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Microsoft Security Operations Analyst
Question: 26
You need to complete the query for failed sign-ins to meet the technical requirements.
Where can you find the column name to complete the where clause?
A. Security alerts in Azure Security Center
B. Activity log in Azure
C. Azure Advisor
D. the query windows of the Log Analytics workspace
Answer: D
Question: 27
You have 50 on-premises servers.
You have an Azure subscription that uses Microsoft Defender for Cloud. The Defender for Cloud deployment has
Microsoft Defender for Servers and automatic provisioning enabled.
You need to configure Defender for Cloud to support the on-premises servers.
The solution must meet the following requirements:
Provide threat and vulnerability management.
Support data collection rules.
Which three actions should you perform in sequence? To answer, move the appropriate actions from the list of actions
to the answer area and arrange them in the correct order.
To configure Defender for Cloud to support the on-premises servers, you should perform the following three actions in
On the on-premises servers, install the Azure Connected Machine agent.
On the on-premises servers, install the Log Analytics agent.
From the Data controller settings in the Azure portal, create an Azure Arc data controller.
Once these steps are completed, the on-premises servers will be able to communicate with the Azure Defender for
Cloud deployment and will be able to support threat and vulnerability management as well as data collection rules.
Question: 28
You have an Azure subscription that uses Azure Defender.
You plan to use Azure Security Center workflow automation to respond to Azure Defender threat alerts.
You need to create an Azure policy that will perform threat remediation automatically.
What should you include in the solution? To answer, select the appropriate options in the answer area. NOTE: Each
correct selection is worth one point.
Graphical user interface, text, application
Description automatically generated
Question: 29
You need to implement the Azure Information Protection requirements.
What should you configure first?
A. Device health and compliance reports settings in Microsoft Defender Security Center
B. scanner clusters in Azure Information Protection from the Azure portal
C. content scan jobs in Azure Information Protection from the Azure portal
D. Advanced features from Settings in Microsoft Defender Security Center
Answer: D
Explanation: protection-
Question: 30
You have a Microsoft 365 tenant that uses Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft Defender for Office 365.
What should you use to identify whether zero-hour auto purge (ZAP) moved an email message from the mailbox of a
A. the Threat Protection Status report in Microsoft Defender for Office 365
B. the mailbox audit log in Exchange
C. the Safe Attachments file types report in Microsoft Defender for Office 365
D. the mail flow report in Exchange
Answer: A
To determine if ZAP moved your message, you can use either the Threat Protection Status report or Threat Explorer
(and real-time detections).
Question: 31
You create a custom analytics rule to detect threats in Azure Sentinel.
You discover that the rule fails intermittently.
What are two possible causes of the failures? Each correct answer presents part of the solution. NOTE: Each correct
selection is worth one point.
A. The rule query takes too long to run and times out.
B. The target workspace was deleted.
C. Permissions to the data sources of the rule query were modified.
D. There are connectivity issues between the data sources and Log Analytics
Answer: A,D
Question: 32
You have an Azure subscription that has Azure Defender enabled for all supported resource types.
You create an Azure logic app named LA1.
You plan to use LA1 to automatically remediate security risks detected in Azure Security Center.
You need to test LA1 in Security Center.
What should you do? To answer, select the appropriate options in the answer area. NOTE: Each correct selection is
worth one point.
Question: 33
You need to recommend remediation actions for the Azure Defender alerts for Fabrikam.
What should you recommend for each threat? To answer, select the appropriate options in the answer area. NOTE:
Each correct selection is worth one point.
Question: 34
Topic 2, Litware inc.
Case study
This is a case study. Case studies are not timed separately. You can use as much test time as you would like to
complete each case. However, there may be additional case studies and sections on this exam. You must manage your
time to ensure that you are able to complete all questions included on this test in the time provided.
To answer the questions included in a case study, you will need to reference information that is provided in the case
study. Case studies might contain exhibits and other resources that provide more information about the scenario that is
described in the case study. Each question is independent of the other questions in this case study.
At the end of this case study, a review screen will appear. This screen allows you to review your answers and to make
changes before you move to the next section of the exam. After you begin a new section, you cannot return to this
To start the case study
To display the first question in this case study, click the Next button. Use the buttons in the left pane to explore the
content of the case study before you answer the questions. Clicking these buttons displays information such as
business requirements, existing environment, and problem statements. If the case study has an All Information tab,
note that the information displayed is identical to the information displayed on the subsequent tabs. When you are
ready to answer a question, click the Question button to return to the question.
Litware Inc. is a renewable company.
Litware has offices in Boston and Seattle. Litware also has remote users located across the United States. To access
Litware resources, including cloud resources, the remote users establish a VPN connection to either office.
Existing Environment
Identity Environment
The network contains an Active Directory forest named that syncs to an Azure Active Directory (Azure
AD) tenant named
Microsoft 365 Environment
Litware has a Microsoft 365 E5 subscription linked to the Azure AD tenant. Microsoft Defender for
Endpoint is deployed to all computers that run Windows 10. All Microsoft Cloud App Security built-in anomaly
detection policies are enabled.
Azure Environment
Litware has an Azure subscription linked to the Azure AD tenant.
The subscription contains resources in the East US Azure region as shown in the following table.
Network Environment
Each Litware office connects directly to the internet and has a site-to-site VPN connection to the virtual networks in
the Azure subscription.
On-premises Environment
The on-premises network contains the computers shown in the following table.
Current problems
Cloud App Security frequently generates false positive alerts when users connect to both offices simultaneously.
Planned Changes
Litware plans to implement the following changes:
Create and configure Azure Sentinel in the Azure subscription.
Validate Azure Sentinel functionality by using Azure AD test user accounts.
Business Requirements
Litware identifies the following business requirements:
The principle of least privilege must be used whenever possible.
-Costs must be minimized, as long as all other requirements are met.
-Logs collected by Log Analytics must provide a full audit trail of user activities.
-All domain controllers must be protected by using Microsoft Defender for Identity.
Azure Information Protection Requirements
All files that have security labels and are stored on the Windows 10 computers must be available from the Azure
Information Protection C Data discovery dashboard.
Microsoft Defender for Endpoint requirements
All Cloud App Security unsanctioned apps must be blocked on the Windows 10 computers by using Microsoft
Defender for Endpoint.
Microsoft Cloud App Security requirements
Cloud App Security must identify whether a user connection is anomalous based on tenant-level data.
Azure Defender Requirements
All servers must send logs to the same Log Analytics workspace.
Azure Sentinel Requirements
Litware must meet the following Azure Sentinel requirements:
Integrate Azure Sentinel and Cloud App Security.
Ensure that a user named admin1 can configure Azure Sentinel playbooks.
Create an Azure Sentinel analytics rule based on a custom query. The rule must automatically initiate the execution
of a playbook.
Add notes to events that represent data access from a specific IP address to provide the ability to reference the IP
address when navigating through an investigation graph while hunting.
Create a test rule that generates alerts when inbound access to Microsoft Office 365 by the Azure AD test user
accounts is detected. Alerts generated by the rule must be grouped into individual incidents, with one incident per test
user account.
You need to configure DC1 to meet the business requirements.
Which four actions should you perform in sequence? To answer, move the appropriate actions from the list of actions
to the answer area and arrange them in the correct order.
Description automatically generated with medium confidence
Step 1: log in to as a global admin
Step 2: Create the instance
Step 3. Connect the instance to Active Directory
Step 4. obtain and install the sensor.
Question: 35
You have an Azure subscription that has Azure Defender enabled for all supported resource types.
You create an Azure logic app named LA1.
You plan to use LA1 to automatically remediate security risks detected in Defenders for Cloud.
You need to test LA1 in Defender for Cloud.
What should you do? To answer, select the appropriate options in the answer area. NOTE: Each correct selection is
worth one point.
Question: 36
You need to create an advanced hunting query to investigate the executive team issue.
How should you complete the query? To answer, select the appropriate options in the answer area. NOTE: Each
correct selection is worth one point.
Question: 37
From Azure Sentinel, you open the Investigation pane for a high-severity incident as shown in the following exhibit.
Use the drop-down menus to select the answer choice that completes each statement based on the information
presented in the graphic. NOTE: Each correct selection is worth one point.
Question: 38
Topic 3, Misc. Questions
You need to receive a security alert when a user attempts to sign in from a location that was never used by the other
users in your organization to sign in.
Which anomaly detection policy should you use?
A. Impossible travel
B. Activity from anonymous IP addresses
C. Activity from infrequent country
D. Malware detection
Answer: C
Activity from a country/region that could indicate malicious activity. This policy profiles your environment and
triggers alerts when activity is detected from a location that was not recently or was never visited by any user in the
organization. Activity from the same user in different locations within a time period that is shorter than the expected
travel time between the two locations. This can indicate a credential breach, however, its also possible that the users
actual location is masked, for example, by using a VPN.
Question: 39
You have an Azure subscription that has Azure Defender enabled for all supported resource types.
You need to configure the continuous export of high-severity alerts to enable their retrieval from a third-party security
information and event management (SIEM) solution.
To which service should you export the alerts?
A. Azure Cosmos DB
B. Azure Event Grid
C. Azure Event Hubs
D. Azure Data Lake
Answer: C
Reference: https://docsmicrosoftcom/en-us/azure/security-center/continuous-export?tabs=azure-portal
Question: 40
You have a Microsoft 365 E5 subscription that uses Microsoft Defender and an Azure subscription that uses Azure
You need to identify all the devices that contain files in emails sent by a known malicious email sender. The query will
be based on the match of the SHA256 hash.
How should you complete the query? To answer, select the appropriate options in the answer area. NOTE: Each
correct selection is worth one point.
Graphical user interface, text, application
Description automatically generated
Question: 41
You have an Azure subscription that uses Microsoft Sentinel.
You detect a new threat by using a hunting query.
You need to ensure that Microsoft Sentinel automatically detects the threat. The solution must minimize administrative
What should you do?
A. Create a playbook.
B. Create a watchlist.
C. Create an analytics rule.
D. Add the query to a workbook.
Answer: C
By creating an analytics rule, you can set up a query that will automatically run and alert you when the threat is
detected, without having to manually run the query. This will help minimize administrative effort, as you can set up the
rule once and it will run on a schedule, alerting you when the threat is detected.
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Microsoft Operations reality - BingNews Search results Microsoft Operations reality - BingNews Will the new Apple headset provide a lifeline for Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse — or kill it?

Apple Inc. executives avoided using the term “metaverse” when introducing their new headset Monday, but the Vision Pro device could still provide a boost to Meta Platforms Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg’s push into augmented realities.

The announcement of the Vision Pro high-tech goggles during the keynote address at Apple’s WWDC conference is the type of high-profile, game-changing event that could kick-start virtual computing after years of false starts and unfulfilled promises. In affirming the concept of virtual and augmented reality, Apple might help Meta establish itself as the alternative, much as Alphabet Inc.’s Android is the alternative to iOS in mobile phones.

Android is not the only possible metaphor for Meta, though. The now-dominant company in virtual-reality headsets could instead be the next BlackBerry the once-popular mobile device that was flattened by the introduction of iPhone in 2007. Just as the iPhone made BlackBerry’s physical keyboard and clickwheel feel instantly dated, the presentation by Apple executives Monday showcased mixed-reality capabilities that far exceed what Meta has offered so far. It also featured direct digs at the current devices, pointing out, for instance, that Vision Pro doesn’t require “clumsy hardware controllers.”

“Augmented reality is a profound technology … Apple Vision Pro introduces us to spatial technology,” Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said, using Apple’s preferred terminology for the tech, which Cook said was “years in the making.” The focus of the product is content and enterprise use, rather than gaming, and it comes at a steep price, costing $3,500. It will not be available until 2024.

“There are certain products that shift technology and how we use it,” Cook added, catapulting Vision Pro into the same rarefied air as the iPhone and iPad.

Meta, meanwhile, has leaned into gaming as a primary reason to buy its Meta Quest headsets, which cost significantly less. Even Meta’s top-of-the-line Quest Pro headset costs less than half what it did when it was introduced, after Meta quickly slashed its price amid a dearth of interest.

Facebook’s corporate name change led to fevered hype about the metaverse in 2020-21, but the excitement didn’t last. Overall shipments of AR/VR devices plunged more than 50% in the latest quarter amid economic pressures and a general cooling of interest, according to IDC, and investors have criticized Facebook Reality Labs, the Meta division that hemorrhaged billions of dollars on metaverse development.

Some financial analysts, however, believe Apple’s entry into the category could turn the trajectory of Meta’s metaverse play around.

Apple’s new headset could “help shift sentiment from ‘Meta is incinerating cash in VR’ to ‘we may have something here,’ given how far in front the company is vs. the field,” Barclays analyst Ross Sandler said in a note Friday.

“Because the [virtual reality] market is so new and so early, it will have a net positive for the next five years,” Gartner analyst Tuong Nguyen said in an interview. “Apple is validating the market, and there will be plenty of space for everyone.”

Read more: Apple’s stock at all-time highs ahead of WWDC, headset reveal

Facebook bet its future on the metaverse, only to see the concept languish amid consumer indifference and a shift by the technology industry to artificial intelligence. But over the course of the last several weeks, Meta has recast its strategic narrative, intertwining the co-dependence of AI and the metaverse. Underscoring its point, company representatives have emphasized that the metaverse vision is a long-term one.

On Friday, Meta pre-emptively announced its next-generation virtual- and mixed-reality headset, Quest 3, based on Meta Reality technology. It will be available in the fall, starting at $500. The high-end Quest Pro headsets have not sold well, although consumers have plunked down more than $1.5 billion on apps and games in Meta’s Quest app store. Games from Roblox Corp. and Epic Games Inc. have proved to be popular.

Last month, Meta jumped into the AI sandbox with a set of new AI-powered tools and services it calls a “testing playground” for advertisers.

Read more: Meta climbs into ‘AI sandbox’ with tools for advertisers

“The metaverse — just like our feed ranking — will be powered by advanced AI technology. As Mark [Zuckerberg] has said, we’re focused on two waves of technology: AI and metaverse. They build on each other,” Nicola Mendelsohn, head of the global business group at Meta, said last month at a briefing for journalists. “There’s been a thing out there that we aren’t interested in the metaverse anymore. We are really interested in the metaverse. But we’re also really clear that this whole thing is going to be five, 10 years before it really realizes the vision of what we’re talking about.”

Yet the re-emergence of the metaverse and its possibilities — whether from Apple, Meta, Google or Microsoft Corp. — elicits a feeling of déjà vu among industry analysts who have witnessed waves of hype for virtual reality and related efforts over the course of decades but have never seen the promised success of the technology.

“Ah, the metaverse — here we go again. The highly rumored, much-anticipated super-expensive meta blah blah,” analyst Maribel Lopez said in an interview.

Indeed, the excitement that built after Meta’s pivot seems to have faded. Along with the decline in headset shipments, metaverse-related startups, which raised $2.93 billion in venture capital in the first five months of 2022, saw a dramatic drop-off to $664 million in the same period of 2023, according to PitchBook. Large companies that appeared excited by the possibilities have changed direction. Microsoft and Walt Disney Co. have recently trimmed metaverse and mixed-reality operations.

All that can change again, though. Disney CEO Robert Iger lent his support at Apple’s event Monday and said Disney+ will be available on Vision Pro when it launches. Apple showed off Vision Pro’s ability to reproduce 3-D movies with Disney’s “Avatar: The Way of Water,” and a Disney video showcased other potential experiences.

Any excitement for the future failed to show in stocks’ movement, however: Meta’s stock ended the day down 0.5%, and Apple shares ended down on the day after topping all-time intraday highs before the keynote address began.

Mon, 05 Jun 2023 09:06:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Microsoft Says 'Mixed Reality' Is the Future, Not VR and AR

If Microsoft has its way reality won't be virtual or augmented, it'll be mixed. Whereas virtual reality (VR) creates entirely computer-generated environments and augmented reality (AR) overlays computer-generated imagery onto the real world, mixed reality (MR), a term dating all the way back to a 1994 whitepaper based on research conducted at the University of Toronto and the Nara Institute of Science and Technology in Japan, seeks to blend the physical and digital worlds together. In a design setting for example, imagine being able to use a real screwdriver to make adjustments to a virtual product design, or being able to overlay virtual additions and adjustments onto a physical prototype and you start to get the idea.

With so many competitors ranging from Google, HTC, and Facebook-owned Oculus already tackling VR and AR from all sides, Microsoft is introducing a new strategy to position itself as a key player in bringing these technologies into the enterprise and consumer space. At its Build conference earlier this month Microsoft announced it would begin taking preorders on Mixed Reality Development Kits targeted at letting OEMs develop their own MR headsets. This all comes in conjunction with MR capabilities already built into Windows 10 as well as Microsoft's already available HoloLens AR headset that has been specifically targeted at enterprise.  The first of these MR head-mounted displays (HMDs), is being developed by Acer. 

“We're really creating an ecosystem and it's not dissimilar to how people use computers today,” Greg Sullivan, Director of Communications for Windows and Devices at Microsoft, told Design News. In essence, Microsoft wants to make VR and AR tools as commonplace for enterprise users as a keyboard or mouse.

During his keynote at the Build conference, Alex Kipman, Technical Fellow of the Operating System Group at Microsoft, and the man credited with inventing the HoloLens, said mixed reality should completely replace VR and AR in the cultural lexicon. “[VR and AR] are not separate concepts. These are just labels for different points on the mixed reality continuum,” Kipman told the audience. “This is why, to simplify things, we call all of it 'Windows Mixed Reality.' ”

In addition to Acer, Microsoft has already announced deals with big-name computer hardware manufactures including Lenovo, Dell, and HP. And if the company's gambit succeeds Microsoft could leapfrog it's competitors, particularly in the enterprise space where the HoloLens has a firm hold but is perhaps being held back by its steep $3,000 price point.

“The cost piece is something we've worked hard to address, Sullivan told Design News. “It is true today to have an immersive experience you need a headset that is not exactly an impulse purchase and a really powerful PC.”

Sullivan said that Microsoft is looking at HoloLens as a cornerstone for the experience it wants to deliver, but at a more affordable cost. Without any major products on the market yet it has already become clear that the next step for VR, AR, MR, or whatever you'd like to call it, will be providing an untethered experience – headsets that offer inside-out tracking and are able to follow the wearer's movements without the need for wires and external sensors.

“We wanted to build on the learning that we achieved with HoloLens,” Sullivan said. “One of the hardest things to make these [HMDs] compelling is to do positional tracking of the headset itself with six-degrees of freedom (6DoF). We've taken the inside-out tracking we built for HoloLens and brought it to these affordable headsets our partners are making.”

Sullivan said Microsoft is aiming to create an ecosystem with its partners that is open, but has a degree of structure – allowing OEMs to iterate and innovate their own products will still maintaining a standard of performance. “ That notion of an open but structured ecosystem is one we're familiar with,” he said. “All of the HMDS from our hardware manufacturer partners will devliver HMDs that contain inside-out, 6DoF tracking. It is a requirement of our platform to have that because the quality of experience is contingent on it. If you have a headset that does not deliver [6DoF] we know over time people will be uncomfortable with the experience.”

With its upcoming Creator's Update for Windows 10, scheduled for the fall of 2017, Microsoft, is implementing MR support into Windows 10 for developers. A big part of this update is that it will allow MR applications to run on PCs with integrated graphics, meaning users won't need to spring for the latest, high-end GPU in order to run a MR headset. “You'll be able to connect them to a mainstream PC that costs closer to $500,” Sullivan said.

The operating system is also key to Microsoft addressing the next major obstacle -- complexity. “The number one reason that existing devices get returned is complexity of setup,” Sullivan said, adding that the Creator's Update allows MR headsets to run with plug-and-play functionality -- again, just like a keyboard, mouse, or other standard peripheral.

But even if you can solve the cost and complexity issues, the greatest challenge is still to convince enterprise customers that adding MR to their workflow is a worthwhile investment. Sullivan said companies using HoloLens are already seeing a dramatic return on investment and Microsoft believes the same thing will carry over for MR. He cited German industrial company ThyssenKrupp AG, which is using HoloLens to assist elevator repair technicians. “ThyssenKrupp elevator uses HoloLens to dramatically scale the expertise of its repair technicians and experts to a field of other technicians. And they could do that right outside of the box just by using the Skype client.” He also talked about the value proposition HoloLens has brought to other maintenance and repair tasks as well as training. “If you're teaching a mechanic to work on a jet engine, for example, it's much more efficient to teach them on a holographic engine than to remove a physical one from a jet and fly everyone to a specific location to for hands-on learning.”

ThyssenKrupp elevator uses Microsoft HoloLens to assist repair technicians. (Image source: Microsoft)

At the Microsoft Build conference augmented reality company Scope AR announced it has added HoloLens support to its WorkLink software for creating AR and MR “smart instructions” for training and remote workers. "Through its built-in depth camera and sophisticated tracking technology, HoloLens is one of the best wearable devices for hands-free use of the MR applications so many organizations are seeking," said Scott Montgomerie, CEO of Scope AR, said in a statement from the Build conference "With WorkLink now supporting the device, enterprises finally have a simple and easy way to digitize visual instructions at scale -- empowering all workers to become their own expert -- and begin to realize the full potential of MR." 

Early reactions to Microsoft's new strategy have been varied, with some saying the company is making the landscape unnecessarily confusing. Early reviews of Acer's MR HMD have been mixed, with reviewers expressing confusion on how the headset differentiates itself from any other VR headset, given that it has no external cameras for taking in real-world imagery and input.

However, at a $399 cost, and with inside-out tracking capabilities, the Acer headset is does have a bit of a leg up on competitively priced products like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive that require external tracking hardware. With other manufacturers yet to debut their version of a MR headset it's possible someone may create one with external cameras - essentially a budget version of the HoloLens. If Microsoft's MR headsets can beat big names like Oculus, Vive, and Google to the next-generation of headsets it could indeed position Microsoft to extend its already strong foothold in the enterprise and consumer PC market one step further.

"All of these other immersive HMDs are primarily used for gaming and media content,” Sullivan said. “We see HoloLens and the MR HMDs as part of the same broader platform – the mixed reality platform. We think over time you'll begin to see more productivity scenarios and use cases. And potentially over time you'll see the ecosystem fill out across that whole spectrum with a range of use cases and device types.”

Chris Wiltz is the Managing Editor of Design News.  

Thu, 18 May 2023 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html
The Hottest Trend in Investing Is Mostly a Sham © Illustration by Joanne Imperio / The Atlantic. Sources: Bettmann / Getty; Hulton Archive / Getty; Ma...

In March, 19 Republican governors issued a statement warning of “a direct threat to the American economy, individual economic freedom, and our way of life.” The threat in question was not one of the classic objects of conservative anxiety, like high taxes, government regulation, or socialized medicine. Instead, it was a bugbear of a more recent vintage: ESG investing.

ESG, which stands for “environmental, social, and governance,” purports to allow investors to put their money into companies that care about not just their bottom line, but their impact on the world. ESG has been one of the hottest trends in investing over the past five years. There are now numerous ESG indexes and hundreds of ESG funds, including from the biggest institutional investors, that collectively have garnered trillions of dollars in assets.

[David A. Graham: Why Republicans are blaming the bank collapse on wokeness]

Given that nobody is forcing anyone to invest in these funds, you might see this as the free market at work. But for Republicans, this boom has been nothing short of a disaster, turning corporate executives into softhearted simps who put diversity and environmentalism ahead of the bottom line. The Wall Street Journal opinion page publishes nonstop critical coverage of it. Florida, ground zero for the effort to use state power to punish corporations for being too “woke,” passed a law earlier this month banning state and local officials from considering ESG goals when investing.

Conservative rhetoric about ESG investing may be politically expedient, but it is profoundly out of touch with reality. ESG ratings generally do not, it turns out, measure what most people think they measure. The most scandalous thing about ESG is not that it leads corporations to pursue progressive environmental and social goals. It’s that it pretends to, while in fact doing little of the sort.

The roots of ESG investing go back to the rise, in the 1960s, of what was then called “socially responsible investing.” That approach mainly relied on what’s known as “negative screening”: not investing in companies involved in products or practices deemed harmful or immoral, such as tobacco, nuclear weapons, and support for apartheid.

In the 1990s, some small investment firms began pioneering the idea that one could reap higher returns by identifying and investing in companies with excellent social or environmental performance. The theory was that these types of corporations use resources more efficiently, have lower risk profiles, and are better-positioned to deal with future regulations. Initially, this kind of positive screening catered to a niche market. It was a labor-intensive undertaking that required intensive research and direct communication with corporate executives. But by the mid-2000s, there was wider interest in investing in companies that seemed to be doing good, particularly with regard to climate change, and more hostility to the idea that companies should prioritize shareholder returns above all else. Demand for what we now call ESG investing emerged, and, as happens in a capitalist market, supply sprang up to meet that demand.

In the past few years, a host of what you might call ESG-ratings agencies have formed, many of them as new divisions within existing companies, each promising to rate corporations’ ESG performance in much the same way that credit-rating agencies assess the creditworthiness of corporate bonds. Today you can pick from ratings by Moody’s, MSCI, S&P, Refinitiv, and more. Along with the ratings came stock indexes and exchange-traded funds. Socially conscious retail investors now have an extensive menu of ready-made ESG funds to choose from—no research required. The sales pitch remains the same as it was in the 1990s: ESG investing won’t just assuage your conscience; it will let you outperform the market. You can do better by doing good.

This is, it must be said, a great pitch. The only problem is that it’s mostly smoke and mirrors.

Start with those ratings. An ordinary investor would reasonably assume that if a company has a high ESG rating, it must be doing a lot to curb carbon emissions and pollution or Strengthen diversity in its workforce or, ideally, both. That is, after all, how the ratings are marketed. MSCI, one of the most influential ESG-rating firms, describes itself as “enabling the investment community to make better decisions for a better world” and declares, “We are powered by the belief that [return on investment] also means return on community, sustainability and the future that we all share.”

[Read: The world is finally cracking down on ‘greenwashing’]

In fact, an ESG rating from MSCI does not measure how much a company is doing to combat climate change. Instead, as an in-depth 2021 Bloomberg investigation showed, the “environmental” portion of the rating measures how much climate change is going to affect a company’s business and how much the company is doing to mitigate that risk. So, if MSCI thinks climate change is not a big danger to a particular corporation, it doesn’t consider carbon emissions in determining that firm’s environmental rating—even if that corporation is a big emitter. So a company like McDonald’s can have its ESG score upgraded even if its total carbon emissions have risen.

Beyond that, the ESG framework smushes together a wide range of variables into a single rating, including one category—corporate governance—that has nothing at all in common with environmental and social values. A company might score well on governance because it limits the CEO’s power, has an independent board of directors, and is transparent and open with shareholders. All of that is economically valuable, but there’s nothing inherently good for the world about it. A sinister but well-governed corporation will simply accomplish its sinister goals more effectively. Yet governance constitutes a key ingredient in a company’s score, and in the Bloomberg study was responsible for the highest percentage of upgrades. One consequence of this is that a company that has high carbon emissions and an ordinary record on diversity, but excellent corporate governance, can end up with a very high overall ESG score.

Some of these problems could be addressed by building ratings that actually focus on reducing emissions, or by building ES indexes rather than ESG ones. But another issue would remain: Different agencies provide widely divergent ratings. A 2019 study by the economists Florian Berg, Julian Kölbel, and Roberto Rigobon, for instance, found that the ratings of the six biggest agencies correlated poorly with one another, and the biggest source of disagreement had to do with how different agencies measure the same criteria. One agency might say a company is a leader in the field, while another might see it as an ordinary performer at best.

On top of all of this, ESG indexes and funds don’t always do much screening to begin with. When you invest in an ESG fund, you may think you’re buying into a highly curated selection of positive-outlier companies. In reality, it will often look similar to an ordinary market-wide index fund. The 10 biggest holdings in the S&P 500 ESG index include Big Tech companies such as Apple, Microsoft, and Alphabet; big banks such as JPMorgan Chase; and, incredibly, ExxonMobil. This has two consequences: First, ESG investors aren’t always directing their money toward companies that are doing an exceptional job on the environmental or diversity fronts; second, to the extent that an ESG fund performs well, it’s often just because the market as a whole is doing well—yet ESG funds typically have higher costs than index funds.

ESG investors, then, aren’t always, or even usually, getting what they think they’re paying for, which in turn means that the conservative claim that companies are contorting themselves to satisfy ESG criteria is hugely overblown. The ESG boom has probably encouraged companies to Strengthen their disclosure about such issues as emissions and gotten them to think more concretely about the risk that climate change poses to their operations. But a vehicle for woke capitalism it’s not.

Indeed, if the ESG boom has had any systemic effect, it may have been to weaken the demand for government action by fostering the illusion that corporations can solve, and indeed are solving, the world’s problems on their own. In 2021, for instance, Larry Fink, the CEO of the investing behemoth BlackRock and the anti-ESG crowd’s favorite villain, argued against mandating climate-risk disclosures. Thanks to self-regulation, he said, “We’re not going to need, really, governmental change or regulatory change.” That’s a message that Republicans would normally find quite appealing. Instead of trying to bury ESG capitalism, free-market conservatives should really be praising it.

Thu, 25 May 2023 23:51:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Virtual Reality Helping Designers Craft New Cars Faster, With Less Waste

Digital headsets helped car designers around the world connected with each other, collaborating in real time, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Its use has jumpstarted a case for using virtual reality (VR) for more during the design process, making the chunky goggles and controller wands a staple in studios.

The designers react to models, animation, and proportion ideas by utilizing the equipment in tandem with various types of 3D design software.

VR was first used by the automotive industry a decade ago. The pandemic accelerated the practice. Designers at Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Kia and others used it to continue their work while remaining socially distant. Some companies now use virtual 3D modeling for every car they design.

As opposed to augmented and mixed reality, which deliver users a real look at the surrounding environment with overlays providing information, VR creates a compete virtual environment to look and move around in, everywhere from forests to design rooms complete with different settings for lighting, background and road surface.

Designers can see how light plays off interior surfaces using virtual reality. Ford Motor Company

"Before the pandemic, we were using [VR] but it was probably a bit more focused on the enthusiast. But we saw that there was going to be a real potential and a need for us to use the technology to move more quickly, and to be able to do faster iterations on our way to a physical result," Bryan Styles, director of immersive technology at General Motors told Newsweek.

"Also prior to the pandemic, coincidentally at the start of 2020, my team was formed because there was a discussion with the highest levels of leadership in the company that we've got to make sure that we're preparing for the future and having the right tool for the right job, and doing things immersively whether it's virtual reality, mixed reality or augmented reality, those are all part of the toolkit that we need to develop."

Ford also started using VR before the pandemic, but the quarantine put it into hyperdrive. It used VR to evaluate the open-air experience in the Bronco using a full-size model made of packing foam. Ford says it used VR to transport the Bronco to the desert or the forest without leaving the studio

"We used one of the clay modeling heat lamps to deliver us the intense feeling of the sun on our skin, or we piped in a forest soundtrack and used a large fan so you could feel the wind. The sense of immersion was transformative. So transformative one person who we sat in there was startled they couldn't see their hands, forgetting for a moment they were in a virtual environment, the impression of reality was so profound," Paul Wraith, Ford's chief designer told Newsweek.

VR is used for both the interior and exterior of vehicles. Ford Motor Company

Ford has a virtual courtyard environment that looks like the real life area at its Irvine, California studio. Designers can see how the light hits the surfaces at different times of the day without having a real model outside in the elements. It can spin virtual vehicles on a turntable. There are other scenes too, like country roads or open parking lots.

The companies use a variety of programs to achieve maximum effect in the studio.

Gravity Sketch, utilized by Ford and GM, allows designers to draw lines in the air, reshape those lines, connect panels and choose accents for its vehicles, without ever turning a screw or lifting a pencil. It also allows designers to take a 2D drawing off the page and create it in 3D. They can then physically walk around their creation, or just spin it in place and stand still, to look at every angle.

"It's one of the mainstream tools for us because it allows iteration from sketch to 3D model pretty quickly. There's less need to interpret a sketch because the sketch is being done in 3D. And then you can get the right dimensions earlier on, which then allows you to get to a clay model or a physical property that's higher fidelity, and closer to what you want," said GM's Styles.

Virtual reality can replicate forest and beach scenes, and more. Ford Motor Company

Much of the technology was proven on Sony's PlayStation and Microsoft's Xbox. One of General Motors' tools is the new Unreal Engine 5 program, whose predecessors have been instrumental in creating some of the top gaming titles.

GM uses it for virtual signoffs on the exterior and interior, to design the human machine interface (HMI) and even for the size of the corner pillars to make sure they're not too large to see around. Light reproduction can also deliver designers a sense of how much glare will hit the windshield at different times of the day.

And this isn't just about outer body panels on vehicles. These systems work for engine placement, suspension engineering, aerodynamics and interiors too. GMC's setup lets designers sit in a half cutaway interior, don the goggles and then be transported to the inside of a Hummer EV, Sierra pickup or one of its SUVs. Ford used it to design the GT's racing-style suspension.

"Interiors benefit greatly using VR. By nature, they are extremely detail oriented with tons of color and material combinations. To represent all these combinations early in a program is extremely intensive but with VR we can apply different colorway and material proposals virtually and come to conclusions much faster and more cost effective," said Hutting.

Ford used virtual reality to design both the Bronco and Bronco R racecar. Ford Motor Company

GM's system can do ambient interior lighting, as well as placement, combined with different exterior lighting conditions to judge the cabin in all states.

"We can also experience what it looks like in different lighting color palettes. We can also evaluate how a lighting theme may look up high, in the middle or down low in the interior, and determine which makes the most sense," Jennifer Kraska, director of Chevrolet interior design told Newsweek.

When less time is required for the ideation of each model, teams can spend their time on other projects. Virtual design can save on staffing, materials, operations and even the physical space needed for studios. It's greener too, cutting down on the number of physical models having to be created, then scrapped, as the design process evolves

The immersive VR experience does have its challenges, however.

"I've dropped into VR to poke around for 30 minutes in the afternoon only to find it's now 2 a.m., and although I've had the time of my life, the house is dark and everyone's asleep. The immersion is thrilling, but can be confusing," said Wraith.

"I've also experienced some of the Post VR Sadness Syndrome where you remove the headset and leave the color-saturated creative space or the convincing simulation of our California studio courtyard or Arizona desert to see that in reality outside it's a typical Michigan winters day and...damn."

The endgame of this digital wizardry is the quicker process of ideas that become designs that become real-world vehicles. Designers can also feel free to stretch their creative wings with no penalty for anything that doesn't work.

Tue, 23 May 2023 21:00:00 -0500 Jake Lingeman en text/html
Microsoft advances mixed-reality plans with Teams avatars, Mesh update No result found, try new keyword!Microsoft unveiled its Mesh concept in 2021, promising a range of tools and features, including a development platform to build mixed-reality apps, a virtual collaboration app, and avatars for Teams. Wed, 24 May 2023 15:58:00 -0500 en text/html Microsoft's new brand film showcases the power of technology to … – Microsoft

| Microsoft Stories

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Featuring ace actor and director, Pankaj Kapur, the film aims to inspire individuals and businesses by highlighting the power of human ambition and technology’s prowess to turn dreams into reality.
India, March 24, 2023: Microsoft today released a new brand film titled ‘Empowering Dreams’. Featuring renowned actor and director, Pankaj Kapur, the film highlights Microsoft’s commitment to empowering people and organizations around the world with its solutions. The film also illustrates how technology can serve as a powerful tool for equality, breaking down communication barriers and enabling individuals to achieve their maximum potential.
The film features Pankaj Kapur as an elderly and charismatic Kaustav Ghosh, who seeks the help of a team of young event planners to fulfill his longstanding promise to his wife of hosting a grand wedding for themselves. During a virtual meeting on Microsoft Teams, the lead planner, Pihu, assures Ghosh that they can create a memorable wedding. However, with a committed but tight 10-day deadline, Pihu and the team know it’s an uphill task. Leaning heavily on Microsoft Teams and Surface, the team rallies together to plan, execute and effectively manage last-minute changes, despite hurdles, doubts, and discouragement, to deliver the wedding of their dreams to Kaustav and his wife.
Samik Roy, Executive Director, Corporate, Medium and Small Business, Microsoft India, said, Through this film, we want to showcase the power of dreams and how technology can serve as a reliable ally for individuals and businesses to fulfill their aspirations. In line with Microsoft’s mission, we have a steadfast commitment to empowering businesses, irrespective of their scale and size. We enable organizations and people to unlock their full potential with our secured solutions across productivity, collaboration, infrastructure, low/no code application platform, Data and AI, business applications and devices.”
Bhaskar Basu, Country Head – Modern Work, Microsoft India, said, “We are committed to empowering businesses of every size and in every industry to achieve more by providing them with best-in-class solutions that are redefining the future of work. With our suite of Modern Work solutions across Microsoft 365 like Teams and Viva and our portfolio of Surface devices, our aim is to enable organizations with powerful and secure tools to help them collaborate seamlessly, stay connected with their teams and customers, and enhance their productivity.” 
Microsoft is committed to empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more with technology, tools, and platforms they need to succeed in a digital world.
About Microsoft India:
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Microsoft set up its India operations in 1990. Today, Microsoft entities in India have over 20,000 employees, engaged in sales and marketing, research, development and customer services and support, across 11 Indian cities – Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, New Delhi, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Noida, and Pune. Microsoft offers its global cloud services from local data centers to accelerate digital transformation across Indian startups, businesses, and government organizations.
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Wed, 31 May 2023 02:20:00 -0500 Aabha Sharma en-US text/html
Apple Reveals Vision Pro Mixed Reality Headset © Provided by GameRant

The Apple Vision Pro has been announced during Apple's WWDC 2023 presentation, a mixed reality headset delivering both augmented and virtual reality applications and content. What at first looks like a pair of snowboarding goggles is what might be Apple's most complicated hardware it's ever created. The Apple Vision Pro will allow users to play games, view media, conduct business, and more, all while on the move thanks to a wired battery that can fit in a pocket.

Rumors of Apple working on a hybrid augmented/virtual reality device have been swirling for years. Apple was said to be seeking a foothold in a market that's been seen as a major future growth opportunity for years now. Outside of niche markets, however, like PC-gaming-focused VR headsets or more casual mobile VR headsets, devices have struggled to gain mainstream appeal. Both the Microsoft HoloLens and Google Glass headsets, for example, have been discontinued.

RELATED: Apple’s Smart Glasses Could Be As Powerful As a Mac

Apple believes its Apple Vision Pro headset is the hardware that will change everything, it seems. Unveiled during WWDC 2023, the Apple Vision Pro is a simple-looking machine with big promises. It's worn like a pair of goggles, fully covering the user's eyes with a transparent screen and held to the back of the head with a padded strap. The headset itself is the computer, powered by a battery pack that's worn in a pocket and connected via a wire running up the user's back. Controls for the Vision Pro are the user's hands, with gestures recognized by the headset and no VR controllers required.

Uses for the Apple Vision Pro are myriad, as it blends the real with the digital. Standard Apple apps were prominently featured, including Apple Photos, Facetime, and Music. These apps have been improved for Vision Pro, of course. Photos can be experienced in 3D with the headset's 3D camera, Facetime can create augmented-reality face-to-face interactions or meetings and display the user via digitally constructed faces, and Music scans and adapts to 3D environments to create immersive listening experiences.

Partners showcased during the event include both Disney and Unity. Disney confirmed the Disney+ streaming service would be available for Apple Vision Pro day one, and shared a demo of possible interactive experiences that could run on the device. Unity apps will run natively on Apple Vision Pro, meaning developers will be able to create or adapt augmented reality experiences with relative ease.

Considering the cutting edge hardware Apple is putting into the Apple Vision Pro, it's no surprise that the device is going to be very expensive. Apple's announced launch price for the Apple Vision Pro is $3,499. This is a computer, after all, better compared to a MacBook than an iPhone. The Apple Vision Pro will be available in the United States in early 2024 and can be purchased through Apple's website or at Apple storefronts. Expect to hear more about the Apple Vision Pro later in 2023.

MORE: 6 Weird Augmented Reality Games You Need To Try

Mon, 05 Jun 2023 07:53:41 -0500 en-US text/html
Has Microsoft HoloLens helped augmented reality overtake virtual reality?

While everyone else (with the possible exception of Magic Leap) has been chasing after virtual reality as the next big gaming revolution, Microsoft casually blew our minds by announcing its entry into the augmented reality race instead, just as Google pulled back.

Early tests of the HoloLens have been cautiously optimistic and no small amount of attention has been snatched away from the likes of the Oculus Rift as we're forced to ponder whether augmented reality might trump virtual reality.

It now looks as though it may not be such a simple decision for gamers when the day comes between choosing AR or VR.

It's a question that's likely to remain without a solid answer until both options are commercially available, but we've asked our VR Mavens to chime in on the subject and deliver us their predictions for how HoloLens might affect reality gaming.

Does Microsoft's HoloLens announcement show the VR/AR market demands more sophistication that offered by solutions such as Google Glass?

Neal Nellans CEO Ghost Machine

Mr. Nellans has over 14 years of professional game making experience. After Graduating with a BFA in Computer Animation from the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, FL, Mr. Nellans was immediately recognized for his work in Animation by being awarded the 1998 Gold Medal Academy Award for his Animated short entitled, “Jataka” later earning the Digital Cinematography Scholarship from the Hollywood visual effects studio Rhythm and Hues, where he also interned.

Following his initial introduction in the film industry, Mr. Nellans was approached by Steven Spielberg to work first at Dreamworks SKG and then Electronic Arts on an Original WWII video game which later became known as Medal of Honor. He continued to work on the first three Medal of Honor titles developing 3D environments and multiplayer level design.

Mr. Nellans founded the mobile games company, Tiny Utopia in 2006 and has also written and directed a feature film entitled, Fossil which received accolades in both domestic and international film festivals for its unique blend of live action and computer animated film making.

I think that the HoloLens is a unique twist on the AR/VR revolution.

The problem that Google faced, and one that Microsoft must address in the future, is how will developers build an experience that will encourage adoption and bring in new users.

The HoloLens

In order of this new technology to gain mainstream appeal, the service that the device provides must radically Strengthen or exceed what currently exists, primarily being the smartphone.

If the device is simply an additional extension to the Windows ecosystem, or to the Xbox platform, it will lack the usability to entice casual users to buy it and never reach mainsteam appeal.

Microsoft clearly has the resources to produce a useful and technologically advanced device, but it remains to be proven that there is sufficient interest from the public to support it.

Jeff Minter Co-Founder Llamasoft

Jeff 'Yak' Minter is an independent British video game designer and programmer. He is the founder of software house Llamasoft and has created dozens of games during his career.

Minter's games are often arcade style shoot 'em ups. They often contain titular or in-game references demonstrating his fondness of ruminants (llamas, sheep, camels, etc.). Many of his programs also feature something of a psychedelic element, as in some of the earliest "light synthesizer" programs including his Trip-a-Tron.

Minter's works include Neon (2004), a non-game music visualisation program that has been built into the Xbox 360 console, and the video games Space Giraffe (Xbox Live Arcade, 2007 and PC, 2008), and Space Invaders Extreme (Xbox Live Arcade, May 2009).

I think AR has a bit of a steeper hill to climb than VR with regard to 'sophistication'.

With VR you're wearing the gear with the express purpose of closing off reality and going to do something specific elsewhere for a while. People already wear quite silly-looking gear for specific sports - bike hats and ski goggles don't exactly look like high fashion but we're happy to put them on to enjoy those sports.

AR has got to pass the "Would I use this on the bus?" test.

Jeff Minter

With AR though, you're going to be wearing stuff out and about in the real world, interacting with people in public places, and it's got to pass the "would I use this on the bus?" test.

I think Glass showed that if you make the gear obtrusive, it'll be seen in a negative light by people who see you wearing it.

I suspect that AR will only start to break through to mainstream when the gear can be made as unobtrusive as ordinary glasses, and, at least in the short term, I wonder if trying to put everything in the glasses is overambitious.

Perhaps having the glasses just handle display and location information and wirelessly hand off the processing to a locally held CPU - such as we all have in our pockets anyway these days - might be a better way to go. Oh, and leave the camera on the phone; no matter how innocent the intent I think people will always be distrustful of unobtrusive cameras.

Google Glass was unobtrusive but the camera was an unexpected issue

I'm sure it will get there, and perhaps a solution such as Microsoft's with larger headgear will work to get things started in the short term, but in the longer term AR needs to become unobtrusive before it's suitable for prolonged public use.

For VR that's not so much of a problem as it's a specialised activity that you'll likely be doing at home anyway.

Stan Kuhn Founder Live Game Board

Live Game Board is a physical printed board for playing game. It is a gate batween real and virtual world of games. Games played on our game board are control in unique way. You can see game from all angles which you normally can't.

Controlling the game using phones camera brings new way of playing. Imagine you had Angry Birds in your living room all in 3D. Or carts on your table without having to unpack and assemble track.

You can have monsters fighting in your room. Imagination is endless here.

These concepts are always fascinating, and that's where the world of wearables and AR certainly leads to.

We have just prepared beta version or our game Monsters which you can play in mixed/blended reality in front of you just as Minecraft was shown by Microsoft.

While the Microsoft HoloLens seems promising, right now it's still just a vision.

Tom Beardsmore Creative Director Coatsink Software

After co-founding Coatsink Software Ltd in 2009, I've worked on over 10 successful mobile (iOS / Android / Windows Phone / Blackberry) game / app projects and (more recently) 3 console (PS4, PS3, Vita, Xbox One, Wii U) / PC games and 2 games for Oculus VR / Samsung Gear VR. I'd describe my primary roles as Lead Producer / Creative and Managing Director.

AR has more difficult, and different challenges to overcome compared to VR.

Tom Beardsmore

Oculus' route over the past few years has shown that not only is high fidelity in VR in great demand, but that it's right around the corner.

I've not tried either Glass or HoloLens so I'm less sure about whether AR has reached market potential yet.

There are more difficult, and different challenges to overcome than there are in VR.

It's clear, however, that Microsoft appears to be approaching AR in a different way than Google; more as a home or indoor device than Glass's wear-on-the-street design.

Ana Ribeiro Indie game designer

Game Designer/Developer programmer, artist and cosplayer.
Pixel rift is a reflection of my life experience playing games since I can remember.
This game is my final Project is for my masters degree in Games Design and Development at The National Film & Television School. Back in Brazil I ran my own Pie business, but that's another story.
I almost forgot to report that I also love cooking sushi and no one beat me eating ice cream.

I see HoloLens as a natural way of using technology. The way we use tech these days feels wrong. We separate ourselves from others because we're constantly holding a device in our hands.

HoloLens will dominate the mobile market.

Ana Ribeiro

The interesting thing is that it connects data with our reality pretty well. It'll be a transformation on the way we behave as individuals, and especially in society.

HoloLens will dominate the mobile market, and I wonder what Apple is developing right now.

AR will be the new way to interact with technology, which will be used by everyone. I don´t think it will be a big thing for gamers, who always prefer a more immersive experience. And VR is the one for this.

To be honest I'm more interested and excited to work with VR at the moment. The idea of travelling to different realities is what excites me the most and the stronger media for this is still VR.

VR and AR are two different propositions, and it's time to separate them given the unique experiences each display technology provides.

In VR, low cost goggles are winning mass market hearts over the more sophisticated VR solutions that are required by premium VR users.

We're still in research mode and exploration of market segments [for AR].

Guy Bendov

AR is still very early. We see a wider array of form factors of AR headsets. This suggests that we're still in research mode and exploration of market segments. There might be a light version (like Glass, which, to be fair, graduated from Google Labs and is not dead just yet) and a pro version, like the HoloLens.

Based on the HoloLens vision video, Microsoft's headset providers a surrounding AR display and can provide way more display options, at the cost of a heavier headset. It seems it's geared for the pro market segment, a safer first-step into the AR market and maybe a gateway into the VR headset market.

Scott Harber Owner Sc0tt Games

Sc0tt Games is run by Scott Harber, an eleven-year games industry veteran whose previous credits include The Getaway, Black, Burnout 3, Burnout Revenge, Burnout Paradise, Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, Need for Speed Most Wanted, Need for Speed Rivals, and Battlefield Hardline.

I think it's less about sophistication and more a case of Google misunderstanding the VR/AR market.

It's self-evident in their promotional videos. Google Glass aimed to become part of everyday life, depicting a man shopping and navigating a city with the help of an on-screen HUD. Meanwhile, HoloLens is positioned as more of a tool for leisure and productivity, depicting people using it in office environments, or using it at home to watch TV and play games.

HoloLens - something to wear inside, not outside

In retrospect, the latter was the wiser solution, because it addresses the human aspect of augmented reality. Frankly, no one wants to walk around in public wearing an AR headset.

Having a thousand dollar device on your face that's designed to partially rob you of your visual awareness makes you a target for theft. Not to mention the socially awkward aspects of talking to thin air in public, on a video call that only you can see.

No one wants to walk around in public wearing an AR headset.

Scott Harber

All of this is before we get into the creepy implications of putting voice-activated digital cameras on everyone's heads.

However, offering a similar experience in the privacy of your own home, or in your office, is much more socially acceptable.

At home, it means that you can own a virtual TV screen of infinitely-adjustable size, or play Minecraft on your kitchen table. In your office, you can plug it into your 3D modelling software and pretend to be Tony Stark while you work. And most importantly, in those environments, no one cares that you're talking to yourself with an awkward-looking device over your eyes.

Thu, 11 May 2023 12:01:00 -0500 text/html
Augmented Reality Training in Line Work To power America, the energy industry will need to hire about 500,000 new employees over the next decade, according to the Center for Energy Workforce Development. As more lineworkers move into retirement, utilities nationwide are searching for more skilled workers in the line trade. Currently, however, few colleges offer programs for the line mechanic trade, according to Chelsea McCracken, MidAmerican’s vice president of safety, training and development.

“Two-year wait times are commonplace, and it can be difficult to get students through fast enough to meet the needs of the workforce,” she said.

To address the continuing workforce constraints in the utility industry, Iowa companies joined forces to develop a curriculum for the electric utility technology/powerline program at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC). The advisory committee tackling the labor shortage issue included representatives from two investor utilities, Iowa rural electric cooperatives, municipal utilities in Iowa, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and DMACC.

For MidAmerican, bringing the digital training curriculum to DMACC not only gives college students the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree in electric utility technology, but also extends the strategic investments the company has made in worker education.

Training the Next Wave of Lineworkers

MidAmerican first began exploring digital training back in 2017. A few years before, the company entered into an agreement with its labor unions to optimize resources by combining its two primary time-based gas apprenticeship programs into one competency-based hybrid program.

“The need for innovative, engaging training was evident, as apprentices were required to retain more information over a shorter period of time,” McCracken said. “MidAmerican turned to Index AR Solutions to help pair augmented reality-based visualizations with written content and other multimedia for a complete digital training curriculum that was put in the palm of every apprentice’s hand via a tablet in 2018.”

To date, MidAmerican has digital training curriculums for 13 apprentice programs either complete or in development. The interactive training technologies deployed by MidAmerican have proven valuable in supporting a younger, higher-turnover workforce. Employees in the first 10 years of their career have, on average, a median tenure of about three years on the job, compared to retiring workers who have on average about 10 years on the job.

So MidAmerican Energy partnered with DMACC. By building a strong relationship with the community college, the utility could jump-start a training program with help from technology partner Index.

The students enrolled in the line mechanic program at DMACC now have access to the same material and content deployed in MidAmerican’s own training centers. This approach ensures a consistent and predictable competency level of skill developed with each student.

“It is already field-proven and gives students a preview of the specific technologies, processes and procedures that they will experience if hired at MidAmerican,” says Don Finn, instructor at DMACC. “The content, delivered via assigned tablets, then becomes a reference material that workers take with them outside of the classroom. Ultimately, using the same training material builds excitement and gives students a great concept of what the job is really like.”

Learning the Technology

So far, the students have responded positively to the curriculum created by Index, Finn says. As with any technology, the virtual training curriculum has a learning curve for some users, even for younger students who have grown up around mobile devices. To help these students, the vendor works closely with DMACC to overcome any challenges with learning the technology.

In addition to delivering the training materials and iPads to DMACC administrators, Index provided ongoing support so instructors and students can gain maximum benefit from the course. Index team members hosted “train-the-trainer” sessions on-site for DMACC instructors, and they arranged weekly videoconference calls for students over the course of the semester to walk them through each eBook and app step by step. Because most of the students identify themselves as hands-on learners, they have been able to navigate the training program materials on the iPads.

In the Transformer Trainer application, students tap and drag across the screen to make wiring connections and then receive instant feedback on whether a connection was made correctly. Rather than having to flip through pages of text, students also enjoy the searchability of the tablet-based materials. Students can simply type in a search and quickly locate important topics. They can also bookmark a syllabu and type notes instream for reference later.

Transferring Knowledge

During the classroom portion of the training, Finn uses the tablet as a tool in class, walking through multimedia content and visualizations projected on a screen while students follow along on their own tablets at their desks. The instructor has also used the material to develop exams that the students complete during the year-long program.

“The digital curriculum is a fundamental shift in the way linemen are trained,” Finn says. “Instead of static, one-dimensional textbooks, apprentices now consume instructional material in the form of rich multimedia that is also interactive.”

The line mechanic course created by MidAmerican and Index includes nearly 1,000 eBook pages of vetted content and 200 instructional videos of actual line mechanics performing work and giving guidance. The videos also emphasize the importance of safety and commitment to customer service with seasoned workers who share wisdom and real-world stories from the field.

“MidAmerican’s represented workforce was highly engaged in the development of the digital curriculums, and hundreds of apprentices, journeymen and others participated in the content gathering process,” McCracken said. “Having safety-specific information delivered to apprentices and students by their fellow employees is a powerful tool to emphasize its importance.”

To aid in knowledge retention, Index integrated brief YouTube-style videos into the training materials. The format also makes it easy to inject safety warnings and human performance tools into the visualization applications and eBooks to keep safety top of mind.

The tablets feature interactive Index mobile apps that use augmented reality (AR), three-dimensional models and animations to teach students how to identify key parts or complete common tasks, such as how to troubleshoot a transformer. The augmentations also walk students through the safety considerations and tools needed for each step and overlay critical information on to the component they are studying.

The interactive visualization apps such as Transformer Trainer make it easy for students to understand if they are performing a task correctly or incorrectly. Students feel rewarded when mastering a certain task for the first time and are more confident as they move on to the next concept.

“Because the material is consumed on a mobile device, students can then take their learning tool directly into the training yard and refer to it as they complete the task on real equipment,” Finn said.

Expanding the Program

With the training material delivered via tablets, the apprentices can access the information anywhere and anytime. Looking forward, MidAmerican is looking for a way to connect apprentices in the field back to trainers or subject matter experts when they need additional support.

To accomplish this goal, MidAmerican is exploring video-calling technology, such as FaceTime, so the apprentice can contact any trainer or subject matter expert remotely, show them the challenge they are facing and work through to a solution in real time. The company is also taking a close look at wearable technology, creating a hands-free tool for when apprentices are working on equipment both in training and in the field.

Amy Fischbach ( is the Field Editor for T&D World magazine.

Mon, 15 May 2023 06:45:00 -0500 text/html
Virtual Reality (VR) Headset Market Size & Share to Surpass $5.88 Billion by 2030 | Vantage Market Research

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WASHINGTON, May 24, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Global Virtual Reality Headset Market is valued at USD 4.1 Billion in 2022 and is projected to reach a value of USD 5.88 Billion by 2030 at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 5.3% over the forecast period 2023-2030.

Market Overview

The widespread use of virtual reality technology in the manufacturing and retail industries promotes market expansion. Another aspect boosting industry growth is the rising demand for gaming consoles. The use of virtual reality technology in various fields, including education, medical training, and industrial prototyping, has enormous promise. Over the projected period, organizations and consumers are expected to increase their investments in this technology. The new trends in virtual reality technology directly impact the advances in the Virtual Reality Headset market.

We forecast that the high-end device category in Virtual Reality Headset Market sales will account for more than 52% by 2030. The advantages of these gadgets, including their cheaper costs and highly immersive experiences, can be credited with this growth. The entry-level equipment is reasonably priced and available to regular individuals who merely want to try out the most basic VR technology.

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Market Dynamics

Demand for Improved Quality Pictures to Support Market Expansion
Virtual reality technology has advanced as a result of the rising demand for effective and high-quality images. The market for Virtual Reality Headsets is anticipated to develop as a result of rising smartphone penetration globally and rising tech awareness. On the other hand, a significant aspect that can restrain market expansion is the worry about the quality of the visual effects produced by the VR headset. Furthermore, the cost and length of time required to develop VR headset devices is an issue that could limit the market's expansion. The inclusion of AI and machine learning in VR is probably going to increase demand for the technology. The major firms in the sector are consistently spending money on R&D to create cutting-edge devices.

Increased Adoption of VR Across Virtual Events in Virtual Reality Headset Market Industry to Drive Market Growth
Following Covid-19, corporations have turned to internet channels to go on with their business operations. The industry is also expanding as a result of the rising use of VR technology in virtual events, which enables companies to connect with potential customers where they are most comfortable by providing a lifelike experience of their goods and services. The demand for VR head-mounted devices is rising as a result of the expanding product usage in the gaming and entertainment sectors (HMDs). Businesses are constantly releasing cutting-edge gadgets to provide immersive entertainment experiences and an unmatched level of realism in VR gaming. To Strengthen their product offerings and acquire a competitive edge, the major industry players are acquiring gaming businesses.

Top Players in the Global Virtual Reality Headset Market

  • Carl Zeiss AG (Germany)

  • Facebook Technologies LLC (California, U.S.)

  • Google LLC (U.S.)

  • HTC Corporation (Taiwan)

  • LG Electronics Inc. (South Korea)

  • Microsoft Corporation (U.S.)

  • Razer Inc. (U.S.)

  • FOVE Inc. (Japan)

  • Valve Corporation (U.S.)

  • HP Inc. (U.S.)

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Top Trends in Global Virtual Reality Headset Market

  • One trend that Vantage Market Research (VMR) expects to see in the Virtual Reality Headset industry is the rising prevalence of AI technology. The expanding prevalence of AI technology in VR applications also increases the intelligence of virtual characters, creating a rich, immersive experience. Any standalone headset now has 6DoF controller tracking due to Google's machine learning techniques. In parallel, LG employs AI to reduce motion sickness in VR users, and Facebook's DeepFocus framework uses AI to produce focus effects in VR. The top two tech companies in China, Baidu and Tencent, are also focusing on incorporating AI and VR into video games and mobile applications.

  • Another trend that VMR predicts will continue in the Virtual Reality Headset industry is its growing adoption across educational fields. Teachers are increasingly utilising virtual reality technology to deliver a higher calibre of teaching in a variety of educational settings. For instance, the introduction of VR in education has given students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the realm of VR technology. Furthermore, the technology offers pupils a more visually appealing and engaging education that may be delivered for less money.

Top Report Findings

  • The High-End Device category controls most of the Virtual Reality Headset market's revenue based on Application. The development of this market is anticipated to be fuelled by the sophisticated characteristics of these devices, including superior visual effects, self-tracking, and high performance. Large firms mostly use high-end equipment to deliver their clients and staff higher-quality services. The viewers' experience is enhanced, and the resolution is great thanks to these gadgets' extensive use of cutting-edge technology. Throughout the upcoming years, their demand is projected to increase due to ongoing investments in high-end devices by major firms including HP Inc., Facebook Technologies, LLC (Oculus), and Google LLC.

  • Based on the Product Type, most of the Virtual Reality Headset market's revenue is controlled by Standalone Device. A Standalone Device provides an excellent experience at a reasonable cost. Its primary characteristic is the incorporation of diverse methods, such as hardware and processor control, into a single system. The segment's growth is being fueled by the leading companies' availability of a range of application-oriented devices with varying features and pricing points.

  • Based on Application, most of the Virtual Reality Headset market's revenue is controlled by Gaming. Additionally, gaming VR headsets come with cutting-edge technologies that can even track eye movements and communicate them to the game for an improved experience. In turn, this is anticipated to fuel segment expansion throughout the course of the forecast year. Compared to customers who are not gamers, gamers spend more money on average to upgrade their gaming consoles or desktops. This has prompted businesses to market VR headset games at competitive prices for players.

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Recent Developments in the Global Virtual Reality Headset Market

  • January 2023: Facebook Technologies, LLC (Oculus) has expanded their cooperation as the NBA and WNBA's official {{keyword}} partner. This collaboration is expected to provide a professional basketball experience in virtual reality.

  • January 2022: Microsoft Corp. announced the acquisition of Activision Blizzard Inc., a game developer and interactive entertainment content publisher based in the United States, for USD 68.7 billion. Similarly, HW Holdco, LLC, a housing market solution provider based in the United States, announced the acquisition of Alpha Vision. The target company is a technology company based in Canada that provides interactive floor plans, digital site maps, 3D and virtual reality home renderings, and sales interaction tools to the home building and real estate industries.

  • In 2022: Shanghai-based DPVR, a manufacturer of virtual reality devices, has introduced the DPVR 4G/5G for its all-in-one VR headsets. The new module, according to the business, is intended to make it possible for sectors including training, healthcare, education, and conferences to incorporate VR headsets in circumstances that call for mobile usage or remote working. The new DPVR is compatible with 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G frequency bands globally.

Gaming Category of the Application Segment of the Global Virtual Reality Headset Market Expected to Generate a Considerable Amount of the Total Segment Revenue
For better understanding, based on the Application, the Virtual Reality Headset Market is divided into Gaming, Healthcare, Media & Entertainment, Manufacturing, Retail, Education, Telecommunications, and Other Applications.

The Gaming category is anticipated to dominate the market over the forecast period. Growth of the segment is because VR technology has achieved significant acceptance and awareness. New businesses have emerged in this industry as a result of recent technical developments. This market is seeing the emergence of many companies that are trying to steer it towards widespread adoption in the gaming industry. By 2025, 216 million people are anticipated to play AR and VR games globally, according to NewGenApps.

The Education segment is predicted to have the fastest growth. The increased product deployment in educational facilities and medical schools is to blame for this. Furthermore, the development of virtual reality technology in the healthcare industry and supportive government rules for facility enhancement are fostering the segment's growth. Further boosting the expansion of the healthcare sector is the expanded usage of these headsets for training medical students and supporting doctors and surgeons with patient care, robotic surgeries, mental health and psychological therapies, and pain management and physical therapies.

Asia Pacific Region of the Global Virtual Reality Headset Market Anticipated to Generate a Good Amount of the Total Global Revenue
Due to rising digitalization and advancements in virtual reality technology, notably in the gaming and entertainment industry, Asia Pacific is predicted to have the greatest CAGR. China gained the greatest revenue share in the local market. This is linked to the introduction of 5G and legislative backing for advancements in virtual reality from the Chinese government. Virtual reality technology is being widely used by the major businesses in the area for a variety of purposes, which is helping the expansion of the local market. For instance, China unveiled its virtual reality strategy in November 2022, outlining its plans to export over 25 million VR devices worth over USD 45 million by the end of 2026.

Due to the high levels of disposable income and declining costs of VR headsets with displays and processors in the region, North America accounted for a sizeable portion of global sales. Due to the presence of major players like Microsoft Corporation, Google LLC, and Facebook Technologies, LLC (Oculus), as well as their significant investments in VR technology, the U.S. is a significant contributor to the regional market's growth.

Browse market data Tables and Figures spread through 141 Pages and in-depth TOC on Virtual Reality Headset Market Forecast Report (2023-2030).

Global Virtual Reality Headset market segmentation

By End-device

  • Low-end Device

  • Mid-range Device

  • High-end Device

By Product Type

  • Standalone

  • Smartphone-enabled

  • Standalone PC-connected

By Application

  • Gaming

  • Healthcare

  • Media & Entertainment

  • Manufacturing

  • Retail

  • Education

  • Telecommunications

  • Other Applications

By Region

  • North America

    • United States

    • Canada

    • Mexico

  • Europe

    • Germany

    • UK

    • France

    • Italy

    • Spain

    • Rest of Europe

  • Asia Pacific

    • China

    • Japan

    • India

    • South Korea

    • South-East Asia

    • Rest of Asia Pacific

  • Latin America

    • Brazil

    • Argentina

    • Rest of Latin America

  • Middle East & Africa

    • GCC Countries

    • South Africa

    • Rest of MEA

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Scope of the Report:

Report Attributes


Market Size in 2022

USD 4.1 Billion

Revenue Forecast by 2030

USD 5.88 Billion


5.3% from 2023 to 2030

Base Year


Forecast Year

2023 to 2030

Key Players

Carl Zeiss AG, Facebook Technologies LLC, Google LLC, HTC Corporation, LG Electronics Inc., Microsoft Corporation, Razer Inc., FOVE Inc., Valve Corporation, HP Inc.

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