Microsoft appears to be seeing strong traction with HoloLens in the enterprise space, and the company continues to expand its “Mixed Reality” platform in that sector, promising businesses time and money savings. Two new applications to address this, Remote Assist & Layout—announced at Microsoft Build earlier this month—are now available in free, limited-time previews.

Update (05/22/18): Both Microsoft Remote Assist and Microsoft Layout are now available in a free, limited-time preview.

Remote Assist (preview download) requires a HoloLens headset and a Windows 10 PC, iOS, or Android device with Microsoft Teams. Layout (preview download) requires a Windows Mixed Reality immersive headset and compatible PC. At this time it’s uncertain how long the preview period will last.

The original article announcing both apps continues below:

Original article (05/07/18)Revealed on the Windows 10 Blog today, Microsoft Remote Assist is a new HoloLens app which seeks to remotely connect firstline workers—those who go hands-on to fix issues and maintain important equipment—with those who can support them with important information. The app steams a first-person view from the worker (via HoloLens), and allows collaborators to remotely annotate the view in real-time. It appears that the annotations aren’t just simple picture-on-picture markings, but actual augmented annotations that properly ‘attach’ to the view of the real world. Images can also be inserted into the scene.

In the concept video above, we can see that the collaborators are able to connect across different devices, including PC and mobile, offering a floating video chat window to the HoloLens user. Microsoft says this is made possible through Microsoft Teams integration, and the company promises “industry-leading identity and security measures”—especially important as businesses may be broadcasting sensitive information over such platforms.

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The second application the company introduced today is Microsoft Layout. Supporting both HoloLens and Windows VR headsets, the application aims to help big businesses create virtual layouts for large facilities, in order to ensure that equipment fits correctly before being purchased and brought into the facility. The app also supports collaboration by connecting stakeholders to a feed of the virtual layout for discussion and editing in real-time.

The concept video above shows how layouts can be viewed just as easily through HoloLens or Windows VR headsets.

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Microsoft says that both applications will be part of Microsoft 365, and launch as a limited-time free previews on May 22nd. Interested parties should head here to learn more about participating in the previews.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Lucidfeuer

    Those are nice marketing videos.

    • dk

      yep they r making mostly promotional videos ……but devs and regular consumers r constantly uploading real life demos on youtube

  • The one for remote collaborations will be huge for industries. They want exactly that

  • JJ

    None of what they promise is possible without better AR software. Basically without putting a unique tracker image on every item you want to track, its pretty useless and none of these features aside from remote assistance is possible at this time.

  • Facts

    Too bad microsoft lens is an expensive gimmick

    • David Herrington

      While being priced at what enterprises are more willing to spend, I wouldn’t call it a gimmick. It’s just an early example of what the industry will be moving towards.

  • oompah

    MS as always MS
    live with it