This Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality thing has been in the horizon of technology since it was dreamed up at least two decades ago. Microsoft took a big leap forward when it showed the world its HoloLens visor, allowing a truly immersive and interactive virtual experience that works with the wearer’s environment rather than simply putting another screen between it.
Volvo sees the benefit of the technology and how it can implement it into the buying and customising experience, in educating customers on their cars’ safety features and onboard technologies and even on the production lines while worn by factory staff. We’re actually surprised that it took this long for a company - not just an automaker - to take advantage of its power and potential use cases (and there are many).
What’s unique about Microsofts HoloLens is that, because it augments the viewers surroundings, it is much easier to learn and is not at all disorienting like the other Virtual Reality visors from Oculus and Sony that blocks vision altogether. When the wearer pulls up a virtual object, the image seen is so detailed and the fidelity through movement so smooth that it defies belief of it being not actually there. Far from being static images, the virtual objects also react to hand gestures that allow live interaction.
It will be exciting to see where Volvo can take HoloLens and how much Microsoft may learn and improve the technology from the crucible of the Swedish automaker’s real world uses. See for yourself in the video below.
There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.