Tag Archives: Microsoft HoloLens

Announcing Windows 10 China Government Edition and the new Surface Pro

Today in Shanghai, China we announced that with strong support of CETC and Microsoft, CMIT, our joint venture has now developed Windows 10 China Government Edition for China government customers and Lenovo will be one of the first OEM partners to preinstall Windows 10 China Government Edition; introduced the most versatile laptop—the new Surface Pro—with up to 13.5 hours of battery life; revealed the new Surface Pen, twice as accurate as the previous version with more fluid writing, drawing, and tilt; celebrated the launch of Microsoft HoloLens in China; and shared that Project Scorpio will launch in China later this year.

It is an honor and privilege today to be in China—the center place of some of the world’s most life-changing inventions like paper, the abacus, and the world’s first movable type printing press. These inventions have empowered each of us to be more creative and productive.

The Windows ecosystem is thriving around the world thanks to the many contributions from teams in China–silicon engineers, systems engineers, software developers, so many other technology partners.  Every day our Chinese partners Lenovo, Xiaomi, and Huawei are building new devices and experiences that light up Windows 10 for our customers.  Together, we’re inspiring a generation of creators to do more, create more, be more productive, and have more fun.

Today, we made several Windows 10, Surface, HoloLens, and Xbox announcements to empower the creator in each of us.

Windows 10 China Government Edition

Windows 10 China Government Edition

For more than two decades, Microsoft has had the distinct honor to work in China, learning and advancing technology together. Over the last two years, we have earnestly cooperated with the Chinese government on the security review of Windows 10. The Chinese government has the highest standards for security. The tools they choose to use for productivity and creativity must meet the highest levels of quality.

Today on stage I was honored to welcome Ms. Beth Xu, CEO of CMIT—the joint venture between Microsoft and CETC—to share that CMIT has developed a version of Windows 10 specifically for the Chinese government and state-owned entities.

Three government customers are the first to pilot Windows 10 China Government Edition – at the national level with China Customs, at the regional level with the City of Shanghai (EITC), and the state-owned enterprise with Westone Information Technology.

The Windows 10 China Government Edition is based on Windows 10 Enterprise Edition, which already includes many of the security, identity, deployment, and manageability features governments and enterprises need.  The China Government Edition will use these manageability features to remove features that are not needed by Chinese government employees like OneDrive, to manage all telemetry and updates, and to enable the government to use its own encryption algorithms within its computer systems.

We also announced that Lenovo will be one of the first OEM partners to preinstall Windows 10 China Government Edition on new devices.

It’s an honor to have this partnership with the China government, CETC, CMIT, and Lenovo.

Windows 10 is the most secure version of Windows ever, and we’re humbled that governments around the world like the U.S. Department of Defense, the Australian Health Department, and the Italian Ministry of Defense are choosing Windows 10 for their security, and now the Chinese government has a version of Windows created specifically for it.  We are committed to work tirelessly to meet their needs.

Introducing the new Surface Pro—the most versatile laptop

The new Surface Pro

Surface has always been about empowering people to be more creative, collaborative, and productive. We were inspired to create the 2:1 category with Surface Pro 3, to redefine the ultimate laptop with Surface Book, to transform the desktop into a digital canvass with the Surface Studio, and to deliver the perfect balance of portability, performance, and elegance with Surface Laptop.

Today, we unveiled the next generation of the iconic Surface Pro line. The new Surface Pro delivers up to 13.5 hours of battery life—50% more battery life than the Surface Pro 4 and 35% more than an iPad Pro. It’s more than 2.5 times faster than Surface Pro 3.

Surface Pro is not only a powerhouse laptop, but also a mobile creative studio with a vibrant 12.3” PixelSense touch display that supports the Surface Dial and the new Surface Pen – the fastest pen ever. Twice as accurate as the previous version, the new Surface Pen when coupled with the new Surface Pro, sets the industry standard for faster, more fluid writing and drawing.

We are making the creative power of the new Surface Pen available in the world’s most powerful productivity suite: Microsoft Office. Today, we showed off new inking features in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint that include a customizable gallery of your favorite pens, pencils, and highlighters that roams with you as a personalized setting across Office apps and devices, along with support for tilt and shading with the new Surface Pen.

These capabilities will begin to release to Office 365 subscribers in June, including the more than 100 million monthly active commercial users and 26 million consumer subscribers. Additional inking experiences will continue to roll out in the future, including the new Microsoft Whiteboard app, which offers a limitless canvas for creativity and collaboration with simultaneous inking between multiple people across the world. With Microsoft Whiteboard, people will be able to collaborate on ideas and projects across an expanded set of ink-enabled Windows 10 devices later this year, with exclusive capabilities for Office 365 subscribers.

The new Surface Pen

Starting at $799 USD, the new Surface Pro allows people to customize their experience with an array of color-on-color options for the new Surface Pro Signature Type Cover, the new Surface Pen, and the Microsoft Surface Arc Mouse.

The new Surface Pro will launch on June 15, 2017, in 25 markets. Pre-orders for the new Surface Pro and Surface Pro Signature Type Cover begins later today in select markets at Microsoft Store, Microsoft.com, BestBuy.com, and JD.com where available. The new Surface Pen will be available in the coming weeks.

Surface Studio is coming to 12 new markets. Preorders for Surface Studio and Surface Laptop begin today in China and start shipping on June 15. To celebrate the launch of Surface in China, one of our important consumer partners, JD.com, will run a Microsoft Super Surface Day on their website and mobile app on May 24 in China. JD.com and Microsoft Surface will also be featured in New York’s iconic Times Square.

HoloLens launches in China today

HoloLens is now shipping to developers in China

At Microsoft, we want to empower creators to break down the barriers between physical and virtual worlds.  That’s why we built Windows 10 to be the most complete platform across the broadest range of mixed reality devices and experiences.

In December at WinHec in Shenzen, China we announced that HoloLens—the world’s first untethered holographic computer with endless possibilities to unleash people’s creativity—was submitted for government approval in China.

Today, I had the pleasure of announcing that HoloLens is now shipping to developers in China.

Since 2016, over 22,000 developers have imagined over 70,000 transformative concepts on Hololens, leading to over five million hours where people were immersed in holographic experiences.  On behalf of the Windows Mixed Reality team at Microsoft, I want to welcome China developers to the family. I can’t wait to see the wave of new creativity you will unleash.

Project Scorpio coming to China later this year

Project Scorpio, the most powerful console ever, will be available this year for Xbox fans in China.

We were honored to be the first company to bring a next-generation game console to China in 2014 with the launch of Xbox One. Today we announced that Project Scorpio, the most powerful console ever, will be available this year for Xbox fans in China.

Games perform better on Project Scorpio. With 40 percent more power than any other console and True 4K gaming, we can’t wait for fans in China to get their hands on it later this year.

I’m also excited to announce that we’re bringing the next season of the Forza Racing Championship, the most inclusive racing competition in gaming, to ChinaJoy in Shanghai this summer. Forza is the highest acclaimed, best-selling racing franchise of this generation, and has been a fan favorite since launching in China.

And finally, I’m happy to share that NetEase—our partner bringing Minecraft to China—will offer two more betas in July on the way to a beautiful Windows 10 and Xbox One experience.

With Windows 10, Surface, HoloLens, and gaming we want to inspire a new generation of creativity everywhere in the world.  I can’t wait to see what you will create next.

Thanks,

-Terry

Read More

Microsoft Education: Empowering students and teachers of today to create the world of tomorrow

We believe technology can inspire creativity in today’s classrooms, where the makers of tomorrow reside. This next generation of creators embrace technology as their first language; learn by collaborating and communicating with anyone in the world; and create with touch, command with voice, and conceptualize in 3D.

Preparing each of these creators for the jobs of tomorrow is one of our biggest societal challenges and greatest opportunities. Today, only 3% of college degrees in the US are in computer science and 65% of today’s students will have jobs that do not yet exist.

At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. As part of that mission, we believe technology can be used as a tool to empower students and teachers to create the world of tomorrow.

Introducing Windows 10 S – a new Windows experience inspired by teachers and students

Our mission with Windows is to build a platform that inspires creativity in each of us.

In the classroom, Windows is the leading education platform worldwide, as teachers choose it for rich creativity inspiring applications, like Autodesk SketchBook, Adobe Photoshop Elements, Minecraft, and the rich Office 365 (not the mobile experience), which is coming soon to the Windows Store. Teachers also choose Windows for rich peripheral support, including amazing new STEM lesson plans with Arduino boards, LEGO® Education WeDo® 2.0, tools to enable accessibility, virtual reality headsets, interactive whiteboards, and more.

To understand how we could do more, our teams traveled the world to talk with school administrators, teachers, and students using Windows in the classroom. Teachers were consistent—kids can get distracted easily and don’t always follow direction. They asked for their Windows to be more resilient to hundreds of different youthful kids interacting with each device during the school year, maintaining the same great battery life and fast login time on the first day of school as the last. On the administrator front, I recall how Ricardo Garmendia from the Renton School District described how his department supports 850 classrooms with 11,000 Windows devices—he was overwhelmed with the ongoing setup of new devices, and management of the current devices in the classroom.

Windows 10 S Start screen with education apps pinned to the Start menu

Windows 10 S is inspired by students and teachers, streamlined for simplicity, security and superior performance. I believe it best reflects the soul of Windows.

With Windows 10 S, all the applications which teachers and students download come from the Windows Store where they are first verified for security, and then locally they each run in a safe “container”, ensuring consistent performance of the system. In the classroom, this ensures fast login times and consistent performance, enabling everyone in the classroom to start learning quickly, and stay focused without distraction.

Windows 10 S can run any browser in the Windows Store. And we have been focused on making Microsoft Edge great for the classroom, ensuring compatibility with the sites educators use, like Google Docs. New features in Microsoft Edge like the new Tab Preview Bar make it easy for students to research and manage school projects. With Windows Ink in Microsoft Edge, students can easily make notes directly on a web page and share them with a classmate.

For Ricardo, and other school IT admins around the world, we also now have the Set Up School PC app in the Windows Store, enabling set up of entire classrooms of devices with customized experiences using a USB stick, in as little as 30 seconds per device. And with Microsoft Intune for Education – available today – we now have a complete end-to-end solution for teachers and schools to configure and manage all their student’s PCs.

With Windows 10 S, we’ve ensured that a teacher or administrator who understands the risks of downloading any app from the Internet, can do so. At any time, they can go to the Windows Store and switch to Windows 10 Pro. This is a one-way switch, as when a user is running Windows 10 Pro they can install anything—but this is the magic of the open Windows platform, which we plan to always continue to make available alongside Windows 10 S.

Inspired by teachers and students, Windows 10 S is a new Windows experience. I believe at its core, Windows 10 S is the soul of today’s Windows.

Windows 10 PCs for Education starting at $189

Our goal with Windows 10 S is to develop the open vibrant partner-centric ecosystem we have today. Our partners, including Acer, ASUS, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Samsung, and Toshiba offer a range of new Windows 10 PCs for Education today –  starting at $189. In the coming months, these partners will offer a range of Windows 10 S devices—from powerful and affordable Windows Ink and touch PCs to beautiful premium devices.

I look forward to students all around the planet learning on these partner devices with Windows 10 S.

Microsoft Teams comes to the classroom

New classroom experiences in Microsoft Teams take collaboration to a whole new level – and make Teams the digital hub for teachers and students. Together with OneNote Class Notebooks and new assignment and quiz experiences, teachers can easily distribute content, grade work, personalize learning, and communicate with students, parents and staff.

New classroom experiences in Microsoft Teams take collaboration to a whole new level – and make Teams the digital hub for teachers and students.

Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Online already allow students to co-author documents in real time. And new classroom experiences in Microsoft Teams take collaboration to a whole new level – and make Teams the digital hub for teachers and students. Together with OneNote Class Notebooks and new assignment and quiz experiences, teachers can easily distribute content, grade work, personalize learning, and communicate with students, parents, and staff. Teams also enables teachers to bring in rich and engaging content from the web, guest speakers, and solutions from education partners like busuu, Canvas, Flipgrid, and Kahoot!. And most importantly, Teams helps students develop the communication and collaboration skills they’ll need to be successful in the future. To learn more about the new classroom experiences in Teams, visit the Office Blog.

Introducing Code Builder for Minecraft: Education Edition

Minecraft: Education Edition key art

What continues to amaze me about Minecraft is that a game that strikes such a deep connection with children has become such an important learning tool to teach teamwork, logical thinking, and problem-solving. Minecraft is not just one of the most popular video games in history — it is also revolutionizing education, with schools in more than 100 countries using Minecraft: Education Edition to promote creativity and collaboration in the classroom.

Today, we announced Code Builder for Minecraft: Education Edition, designed to inspire students to learn the basics and the power of coding by combining the open worlds of Minecraft with popular learn-to-code platforms such as Tynker, ScratchX and a new open source platform from Microsoft called MakeCode. Players can move around, build and create in Minecraft by writing code. To learn more about Code Builder for Minecraft: Education Edition visit, the Minecraft Education Blog.

Free offers for teachers and students

To make it easy and affordable to bring Windows 10, Office 365 for Education with Microsoft Teams, and Minecraft to the classroom, we are offering teachers and students:

  • New Windows 10 education PCs starting at $189
  • Free one-year subscription to Minecraft: Education Edition for new Windows 10 education PCs
  • Free Windows 10 S for all schools on their current Windows Pro PC
  • Free Microsoft Office 365 for Education with Microsoft Teams
  • Free trial of Microsoft Intune for Education

Free offers for Teachers and Students To make it easy and affordable to bring Windows 10, Office 365 for Education with Microsoft Teams and Minecraft to the classroom, we are offering teachers and students: • New Windows 10 education PCs starting at $189 • Free one-year subscription to Minecraft: Education Edition for new Windows 10 education PCs • Free Windows 10 S for all schools on any current Windows Pro PC • Free Microsoft Office 365 for Education with Microsoft Teams • Free trial of Microsoft Intune for Education

Windows 10 S, Office 365 for Education with Microsoft Teams, Minecraft: Education Edition, and Microsoft Intune for Education offer a complete solution for teachers and students—with none of the compromises of Chromebooks and G Suite.

Introducing Surface Laptop powered by Windows 10 S – available for pre-order today

When we built Windows 10 S, we saw an opportunity to not only bring streamlined performance, simplicity, and security to students and teachers in a K-12 environment but to scale to meet the needs of college students and beyond. So today, we’re also excited to announce the newest member of our Surface family – Surface Laptop.

Available for pre-order today in 20 countries, Surface Laptop is the perfect balance of portability, performance, and elegance. Powered by Windows 10 S, Surface Laptop has up to 14.5 hours of battery life* to take students through their day and is built to give students the same great performance through four years of college and beyond. We believe ideas will come to life on a 13.5” PixelSense screen with the power of 7th generation Intel core processors. The signature keyboard is covered in Alcantara® material and features a responsive keyset, large trackpad, and soft palm rest for a new level of typing comfort. Surface Laptop is available in four rich, tone-on-tone colors: Platinum, Burgundy, Cobalt Blue and Graphite Gold. To learn more about the new Surface Laptop visit, the Devices Blog.

Surface Laptop starts at $999 USD and will be available beginning on June 15.

Bringing 3D and Windows Mixed Reality experiences to the classroom to spark creativity

Mixed Reality can bring a whole new dimension to teaching and learning in the classroom. If anything makes me wish to be a student again, it’s mixed reality. With 3D and Windows Mixed Reality, we’re empowering educators with a whole new set of tools to create curriculums for their students and peers.

Today, we announced a new strategic partnership with Pearson, one of the largest education companies in the world, who is working to integrate 3D and mixed reality into their secondary and university level curriculum. By the school year 2018, Pearson will offer curriculum in health, commerce, history, and STEM, on all Windows Mixed Reality devices. In addition, we announced a new feature coming to Windows 10 this fall, called View Mixed Reality. This feature allows you to see 3D content through your screen into the real world as mixed reality, using a simple RGB camera.

Showing a new feature coming to Windows 10 this fall, called View Mixed Reality. This feature allows you to see 3D content through your screen into the real world as Mixed Reality, using a simple RGB camera.

A new feature coming to Windows 10 this fall, called View Mixed Reality. This feature allows you to see 3D content through your screen into the real world as mixed reality, using a simple RGB camera.

STEM Saturdays at Microsoft Store

We want all students and teachers to experience education experiences from Microsoft. Beginning this Saturday, May 6, Microsoft Store locations across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Australia will host STEM Saturdays throughout May in all full-line locations in addition to the range of free programs year-round that empower students and educators. STEM Saturdays bring pop-up classrooms to Microsoft Store and offer hands-on experiences like building a sensor that measures the flexion and extension of a finger to learn about the anatomy of a human hand.

We believe technology can be used as a tool to empower students and teachers to create the world of tomorrow.

We can’t wait for tomorrow.

Terry

*Testing conducted by Microsoft in April 2017 using pre-production Intel Core i5, 256GB, 8 GB RAM device. Testing consisted of full battery discharge during video playback. All settings were default except: Wi-Fi was associated with a network and Auto-Brightness disabled. Battery life varies with settings, usage, and other factors.

Read More

Powering the industry 4.0 revolution in manufacturing with Windows 10 and Microsoft Cloud

Since the beginning of the industrial age, manufacturers have been updating and improving the products we use every day. As those product lifecycles get shorter, manufacturers rely on companies like Microsoft to keep pace. That’s why Microsoft is focused on providing the technology solutions and services, infrastructure and robust security offerings that allow manufacturers to keep up with their end customer needs.

I’m excited to be at Hannover Messe 2017 in Germany this week, showing partner and customer solutions which empower manufacturers to be more efficient, secure, and collaborative using new intelligent and IoT technologies.

Microsoft and its partners and customers will showcase four solutions including how humans and machines work together to help alleviate risks in potentially hazardous work environments. The four solutions use Microsoft technologies such as Windows 10, Azure, Microsoft HoloLens and Surface.

Refining manufacturing with Mixed Reality

Taqtile, a leading 3D app development firm and Microsoft partner, is building cutting edge mixed reality based solutions on Windows 10 and Microsoft HoloLens to improve productivity and security in the workplace. Today, many industries such as field service work, manufacturing, and warehousing are experiencing a plateau in productivity growth as the shortage of skilled manufacturing workers shrinks while manufacturing job openings rise. As a result, we’re seeing a widening gap between the current labor force and requirements to work in these fields, which mixed reality technology can help address.

Together with Microsoft, Taqtile has developed a new Field Inspection app which is delivered through the power of Windows 10, HoloLens and Microsoft Cloud to deliver integrated 3D modeling, predictive maintenance, and inspection for the manufacturing, utilities, transportation and oil and gas industries. These industries can now better train less experienced workers out in the field as a remote expert can visually communicate step-by-step instructions.

For instance, in the oil and gas industry, a worker can quickly put on a HoloLens and search through some of the steps to fix an issue while in the field as provided by their more experienced colleagues via the Field Inspection Windows 10 app. A manager can then get an up-to-date view of their rig environment on a Windows 10 dashboard.

Together with Microsoft, Taqtile has developed a new Field Inspection app which is delivered through the power of Windows 10, HoloLens and Microsoft Cloud.

Together with Microsoft, Taqtile has developed a new Field Inspection app which is delivered through the power of Windows 10, HoloLens and Microsoft Cloud.

In another innovative use of mixed reality, global electronics manufacturing services leader, Jabil, and its consulting arm, Radius Innovation & Development, are showing how Windows 10 is improving the health care industry. The interactive display will highlight how IoT-enabled product design is giving providers a better way to design infusion devices, which doctors rely on to administer dosages of vital fluids like nutrients and medications to patients.

Using design software on Microsoft Surface Studio and the visualization capabilities of Microsoft HoloLens, the companies are armed with tools that improve collaboration and innovation in the manufacturing process. Holograms and 3D capabilities allow for product manipulation and accelerate group collaboration and design refinement prior to a product’s introduction on the factory floor.

Using design software on Microsoft Surface Studio and the visualization capabilities of Microsoft HoloLens, companies are armed with tools that improve collaboration and innovation in the manufacturing process.

Using design software on Microsoft Surface Studio and the visualization capabilities of Microsoft HoloLens, companies are armed with tools that improve collaboration and innovation in the manufacturing process.

Intuitive and transparent communication for a more productive and hands-free work day

Trekstor, a leading OEM offering a wide range of products in the areas of electronic entertainment and information technology, is introducing a new Windows 10 IoT Core based B2B commercial-grade wearable for the Industry. The TrekStor IoT wearable is cloud connected, can run Universal Windows Applications. It is as secure and manageable like any other Windows device and leverages Microsoft Azure Cloud services like Microsoft Cognitive Services.

The compact and intuitive wearable can replace a larger hand-held device in multiple line-of-business scenarios including:

  • Inventory management in retail
  • Building automation for guest services in hospitality
  • Industrial automation in manufacturing
  • Patient care in healthcare
  • And several cross-industry scenarios like asset management, fleet management, and others.

The TrekStor IoT Wearable allows various functions to be reported to the right place without any communicative detours, and messages can be transmitted silently in real-time or verbally via voice messages.

The 1.54 inch TrekStor IoT wearable is both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled, has plenty of storage space and has the processing power and battery life to perform its line-of-business functions. The wearable can also survive a hard day at work without scratches thanks to the soft casing and Gorilla Glass 3.

More information on this product will be available in the coming months.

The TrekStor IoT wearable is powerful and persistent with battery life that survives a long working day.

The TrekStor IoT wearable is powerful and persistent with battery life that survives a long working day.

Robots helping make work safer

With more than 8 million people injured on the job each year in the U.S. alone, there is demand for robots that can carry out tasks that are too dangerous or difficult for humans. These robots are expected to make critical contributions in industries, including construction, manufacturing, oil and gas, mining, infrastructure inspection, logistics, public safety, and military.

Sarcos Robotics is a global leader in the development of dexterous industrial robots for use in unstructured and unpredictable environments that augment humans, not replace them. Its Guardian line of robots significantly reduces the risk of injury and the cost of performing many of the world’s most dangerous and difficult tasks. Sarcos is collaborating with Microsoft to provide customers a Robot-as-a-Service offering, using Microsoft Cognitive Services, Azure IoT Suite, and leverages Windows 10 for the tablet controller, to create a unique opportunity to fundamentally transform the safety and efficiency of many industrial tasks around the world.

For example, the Sarcos Guardian S robot is intuitive to use and can be tele-operated from miles away using a Windows 10 tablet to reliably traverse challenging terrain including passing through narrow culverts and pipes or scale the inside and outside of storage tanks, pipes, maritime vessels, vehicles and other vertical surfaces. The robot uses a full suite of sensors and facilitates two-way real-time video and voice communications with Azure ML and Windows 10 to detect anomalies within the tanks and learn from service technicians over time.

The Sarcos Guardian Scan be tele-ported from miles away from a Windows 10 tablet to reliably traverse challenging terrain.

The Sarcos Guardian Scan be teleported from miles away from a Windows 10 tablet to reliably traverse challenging terrain.

Microsoft offers end-to-end secure IoT solutions from Windows 10 devices to Azure cloud. Companies like Trekstor are showcasing innovative potential with its Windows IoT Core based TrekStor wearable, while Sarcos takes advantage of Azure IoT to offer innovative solutions that solve manufacturing business challenges. Some examples include how to receive real-time KPI tracking while both hands are occupied in production work or how to execute dangerous tasks and keep employees safe.

Visit the Microsoft booth at Hannover Messe 2017 to check out these and other great customer and partner solutions which are revolutionizing the industry and enabling manufacturers to be more efficient, secure and collaborative. To learn more about all the customer and partner solutions being showcased at Hannover Messe 2017, check out the Official Microsoft Blog.

Read More

thyssenkrupp transforms the delivery of home mobility solutions with Microsoft HoloLens

This week, at the Hannover Messe Industries show in Germany, the HoloLens team is participating alongside our Microsoft colleagues, customers, and partners to showcase digital transformation in the manufacturing industry.

Digital transformation reimagines people, data, and processes within an organization to accelerate business impact and to create value for customers. Increasingly, that digital reimagination includes deploying HoloLens into core workflows. Microsoft HoloLens is opening up new areas of business, reducing the cost of operations, and arming employees with improved data visualization in the context of their real world.

Today, I’m pleased to share with you how our partner, thyssenkrupp, is exemplifying digital transformation through HoloLens-driven process optimization, transforming their home mobility solutions business via the power of data, Microsoft Azure and HoloLens visualization.

With HoloLens, the sales rep can now provide the customer with a visualization of the stair lift, so they can see firsthand what the new addition will look like in their home.

thyssenkrupp and HoloLens make the design process more personal for the customer and reduce turnaround time

thyssenkrupp’s mission in providing mobility solutions is to help people overcome physical limitations. A home mobility solution is a particularly personal product; it becomes a part of the customer’s home, and it’s a tool that preserves their ability to maintain independence and have full access to their space. The decision to invest in a mobility solution can be difficult – it goes beyond financial tradeoffs, encompassing as well the emotional impact of changing abilities. Removing obstacles from the process helps turn a potentially uncomfortable customer experience into one that is quick and easy, thereby increasing the percentage of accounts that move forward.

Prior to using HoloLens, thyssenkrupp had used the same process for almost 20 years, which involved a complex system of labels and cameras and manual data entry to ensure that all the nuances of the highly customized mobility solutions were measured precisely. The combined sales, manufacturing, and installation process for a new stair lift involved numerous complex and time-consuming processes, which ultimately resulted in lengthy delivery times and detracted from the overall customer experience.

Contrast this to the new process that has been digitally transformed, allowing the salesperson to measure the staircase using the mobile HoloLens solution during their first visit. The measurement data is then automatically shared with the manufacturing team via Microsoft Azure, which allows for quicker decision making and near real-time approval of the design without redundant data entry. The digitization of the sales and manufacturing processes has reduced delivery times as much as 4x.

With HoloLens, the sales rep can now provide the customer with a visualization of the stair lift so they can see firsthand what the new addition will look like in their home. HoloLens is allowing thyssenkrupp to fundamentally disrupt its business processes with durable improvements that save time and costs internally, and at the same time help their customers make an emotional decision with much more confidence. The addition of HoloLens is revolutionizing turnaround time, and as a result, is increasing productivity for employees and satisfaction for customers.

Microsoft HoloLens passes basic impact tests for protective eyewear standards in North America and Europe

Additionally, to the benefit of our manufacturing customers, we are thrilled to share that Microsoft HoloLens has passed the basic impact tests from a number of protective eyewear standards used in North America and Europe. It has been tested and found to conform to the basic impact protection requirements of ANSI Z87.1, CSA Z94.3 and EN 166, the most common protective glass certification standards. This opens the door for more companies to use HoloLens in innovative ways as part of their manufacturing process and for employees to unlock new personal potential, and we can’t wait to see what they achieve in the future! Find out more about HoloLens in manufacturing here.

Lorraine

Read More

Happy birthday, HoloLens! A huge thank you to our community.

Exactly 365 days ago, I was onstage at Microsoft’s annual Build conference with my dear friend and colleague Kudo Tsunoda. We had the once in a lifetime privilege of announcing on behalf of our teams that the first Microsoft HoloLens devices had officially begun shipping.

Today, we celebrate HoloLens turning one years old.

The last year has been remarkable.

  • Over 150 exclusive mixed reality apps are now available in the Windows Store.
  • HoloLens is available in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Japan, France, Germany, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and the United States and we will begin to ship in China before summer.
  • We have expanded the promise of mixed reality by making it attainable for everyone. Windows Mixed Reality, the HoloLens software platform, is built into Windows 10, opening an ecosystem of hardware and software that will revolutionize how we interact with people, places and things.

In the coming year, you will begin to hear more about HoloLens and Windows Mixed Reality headsets coexisting, making collaboration across devices magical.

While we always had dreams for HoloLens and the universe of mixed reality, we knew that some of the greatest innovations would come from the creativity, talent and unique perspectives from our broader community. As expected, our community has delivered. In the past year, among many other amazing ideas, the HoloLens community has created:

  • HoloGuide – an application that enables users to safely navigate a low-visibility environment (like a smoke-filled room) and avoid obstacles using HoloLens’ environmental awareness and spatial sound capabilities.
  • HoloHear – a real-time speech-to-sign-language interpreter for the deaf.
  • Teomirn – an app that teaches piano by overlaying holographic prompts and instructions over the keys of a real piano.

To every developer who has a HoloLens and is working to create within the world of mixed reality, thank you for your passion and imagination. You are an inspiration to me and everyone on the team.

It has been incredible to see what our commercial partners have done, how they have used HoloLens to transform their businesses. From Lowe’s to Legendary Entertainment, NASA to Stryker, mixed reality continues to provide real and demonstrable benefits in ways not previously possible. Our partners and customers show us every day that the possibilities are truly limitless.

In addition, we’re so very proud of the great work from our Agency Readiness Partners, which have built fantastic, compelling solutions for organizations such as Major League Soccer, Paccar, Stanford Medical School, Skanska and more. In fact, we recently added six new European studios to our roster of partners.

The team here at Microsoft would like to extend our sincerest thanks to every person who has taken those first steps alongside us. You’ve helped us to build the foundation for the world of mixed reality and I can’t wait to see where we go, together, from here.

We will have more to share with you at Microsoft’s Build 2017 conference in May. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me on Twitter, and please continue to share your creative HoloLens concepts and applications. It always makes our day!

Alex

Read More

Microsoft HoloLens Agency Readiness Partner Program expands to Europe

Creative agency partners are developing mixed reality applications for clients such as Paccar, Lowe’s, Red Bull Air Race, CDM Smith, UK Police Forces and Alstom.

Creative agency partners are developing mixed reality applications for clients such as Paccar, Lowe’s, Red Bull Air Race, CDM Smith, UK Police Forces and Alstom.

We know that HoloLens growth is driven in large part by the community of developers and commercial partners around the world who are using mixed reality to change their business.

Over the last several months, we began shipping HoloLens to more developers and commercial customers around the globe, including those in Australia, Ireland, France, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Japan. Customers in these regions need partners they can trust to create the future of mixed reality experiences.

Today, I am excited to share that we are welcoming six new Europe-focused partners to the HoloLens Agency Readiness Partner program, expanding from the original 10 agency partners serving the U.S. and Canada that we announced at //build 2016.

As more companies understand the benefits and deploy HoloLens and mixed reality, they are looking for a broad set of choices to help build and deploy mixed reality applications.  The good news is there are several ways they can get started. They can build applications themselves (using tools like our SDK), they can work with Microsoft directly (by being part of our Enterprise Acceleration Program), they can use off-the-shelf solutions like SketchUp Viewer and Skype for HoloLens, or they can work with HoloLens Agency Readiness Partners.

The HoloLens Agency Readiness Partners have all gone through extensive, hands-on training with our team. As part of their commitment, they have delivered real customer solutions for companies around the globe, like Paccar, Lowe’s, Red Bull Air Race, CDM Smith, UK Police Forces, and Alstom.

Working with one of our hand-selected HoloLens Agency Readiness Partners is one of the quickest ways to get started with creating mixed reality applications that can transform working with 3D data, bringing new products and information to life, and creating new opportunities for business growth.

The HoloLens eco-system is thriving and enabling more customers than ever to create HoloLens solutions. I am excited to share the future of mixed reality innovation.

Lorraine

Read More

Windows Mixed Reality dev kits shipping this month

At Microsoft, we are building Windows 10 to be the most complete platform across the broadest range of mixed reality devices and experiences. We believe that mixed reality can empower new waves of creativity and should be affordable and attainable for everyone.

As we announced last year, we’re partnering with leading device makers including Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and 3Glasses on a wide range of headsets that pair with your Windows Mixed Reality-ready PC. These are the first mixed reality headsets to deliver built-in inside-out tracking, meaning there is no need to purchase or install external trackers or sensors in the wall. Moreover, you don’t need to bother with a complicated setup, just plug and play.

Today, at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, we shared the next step in our mixed reality journey. As we continue to build on the momentum of the past year, starting this month we will begin to ship developer edition headsets created in partnership with Acer to our developer partners.

Here is your first look at the Acer Windows Mixed Reality Development Edition headset!

Acer Windows Mixed Reality Development Edition headset

To empower even more developers to create in mixed reality, we gave a “golden ticket” to game developers who attended our Windows Mixed Reality session at GDC, and those developers will receive the Acer developer edition headset in the coming months.  Game developers interested in building content for Windows Mixed Reality can sign up for ID@Xbox. All other developers can learn about the Windows Mixed Reality program here.

We’re also excited to share that Windows Mixed Reality experiences will light up on other devices over time, beyond desktop and Microsoft HoloLens. Our plan is to bring mixed reality content to the Xbox One family of devices, including Project Scorpio, in 2018.

When we begin the phased rollout of the developer kits this month, the kits will include the Acer headset, along with documentation and access to Windows 10 Insider preview builds and the software development kit (SDK) to enable developers to build mixed reality applications.

The specifications for the Acer Windows Mixed Reality Development Edition headset include:

  • Two high-resolution liquid crystal displays at 1440 x 1440
  • Display refresh rate up to 90 Hz (native)
  • Built-in audio out and microphone support through 3.5mm jack
  • Single cable with HDMI 2.0 (display) and USB 3.0 (data) for connectivity

We can’t wait to see what our developer partners build with our expanding platform, which currently delivers more than 20,000 Universal Windows applications, including mixed reality apps and games as well as the ability to stream Xbox games to your Windows 10 PC. Not only will you enjoy spectacular, immersive experiences, but also the things that you do most with your Windows PC – in mixed reality. Here’s a video we created to give you a glimpse of what is possible with Windows Mixed Reality:

I look forward to sharing more about our mixed reality journey at our //build conference in May. If you ever have any questions, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @akipman. I’m excited to build this future together with you!

Thanks,

Alex

Read More

Getting Started with a Mixed Reality Platformer Using Microsoft HoloLens

The platform game genre has undergone constant evolution, from its earliest incarnations in Donkey Kong and Pitfall to recent variations like Flappy Bird. Shigeru Miyamoto’s Super Mario Bros. is recognized as the best platform game of all time, setting a high bar for everyone who came after. The Lara Croft series built on Shigeru’s innovations by taking the standard side-scrolling platformer and expanding it into a 3D world. With mixed reality and HoloLens, we all have the opportunity to expand the world of the platform game yet again.

Standard video game conventions undergo a profound change when you put a platformer in a mixed reality environment. First of all, instead of sitting in a chair and moving your character inside your display screen, you physically follow your character as he moves around the real world. Second, the obstacles your protagonist encounters aren’t just digital ones but also physical objects in the real world, like tables and chairs and stacks of books. Third, because every room you play in effectively becomes a new level, the mixed reality platform game never runs out of levels and every level presents unique challenges. Instead of comparing scores for a certain game stage, you will need to compare how well you did in the living room—or in Jane’s kitchen or in Shigeru’s basement.

In this post, you will learn how to get started building a platform game for HoloLens using all free assets. In doing so, you will learn the basics of using Spatial Mapping to scan a room so your player character can interact with it. You will also use the slightly more advanced features of Spatial Understanding to determine characteristics of the game environment. Finally, all of this will be done in the Unity IDE (currently 5.5.0f3) with the open source HoloToolkit.

Creating your game world with Spatial Mapping

How does HoloLens make it possible for virtual objects and physical objects to interact?  The HoloLens is equipped with a depth camera, similar to the Kinect v2’s depth camera, that progressively scans a room in order to create a spatial map through a technique known as spatial mapping. It uses this data about the real world to create 3D surfaces in the virtual world. Then, using its four environment-aware cameras, it positions and orients the 3D reconstruction of the room in correct relation to the player. This map is often visualized at the start of HoloLens applications as a web of lines blanketing the room the player is in. You can also sometimes trigger this visualization by simply tapping in the air in front of you while wearing the HoloLens.

To play with spatial mapping, create a new 3D project in Unity. You can call the project “3D Platform Game.” Create a new scene for this game called “main.”

Next, add the HoloToolkit unity package to your app. You can download the package from the HoloToolkit project’s GitHub repository. This guide uses HoloToolkit-Unity-v1.5.5.0.unitypackage. In the Unity IDE, select the Assets tab. Then click on Import Package -> Custom Package and find the download location of the HoloTookit to import it into the scene.

The HoloToolkit provides lots of useful helpers and shortcuts for developing a HoloLens app. Under the HoloToolkit menu, there is a Configure option that lets you correctly rig your game for HoloLens. After being sure to save your scene and project, click on each of these options to configure your scene, your project and your capability settings. Under capabilities, you must make sure to check off SpatialPerception—otherwise spatial mapping will not work. Also, be sure to save your project after each change. If for some reason you would prefer to do this step manually, there is documentation available to walk you through it.

To add spatial mapping functionality to your game, all you need to do is drag the SpatialMapping prefab into your scene from HoloToolkit -> SpatialMapping -> Prefabs. If you build and deploy the game to your HoloLens or HoloLens Emulator now, you will be able to see the web mesh of surface reconstruction occurring.

Congratulations! You’ve created your first level.

Adding a protagonist and an Xbox Controller

The next step is to create your protagonist. If you are lucky enough to have a Mario or a Luigi rigged model, you should definitely use that. In keeping with the earlier promise to use only free assets, however, this guide will use the complimentary Ethan asset.

Go to the Unity menu and select Assets -> Import Package -> Characters. Copy the whole package into your game by clicking Import. Finally, drag the ThirdPersonController prefab from Assets -> Standard Assets -> Characters -> ThirdPersonCharacter -> Prefabs into your scene.

Next, you’ll want a Bluetooth controller to steer your character. Newer Xbox One controllers support Bluetooth. To get one to work with HoloLens, you’ll need to closely follow these directions in order to update the firmware on your controller. Then pair the controller to your HoloLens through the Settings -> Devices menu.

To support the Xbox One controller in your game, you should add another free asset. Open the Asset Store by clicking on Window -> Asset Store and search for Xbox Controller Input for HoloLens. Import this package into your project.

You can this up to your character with a bit of custom script. In your scene, select the ThirdPersonController prefab. Find the Third Person User Control script in the Inspector window and delete it. You’re going to write your own custom Control that depends on the Xbox Controller package you just imported.

In the Inspector window again, go to the bottom and click on Add Component -> New Script. Name your script ThirdPersonHoloLensControl and copy/paste the following code into it:


using UnityEngine;
using HoloLensXboxController;
using UnityStandardAssets.Characters.ThirdPerson;

public class ThirdPersonHoloLensControl : MonoBehaviour
{

    private ControllerInput controllerInput;
    private ThirdPersonCharacter m_Character;
    private Transform m_Cam;                
    private Vector3 m_CamForward;            
    private Vector3 m_Move;
    private bool m_Jump;                      

    public float RotateAroundYSpeed = 2.0f;
    public float RotateAroundXSpeed = 2.0f;
    public float RotateAroundZSpeed = 2.0f;

    public float MoveHorizontalSpeed = 1f;
    public float MoveVerticalSpeed = 1f;

    public float ScaleSpeed = 1f;


    void Start()
    {
        controllerInput = new ControllerInput(0, 0.19f);
        // get the transform of the main camera
        if (Camera.main != null)
        {
            m_Cam = Camera.main.transform;
        }

        m_Character = GetComponent<ThirdPersonCharacter>();
    }

    // Update is called once per frame
    void Update()
    {
        controllerInput.Update();
        if (!m_Jump)
        {
            m_Jump = controllerInput.GetButton(ControllerButton.A);
        }
    }


    private void FixedUpdate()
    {
        // read inputs
        float h = MoveHorizontalSpeed * controllerInput.GetAxisLeftThumbstickX();
        float v = MoveVerticalSpeed * controllerInput.GetAxisLeftThumbstickY();
        bool crouch = controllerInput.GetButton(ControllerButton.B);

        // calculate move direction to pass to character
        if (m_Cam != null)
        {
            // calculate camera relative direction to move:
            m_CamForward = Vector3.Scale(m_Cam.forward, new Vector3(1, 0, 1)).normalized;
            m_Move = v * m_CamForward + h * m_Cam.right;
        }


        // pass all parameters to the character control script
        m_Character.Move(m_Move, crouch, m_Jump);
        m_Jump = false;
    }
}

This code is a variation on the standard controller code. Now that it is attached, it will let you use a Bluetooth enabled Xbox One controller to move your character. Use the A button to jump. Use the B button to crouch.

You now have a first level and a player character you can move with a controller: pretty much all the necessary components for a platform game. If you deploy the project as is, however, you will find that there is a small problem. Your character falls through the floor.

This happens because, while the character appears as soon as the scene starts, it actually takes a bit of time to scan the room and create meshes for the floor. If the character shows up before those meshes are placed in the scene, he will simply fall through the floor and keep falling indefinitely because there are no meshes to catch him.

How ‘bout some spatial understanding

In order to avoid this, the app needs a bit of spatial smarts. It needs to wait until the spatial meshes are mostly completed before adding the character to the scene. It should also scan the room and find the floor so the character can be added gently rather than dropped into the room. The spatial understand prefab will help you to accomplish both of these requirements.

Add the Spatial Understanding prefab to your scene. It can be found in Assets -> HoloToolkit -> SpatialUnderstanding -> Prefabs.

Because the SpatialUnderstanding game object also draws a wireframe during scanning, you should disable the visual mesh used by the SpatialMapping game object by deselecting Draw Visual Mesh in its Spatial Mapping Manager script. To do this, select the SpatialMapping game object, find the Spatial Mapping Manager in the Inspector window and uncheck Draw Visual Mesh.

You now need to add some orchestration to the game to prevent the third person character from being added too soon. Select ThirdPersonController in your scene. Then go to the Inspector panel and click on Add Component -> New Script. Call your script OrchestrateGame. While this script could really be placed anywhere, attaching it to the ThirdPersonController will make it easier to manipulate your character’s properties.

Start by adding HideCharacter and ShowCharacter methods to the OrchestrateGame class. This allows you to make the character invisible until you are ready to add him to the game level (the room).


    private void ShowCharacter(Vector3 placement)
    {
        var ethanBody = GameObject.Find("EthanBody");
        ethanBody.GetComponent<SkinnedMeshRenderer>().enabled = true;
        m_Character.transform.position = placement;
        var rigidBody = GetComponent<Rigidbody>();
        rigidBody.angularVelocity = Vector3.zero;
        rigidBody.velocity = Vector3.zero;        
    }

    private void HideCharacter()
    {
        var ethanBody = GameObject.Find("EthanBody");
        ethanBody.GetComponent<SkinnedMeshRenderer>().enabled = false;
    }

When the game starts, you will initially hide the character from view. More importantly, you will hook into the SpatialUnderstanding singleton and handle it’s ScanStateChanged event. Once the scan is done, you will use spatial understanding to correctly place the character.


    private ThirdPersonCharacter m_Character;

    void Start()
    {
        m_Character = GetComponent<ThirdPersonCharacter>();
        SpatialUnderstanding.Instance.ScanStateChanged += Instance_ScanStateChanged;
        HideCharacter();
    }
    private void Instance_ScanStateChanged()
    {
        if ((SpatialUnderstanding.Instance.ScanState == SpatialUnderstanding.ScanStates.Done) &&
    SpatialUnderstanding.Instance.AllowSpatialUnderstanding)
         {
            PlaceCharacterInGame();
        }
    }

How do you decide when the scan is completed? You could set up a timer and wait for a predetermined length of time to pass. But this might provide inconsistent results. A better way is to take advantage of the spatial understanding functionality in the HoloToolkit.

Spatial understanding is constantly evaluating surfaces picked up by the spatial mapping component. You will set a threshold to decide when you have retrieved enough spatial information. Every time the Update method is called, you will evaluate whether the threshold has been met, as determined by the spatial understanding module. If it is, you call the RequestFinishScan method on SpatialUnderstanding to get it to finish scanning and set its ScanState to Done.


private bool m_isInitialized;
    public float kMinAreaForComplete = 50.0f;
    public float kMinHorizAreaForComplete = 25.0f;
    public float kMinWallAreaForComplete = 10.0f;
    // Update is called once per frame
    void Update()
    {
        // check if enough of the room is scanned
        if (!m_isInitialized && DoesScanMeetMinBarForCompletion)
        {
            // let service know we're done scanning
            SpatialUnderstanding.Instance.RequestFinishScan();
            m_isInitialized = true;
        }
    }

    public bool DoesScanMeetMinBarForCompletion
    {
        get
        {
            // Only allow this when we are actually scanning
            if ((SpatialUnderstanding.Instance.ScanState != SpatialUnderstanding.ScanStates.Scanning) ||
                (!SpatialUnderstanding.Instance.AllowSpatialUnderstanding))
            {
                return false;
            }

            // Query the current playspace stats
            IntPtr statsPtr = SpatialUnderstanding.Instance.UnderstandingDLL.GetStaticPlayspaceStatsPtr();
            if (SpatialUnderstandingDll.Imports.QueryPlayspaceStats(statsPtr) == 0)
            {
                return false;
            }
            SpatialUnderstandingDll.Imports.PlayspaceStats stats = SpatialUnderstanding.Instance.UnderstandingDLL.GetStaticPlayspaceStats();

            // Check our preset requirements
            if ((stats.TotalSurfaceArea > kMinAreaForComplete) ||
                (stats.HorizSurfaceArea > kMinHorizAreaForComplete) ||
                (stats.WallSurfaceArea > kMinWallAreaForComplete))
            {
                return true;
            }
            return false;
        }
    }

Once spatial understanding has determined that enough of the room has been scanned to start the level, you can use spatial understanding one more time to determine where to place your protagonist. First, the PlaceCharacterInGame method, show below, tries to determine the Y coordinate of the room floor. Next, the main camera object is used to determine the direction the HoloLens is facing in order to find a coordinate position two meters in front of the HoloLens. This position is combined with the Y coordinate of the floor in order to place the character gently on the ground in front of the player.


private void PlaceCharacterInGame()
{
// use spatial understanding to find floor
SpatialUnderstandingDll.Imports.QueryPlayspaceAlignment(SpatialUnderstanding.Instance.UnderstandingDLL.GetStaticPlayspaceAlignmentPtr());
SpatialUnderstandingDll.Imports.PlayspaceAlignment alignment = SpatialUnderstanding.Instance.UnderstandingDLL.GetStaticPlayspaceAlignment();

// find 2 meters in front of camera position
var inFrontOfCamera = Camera.main.transform.position + Camera.main.transform.forward * 2.0f;

// place character on floor 2 meters ahead
ShowCharacter(new Vector3(inFrontOfCamera.x, alignment.FloorYValue, 2.69f));

// hide mesh
var customMesh = SpatialUnderstanding.Instance.GetComponent<SpatialUnderstandingCustomMesh>();
customMesh.DrawProcessedMesh = false;
}

You complete the PlaceCharacterInGame method by making the meshes invisible to the player. This reinforces the illusion that your protagonist is running into and jumping over objects in the real world. The last thing needed to finish this game, level design, is something that is unfortunately too complex to cover in this platform.

Because this platform game has been developed in mixed reality, you have an interesting choice to make, however, as you design your level. You can do level design the traditional way using 3D models. Alternatively, you can also do it using real world objects which the character must run between and jump over. Finally, the best approach may involve even mixing the two.

Conclusion

To paraphrase Shakespeare, all the world’s a stage and every room in it is a level. Mixed reality has the power to create new worlds for us—but it also has the power to make us look at the cultural artifacts and conventions we already have, like the traditional platform game, in entirely new ways. Where virtual reality is largely about escapism, the secret of mixed reality may simply be that it makes us appreciate what we already have by giving us fresh eyes with which to look at them.

Read More

Stryker chooses Microsoft HoloLens to bring operating room design into the future with 3D

Using HoloLens and Stryker’s new By Design solution, hospital stakeholders are now able to envision the ideal operating room configuration with the power of holograms and the benefit of mixed reality.

As a member of the Microsoft HoloLens product and engineering team, I get to see some pretty cool things on a regular basis. Any day of the week, I have a front-row seat to see how our teams, customers, and partners are making a world where mixed reality changes the way we live, work, play, and learn. I’m consistently amazed by the creative ways HoloLens is being used to solve complex problems, improve business outcomes and results, and change the way we interact with technology.

Today, I have the privilege of sharing with you one of the latest examples of HoloLens innovation that is happening, this time within the healthcare sector.

The operating room as it exists today

Stryker, a leading global medical technology company, has set out to improve the process for designing operating rooms for hospitals and surgery centers.

You may not be aware of it, but surgical disciplines from general, to urologic, orthopedic, cardiac, and ear nose and throat (ENT) use shared operating rooms. These specialties have widely different needs when it comes to operating room configuration and setup. Everything from lighting, to equipment, tools, and even patient orientation, varies depending on who is using the operating room at any given moment. Equipment placement is critical as it effects ergonomics, efficiency, and task load, all of which have the potential to burden staff and slow procedures.

Today, for hospitals to successfully design operating rooms that will accommodate these various medical disciplines, a critical meeting must take place. In this meeting, the heads of each surgical discipline, along with their staff, are physically present to outline the desired layout and implementation needed to successfully complete their procedures. This is a complicated and time-consuming process where people and a complex array of technology and equipment are shuffled around to determine what goes where, and when, to see how it will all fit.

Stryker is using HoloLens to build the operating room of the future

Recognizing that the current model of operating room design needs to be evolved from 2D to 3D, and knowing that the needs of these specialties can be quite divergent, Stryker has found a way to design a shared operating room that can accommodate all surgical disciplines in a far more efficient manner.

Using HoloLens and Stryker’s new By Design solution, hospital stakeholders are now able to envision the ideal operating room configuration with the power of holograms and the benefit of mixed reality.

Instead of needing all of the people from each surgical discipline, all the physical equipment required across all medical disciplines, all in one room at the same time, Stryker is now able to modify and build different operating room scenarios with holograms. No more time-consuming sessions where everyone needs to be physically present and no more need to move around heavy and expensive equipment to get a sense for how everything all fits together.

What does this look like? Here is a peek into how operating rooms of the future will be designed using HoloLens.

As you can see, through the mixed reality capabilities of HoloLens, a design can be created and adjusted without the need of a complicated mock operating room setup. Teams of surgeons can collaborate in a conference room, their office, or work with holograms, at full size and scale, in the actual operating room – no bulky equipment required, just a headset. This allows teams to move quickly from envisioning to execution, improving the operating room for surgeons, staff, and ultimately the patients they care for. Furthermore, the process benefits from the advantage of 3D. Stryker can break free of 2D limitations, making it easier for people to visualize a finished project, reduce design errors, save time, and allow facilities to open faster.

Since the release of HoloLens just under a year ago, we have seen quite a few companies using HoloLens and the potential of holograms and mixed reality to drive innovation and make a difference within the healthcare space.

For example, CAE, a global leader in modeling and simulation recently shared a new solution they created called VimedixAR. Their solution uses HoloLens to create mixed reality ultrasound simulations with the goal of improving patient safety and outcomes. With their approach, CAE is helping doctors, ultrasound technicians, and students visualize complex organs (like the heart and lungs) using holograms, ultimately improving their ability to identify potential issues.

In addition, my friends at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic are training the next generation of doctors and surgeons by helping them learn and understand human anatomy in completely new ways. It has been quite inspiring to see what they have done using HoloLens.

On behalf of everyone on the HoloLens team, I share my thanks and admiration for every one of our customers, partners, and developers who are creating the future with mixed reality. The work you are doing to bring the potential of mixed reality to people and organizations across the globe is truly inspiring.

I can’t wait to see what’s next!

Lorraine

Start developing on HoloLens and join us on our mixed reality journey. HoloLens available now at the Microsoft Store.

Read More

Actiongram says hello to Sanrio’s Hello Kitty and friends

Actiongram says hello to Sanrio’s Hello Kitty and friends

Since we launched Actiongram on Microsoft HoloLens, we’ve been hard at work partnering with our creator community to bring them new content and visual effects that showcase the potential for mixed reality storytelling. One of the many pieces of feedback we’ve received is that creators want more celebrity and iconic content around which they can build stories. The community has had so much fun laughing and sword fighting with George Takei and engaging with their favorite characters from Legendary’s Warcraft.

Now it is time for us to welcome another beloved character to the Actiongram family!

Hello Kitty, will you be mine?

Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of Sanrio’s Hello Kitty on Actiongram. What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with Hello Kitty in mixed reality. The new Hello Kitty theme pack for Actiongram features fourteen Hello Kitty holograms, with more of her friends including Badtz-Maru, Keroppi, and Pompompurin joining her in Actiongram soon.

The new Hello Kitty content, as well as our existing cast of characters and effects, enables our creators to pursue more immersive and interactive storytelling with the mixed reality filming techniques Actiongram offers. We believe there’s huge potential for storytelling via mixed reality and are excited to forge forward with the next generation of creators.

“We are thrilled that Hello Kitty is engaging with the community of creators using Microsoft HoloLens and Actiongram,” said Egita Di Filippo, EMEA Digital Lead at Sanrio. “Mixed reality storytelling is an interesting new medium for expressing creativity which allows the many Hello Kitty fans to engage with and experience her in an entirely new way.”

Alicia Herber, a popular illustrator and animator, brought Hello Kitty along on her vacation by tapping the power of mixed reality storytelling. Hint: She’s fulfilling Hello Kitty’s Kawaii dreams on the beaches of California!

The power of mixed reality storytelling brought to life

Actiongram’s gallery of more than 500 different animated options gives creators the ability to introduce professional-level quality effects into their videos, making what was otherwise difficult, or even impossible, possible. The catalog spans fully 3D visual effects like explosions, lifelike zombies, whimsical unicorns, and more.

We can’t wait to see what else our community can achieve with Actiongram! If you have not tried Actiongram yet, you can get it here.

Dana

Read More