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Events

How the Microsoft HoloLens technology is a powerful tool for the events industry

Technology is forever evolving within the events industry and at BI WORLDWIDE, we're always looking out for the latest technology and how we can create effective business events for our clients.

The Microsoft HoloLens is a holographic computer headset that lets you see, hear and interact with superimposed 3D holograms within a 360 real-life environment of your choice (providing that it’s dry of course), such as a meeting room or a lounge area. This is commonly known as ‘augmented reality’. Sounds too good to be true, right?

The beauty of this modern technology is that it has many uses within a different range of industries including hospitals for surgery demos and engineering to showcase build and design. Here at BI WORLDWIDE, we’ve already invested in the technology and are looking at ways we can use the HoloLens within the services we offer – here’s our thoughts so far...

The ‘WOW’ factor

65% of us are visual learners* and so are stimulated by images, effects and sounds. The Microsoft HoloLens is amazing for visual learners because it enables unique, high-definition holograms to ‘come to life’ in their real world, seamlessly integrating with their physical spaces and objects. This is commonly known as mixed reality. It takes people into immersive experiences where their own reality is changed, where anything they look at can be augmented or transformed. It recognises hand gestures and voices so you can engage with your digital content and interact with holograms in the world around you. The user can also change the size of the 3D holograms and project them onto tables, walls and around other objects. You can zoom in too, which provides amazing visuals and enhances the 3D experience. There’s coding for holograms as well as an app store that has a growing number of apps such as Holo tour and Holo engine.

Not only can you edit the holograms but you’ll be able to make notes in ‘mid-air’ on a 3D notepad. You can use most controls you would on a computer and have as many screens as you like. You can access the internet, your emails, excel; all of your documents and make them any size you want to.

How can this type of technology be adapted for the events industry?

This mixed reality technology offers a lot of potential for events in the automotive industry such as showcasing a brand new car, as it can give each client a truly unique visual experience from the moment they enter the room. event INSIGHT in association with C&IT believes that mixed reality has an exciting part to play in the future for the automotive sector. As quoted by the publication, “Virtual Reality can add another dimension to an event and take the audience on an out-of-this world journey or show them something extraordinary. VR works well in the automotive sector, where virtual test drives and track races can be brought to life. It doesn’t have to be a closed environment either. Introducing green screens to your set-up can introduce a mixed reality scenario, whereby both the person wearing the headset, and onlookers, can take part in the experience.”

Using Microsoft HoloLens for Event Design Planning

When it comes to events, seeing is believing. Once you show people how the venue will look, they’ll feel like they’re really there and will get excited. The design opportunities that the HoloLens presents with Augmented Reality are endless. The HoloLens has the potential to scan venues and, with some 3D Computer Aided Design magic, it’s possible to show a client a decked-out venue with all the trimmings so they won’t actually have to go to the venue to make that key decision. Again, many of us are visual learners, however, here you don’t need to visualise as you’ll feel like you’re already there experiencing how the event could be. This is even greater for the imagination, creativity and leaves a memorable, lasting impression.

It’s perfect for pre event planning, and is especially advantageous for overseas; where the client can use the headset to ‘walk the space’ and try before they buy.

  • Oliver Moores
  • Production Director

So how does it work?

The HoloLens uses lasers to accurately map the room you’re in, its size and all the objects in it. So you can scan a space, deck it out and show your client how the event could look. You can even choose the bits that you’d like to edit in future. This is perfect for planning as the client can see what they want and with authoring capabilities they can edit it too. You can literally strip back the venue down to its construction, move things around and pinpoint where you’d like to overlay holograms.

Not only this, the HoloLens can be very practical as by showing the client how the event would look via the headset in a meeting room, professionals could save on resources such as: time, travel expenses, electricity and space because no extra equipment is needed.

Ian Newman, our Technology Development Manager at BI WORLDWIDE, commented: “Our current focus is in the realisation of event space planning and we are working on a number of concepts to assess its true potential.”

Oliver Moores, our Production Director, commented: “There are multiple advantages of using the Microsoft HoloLens in future events. It’s perfect for pre event planning, and is especially advantageous for overseas; where the client can use the headset to ‘walk the space’ and try before they buy. The editing capabilities are a massive advantage. Using it to place holograms on stage is huge but you’d have to use it in the right way with the right type of client. It must be breath-taking and go hand-in-hand with the client’s product.”

“Right now, the HoloLens is perfect for small audiences. It needs to become affordable for enough headsets for between 200 to 300 people. In the future, it could make planning an event for a client a lot easier but not right now; while the technology is still advancing, it could create more work. It will eventually be perfect for planning large events to help clients visualise their event better.”

Oliver concludes: “I believe that if you start to invest in the product now, then you can be more involved in changes going forward as you’ve already tried and tested the software so it puts you in a stronger position for input. The earlier you get it, the more say and creativity you can put into it. The augmented reality may take a few years until it’s easier to use for larger events.”

What else can the Microsoft HoloLens do?

There are many other advantages to the Microsoft HoloLens including: its excellent build quality and attention to detail; impressive Hologram resolution and spatial sound is excellent; the application potential seems limitless; it’s hands-free and doesn’t require leads to run it. Google also rates the product as it’s investing heavily in ‘Magic Leap’, which has a potential similar to HoloLens.

There are, of course, challenges and improvements still to be made with the HoloLens. A few include: the software is still maturing; there are some nagging glitch issues for Microsoft to fix, the field of view needs improvement and it’s quite short on battery life so you have to keep it charged. Also, the HoloLens’ brilliant compatibility creates much potential for event professionals to work from home.

Is there a future for the Microsoft HoloLens?

Ian concludes: “The Microsoft HoloLens is the most exciting technology we have seen in recent years and I see the mixed reality experience replacing virtual reality in the mainstream within three to five years.”

Technology for the future is advancing fast and here at BI WORLDWIDE, we believe in staying ahead. This is why we continually look to invest in new solutions for our clients to remain the forward thinking, creative agency that we are. Interested in working with us? Get in touch.

 

Not seen the HoloLens yet? Check out these amazing videos!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihKUoZxNClA

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT2rZIAL-zNqeK1OmLLUa6g

 

References:

http://visualteachingalliance.com/

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