Microsoft Ignite Spring 2021 is a wrap! Were you able to participate and tune in live this year? We hope you had a great experience! If you missed the sessions being played live, fret not as we've got you covered with this recap. Read on to all get caught up.
Technologists around the world once again virtually converged for a 48-hour event jam-packed with topics such as driving innovation with cloud, evolving into a new reality with mixed reality, adapting to hybrid work world, and more. The conference kicked off on a high note with Satya's keynote, which spotlighted organizations such as Mt Sinai Hospital and Kruger using Dynamics 365 Mixed Reality business application solutions like Remote Assist and Guides respectively. Mixed Reality was also prominently featured front and center in Alex Kipman's keynote on Microsoft Mesh that included impressive visuals that garnered strong enthusiasm from technologists and the press alike, gaining coverage on media including Forbes, The Verge, ZDNet and more.
Additionally, we hosted a slew of interactive D365 Mixed Reality Connection Zone live sessions which included topics like switching to a mixed reality career, exploring real-life applications in healthcare, and how mixed reality truly augments and enhances the way we work.
Microsoft Ignite: Day 1 (Tuesday, March 2)
Alex Kipman revealed how Microsoft is bringing mixed reality to collaboration through a first-of-its-kind immersive keynote experience, delivered through a new platform, Microsoft Mesh. Through an integration of Microsoft Mesh with other enterprise solutions such as Microsoft Teams and Dynamics 365, we can all envision a future that includes building a wide variety of new and exciting 3D experiences on Mesh.
Mixed Reality Connection Zone sessions proved to be highly popular as well, with thousands of attendees participating in real-time across both days. On Day 1, we kicked off with the So you want to switch to a career in Mixed Reality moderated by Mixed Reality BizApps Program Manager Amara Anigbo, who facilitated a meaningful dialog between four successful women in a variety of interesting MR-related roles across Microsoft. They shared tips and tricks on how to get started in switching to a career in mixed reality, in addition to sharing their own unique, personal journey into the MR world.
Speaker stories included:
Amara Anigbo, a Mixed Reality Program Manager at Microsoft and a recent graduate of Dickinson College where she received her B.S. in Computer Science. Amara believes in empowering those around her to achieve more and aspire for greatness. Read her story here.
Catherine Diaz, a software engineer that worked on the Mixed Reality Toolkit (MRTK) for Unity. She has contributed to various items in the MRTK such as Leap Motion support, Tap to Place and other mixed reality input related components.
Archana Iyer, a Product Manager in the Mixed Reality team. Archana’s day job involves helping build the Mixed Reality Object Understanding offering. She has worked on other Mixed Reality cloud solutions such as Azure Spatial Anchors and Azure Remote Rendering as a developer. She also has experience with large scale services from her time spent in Office 365.
April Speight, an author and developer advocate based in Beverly Hills, CA. In January 2020, she and a team of 4 ambitious developers created Spell Bound, a VR learning experience designed to help children with dyslexia and dysgraphia learn letter formation and word recognition. Their team won Best in Learning, Education and Research as well as Best in Health and Wellness + Medical at the MIT Reality Hack. She has since taken on a role as a Sr. Cloud Advocate with the Spatial Computing technology team at Microsoft helping to onboard beginners in the XR space.
Each individual took a "leap of faith" on Mixed Reality. Each speaker took a risk by stepping into the Mixed Reality. For example, Niels Broekhaus started his career as a Nurse, inspired by working in Healthcare. He had his first experience with HoloLens, saw many opportunities, and began to find ways to innovate the healthcare market to be more sustainable, contemporary and efficient.
They also shared their community resources and how to get started in Mixed Reality. Xerxes recommended inclusive design resources and expresses the importance of accessibility to all humans. He recommends Microsoft's Inclusive Design toolkit. Alexander also recommended using the MRTK for Unity as a quick developer tool, an open-source, cross-platform development kit for mixed reality applications.
The speakers also talked about how to bring awareness to Mixed Reality and how important it is to engage future innovators and students. Alexandra shared about a ongoing student project group in Amsterdam that will be focusing on Dynamics 365 Remote Assist usage in healthcare. Alexander Meijers also shared about the importance of personally experiencing the HoloLens firsthand, and how essential it is to the future of MR.
Lastly, they shared about their human experiences with MR/HoloLens and what was so memorable about involving others in the process.
Microsoft Ignite: Day 2 (Wednesday, March 3)
We continued the excitement on Day 2 with the session, Intro to Mixed Reality Business Apps + Real-Life Use Cases in Healthcare, featuring Katie Glerum, a Global Health Program Manager at Mount Sinai Health System, and Payge Winfield, a Mixed Reality solutions architect at Microsoft. Payge kicked off the conversation by sharing how you can get started infusing mixed reality into your everyday life and build confidence with Mixed Reality Business Apps like Remote Assist. She also walks us through core Mixed Reality deployment steps and best practices:
You can also read her comprehensive Remote Assist Best Practices Deployment Guidehere.
Katie Glerum then shared about her first-hand experience of how Microsoft tech has helped enable global shared surgery across both the Mt. Sinai Hospital New York and their counterparts in Uganda. She shared the sobering statistic that currently over 5 billion people worldwide do not have access to safe and affordable surgery. In Uganda, 84% of the population lives in a rural area and over 75% must travel more than 2 hours for basic/essential surgical care. She shared about how Mt Sinai Hospital is using Microsoft technologies such as Dynamics 365 Remote Assist on HoloLens and Microsoft Teams to conduct critical, life-saving surgery and enabling real-time collaboration and knowledge sharing between New York City and Uganda:
Mixed Reality HoloLens + Dynamics 365 Remote Assist enables knowledge share from surgeon in NYC to surgeons in Uganda, making surgical care to accessible to their community.
To wrap up the event, we had an engaging community table talk on Mixed Reality Business Applications. This was an informal way to chat with technologists and MR enthusiasts about all things MR Biz Apps across Dynamics 365 and Power Platform with Business Applications MVPs Mary Angiela Cerbolles, Daniel Christian, and Microsoft Indonesia Mixed Reality consultant Adityo Setyonugroho.
We are truly humbled and excited to share the future of tech in the mixed reality space with thousands of attendees on a global scale. We hope you will join us at the next Microsoft Ignite event this fall!
Catch the sessions above on-demand! Recording links below:
What was favorite Mixed Reality session at Microsoft Ignite? Why?
What do you hope to see from us at the next virtual conference?
Can't wait till the next Microsoft Ignite? Join us at our next Mixed Reality x Microsoft Reactor session where we're bringing back Anj Cerbolles, Daniel Christian and Adityo Setyonugroho on March 18 @ 8am PT once again to chat about Mixed Reality in Dynamics 365 and Power Platform.