Microsoft’s Mixed Reality ecosystem is soon to expand to another platform – smartphones.
The company announced this week that it’s bringing apps previously designed for HoloLens to iOS and Android. HoloLens is Microsoft’s AR headset. You slip on a pair of glasses that project virtual objects into the real world. The tech uses positional tracking to allow you to walk around and view virtual images as if they were physical objects. When the tech was first revealed in 2015 it was pretty revolutionary.
But, as time has moved on, everyday smartphones have become increasingly capable of doing what HoloLens does through their screens. Android’s ARCore and iOS’ ARKit both bring convincing AR to phones. To that end, Microsoft will soon publish Dynamics 365 Product Visualize as an iOS preview and Dynamics 365 Remote Assist as an Android preview.
Product Visualize is essentially a 3D model viewer. It lets sellers project their products into real-world spaces. It’s like that classic AR use case of projecting a virtual couch into the corner of your room before you buy the real one.
Remote Assist, meanwhile, is another much-touted use case. It allows people to call remote experts when using complex machinery. The expert is able to give on-screen instructions and walk you through the process.
Microsoft didn’t provide release dates for either app. Both are designed for professional use.
And, no, you shouldn’t take this is a sign that HoloLens itself is in trouble. In fact, we’re expecting Microsoft to announce HoloLens 2 at MWC in Barcelona next week. We’ll be there to check it out.