Monday, July 2, 2018

Mixed Reality

Mixed reality (MR) was defined in 1994 by Paul Milgram and Fumio Kishino as "...anywhere between the extrema of the virtuality continuum". Microsoft has adopted the term for its own platform, Windows Mixed Reality, to help group Virtual and Augmented reality. The technology has been accessible to developers and businesses for a few years now, yet, the clear majority of applications belonging to this not-so-new market are still mainly composed by single person experiences.

This is surely appropriate for a lot of business cases, such as visualisation of data that should only be accessible by the interested party, or training on specific single-user scenarios.

It is also not surprising that a person wearing a headset, gives the impression of “digital isolation” and inspires the idea that MR is more suitable for solo experiences and one-to-environment interactions. An impression that is often misleading.

If we talk about games and entertainment, for example, several multi-player experiences show that it is possible to create immersive and engaging virtual experiences, where users interact with each other and share the same content.

In the business environment, however, not only does there seem to be a resistance for adopting MR, but it is evident to us, that there is a lack of understanding of how this technology could improve collaboration and productivity within teams, possibly involving clients as well.

What could these scenarios be? The list is literally never-ending.

Obviously, any kind of situation that requires cooperation and involves expensive set-ups or dangerous situations, could potentially be recreated in a digital version. Reducing costs and risks is surely an objective of most companies, if not all, and MR could easily be leveraged to achieve better results with lower risks and costs.

Thinking out of the box is paramount for business oriented people (and developers), wishing to work with bleeding edge technologies. Developers who want to engage and experiment in building mixed reality applications, for cooperative scenarios can really go wild, since not much has so far hit the public eye in a significant way. At nsquared, we have brainstormed several scenarios related to what we do best: facilitating cooperation in the work space and improving the outcomes of business meetings.

Our development facility, featuring multiple Microsoft HoloLens’ and immersive headsets allowed us to experiment and develop several ideas and solutions that would be compelling to many businesses using meeting spaces, multi-user interaction, and visual data. Difficult to explain in words, even more difficult to understand the potential of this technology unless you try first hand.

If you are interested in seeing how mixed reality could change the way you do business, contact us and book a hands-on demonstration.

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