Microsoft will introduce new augmented reality business apps for iOS and Android smartphones this spring, the company announced today at an event held in Paris. Remote Assist will be available in public preview for Android and Product Visualize 365 in public preview for iOS in April.
“If you’re a technician, and you are looking at a piece of equipment, you can use your mobile device to overlay that equipment and then look at the different breakpoints and then communicate and collaborate with different subject matter experts on potential fixes for that,” Microsoft president of business applications Alysa Taylor told VentureBeat in a phone interview.
Dynamics 365 Visualize will power augmented reality applications for marketing and sales to help businesses convey to customers how a custom-designed car or piece of heavy machinery will look.
Remote Assist for HoloLens was first made available in an update last fall, together with AI for Market Insights, AI for Customer Service, and Dynamic AI for Sales.
The announcement was made today as part of a biannual update for Microsoft Dynamics 365 enterprise software. Dynamics 365 software helps organizations unearth insights from their data.
Remote Assist and Dynamics 365 Visualize on smartphones could compete with Google’s ARCore and Project Aero from Apple and Adobe. Each of the platforms is designed to help companies use augmented reality in business or consumer settings to show customers what’s possible.
Microsoft’s AR for business apps are different because they’re aimed at both B2B and B2C use cases, Taylor said.
“The difference that you’ll see from Apple and others is they’re very consumer oriented, very socially oriented, whereas we are looking at it from a ‘How do we enable businesses to have different interaction touch points, as well as to be able to move their business forward and transform in different ways?'” she said.
In April, Microsoft is also introducing Dynamic 365 AI services for the workplace.
Dynamics 365 Customer Insights will help businesses analyze customer retention, understand what drives customer loyalty, and deliver personalized experiences.
Dynamics 365 Virtual Agent for Customer Service ingests call logs to build bots that speak with customers.
“The intent of this is to use a virtual agent in those front lines — and those very repeatable, very high volume type requests — so that the customer service agent can be freed up to do more highly customizable, personalized engagements with end users,” Taylor said.
Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection is, as its name suggests, used to identify fraud from ecommerce buying patterns.
AI for Market Insights, AI for Customer Service, and Dynamic AI for Sales services were announced last fall alongside Remote Assist for HoloLens.