The HoloLens from Microsoft is a pair of mixed reality smart glasses. They can be used, for example, as a visual interface for communication between man and technology. A hologram is displayed in the user’s line of sight, which can interact with objects in the real world. Generally, interaction with the HoloLens takes place via speaking and gestures.
At the moment, the HoloLens still comes with a developer kit. This means it is still in the development stage. Nevertheless, there are already many possible areas of application for such head-mounted displays, and the control of these devices can be further optimised with the addition or integration of an auditive interface. As a keyboard is no longer required to enter control commands, the user’s hands remain free and can take care of the actual work.
Possible business cases include:
Once a customer has configured his new car together with the dealer, they can use a virtual interface to view and update the desired model directly in real size, instead of using the computer screen of the dealer.
In the early phases of product design, the aerodynamic properties of new model designs can be viewed directly by the designer within their line of sight, instead of having to use a wind tunnel.
In factories and production sites, test data and error messages could be displayed on the mixed reality glasses of the employees during reworking, for example, and the appropriate repair instructions could then be displayed directly. Furthermore, knowledge databases could be accessed via the glasses or, in the event of complex issues, assistance from experts.
In all of the above-mentioned examples, an auditive interface could be integrated for optimising control of the head-mounted display. As a keyboard is no longer required to enter control commands, the user’s hands remain free and can take care of the actual work, in the production area for example.
The programming of the HoloLens requires a wide range of know-how, such as usability experts, designers and augmented reality developers. Experience in a gaming context can also help when shifting ideas from a 2D to 3D environment. Thanks to its interdisciplinary teams, EXXETA possesses experience in all of these areas.
Unity represents the basis of our applications, which has established itself as a multi-platform game engine for augmented reality (AR) developments. Together with Vuforia, one of the leading AR frameworks, we are creating beautiful new worlds. In principle, the procedures for AR development differ greatly from "traditional" programming. During modelling, scenarios are used much more intensively, as the incorporation of the environment is much more important than it is with normal software design. Each use case brings its own, new challenges. And workshops can no longer really help in such cases, as you need to go onsite and experience the reality of the users. In doing so, individual patterns need to be found, which are aligned with the use case. An important component for optimising control of the head-mounted display in AR environments is voice control. The integration of an auditive interface offers the users even more freedom to move within their augmented virtual reality.
We already see a wide range of use cases for the HoloLens. In order to gain experience with the application, the possibilities and limits of this new technology, numerous EXXETA employees are currently working on topics related to the HoloLens. We are also dealing with the closely-related subjects of augmented reality, virtual reality, visual interfaces, auditive interfaces, chatbots and natural language processing.