Microsoft and Volkswagen Create “Moving Platform” Mode for HoloLens 2

Posted on May 5, 2022 by Laurent Giret in Hardware, Microsoft HoloLens with 6 Comments

Microsoft is working with Volkswagen on new use cases for augmented reality technology in mobility scenarios. The car manufacturer has been experimenting with using Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 in moving vehicles, and it has helped the Redmond giant create a new “moving platform” mode for the headset.

“The new “moving platform” mode for HoloLens 2 overcomes a major limitation of mixed reality headsets and creates potential for the technology to be used in new ways — training drivers to handle challenging road conditions, for example, or creating new user experiences for autonomous vehicles. And while mobility is Volkswagen’s focus, the capability could in future be shared across other industries,” Microsoft explained today.

Volkswagen has been interested in augmented reality for many years, having previously launched a research project using self-piloted vehicles and augmented reality to teach driving on a racing circuit. However, the carmaker was initially unable to make Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 headset work in a moving vehicle as the devices’ sensors lost tracking and holograms were disappearing. Microsoft’s HoloLens team eventually developed an algorithm to allow HoloLens to continue tracking in a moving platform, and following months of testing the new moving platform feature was born.

“We connected a positioning system that tracks the location of the vehicle. This way we were able to also place 3D elements such as information on point of interests outside of the car. This opens up completely new possibilities to not only display holograms within the driver’s forward-facing field of view, but also wherever the user wearing the glasses is looking,” says Michael Wittkämper, augmented reality expert at Volkswagen.

This new moving platform mode for HoloLens 2 is already garnering interest from maritime companies. It’s supported for use on large ships, but Microsoft is already working on other use cases in trains, cars, elevators, and other moving environments.

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Comments (6)

6 responses to “Microsoft and Volkswagen Create “Moving Platform” Mode for HoloLens 2”

  1. anoldamigauser

    So, when you take this into a city full of tall buildings, does the augmented reality block the entire view out the windshield?

  2. bluvg

    Cool that it moves as you turn your head, but couldn't you get the majority of these benefits with a HUD?

  3. faustxd9

    Or applicable the large military contract they have?

  4. eric_rasmussen

    That blue arrow showing where to turn is large enough to block out a motorcycle. I love this concept but I certainly hope the designers consider that people turning in front of motorcycles is the number one cause for motorcyclist injury.

    Personally I would prefer a semi-translucent marking on the ground that shows me which lane to be in. But honestly voice prompts are usually fine, freeing my visual system up for watching out for obstacles.

  5. gavinwilliams

    "Cool that it moves as you turn your head, but couldn't you get the majority of these benefits with a HUD?" Yes, this is just like a HUD, except there will be pro's and cons compared to a windscreen HUD. It's all the same technology being worked on. These API's will likely bleed out from HoloLens into other formfactors, such as VR, remote control, and fixed HUDS. But it still has to be worked on and integrated into a cohesive API. And then it will have to be worked on some more, and then considered in other form factors and worked on some more. You get the point. You can't dismiss this work by saying it could be somewhat or mostly done in another formfactor. Especially when those other formfactors don't really provide this solution.

  6. gavinwilliams

    There is a lot can be done with this tech. When can I fire virtual missiles at traffic ahead? Gamification of the driving experience is something I've been wanting for years.