Remote Assist

Earlier today, we discussed Microsoft’s new applications for Dynamics 365 users running Android and iOS. Nestled in the company’s announcement was the introduction of a HoloLens application coming to Android. Called Remote Assists, this Dynamics 365 app is an important release.

Not least because it furthers Microsoft push towards brining its mixed reality solutions to mobile platforms. The company is now sending Windows Mixed Reality solutions to Android and iOS. It is worth remembering these apps and services have been limited to HoloLens and VR headsets until now.

Android will score a version of Remote Assist in preview this spring, while iOS will get an exclusive tool for previewing products.

On HoloLens, Remote Assist is a troubleshooting app that lets users share what they are seeing through the headset camera. This content is shared to a recipient using a second device and allows them to assist with image overlay annotations.

Moving the app to Android of course removes the element where one user has a head mounted display. Instead, the user will simply hold up their smartphone instead. Interestingly, Microsoft says the Android and HoloLens apps will not be interchangeable.

Targeting enterprise users, Microsoft says on Android, Remote Assist becomes more accessible. Companies can now have employees with cheaper devices receive annotated communications, instead of needing the $3,000 HoloLens.

“It’s different than just turning the camera around or turning the phone around, because the person on the other side, they’re seeing the problem and they can annotate into the real world,” says Microsoft’s mixed reality business head Lorraine Bardeen.

Exclusive for iOS

Not to be left out, iOS has also scored an AI-powered tool called Project Visualize. We touched on the tool in our Dynamics 365 story earlier today. Essentially, Project Visualize allows companies that sell complex product show scaled-down or full-sized models in augmented reality.

Project Visualize

For example, a company that sells industrial machinery can showcase augmented models. Interestingly, this is a mobile first tool as Bardeen says Microsoft will release it on HoloLens at a later date.

Microsoft says the difference between Project Visualize and other apps that generate augmented models is that it is integrated into the company’s other sales and collaboration services.