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Wearable Tech

Microsoft Layout lets HoloLens design your space

This new AR app lets you test-drive office, warehouse or factory designs in a headset.

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Microsoft Layout in action. 

Microsoft

Microsoft's HoloLens is adding a few new tricks to its augmented repertoire, it revealed at Build 2018 on Monday. While this AR headset, and the broader Microsoft "mixed reality" VR headset platform, were not a major focus of the conference, two new software apps show off the potential for AR/VR in industrial and business settings.

Microsoft Layout is a program for designing workspaces in 3D. Furniture and equipment can be added via the desktop interface, or in a mixed reality VR headset. When you're ready to test your layout in as true-to-life a scenario as possible, slip on a HoloLens augmented reality headset, and view your layout in the actual space it'll go in.

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While in the HoloLens mode, designers can move items around, rotate them, and even take measurements of the space between a real price of equipment and a virtual one.

A second new HoloLens program, Remote Assistant, allows for AR conference calls. For example, dialing in a colleague in another office, and giving them a first-person POV stream of what you're seeing, and even letting callers annotate the live image, drawing arrows or circling highlights for everyone to see.  

Layout and Remote Assistant will both be available as a limited-time free preview starting May 22.