February 14, 2018 10:00 am

Mixed reality at Microsoft – February update

By / General Manager, Mixed Reality Workplace

Microsoft HoloLens comes to Singapore and United Arab Emirates as HP, Honeywell, and Trimble showcase momentum for mixed reality

It’s hard to believe that 2018 is almost two months old! Speaking on behalf of everyone on the mixed reality team at Microsoft, we are excited about the year to come. We have a lot of fun things planned.

Because I love mixed reality so much, I thought February 14th (Valentine’s Day for those who celebrate) would be the perfect day to kick off a new regular update from us. Each month we will share some news on what we are doing, and we will highlight some of the great work coming to market from our customers and partners.

Let’s get going with what we have to share today!

Making it easier to get your hands on HoloLens

We have heard loud and clear that people are looking for additional ways to get HoloLens. To support that demand we have two important program updates to share.

HoloLens expands to more markets

First, I’m happy to announce we will soon be making HoloLens available in Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. To all the developers, creators, partners, and customers we will now work with – welcome! With these new additions, HoloLens is now available in 41 markets around the world.

HoloLens now available for rent

Second, many of our customers have expressed a desire to rent HoloLens, so that companies can evaluate before purchasing or increase their inventory temporarily to support tradeshows and events.

Today, we are excited to help remove this barrier and announce that customers in North America can now rent a HoloLens from our partners at ABCOMRENTS. We are also working to bring this program to additional markets in the months ahead. We look forward to sharing those details soon.

For those in the USA and Canada who are interested in renting HoloLens devices, please visit this link.

Continued adoption of mixed reality

The best part of my job is seeing what people around the world are doing with mixed reality. The innovation and development we see on the platform inspires us to create the software and tools needed to bring the potential of mixed reality to life.

Over the first six weeks of 2018, we have seen some really great work from our partners and customers. Here are a few of my favorites.

Trimble expands their mixed reality product portfolio

Two men wearing orange vests and hardhats with Microsoft HoloLens

Last month, Trimble announced Trimble Connect for HoloLens and a new hard hat solution for HoloLens that improves the utility of mixed reality for practical field applications. Trimble has paid close attention to how to support HoloLens as a high-value tool for firstline workers and are continuing to increase their impact on the market.

Trimble Connect for HoloLens is a mixed-reality solution that improves coordination by combining models from multiple stakeholders such as structural, mechanical and electrical trade partners. The solution provides for precise alignment of holographic data on a 1:1 scale on the job site, to review models in the context of the physical environment. Trimble Connect for HoloLens is available now through the Microsoft Store.

Trimble’s Hard Hat Solution for Microsoft HoloLens extends the benefits of HoloLens mixed reality into areas where increased safety requirements are mandated, such as construction sites, offshore facilities, and mining projects. The solution, which is ANSI-approved, integrates the HoloLens holographic computer with an industry-standard hard hat. Trimble’s Hard Hat Solution for HoloLens is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2018.

HP unveils Windows Mixed Reality Headset – Professional Edition

Last week, we saw HP announce the HP Windows Mixed Reality Headset – Professional Edition. What we love about this headset is the work HP is doing to enhance the way work is done within a set of industries we also care deeply about – Engineering Product Dev and design reviews, AEC (Architecture, Engineering & Construction) reviews, and MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) training use environments.

HP unveils Windows Mixed Reality Headset – Professional Edition shown with controllers and a monitor

Just like the consumer edition, this headset delivers 1440×1440 resolution per eye and up to a 90Hz refresh rate. For businesses, this headset is the perfect combination of comfort and convenience as it comes with easy to clean, replaceable face cushions. It also uses a double-padded headband, easy adjustment knob and front-hinged display for a superb experience for one or more users.

Honeywell introduces mixed reality simulator to train industrial workforce and help close skills gap

Person wearing Microsoft HoloLens using Honeywell's mixed reality simulator

Earlier this week Honeywell Process Solutions announced a cloud-based simulation tool named Honeywell Connected Plant Skills Insight Immersive Competency. This new offering uses mixed reality to train plant personnel on critical work activities. With as much as 50 percent of industrial plant personnel due to retire within the next five years, Immersive Competency is designed to bring new industrial workers uptospeed quickly by enhancing training and delivering it in new and contemporary ways. By implementing experiences that take advantage of both HoloLens and Windows Mixed Reality immersive headsets, Honeywell has been able to deploy a solution that directly links industrial staff competency to plant performance by measuring the training’s effectiveness based on real outcomes.

We look forward to sharing more next month. If you have any questions or needs, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter – @lorrainebardeen.

And – if you celebrate – enjoy Valentine’s Day! Here’s a little something for you.

Logo that reads "I love mixed reality"

Lorraine

Mixed Reality at Microsoft – February update

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Updated March 26, 2018 5:57 am