, and launch as a limited-time free previews on May 22nd. Interested parties should head here to learn more about participating in the previews.

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