XR Talks is a weekly series that features the best presentations and educational videos from the XR universe. It includes embedded video, as well as narrative analysis and top takeaways.
Following keynotes from fellow tech giants focused on consumer XR, Microsoft’s Build conference differentiated with an enterprise focus (video below). This isn’t surprising, given Microsoft’s enterprise DNA, and the fact that its biggest XR play is the enterprise-focused Hololens.
Through that, it’s learned that enterprise functions most in need of AR are remote assistance and spatial planning. These will be launched first, followed by Hololens software for training and product design collaboration. Remote assistance can be particularly valuable, as we’ve examined.
“First line workers can bring an expert right where they need them, and they can share what they’re seeing,” said Microsoft’s Lorraine Bardeen. “Experts don’t have to hop on a plane to solve problems. This expedites their troubleshooting and it eliminates a ton of travel costs.”
Interestingly, this brings Microsoft into software (where it’s DNA naturally is), and beyond the hardware-centric approach it’s taken so far with Hololens. One question this raises is where it leaves software players that have erstwhile operated on Hololens, such as Scope AR.
Overall, Microsoft’s move into remote assist software is good for the sector and all players, as it validates the technology and seeds a larger marketplace. And players like Scope AR will still operate accross devices such as tablets and headsets that continue to include Hololens.
Lastly, Microsoft’s move into software for Hololens makes it more vertically integrated (very Apple). This makes sense, giving its orbiting suite of enterprise software (Azure, et al). It also invokes the interplay between AR and IOT and shows once again that they belong together.
“When you design for Hololens, you’re designing for this first person point of view,” said Bardeen. “And then when you design for IOT, you’re coding against the real world… we believe it’s the combination of these two things that’s going to increase the value of your applications.”
See the XR segment of the Build conference below, coded to start at the relevant point. As always with tech giant keynotes, fair warning about overly promotional and scripted rhetoric. The products have importance if you squint past the Kool-aid fueled keynotes.
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Disclosure: ARtillry has no financial stake in the companies mentioned in this post, nor received payment for its production. Disclosure and ethics policy can be seen here.