Microsoft Adds Collaboration Capabilities to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Guides for HoloLens 2
Microsoft this week described enhancements to its Microsoft Dynamics 365 Guides add-on to HoloLens 2, which is its mixed-reality headset.
The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Guides add-on is used to provide step-by-step instructions to workers via 3-D models. This Guides add-on is now combined with the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist add-on, which is used for worker collaborations involving shared views.
The latest Dynamics 365 Guides release "combines these two mixed reality apps [Guides and Remote Assist] into a single seamless experience," Microsoft's announcement stated.
Microsoft still presently sells Guides and Remote Assist as separate add-ons. The possible licensing implications of the Guides enhancement weren't described.
Microsoft indicated in another announcement that it combined the Guides and Remote Assist functions for HoloLens 2 at the request of car manufacturer Toyota. The combination improves Toyota's collaborations and training efforts.
"Someone can grab a HoloLens, start a Guides session, and literally have a trainer in their head," said David Kleiner of Toyota Motor North America's Applied Technology Research Lab, as cited by Microsoft. "If they do need help, they can call an expert right from the app."
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Guides users also have access to Teams for messaging, OneDrive for document storage and calendar items, Microsoft explained, regarding the enhancement. Those capabilities are part of the general improvements arriving with latest add-on updates.
"Microsoft's latest wave of updates is combining its key Dynamics 365 Mixed Reality Apps and adding Microsoft Teams and OneDrive to existing integrations with Azure and Power Platform," Microsoft explained.
Six U.S. Toyota Logistics Centers are using HoloLens 2 for training and collaborations, and there are plans for rollouts to the car company's Canada and Mexico centers as well, Microsoft's announcement indicated.
Other Industrial Metaverse Collaborations
Another organization using Microsoft's mixed-reality solutions is the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It uses an immersive graphics app built by Clirio to train people on safe trench-digging scenarios.
Hokkaido Electric Power Company is using HoloLens 2 and Dynamics 365 Remote Assist with a custom-built app to inspect thermal power plant equipment.
Microsoft also described the U.S. Army as a customer that is helping to shape its mixed-reality efforts, although the details weren't elucidated.
Overall, Microsoft described these improvements as being part of its "industrial metaverse" work, where organizations work with 3-D representations of physical objects or they graphically build "digital twins" of industrial or outdoor spaces.
Most of Microsoft's publicized metaverse work so far seems to fall in the industrial category. For a general outline of Microsoft's metaverse concepts, see this ESJ.com article.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.