Everyone is in dire love with Microsoft’s HoloLens, but why? Microsoft’s fan-boys love anyways everything what comes out of Redmond, as long as it is „innovative“. Doesn’t matter if its wearable tech for fitness, a new phone or now the HoloLens goggles. The other big admirers are the big tech-news sites like “Wired” or “The Verge”. They write so positively about HoloLens one could think it’s a PR-Article. Interesting was, that most of the use-cases showcased in the HoloLens video was directed to the private consumers, with exception the Mars-research program and the Motorcycle designer. But why?
When Microsoft presented the HoloLens vision it got clear to me that this is the future of work. I saw it in front of my inner eye how Enterprises will work in the virtual space.
At the moment I still believe that HoloLens are „just“ a vision. I personally doubt that Microsoft can deliver the show-cased vision in this level of maturity still this year. Microsoft does not really have a solid reputation delivering high quality user experience in their products, hands down. Patches over re-patches for Windows 8 and the gesture recognition interface oft he Xbox are only a few examples. Because of this, it is really questionable to move freely around with HoloLens and it will understand my gesture and voice inputs.
However, this ridiculous and narrow-minded criticism does not change the fact that Microsoft HoloLens-vision does have the potential to revolutionize the way how we work and interact with the virtual world.
Within the last few years many consumer-focused companies had their epiphanies. They saw that more users are accessing their content via mobile devices rather than laptops or desktop computers. Therefore they began to adapt and optimize their Internet presence for mobile access. Nowadays something similar is happening in the large enterprises. They start to understand that it’s not only about rolling out mobile devices within the organization to deliver corporate content to the mobile, they know it’s about something much bigger than that.
Just think about what’s possible with mobile devices nowadays. The highly developed functionalities of Smartphones did lead to business models, we could just dream of a few year ago. Let’s look at the infamous Uber. Uber was only possible to do, because smartphones capture physical and logical location data automatically (sensorification) and present them in an user friendly way over a mobile app.
This type of sensorification we will see in the Enterprise as well, sooner or later.
The user interfaces of large enterprise applications are in a desolate state at the moment and are way behind standards of the consumer-world. For example all the smartphone gestures like pinch, zoom, swipe, tap and moving of objects with the fingertip are not present in nowadays’ enterprise applications. User interfaces were the last thing we were thinking about when designing a new enterprise database. But this is rapidly changing at the moment.
But where do we take now the sensors into the equation? Think again about Smartphones. There’s not much space on the screens and almost no functional buttons on the devices. The sensors are the shortcuts to data, what the user does not need to type in. In the case of Uber, I do not need to type in my location; my Smartphone is doing that for me automatically. Like this the app is able to provide location and time context relevant information from the get go. For Enterprises this could mean that you could get rid, or reduce the typing, searching, saving, and classification of information. Having this is nice, but it’s not enough for us and now Microsoft is coming with its HoloLens.
Having Enterprise data in the right context and able to collaborate with colleagues in the three dimensional space would be the top class of work. The HoloLens goggles spiked with Sensors and connections to Enterprise data will give us new views to enterprise data and will give us new and much more efficient ways of working together. It will revolutionize the user interfaces and redefine the future of work and will make classic Intranets with their applications obsolete.
If you ask yourself what’s after the „Consumerization of IT“? It’s definintely the „Sensorification of the Enterprise“. And if you want to believe in the vision of Microsoft’s HoloLens, it will definitely transform our world forever. Despite to all the criticism, I truly believe in that!