Microsoft has announced that its augmented reality device the HoloLens has officially passed a number of certifications for impact and dust protection making it eligible to be used as protective eyewear.
Not only that, but the markets that it’s available in has more than doubled, going from 10 to 39 different countries.
These announcements come as part of Microsoft’s Future Decoded conference taking place in London. In the release, Microsoft highlights some of the (pretty cool) uses of the HoloLens that companies have created so far, including Ford using the headset to prototype its car designs.
Working for the workers
Microsoft addressed the different uses for HoloLens, pointedly referencing the uses for ‘Firstline Workers’ and ‘Information Workers’. By dividing the workforce into these two distinct groups, Microsoft identifies the uses that are for video conferencing, and desk work, but on the other end of the spectrum for those working away from a desk.
In the accompanying video (below), the example is given of an electrical workman who is able to bring up instruction manuals and video call an expert, without ever having to look up from the task at hand.
And it’s these workers that will most benefit from HoloLens’ new certification. Really doubling down, Microsoft is actually working on a version of the headset that sits within a hard-hat.
The applications of the augmented reality headset are obvious, it can allow people to interact with a ‘finished’ digital render of whatever job they are working on, allows them to identify and research items in front of them, without ever having to get up from the job in hand.
That doesn’t mean that Hololens is entirely for business – it’s only a few months ago that we heard about Ubisoft working on a Toy Soldiers and a Rabbids game for the device, and with the proliferation of AR in gaming at the moment, the Microsoft device is an obvious platform.
Hopefully, with the emerging markets of VR and AR, the continued spread and desire for use in the business world will lead to greater developments in the entertainment sector. Undoubtedly Microsoft’s developments are being fed into their range of ‘mixed reality’ headsets that are starting to hit the market.
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Andrew London is a writer at Velocity Partners. Prior to Velocity Partners, he was a staff writer at Future plc.