Microsoft and Mixed Reality:
A Review of 2018

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Mixed Reality has taken the world by storm with possibilities to visualize, conceptualize and set up remote workspaces through virtual capabilities. Microsoft has made huge strides in this field.

Mixed Reality has taken the world by storm – there are now more possibilities to visualize, conceptualize and set up remote workspaces through virtual capabilities than ever before. Microsoft has made huge strides in this field and is offering greater levels of software integration with headsets and mobile devices, pushing workforce flexibility as a key element of MR initiatives in 2019.

A platform in the form of Dynamics 365 has been selected to help companies familiarize employees with new Mixed Reality concepts more easily, but also to ensure safety and efficiency, along with operational excellence. Being able to virtually transport someone to any location in the world means companies can spend much less time and money worrying about transportation and training, which opens up a world of opportunities elsewhere – manufacturers are going to be spending their resources innovating, instead of solving progress-hindering problems.

These were the three main Mixed Reality milestones from Microsoft in 2018, as explained by Lorraine Bardeen, the General Manager of Mixed Reality Business Apps:

Dynamics 365 and MR have come together: Earlier this year, we shared a broad vision for business applications at Microsoft. As part of that, we focused quite a bit on why mixed reality has joined the Dynamics 365 family. Customers are at the center of Dynamics 365, and we see them reimagining their businesses to remove silos and leverage the vast amounts of data available across their organization in new, powerful ways. Mixed reality provides unique value because it helps employees visualize this powerful data in the context of their jobs, so they can produce greater impact for their organizations.

We launched Dynamics 365 Remote Assist and Dynamics 365 Layout: I am very proud of our team for building and launching our first two mixed reality business applications! These two applications provide out-of-the-box value for our customers using Microsoft HoloLens and help address some of the unmet needs of Firstline Workers. Firstline Workers represent more than two billion people who are in roles that make them the first points of contact between a company and the world it serves. They are often the first to engage, the first to represent a company’s brand, and the first on the scene to address a problem. These two mixed reality solutions help our customers use technology to understand data in context to solve problems and make decisions more quickly.

HoloLens expanded to 41 markets and is available to rent: We made it easier to get your hands on HoloLens by expanding into the United Arab Emirates and Singapore, as well as making it available to rent in the US and Canada so companies can evaluate prior to purchase or temporarily increase their inventory to support tradeshows or events.”

Numerous companies have benefitted from Mixed Reality capabilities, including car manufacturer Toyota and car parts manufacturer ZF.

The people at Toyota were able to take existing 3D CAD data used in the vehicle design process and project it onto real-life vehicles to measure and optimize existing processes in a highly practical manner.

Using HoloLens to detect coating thickness on Toyota Prius
Using HoloLens to detect coating thickness on Toyota Prius

At ZF, floor managers were able to use Remote Assist and Layout to visualize and place assets virtually, as well as increase efficiency and optimize manufacturing business processes. You can check out their story here.

As things stand, 2019 will bring us even greater news related to Mixed Reality, as Microsoft is on the offensive and companies are beginning to see just how much value they can create by adding these new functionalities to existing D365 capabilities. For an overview of what you can do with Dynamics 365, visit this page.

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