Virtual reality (VR) use cases have expanded — and innovation continues to drive adoption beyond just the video game industry. In fact, recent advancements have paved the way for the creation of a new, hybrid technology: mixed reality (MR).

With MR, users wear a headset that displays interactive holograms within the environment around them in real time. This technology allows them to physically engage in unique experiences in many popular industries, such as entertainment, education and health.

Developers are taking notice of the possibilities of MR — and are also exploring how it can add value to leisure and workplace productivity.

Bringing Mixed Reality Into the Enterprise

Nearly every industry can utilize MR to gain insights and expand communication in ways never experienced before. Industries can also save time and money by facilitating faster, more efficient collaboration.

Here are examples of how some industries are using MR:

  • Architects at construction companies can see their AutoCAD blueprints in full 3D, interact with the space to make changes and achieve a better sense of how their building looks before construction even begins.
  • Medical students can use holograms of human anatomy to gain a better understanding of how the body works. This form of interactive education is already in use at Case Western Reserve University, and these applications of MR can be life-saving.
  • Technicians who need assistance repairing critical pieces of equipment can use MR to show their colleagues what they’re seeing — and get step-by-step visual guidance on adequately facilitating necessary repairs.
  • Companies in all industries can also build highly engaging applications for quicker onboarding of new employees and interaction with customers.

Mixed Reality Meets Unified Endpoint Management

There are dozens of companies working on MR applications to further advance the technology and its capabilities. Some specialize in a single industry, while others target the market with specific devices.

One of the more easily recognized names is Microsoft, which has developed an MR headset dubbed the HoloLens. The device sits on the users’ heads — much like a crown. The display is built into a tinted visor that resembles a motorcycle helmet visor. The HoloLens gained notoriety as the first MR device that runs on the Microsoft Windows 10 operating system. This allows developers to create MR applications for the HoloLens and utilize Windows application programming interfaces to work with other products.

IBM MaaS360 with Watson announced the ability to support and manage Microsoft HoloLens devices in May 2018. Just like any Windows 10 device, HoloLens follows the same security commands, policies and compliance rules, which can be applied using MaaS360.

As MR gains a more significant presence in the workforce, IT security leaders are going to need to manage these devices. Unified endpoint management (UEM) combines the capabilities of multiple solutions into one. By addressing the security concerns of managing MR devices, IT and security leaders can manage mobile devices, laptops, mobile applications, mobile content, user identity and access and more.

From designing buildings to saving lives, MR’s potential is vast — and it will only expand. Having the right tools in place will help your company stay ahead of security concerns and move forward with confidence.

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