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Is the Microsoft HoloLens 3D headset the next great enterprise mobility tool?

There's no shortage of enterprise use cases for Microsoft's HoloLens 3D headset, but its size and cost could prevent true, consumer-driven mobility.

There are plenty of cases where the Microsoft HoloLens 3D headset will fit well in the enterprise, but it's not exactly a mobile tool.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in June that HoloLens, an upcoming augmented reality headset, is part of the company's mobility strategy. That notion seems a bit far-fetched, and HoloLens seems unlikely to be a consumer tool at all at this point. But if Microsoft's messaging is true -- that "holograms mixed with your real world will unlock all-new ways to create, communicate, work, and play" -- it brings to mind several enterprise examples.

The Microsoft HoloLens 3D headset allows users to create, view and interact with holograms that appear as part of the physical world. It could be instrumental in virtually any kind of physical product design process. Facilities teams, engineers and interior designers could use it to depict a floor layout to create new building features or insert furniture. I also love the potential to use HoloLens as a video collaboration tool.

HoloLens will not be a mobile tool initially, because even though it is more elegant than the popular Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, you still will not be walking the streets with it on your head. It also has been rumored to have a price point of over $1,000, which will limit adoption among consumers who drive mobile trends (see: Google Glass).

HoloLens could eventually be a mobile tool if it gets smaller and looks more like a regular pair of eyeglasses. For now, we will evaluate HoloLens for what it is: a great new innovation from Microsoft that may very well end up in your business.

Next Steps

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This was last published in August 2015

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What enterprise use cases do you see for Microsoft HoloLens?
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Enterprises could use HoloLens 3D for a variety of things including simulations and even allowing employees to mark up designs / drawings. 
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We are interested in technology that would enhance the learning experience involving technicians working on complex mechanical devices. Currently the process is captured by video augmented with CGI. Students could view the procedure individually or in a classroom. Sandy Thomson
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