The Use Cases for the Microsoft HoloLens

As augmented reality continues to take off, manufacturers have an incredible opportunity to realize growth through increased efficiency, reduced costs, and more integrated processes. Below are six use cases for the Microsoft HoloLens, Microsoft’s flagship AR headset, in industry to realize these growth opportunities.

  1. Integrating Design and Manufacturing: This comes from the ease of collaborating in the design process using shareable, life-sized, interactive 3D models generated from the HoloLens. These models allow for real time adjustments to be made by both manufacturers and designers as issues arise. According to ThyssenKrupp, utilizing this technology they can put out products four times faster than without it.
  2. Training Manufacturing Workers: Using the HoloLens for training on the processes involved in manufacturing and the servicing of complex equipment allows for the trainees to interact with a 3D simulation (as opposed to a 2D video) giving them more hands on experience and better knowledge of the machines or components they are working on or with.
  3. Complex Assembly: In complex assembly processes manuals often have to be utilized which in turn leads to inefficiencies in the process. With the HoloLens, step by step instructions can be overlaid onto the complex assembly so that employees never have to reach for an instruction manual or look to a display monitor again. All the information can be displayed right there in their line of sight.
  4. Servicing and Maintenance: There are several ways in which the HoloLens can improve servicing and maintenance operations at a plant. They can triage requests ahead of a visit to ensure they know what the problem is and what to do and, similar to with complex assembly, they can you 3D models in real time reference while they are searching for or fixing the problem. Also, because the HoloLens has a live-feed Skype like capability, you can remote in subject matter experts from different plants or facilities to help address an issue you are having.
  5. Complex Sales: When it comes to selling very large or complex solutions it is often helpful for your customer to be able to visualize the product. Enter the HoloLens, which allows you to bring a virtual 3D copy of your solution to the customer allowing them to better understand the product and se its potential. This in turn can help you close that big sale.
  6. Executive Oversight and Data Visualization: The uses of the HoloLens are not limited to line workers and maintenance staff. Executives can use the HoloLens for data visualization. It is essentially a portable live “war room” for your business that allows you to look at operations with live and YTD data. You can overlay statistics and KPI’s onto a 3D model of a facility to get the bigger picture of how operations are or have those statistics displayed on walls around your conference room constantly updating. The HoloLens makes showing data easier, more comprehensible, and more eco-friendly as you will not have to print off lots of reports anymore.

Utilizing the HoloLens in these ways will allow manufacturer to realize some great opportunities for improvement.



  1. What other use cases for the HoloLens can you think of to improve your operations?
  2. What other AR headsets are out there that can accomplish the same thing as the HoloLens? Is there one that can do more?
  3. How will continued integration of AR into our manufacturing operations change the way manufacturing is done? Will it have an impact outside of manufacturing as well?