3 New Features in Dynamics 365 Guides Version 9.0
Published Oct 26 2023 04:10 PM 4,509 Views

Dynamics 365 Guides continues to roll out improvements, with the latest set of new features resulting from working closely with our customers on their feedback. These three features enhance and expand usability and user experience. These features make it easier than ever to build and share your guides content.


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Object Anchors

Imagine being able to walk up to any object and your HoloLens 2 scans and recognizes it.  A holographic overlay snaps to the object without a QR code or any extra physical markers. This is exactly how object anchors work in Guides. They allow users to embed instructions and other holographic content to a specific physical object. 


Object Anchors are now generally available as an additional anchoring method. We have been previewing and refining this feature while customers have been eagerly awaiting integrating it into their processes. This is made possible by Microsoft's robust spatial computing technology platform that has set much of the foundation for mixed reality development.


Higher Level of Detail for Smaller Objects:

Object Anchors provide a highly accurate method for positioning holograms.  This accuracy addresses positional drift, which is a core problem in computer vision science. When drift happens, holograms may move slightly from their intended position. For precision workflows there is very little tolerance for inconsistency from drift. With Object Anchors, we have increased the geometric level of detail which significantly reduces the potential for drift.  


HoloLens 2 builds a 3D map of your environment in order to understand what is around you. Before today, the 3D map was limited at a 4 centimeter resolution. With our improved Object Anchor feature, users can choose a refined method for 2 centimeter resolution. This option results in higher accuracy for holographic positions and is a substantial improvement. We recommend using the 2 centimeter resolution for detecting objects smaller than 2 meters across. 


Scan Quality Control:

Detecting objects on HoloLens 2 happens very rapidly. However, as you capture the object from more angles and points of view, the ability of the HoloLens2 to accurately pinpoint the object in space increases. If a scan is done too quickly, it can reduce accuracy and omit necessary detail. Authors can now adjust the settings to require a higher level of scan. For example, in order to proceed, the operator would be required to scan 70% of the object (or whatever minimum level the author sets). Authors can tune scans this way, to get more reliable, more consistent scans every time a scan occurs.


Improved Positioning for Large Objects:

We have improved precision and flexibility for positioning large object anchors. When a user scans the large object, Guides now records accurate observations of the object’s surface from many viewpoints to calculate a more accurate center point for the object. This technique improves accuracy of attached holograms to 2-3 cm and works great together with tuning the minimum scan % to ensure scans include even more viewpoints.


Improved Detection of Dark and Shiny Objects:

Detection of dark and reflective objects has always been a challenge as HoloLens2 uses light to detect the surface of objects. Together with the June 2023 release of the OS, Guides now receives an increased amount of depth information from the sensors, to better detect these types of objects.


Packaged Guides

Guides are created as live step-by-step procedural guidance for on-the-job assistance, procedural compliance, or training. Up until now, guides could not be easily shared as a document. We heard the feedback and made guides as easy to share out as any other type of large file. With this new feature, users can package a guide, just like zipping up a file, and then share this packaged guide.


Not only can the guide now be shared, but this also serves as a point-in-time saved version of the guide. Guides can be packaged throughout their lifecycle and shared with auditors to ensure quality and maintain a record of guides usage.


Guides often contain proprietary or sensitive content, so when packaging a guide customers should consider that much like a PowerPoint deck, once it is shared, the content of the guide can be viewed by whoever accesses the file. However, a packaged guide becomes view only on HoloLens and cannot be edited.


Switching Environments

Dynamics 365 Guides now has enhanced versatility for environments. Originally designed for HoloLens 2, we are excited to announce that this feature now extends to PC users, empowering all users to seamlessly switch between environments.


Within HoloLens 2, you can go to the activity menu and select the switch environment button. This allows users to transition effortlessly in the environment selection window, eliminating the need for cumbersome sign-in/sign-out processes. This is particularly beneficial for users managing multiple environments within a tenant and administrators seeking more efficient oversight.


HoloLens 2 users also have the "switch environment” button accessible in kiosk mode. In kiosk mode, customers will not see the sign-out button, but they will see the switch environment button. It is important to note that switching environments will conclude ongoing calls, close active guides, and disrupt any annotations during a call. These enhancements promise a smoother experience for users on both platforms.


Try the new Guides Update

The latest release of Dynamics 365 Guides version 9.0 represents a significant leap forward in the realm of mixed reality technology. With enhanced object anchoring, streamlined collaboration through packaged guides, and the ability to switch between environments, businesses using mixed reality for training, maintenance, and collaboration have terrific new potential to explore. These new capabilities offer newfound precision, flexibility, and efficiency for all users. As mixed reality technology continues to evolve, Guides stands at the forefront of empowering frontline businesses in the digital age.

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‎Oct 26 2023 04:10 PM
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