Replacing 3D printing and preparing for the future of mixed reality.
VRFocus went to Cologne’s Gamescom event earlier this year looking for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), but surprisingly found a company specialising in mixed reality (MR). We spoke to Luis Bollinger, Co-Founder of German company Holo-Light about the applications they’re building for MR which includes Holo-View, Holo-Expo and Holo-Stylus. Currently these would be used with Microsoft’s Hololens, but it looks like they are preparing for future MR devices as well.
Last year at Gamescom there were only four staff members of Holo-Light, this year the team has expanded and has a total of 27 staff members working for them. Originating in Austria but now based in Munich, Holo-Light attended Gamescom in order to get contacts in the gaming industry as they predict developers and videogames companies are looking to build videogames for the future with their products. Bollinger explains that the MR community is very small at the moment but is on the rise and Holo-Light plan to have a network built and established for when MR does pick up.
Holo-Light showcased Holo-View; a 3D CAD visualisation tool, specifically made to help engineers create prototypes – and hopefully replace expensive 3D printing. Using drag and drop, Holo-Light want to allow users to load holograms of prototypes, enabling full interaction through a streamlined user interface. Allowing them to rotate, scale, move, select and highlight sections.
Holo-View also allows for multiple users, which makes it useful for collaborating with colleagues on a prototype, or sharing work with customers. At the moment it’s being used in car manufacturing, for OAMS and viewing 3D models. Holo-Light want clients to use Holo-View to help create their own training, as well as use it for maintenance, quality control and training purposes.
Holo-Light also have another application that help display 3D objects, but it’s made specifically for exhibitions. It’s called Holo-Expo and it has already been used at trade shows to help exhibit and showcase products that are usually difficult to visualize. With Holo-Expo, users can highlight components and receive live data, doing so this using the HoloLens and 3D holograms of machine components.
The final product Holo-Light are working on is the Holo-Stylus. A pen made specifically to help those who have problems with gestures and the technology of the HoloLens. Bollinger explains that a pen is a great cross-platform device that would make it simple and easier to interact with holograms, much like Microsoft’s Surface pen. The pen would allow for users to pick holograms, show paths for machines and simplify the use of the Hololens and other MR devices. It will start retailing early next year at 8,000 Euros and will launch with Holo-Light’s SDK that’s Unity based.
Bollinger says that MR technology is still quite young and struggling, however if it was introduced properly and shown correctly there are many benefits to automation. Figures show companies can save money and time, and you can see a lot of smiling people when they understand it.