Microsoft Hololens Explained: How It Works and Which Business Industries May Benefit

The key facts about the Mixed Reality headset and real benefits it brings for enterprises

5 min readOct 3, 2019

This post was originally published in Visartech Blog

The second edition of Microsoft Hololens has already been released. Though let’s see what this whole technology represents and how businesses may benefit from implementing solutions for the well-known mixed reality headset.

What is Microsoft Hololens and How Does It Work?

Microsoft Hololens is an AR headset from Microsoft, which is often also called a “Mixed Reality” headset, highlighting its advanced features of interaction with augmented reality virtual content via gestures.

Read also: HTC Vive Focus: A Fair Review of a Standalone VR Headset

Microsoft Hololens lets you see the real environment around you, adding the 3D holograms to it. Users can interact with those holograms via hand gestures or voice commands. They can be animated and interactive.

The real-world light helps to create holograms in the headset. This means that white appears very bright, and black appears transparent.

There’s one aspect that needs to be taken into account while developing for Hololens — you need to replace black with gray. Also avoiding large white areas is essential since they can be overwhelming for users.

Some people wonder what is it like to use Microsoft HoloLens. Well, using this mixed reality headset is like working with holographic interfaces in a scientific movie.

What’s the Technology Behind Microsoft Hololens?

There are see-through holographic lenses in Hololens that help you to see the real world. In this case, the holograms can be displayed on top of it. Just some more light needs to be added on top of the real-world light.

Also, Hololens has 4 environment-understanding cameras that analyze the environment around you, define the surfaces and objects.

The software and algorithms of Hololens are helping it to:

  1. Understand your movement by analyzing the changes of input from 4 cameras.
  2. Figure out the real-world surfaces and space, along with positioning the virtual holograms on the surfaces, or in real-world space.
  3. See the user’s hands through cameras, additionally recognizing the gestures.
  4. Recognize the voice commands via the built-in microphones and voice recognition software.

Hololens is a standalone, untethered device. It has a built-in CPU and requires no connection to the PC.

Read also: Why You Should Give Up on PC VR and Focus on Standalone VR Apps

What is the Future of Microsoft Hololens?

Microsoft Hololens is a promising technology with great potential. The idea behind it is really cool and it definitely has the future. Just imagine, a user can interact with holographic interfaces and 3D holograms via gestures, exactly like in the futuristic movies.

Microsoft Hololens is the first device that provides such functionality. So, the implementation is not that good yet. The main drawback is that the field of view is very small, and the resolution is poor. Nevertheless, the first version was successful. So, the second edition will soon be released and it should resolve the issue by having a much better field of view and resolution.

Here are the Microsoft Hololens 2 benefits over the first version:

  • More convenient
  • Supports more gestures
  • Enhanced power
  • Greater field of view
  • Other improvements

The technology is now targeted at the enterprise. Especially taking into account its price mentioned above which is too much for the mass audience. Microsoft Hololens can be used for manufacturing, education, business planning, and other business cases.

I believe that first there’ll be a number of releases for enterprise with quality becoming better and better. And then the versions for home use will appear, which will be less powerful but at affordable prices. If Microsoft doesn’t make the version for home use, then someone else will.

By the way, there are a lot of rumors that Apple is working on its AR headset. So we’ll see who’ll be the first to release the mass-market AR glasses.

In the future, similar technology can replace even computer monitors. However, for now, Microsoft Hololens is too expensive, not as powerful as PCs and it’s not ready for replacing the computer monitors from user experience yet.

What are the Possible Applications of Hololens in Business?

The best applications are the ones where you need to switch between the real world and virtual information constantly and more easily. So, let’s see where Hololens can make the most spectacular impact:

  • Manufacturing

You move freely around the factory, see how all processes are going, and can compare it to the information shown to you through the holograms. Additionally, combined with IoT Hololens can show you the stats or info from the nearest factory devices. All this can increase the productivity and speed of employee’s reactions.

  • Business planning and meetings

You can talk to other participants of the meeting and collectively see the plan as a hologram, interact with it, move the blocks, etc.

  • 3D design

You can work on 3D design collaboratively with others, look through the parts of it, scale, add notes or information, look into the details.

  • Healthcare

Hololens is already used for surgeries and invasive procedures. It can show the physicians’ data from X-ray, ultrasound, and other sources. This extended information describes a patient’s state and helps to make better decisions.


The technology is impressive and with a lot of improvements ahead.

Through a mixed reality headset, we will be able to experience the world we have yet to imagine. Our everyday life may be transformed in endless ways. There are already use cases among existing enterprises that prove the efficiency of this technology by cutting the time and cost of certain business processes.

Click here to read the rest of Visartech's story “What You Need to Know about Microsoft Hololens”: its technical specification for both known versions and how it differs from other popular headsets.

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