I haven’t talked about AR/VR products in a couple of months. I guess, based on the fact that it is a new year I can say I haven’t talked about AR and VR technologies this year! There are some wonderful products in the space, and it is an ever-growing list. Hololens by Microsoft is one of the best AR tools I’ve found. First, because it has some business uses that make it interesting and second because the hardware works very well. I use Hololens frequently on conference calls to look things up quickly. A Skype plugs in for Hololens would make it even more effective (hint-hint) as a tool for business meetings.
The other areas that are interesting are the new Microsoft VR headsets for your computer. They are reasonably priced and offer a lot of interesting opportunities. Oculus Rift remains the market leader, and their product continues to improve with every single release. The value proposition is moving away from the bleeding edge. Both Oculus and Hololens are not quite there yet, but the potential for them is pretty high. There is something about watching Hulu on a simulated 100 inch TV that makes the movie experience better!
As is often the case in a technology emerging the biggest initial impact for Oculus is gaming. I think Hololens now, has more business impacts in the short run. Eventually, the world of training and interactive training will catch up to VR, making a business case for Oculus and the Microsoft VR headsets.
That said, both have a bright future! I am extremely excited to have them as tools to consider in my tool chest. I cannot wait until the appliance and other repair organizations realize the power of AR. Use Hololens to show the user what they are fixing, at the same time use the camera in Hololens to make sure they are doing it correctly! Interactive repair systems make things so much easier when we head into the world of doing it yourself.