With virtual reality and augmented reality being two of the newest and most exciting technologies, now we’re hearing about something called “mixed reality.” Microsoft has struck a deal with Object Theory to bring the very first mixed reality collaboration service to its HoloLens.

Microsoft HoloLens Welcomes Object Theory's "Mixed Reality"

Microsoft hosts Object Reality

Earlier this week, a representative from Object Theory was included in Microsoft’s Build keynote speech and presented as one of the company’s new HoloLens partners. In a press release, Object Theory described the partnership as being for the “world’s first mixed reality collaboration service to help organizations design and build multi-user holographic experiences.” The company intends to contribute open source solutions to Microsoft’s HoloToolkit.

Microsoft chose as a partner for its Object Theory for its HoloLens Readiness Program, which connects customers who may be interested in the HoloLens with “trained solution providers” and enables them to develop holographic content. Microsoft describes HoloLens as “the first fully untethered, holographic computer, enabling you to interact with high-definition holograms in your world.” The first developer model is coming out this year.

How the new HoloLens mixed reality tech works

According to Object Theory, its Mixed Reality Collaboration service enables users of Microsoft’s HoloLens to share their 3D experiences from remote locations using life-size 3D avatars. The company worked with CDM Smith to develop the technology as part of a custom software deal between them.

The company said it will contribute part of its Mixed Reality Collaboration service to the HoloLens ToolKit as an “open source collection of helpful utility code for holographic development built upon the holographic Unity APIs.”

Using the Mixed Reality Collaboration service, HoloLens users can collaborate in real-time from multiple locations with 3D avatars appearing to attend a meeting while users from multiple locations are able to view what’s going on at that meeting. The platform is designed to improve communication among team members by allowing them to efficiently view and discuss the same 3D model as if they’re in the same room with each other.

“The shared experience can easily transition between viewing a miniature ‘situation room’ style model, and walking around within a full scale model,” Object Theory explains on its website.

The idea for the Mixed Reality Collaboration service was inspired by Microsoft’s use of avatars in its work with NASA in which the agency’s employees used HoloLens to collaborate from multiple locations.