How to Leverage Mixed Reality

March 6, 2017

The ability to observe, collect, analyze, and visualize data has increasingly become a necessity for the success of projects. The importance of data is only bound by our ability to use it to make more informed decisions. Making data interact with its environment is the next step in the evolution of data and data services. New levels of visualization will transform the way we engage our world as we work, train, and collaborate.

In mixed reality, customers are able to blend holograms with the real world around them. How can this technology address the everyday needs of an enterprise or organization? Mixed reality can provide a number of different capabilities to position your organization for mission success.

Employ Mixed Reality in Spatial Planning

Articulating innovative ideas is not easy; it can be difficult to paint a vibrant picture in the mind of a potential customer.
Fifty years ago, architects began to speak of a method called Building Information Modeling, or BIM, which connects engineering drawings with databases of information. BIM equipped those in the building trades to more accurately design, plan, and build a structure.

In recent years, BIM has been combined with virtual reality (VR) technology. While this enables clients to experience a more 3D vision of a space, it has shortcomings. Users immersed in this virtual space cannot leverage the real world around them; they lose the relativity of their own mass and volume in a space.

Now, a new option offers blends both the visual and physical experience of virtual and real space. Mixed reality with Microsoft HoloLens enables users to experience holograms with sensations of mass and volume.

Imagine a world where you can interact during a holographic walkthrough of a room. Stakeholders provide essential feedback before the first purchase order is ever made. They can actually move a holographic object into a desired position while a planner simultaneously captures the change request. Even after the space has been built, the contractors can refer back to the holograms in a plan to make sure the furniture, fixtures, and equipment are placed in the correct locations.

Enhance Training with True-to-Life Blended Experiences

Consider the differences between learning how to perform surgery from a book, from a video, from a model, and then during actual surgery. The closer the training experience gets to the real experience, the more effective it will be.

It is important to realize that mixed reality offers opportunities that are unique from virtual reality (VR). They can be thought of as a hammer and a mallet. While there is an intersection where both VR and mixed reality can satisfy the same use case, each technology should be leveraged for what it does best; they are not substitutes. To that end, it is important to note the key difference—a real world vs. a virtualized world, and what you gain from each.
Mixed reality with HoloLens provides a training experience in situations where the real experience is not safe or cost-effective, such as

  • storage or placement of explosives and hazardous materials,
  • how rescue or medical personnel move objects or people through a space,
  • how a space or objects respond to changes in temperature, and
  • how soldiers move through a military operation across varied terrain.

Mixed reality allows for real space interaction and the use of spatial judgement. With VR technologies, training might take place in an area of about 20 square feet because users are typically tethered to a device and cannot see where they are walking. Mixed reality can take place over a much larger area, such as the real distances they would cover. This allows for fatigue to be introduced into training, including the impact that it can have on judgement.

Mixed reality offers the tactile and muscle memory elements of real world training. By offsetting or overlaying holograms over a work item, users practice the actual muscle movements. This accelerates the learning process by engaging the users’ senses and offering a more realistic experience, a feature not currently possible with VR control inputs.

By taking advantage of the unique visualization offered by mixed reality, enterprises can increase stakeholder buy-in for future infrastructure and training investments, and many other enterprise projects. Experience the full benefits of mixed reality with LMI. 


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