As you can see from The Evolution of Interaction, we have evolved from Point/Click/Type which is your desktop environment to Smart Screens having Touch/Swipe/Talk. The Smart Screens is what we are currently in and as a developer you can use tools like Xamarin, Visual Studio to target various platforms including Windows.

HoloLens was released before the Build Toronto event and we signed up quickly and ordered a device, but this is the Intuitive Interaction ‘phase’ we are moving to.  Using the existing applications available, we have visited Machu Picchu in Peru, the Colosseum in Rome and the entire Galaxy.  The games are a ton of fun with aliens coming out the walls to shoot you – they can break any real world object in your view.  We have played with it and learned a lot about what HoloLens is capable of and what you can do with the SDK.

Games are great.  But, what can augmented reality (AR) do to solve business problems?  The possibilities are very interesting.

Virtual reality is about being immersed in another world – it’s a complete sensory experience, which is not as effective with real world solutions past the conceptual stage.  With HoloLens, and augmented reality, you have the potential to solve real world operational issues.  From an industry standpoint- once you connect all of these things together – your IoT devices connected to your backend talking to your HoloLens – the solution options are endless.  HoloLens is spatially aware and you can see what’s happening in the moment in the real world.  There are already some great examples of the technology in use, like with Japan Airlines.  

SEE ALSO: Microsoft Build 2016 Toronto: IoT and Azure

RedBit is developing proof of concepts and prototypes for interior design, engineering and commercial and residential construction.


AR is a better way to visualize and action your data.  Right now, you can see real time analytics coming from your IoT devices, but you still need to be behind a screen.  With HoloLens, you can see that data on the site, at the spot of the sensor, and be able to make decisions and take immediate action if warranted.  Any data that can be visualized in real time across different industries is a great source for augmented reality. For example, sensor data can be used to monitor key components used to drill or refine oil. The two videos below help illustrate how data, sensors and AR can be applied in two industrial settings.

Where to Start?

To get started, you can create a 2D app in UWP (Universal Windows Platform) across all platforms including HoloLens.  For 3D you would require a Unity plugin to begin to play with 3D games, training programs, etc.  Internally, we are doing some interesting things with e-commerce augmentation and future looks pretty cool. If you want to learn more about the differences between AR, VR and mixed reality check out the video below. To learn more about building a 2D UWP app for Microsoft HoloLens watch the Build 2016 session below or contact us.

Listen to our chat with Mark where he answers the following questions:

  • What have you been doing with HoloLens so far?
  • What practical uses for industry and companies do you see for “mixed reality” or augmented reality? How is it different from VR?
  • Are there specific tools and technologies required to create a solution for HoloLens?

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