Microsoft showed off how AR could work in a collaborative office environment. Spatial co-founder Anand Agarawala showed off how a virtual meeting might be like when remote participants wear a HoloLens to collaborate on the design of a robot hologram.
The people who appeared in the meeting were represented by holographic avatars. They all could access data from Microsoft productivity apps; Since HoloLens now does ten digit hand tracking, they could pick up virtual documents and toss it to one another in the virtual space. They could even adjust the size and positioning of the robot with their hands and write annotations around the design.
Agarawala says Spatial uses the HoloLens 2’s eye tracking to accurately reflect user eye movements in their avatars in virtual space. The eye tracking is good enough to let avatars “convey subtle levels of user emotion,”
Microsoft will be adding a “Spatial Rooms” tab to Teams. In Spatial Rooms, people can work on projects, customize the room, and come back to continue the work later. The meetings are also more inclusive now, because Spatial is enabling people to join a meeting via the web or smartphone.
None of this was particularly new, when the Hololens was announced at Mobile World Congress back in March we saw a similar demo from Mattel:
The Hololens will cost you $3500 and it’s really just focused on B2B applications. Al though we have to admit that Audi is very active in showing off demos and cross sections of cars to explain a lot of the technology they’re rolling out. They’ve also spun off HoloRide a company turning vehicles into moving theme parks by adding XR with vehicle movement and navigation data.
Hololens and Augmented reality have a place the examples tend to be rather specific and don’t immediately appear to be easy to imagine across industry. This is the trouble with new technology, Hololens at its core is an enabling platform, Microsoft needs to keep pushing the technology forward and we’re sure, that like HoloRide, cool things will come!