Despite past demonstrations of holographic phone calls and fanciful worlds of toadstools and flowers, Microsoft’s augmented reality platform, HoloLens, is about more than fun and games, CEO Satya Nadella told the audience Monday at the company’s Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto.
“I would encourage everyone to look at the applicability of this new medium in the context of everyday business applications, because it will really be the most transformative thing,” Nadella, who’s started referring to the technology as ‘mixed reality,’ said according to TechRepublic.
To prove the point, Microsoft demoed a new program developed by Japan Airlines to train mechanics and other employees. HoloLens displayed a 3D model of a jet engine, allowing an employee to interact with the model and learn more about it using gestures and voice commands. There’s also a virtual cockpit for employees learning to be copilots.
Microsoft has recently touted its other HoloLens partnerships with Volvo, Autodesk, The Cleveland Clinic and architectural design firm Trimble. Through the HoloLens enterprise program, companies can purchase the headsets in bulk and experiment with developing their own apps.
In other HoloLens news, Microsoft has incorporated new build tools into its open-source HoloToolkit, reports Thurrott’s Rafael Rivera. Now available for developers to pull down from Github, they cause a new Build Window to launch, which automates a number of time-consuming tasks that previously had to be done manually.
“A single click can build the Unity project, build the resulting Visual Studio solution, package that output in an appx, and deploy it to the HoloLens emulator or a device,” Rivera writes. Good news for those who have already purchased one of the $3,000 HoloLens dev kits.