Just as 4K displays and Ultra HD screen technology are opening up new possibilities for mobile and other devices, Microsoft has unveiled its new immersive headset, the HoloLens. Similar, but still distinct from the Oculus Rift, the HoloLens’s USP is the way it maps content onto objects in the real world. Microsoft, as you might expect, have been keen to broadcast the potential of the HoloLens for gamers and for everyday interaction with the ‘Internet of Things’. However, Microsoft has also presented the HoloLens as a useful tool for business. Read on for a snapshot of some possible applications of the HoloLens for healthcare, education and design.

Education

The introduction of interactive whiteboards and the increasing accessibility of tablets have made a significant impression on the use of technology at the chalkface. This trend looks set to continue, with HoloLens offering a range of remarkable uses for teaching and learning. Microsoft themselves have demonstrated how the headset can already be used to provide complete, interactive models of human anatomy for medical students. In addition to possible applications in the sciences, architecture and engineering, it is surely only a matter of time before developers come up with apps designed to aid arts and humanities students. Between 4K monitors and the HoloLens, education is becoming particularly hi-res!

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Photo by Isriya via Flickr

Healthcare

Microsoft was also keen to point out the possible uses of the HoloLens for healthcare professionals. Take the example of a cardiologist performing heart surgery. With HoloLens technology, it becomes possible for her or him to guide colleagues through the procedure and make notes simultaneously. Equally, consultants and doctors could integrate HoloLens into the diagnosis and management of patients, whether by using it to explain a particular condition or monitor a course of treatment.

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Photo by Isriya via Flickr

Design

Architecture and design are two fields where the HoloLens promises to have an almost immediate impact. With the help of Microsoft’s HoloStudio and a 3D printer, it’s possible to bring 3D objects to life as full-size holograms, editing and improving their design through a series of intuitive gestures. Twinned with cloud computing, the HoloLens will allow design professionals to collaborate and communicate with each other, wherever they happen to be.

Widening Possibilities

Since all universal Windows apps will be compatible with HoloLens, the range of possibility extends well beyond the examples given here. For instance, a fully interactive version of Skype could lead to enormous advances – and efficiencies – in areas such as customer service and technical support. Instead of having to watch a series of YouTube videos to find out how to fix your computer, a trained advisor can take you through the process step by step.

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Photo by Microsoft Sweden via Flickr

With new applications and uses for HoloLens being conceived all the time, the possibilities opened up by augmented reality technology are becoming quite exciting! HoloLens is due for release later this year and its success or failure will ultimately depend on development and crucially, demand.

Have you started planning for world of wearables and holographic technology? Or are you yet to be convinced of the potential for your business?