Volvo enlists Microsoft HoloLens to make it easier to sell cars

Mark Coppock

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella might see HoloLens as a five-year vision, but he’s not alone when it comes to the “vision” part. Volvo, maker of cars with a reputation for being boxy but safe, is right there with them in seeing how the HoloLens augmented reality system can make buying a car a more interactive and innovative process.
This short video provides a quick overview of how Volvo envisions HoloLens fitting into the new car buying experience:
Imagine walking into a showroom and rather than being limited to just the models in stock, you could visualize any model in any configuration and color. Then, with just some magic gestures, tear the car apart and see its inside stuff. Flip it around, highlight features, plug in different colors and options–with HoloLens, paging through complicated brochures becomes a thing of the past.
Really, it’s all pretty cool, and it’s a great example of how HoloLens can make a onetime boring and static process far more interactive and dynamic. There are just things you can do with HoloLens in this and many other contexts that you just can’t do with other technologies. And compared to virtual reality, you’re not isolated when you access this information–it’s laid out over your existing environment in a way that keeps you engaged with the salesperson–or doctor, or engineer, or scientist–who’s guiding you through an experience.

Yes, that's a guy wearing a HoloLens on an assembly line. Don't try this with a VR device!
Yes, that’s a guy wearing a HoloLens on an assembly line. Don’t try this with a VR device!

Here’s Volvo’s take:

“With HoloLens we have the freedom to create a bespoke experience which customers can steer themselves. Imagine using mixed reality to choose the type of car you want – to explore the colors, rims, or get a better understanding of the features, services and options available,” said Björn Annwall, Senior Vice President, Marketing Sales and Service at Volvo Cars.

Of course, Volvo isn’t alone in visualizing HoloLens as a powerful tool. NASA JPL (the rocket scientists), Trimble, Case Western Research University alongside the Cleveland Clinic are just a handful of other organizations that are also investigating HoloLens. And of course, HoloLens is just another Windows 10 device, and so Microsoft’s new platform is thus extended into some pretty exciting new directions.
If you want to explore how HoloLens can make your life or business more exciting, productive, and innovative, you can sign up for the HoloLens Development Edition. Lay down a cool $3,000, and you’ll get yours starting sometime in Q1 of 2016. What are you waiting for?