This guest blog was written by Mario López,Innovation Team Lead in Bravent and a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) as part of the Humans of Mixed Reality series. He shares his passion about Mixed Reality and how the companies can integrate it.
Today's reality is shifting - now everything is connected to the internet with gadgets for pretty much everything. Our car gives us directions and the weather of our destination, our fridge lets us know when it's time to do groceries, and a slew of other different devices now help us with many things and help us stay productive. As far as we know, life is easier with the Internet.
This new reality has also made an impact on the way companies work and their productivity. For example, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can be implemented in several processes to automate tasks like customer service or even machinery maintenance.
Nevertheless, although we all know that digital transformation is a must for every kind of business, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a stark contrast in the before and after version of implementation of new technologies. Mixed Reality business applications like Dynamics 365 Remote Assist withHoloLens 2 has helped a lot of businesses improve their productivity and cope with complex challenges that the pandemic brought on. For example, now companies can leverage remote expert support without having to fly anyone across borders, or even conduct remote audits and inspections!
I remember the first time that I tried on the first generation of HoloLens back in 2016. The experience was completely incredible - I was very impressed with how this device was able to interact with the real-world environment and how the user was able to see holograms. But this was only the beginning - in 2019, the HoloLens 2 was released, and everything changed. I was excited to witness the evolution of mixed reality happen, and the dramatic impact it has on our lives.
This new version was completely improved with more comfortable interactions, wider field of vision (FOV), improved hand-tracking, etc. Most importantly, Microsoft decided to focus all of these improvements and features for the need of enterprises and key industries like manufacturing, airspace, military and more.
This new version and updated version is carefully tailored to be used in a business manufacturing environment. Microsoft offers us its new suite of Mixed Reality business applications within Dynamics 365:
Dynamics 365 Remote Assist: a Mixed Reality tool to gain assistance from remote experts from any part of the world, with instant, real-time collaboration and 3D holographic annotations right within one's physical work environment.
Dynamics 365 Guides: a Mixed Reality tool to do guided, step-by-step training for employees with digital overlays.
Dynamics 365 Product Visualize: a Mixed Reality tool for showcasing and customizing products.
All of these applications are readily available from the Microsoft Store, and you just need to purchase the license to use it. In fact, for Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, you don't even need to purchase a head-mounted device; you can use it on iOS and Android mobile devices too! Also, its synchronization with Microsoft Teams makes it easier for users to adapt to.
Here in Spain, a few companies like Bravent where I work, have experimented with the use of Mixed Reality and HoloLens for our own clients. In the last year, due to the pandemic, we were able to implement it on a special company.
Gurutzpe is one of the biggest manufacturing companies in the north side of Spain. At the time of the pandemic, they were already an innovative business, however, Mixed Reality was not on their radar. The main part of their business was to provide full-time assistance to their end clients by dispatching engineers to the client facility and helping solve any issue. Due to the traveling restrictions, this became an important- and seemingly impossible- challenge to face.
When we show them all the potential of HoloLens and Mixed Reality, there were no hesitations. Bringing Dynamics 365 Remote Assist on HoloLens 2 and leveraging Mixed Reality enabled them to assist their clients from their office to a client that is in any place of the world.
The implementation of this helped them not only for their main business use case, but also on the cost optimization (significant reduction) of traveling and its associated expenses. Additionally, now they are able to seamlessly provide remote expert assistance any time and solve problems faster than before, enhancing their customers' experience.
I am very proud to be part of this kind of projects and very excited about the future that awaits us.
If there's one message for you to take away, it's this: Mixed reality is no longer a thing of the future, it is the present.
This technology is more powerful than ever and the value that can brings to a company is immense. Certainly, they will continue to improve day by day and new applications will appear that provide even more value, so betting on this technology will be a guaranteed success for any business. I encourage you to experience this for yourself - you will be amazed!