When Google released Glass Enterprise, it took a consumer-oriented product written off as privacy-invading nonsense and made it incredibly useful for businesses. Microsoft is effectively doing the same with its $3,000, not-yet-for-consumers HoloLens by introducing it to designers who find that price a relative bargain. Take Ford, which has been testing HoloLens over the last year to help stylists and engineers visualize and test products, considerably shortening the design phase.

Ford normally builds clay vehicle models at full scale, but has to re-sculpt them if a design doesn't work out. HoloLens can blend 3D holograms with real cars or models, letting designers test numerous designs in near real-time. At the same time, engineers can incorporate the physics and check to see how new features perform. Much of this can be done on a computer, of course, but the advantage of HoloLens is seeing the designs in stereoscopic 3D from all angles on a real vehicle.