thyssenkrupp transforms its home mobility solutions business with Microsoft HoloLens

With its customized stair lifts, thyssenkrupp has long helped people with physical limitations live comfortably and independently in their homes. Until recently, the process of selling, designing, building and installing the lifts was time-consuming for the company, with a laborious system of labels, cameras and manual data entry.

But with Microsoft HoloLens, thyssenkrupp is revolutionizing its home mobility solutions business, making the process faster, easier and more helpful for customers.

“With this partnership with Microsoft, thyssenkrupp will transform homes to make life better,” says Thomas Felis, vice president of innovation at thyssenkrupp Elevator Americas. “That is a game changer.”

Mechanized stair lifts must be customized for individual staircases, requiring precise measurements that used to contribute to long delivery times.

But today, a thyssenkrupp salesperson can use a mobile HoloLens solution to quickly measure a staircase during an initial visit and automatically share data with manufacturing teams and accounting systems via Microsoft Azure. Sales reps can also now show customers a visualization of what the lift would look like in their home, helping them feel more confident in making what can be an emotional decision.

“Selling, manufacturing and then installation — it all takes quite a while,” says Inge Delobelle, CEO of thyssenkrupp Access Solutions. “People need a quick solution. With HoloLens, we started saying, ‘Let’s look at how we can measure stairs differently, so it’s quicker.’ But that was just the very beginning.”

The wearable holographic computer makes it simple to scan a staircase, measure each step and save data. But being able to share data in real-time with different teams has improved the entire process, leading to quicker sales, design, manufacturing and installation. With Microsoft HoloLens and Microsoft Azure, thyssenkrupp now delivers its products up to four times faster than before.

“There’s plenty of potential, and whomever we discuss this with comes up with a new idea, and that’s what’s so great about it,” Delobelle says.

This week, thyssenkrupp and the Microsoft HoloLens team will be at Hannover Messe to showcase digital transformation with mixed reality — and its power to enhance productivity and customer satisfaction.

“Digital transformation reimagines people, data and processes within an organization to accelerate business impact and to create value for customers,” writes Lorraine Bardeen, general manager of Microsoft HoloLens and Windows Experiences, on the Windows Blog.

“Increasingly, that digital reimagination includes deploying HoloLens into core workflows.”

To learn more, read Bardeen’s Windows Blog post on thyssenkrupp.