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Why Mixed Reality is the Future of Today's Workplace
Tuesday 18 April 2017
We are on the precipice of enormous change. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us and, like the First, our concept of work and the workplace is feeling the impact.
Whereas the introduction of mechanical production saw the labour force displaced, the new wave of technologies today are supporting staff, improving the way they work together, redefining the traditional 9-5 and untethering the traditional office.
Playing a part in this is, of course, Mixed Reality and the blending of the physical and the digital realms. From the boardroom to the design studio, classroom to construction site, this emerging technology will bring about real change and improve efficiency, collaboration and communication.
Here are three reasons why Mixed Reality is the future of today’s workplace:
1. It’s Windows
The HoloLens, the current leader in Mixed Reality technology has been built by Microsoft, the tech giant of Windows fame. The fact that the technology has been built on the Windows framework means good news for businesses who don’t need to learn an entirely new interface in order to incorporate HoloLens.
Despite Apple almost being de rigeur at home with Macs and iPhones, Windows continues to be the standard for the majority of companies for its resilience, hardware and strong client support.
The underlying operating system of HoloLens is Windows 10, which means everyday work tools like Cortana, Word and Skype are already integrated into the system. As such, there is no real barrier to entry, and anybody can pick up the hardware and learn how to use it with relative ease.
With such accessibility, HoloLens has the potential be incorporated into a variety of practices in various sectors. Architects, for example, can bring flat plans and renders to life and gain an edge in an industry built on pen and paper.
Designers, creators and engineers alike will benefit from the ability to collaborate and see their designs in real-time. When co-workers are able to design or alter their creation and then see how it looks as a 3D hologram, it brings about new possibilities for the creative process.
No longer will expensive models need to be created but multiple iterations of cars, games, furniture, buildings - you name it - can be made. Mixed reality allows truly immersive collaboration to take place that has never been seen before.
It also shows the possibility of a new way to engage clients, bringing complex data to life for deeper understanding and consultancy. Kazendi’s HoloElection app shows how data visualisation in the form of US voting behaviours can make a complicated process like the presidential election far more digestible and memorable.
3. Remote Possibilities
Whether it is a lecturer giving a class to students around the world or a construction worker overlaying designs of a building,, Mixed Reality opens up the scope for remote working like never before. With Mixed Reality, the boundaries of every workplace become infinite. Work that could not previously be collaborative now can be and situations that would usually require scheduling meetings weeks in advance can be solved in minutes.
Last year, Kazendi was tasked with the challenge of building Europe’s first shared holographic experience. Commissioned by Selligent, a software solution for marketers, HoloCampaign allowed multiple users to view and engage with the same holographic experience. While these users were in the same room, there is the potential for users to be in cities around the world, giving opinions and sharing ideas no matter what timezone they are in.
The work tool of the future
As we have seen time and time again - from those who failed to log a domain name or Twitter handle until late in the game, to those who simply did not understand that “the latest gimmick” was in fact the way customers now wanted to interact - early adopters can find themselves at a huge advantage whilst the cautious never truly catch up.
There are myriad uses for Mixed Reality across multiple industries, and new apps are being created all the time. While Mixed Reality may seem futuristic today, the truly innovative can already see how this technology will soon be a commonplace tool in tomorrow’s workplace.