Learn from big business, nimble startups, consumer entertainment studios, content creators, leading tech & telco companies, game studios, academia and investors.
All XR USA 2020 speakers are carefully vetted to ensure that they are able to provide practical learnings and solutions for our audience.
VP Business Development - North America
mHealth Global Business Lead
President Sixense Studios
Senior Global Digital Innovation Manager
Principal Investigator – Augmented & Mixed Reality
Immersive Technology Design Lead
Director, Product Management
Augmented Beauty US Director
Director of Digital Experience Design
Vice President Platform Strategy and Developer Community
Director, Patient Engagement and Business Development
Senior Designer, Digital VR & AR Development
Author and Founder
Futurist in Residence
Vice President of Creative Development
Head of Immersive Technologies
Global Vice President of Category Expansion
Senior Director, Spatial Computing
Immersive Technology Architect
Director of Lens Design
Head of Ecosystem and Trend Scouting
Senior Vice President, Production
Senior Vice President, Technology Investment Banking
Vice President of Strategy & Head of XR
VP Business Development and Partnerships
Digital Innovation Manager
CEO & Co-Founder
VP Accelerator & Portfolio
Director of Innovation, Senior Associate
Medical VR/AR Expert
Chief Creative Officer
Director, Emerging Tech
Lead VR Specialist
Head of AR/VR Ad Innovation
Global XR Education Expert
Senior Manager, Innovation and Disruptive Technologies
Director of Innovation and VDC
Vice President of Business Operations, Strategy, & Emerging Technology
Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer
Co-Founder & General Partner
Creator & Executive Producer
Senior Visual Director
Head of Business Development & Product Strategy
Channel Manager, Americas
Executive in Charge
Synthetic Training Lead Investigator
Senior Engineer: Immersive Technology Specialist
SVP, Corporate Social Good
Sr. Manager, Architectural Visualization and Phase Planning
Director, Education & Opportunity
Head of Community Development
Silicon Valley Correspondent
Senior Structural Engineer, XR Specialist
Founder & Creative Director
Product Lead, HoloLens
Head of Immersive Learning
If you have a great story to tell and would like to join the speaker list for 2019, please contact Stefan Mullan on email@example.com to register your interest.
Work and have always worked for large brand owners who are advertisers in the digital space – XR is the future mainstream digital interface and therefore of significance. My role is consumer strategy – so I’m looking not only at this as a way of creating brand advantage but also for its impact on consumer behaviour generally.
Learning about the designers of this next world – the intent, progress and expectations. I hope to know infinitely more about how AR specifically will evolve in the coming years.
Adding depth to brands with digital products, edutainment: in a world where attention is the scarce resource and where digital transformation has levelled the competitive playing field, how will brands add depth to become sufficiently substantial and useful to warrant consumer attention
Using the power of context: Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point offers a useful trilogy of effective messaging: context, message and conveyer/ medium. With social media we are learning to balance the trilogy by thinking more about audiences and media, but AR will push this to a whole new level – interests, trends, geography and activity will all need to be considered and our understanding of consumer behaviour lags significantly.
Implications for human behaviour and happiness: We often blame the correlation between social media use and loneliness on people comparing their lives negatively with the curated highlights of the people they follow.
In addition, I believe (and this is what I want to address in my session) there is the impact of digital enablement that is filled with instant gratification and reduces the need for people to strive to achieve goals. If Google and YouTube know everything and if we can “rent” any service by using Uber or airbnb, then our feelings of competence and the favour-based interdependency in relationships with others are compromised.
As technology strives to make everything easy, streamlined and seamless it is reducing people’s sense of accomplishment in everyday living.
If AR offers a reset in design of the human-machine interface, can we design it for human happiness rather than enablement
Devices, design principles, how brands are using these new technologies and adoption
I see myself as a creative thought leader within the XR industry. I have a diverse skill set that can educate and evangelize the great progress of the XR industry. I am a firm believer in innovation and try to constantly learn and improve from all aspects of life and creative influences. I bring a specific point of view to pushing the XR industry into the mainstream and consciousness of the public.
The first challenge is the awareness of how VR or AR is used. We still have a gap in understanding how the technology can be used and is no longer a novelty. The second challenge is getting funding and calculating ROI. We have tried pilot programs with minimal investment, but still struggle on connecting a direct tie into product purchases, cost savings, and other key performance indicators…. The development costs are high, so for businesses to put money into the technology with no concrete data or numbers is still a leap of faith.
In terms of VR, the idea of workforce training has been in the forefront of the industry in which I work. We can now put users in virtual real life situations where they can complete tasks without the fear of making mistakes or breaking anything. When a mistake happens in real life the results can be very expensive. The nice thing in a virtual simulation, they can repeat the process many times which helps them retain information. When the workforce is posed with real life tasks, they have fewer mistakes and learn faster since they have already been in the situation. The overall result is confident, trained, efficient and more productive workforce.
After going through the agenda a few times, the first day looks amazing. I am most interested in hearing about anything to do with the future of the XR industry. This would encompass hardware, software, investors and how different content creators are approaching the XR. On the second day, I see a mix of topics that is geared toward design. I am looking forward to how others design and come up with creative solutions with XR technology.
Networking and sharing my experiences and expertise with others that have a passion for XR technology.
I’m looking for new technologies to enable new services in the connected and personalized beauty domain. XR has a huge role to play. I’m mainly focusing on exact rendering to bridge the gap between the real world and the virtual world.
Make AR closer to reality, take into account lighting conditions in the real background for instance to compute the virtual objects in the scene (colors and optical effects).
How do we reconstruct the background of a scene when objects in the real world are digitally removed from it?
Virtual try-on (furniture, makeup, clothes…)
Intel (3D camera, OpenCV)
NVIDIA (Ray Tracing)
Computer Vision for retail from any player: Amazon, Google…
Artificial Intelligence was key to the recent success of AR and especially Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN). Without accurate and real time computer vision algorithm there is no accurate and real time AR.
Gaming is still in my opinion an early adopter of XR. I thought that with VR available on PS4 and Steam we would see a huge growth in opportunities but I think we still lack experience that were really designed for XR and not just adaptation of traditional games or demo-like games.
I oversee targeted experiments in XR as ancillary content for series and specials on Smithsonian Channel. We see these technologies as extensions for our storytelling, hopefully reaching new audiences in new ways that are personal and interactive. For example, as the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 approached, we produced a six-hour documentary series, “Apollo’s Moon Shot.” As a companion to it, we produced “Apollo’s Moon Shot AR,” which lets you shoot off a Saturn V rocket, explore real artifacts from the Smithsonian’s collection and take on challenges like landing on the Moon.
It seems the full-functioning, cool-looking XR glasses are still a ways off. In the meantime, the biggest challenge is marketing. With VR, the industry has failed so far to expand the ecosystem of home headsets to a number that justifies investing in content, which is why everyone has pivoted to LBE and Enterprise. For AR, distribution is global but only if you can help people find your app and convince them to download it. When Apple’s app store launched in 2008 there were 500 apps. Today there are over well over 2 million, and over 2,000 augmented reality apps. No matter how great your AR experience might be, or how targeted your audience is, it’s hard to break through. The real risk for XR generally is that it gets stuck in the popular imagination as a gimmick. To truly succeed, it needs to become a habit.
In AR I do wonder if there are better ways to aggregate content. For VR, I find it absurd that in the race to achieve “Ready Player One” the industry has abandoned entry-level innovation. There is still no headset for maximum resolution, theater-ready 360-degree films. When we recently tested our Panda VR film at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, the best option was one of the oldest, a Samsung phone in a Samsung Gear VR headset with separate headphones. Of the 200 people who screened, 69% had never tried VR before. The clunkier the technology on first try, the less likely it is that audiences will embrace it and venues will be willing to install it. Lastly, the industry won’t get to the next level until there’s a money-making middle between free and The Void.
I continue to believe the cross section between entertainment and education is a huge opportunity. Injecting interactivity into storytelling supercharges interest, especially for younger audiences.
No idea. That’s a big reason I’m attending VRX.
XR needs to get beyond the promotional tie-in. Once we can treat XR projects the same way we do with our TV programs – as investments with a measurable return – we’ll know it has turned the corner and has long-term viability.
I’m a partner at HP Tech Ventures, HP’s investment arm. I look for XR startups to invest and/or partner with that are anywhere from Seed to Series B. I’m also looking at Gaming/esports and Education spaces as well.
I see some startups so in love with their technology that they don’t always keep in mind that they’ve got to solve a real world, practical problem for their customers. If you’re not able to show tangible benefits to whoever is buying your product, they are not going to stick around. Within enterprises, there are always pockets of money that are being invested in the latest solutions. That’s happening with XR technologies now, but a lot of the pilots are getting stuck in the innovation phase and not getting widely adopted throughout the organization because we’re not able to show the decision maker a real impact. I also see startups getting stuck in free pilot mode which I almost always think is a losing proposition for both parties. If the customer you’re trying to sign won’t put in even a little earnest money, then I believe that tells you you are not speaking to the person with the right level of authority or they don’t see value in what you bring. If you’re able to regularly convert free pilots to paid customers and that’s working for you, that’s great, but it doesn’t work out for most startups.
I’m very bullish on the XR training space. Compared to a couple of years ago, there are now a lot more studies that prove the benefits in hard and soft skills across lots of verticals and use cases. We’ve got to simplify the solutions so that they are easy to use for everyone, not just industry insiders or comp sci majors.
Which startups are getting real traction among their users and/or have proven efficacy in whatever question they’re trying to solve.
Getting to talk to old friends and meeting new ones. Over my career in silicon valley, I’ve seen a few tech industries go through their growing pains. XR is by far my favorite because not only is the technology fundamentally transforming how we interact with compute devices, but the mix of people in the industry is wonderful and nearly everyone is happy to help out others in the industry.
I am using XR for patient education and global training and education relating to proton therapy and radiation therapy at Penn Medicine.
Socializing VR/AR/MR into the larger academic health system and coordinating efforts with vendors and strategies. It has been a challenge working with vendors to adhere to our very strict legal requirements regarding contracting and agreements.
1) Using XR to inform and educate and market to consumers, patients and prospective patients to help set their expectations prior to coming on site for their treatment or procedure. This could improve overall patient satisfaction. 2) Training on equipment, such as proton therapy and adding as an important component to training and education programs which would allow more time for staff and faculty to focus on treating patients vs. training. 3) On boarding
Healthcare and pharma. Big stories to tell with lots of existing narrative and content. Just needs to be translated to XR and applied and distributed to the appropriate targeted audience.
VR in healthcare, VR as a modality to tell the patient story, VR in patient education and engagement.
Networking, exhibits to meet vendors and lean the latest and greatest in the industry.
The single biggest challenge hampering gross adoption remains ease of access to "high-quality VR" hardware and properly curated content for first-time users. Oculus is doing great work here with the standalone 6-DOF Quest and a focus on premium content. As the power of these mobile platforms increase and costs reduce, we should see a largley unstoppable growth curve.
When Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality are eventually merged into a single, small form-factor, high powered device, it will become so pervasive that it will replace the cell phone. Facebook and or Apple are likely the only companies with enough capital to make this a near-term reality (4-5 years). In 2019-2020 it's important that VR/AR developers stay in their lane and focus on building quality products for their ecosystems, not worrying about what might be coming down the road from company "X".
As demonstrated by a number of well established studies, gaming remains the largest grossing vertical for XR. With cheaper, more mobile, higher quality VR devices entering consumer homes, the opportunities for gamer-centric entertainment have never been as lucrative. Tangentially; Eductation, Healthcare, Training, 360 Video only have meaningful returns when placed under the lens of venture capital but these are largely not revenue generating models.
The impact of XR on traditional Hollywood narratives remains largely unexplored. Traditional approaches and production techniques to story-telling (360 video) tend to fall flat in VR/AR while more experiemental treatments are yielding exciting results. The most relevant vertical remains gaming, which can be defined as a very broad set of entertainment potentials (home based, location based). Gaming primarily because game design is highly experimental, user focused, and well suited to the challenges of uncharted technologies.
VRX is an incredibly valuable "temperature check" on our peers and the XR industry at large. Trends are discussed, winners & losers are revealed and creators/investors/the curious always come away with a more grounded sense of where the industry is headed. I always look forward to meeting with old friends and forging new relationships as we collectively pathfind our way through to the next year!
I’m Nokia’s Head of Trend Scouting, right at the intersection of the mobile communications world and the world of new technology. I’m looking for the new technologies that are going to need mobile network support over the next 3-5 years, so that we can make sure that we’re developing and building the mobile networks that are going to be needed to support advances that are coming from other industries, including very much the XR world. I see that in the long term, the telecommunications industry is going to be deeply integrated into the design and delivery of XR services, because we have the capability to provide not just connectivity, but with computing at the network edge, we can carry some or all of the processing burden as well, while retaining an excellent end user experience. This will be the critical factor that will lighten both the cost and physical weight of XR headsets and ultimately be a key enabler for mass market takeup.
The three biggest hurdles are cost, usability, and use case. It’s exciting to see rapid development in the headset space, which is bringing us much more lightweight, affordable and high-quality headsets without cabling, but there’s still a way to go, especially in the AR space. This is why I believe that long-term, the usability of XR headsets will reach their fullest potential when the processing piece sits not on the physical device or on a companion device such as a phone, but when the processing sits in the cloud, close to the end device in the connectivity network. This is such a new capability for networks that it’s going to be an exciting time building and perfecting the first examples of this, but it’s already started with 5G gaming, and that same capability will be able to be reused for XR support down the track.
The Mirrorworld, or spatial internet, in which physical location and objects will have information and entertainment attached to them or overlaid on them, is what is going to drive AR. It’ll start on phones and move to glasses – in fact, it’ll be the rise of amazing content in the Mirrorworld that will make glasses become a mass-market must-have.
5G and network edge computing in the telecommunications world, which will enable processing to move off the XR headset and into the network, giving headsets the opportunity to be lighter and leaner and therefore more mass-market friendly than ever before.
Use cases and real-world experiences, including both successes and failures. Having a real-world understanding of what’s working and what isn’t will propel us all forward.
Meeting the players in this space and hearing their opinions about where they’re planning to move next. Scouting for partners as we enter this landscape as well.
I currently am head of XR at Nielsen, the leading market research firm. I have been leading XR research since 2015 at SuperData, which was acquired by Nielsen in 2018.
It varies based on the technology. For virtual reality, it's really about content, price, awareness and accessibility. However, with killer apps like Superhot and Beat Saber, plus the enormous success of Oculus Quest, I think we are well on our way toward seeing critical mass in the next couple years. VR will really be focused on gaming for the general audience, and that's what's currently driving adoption. AR's challenge is its necessity. Right now, there aren't a ton of cases where it's essential to the experience, or there are applications that are using it but don't need it. Social media like Snapchat and Facebook have found really innovative ways to use it so the industry, and brands in particular, can learn a lot from them about how it can effectively be leveraged. Mixed Reality's tech is just not there yet for general consumption and is really focused on a few key use cases. But in the very longterm, I believe this is where XR will shine -- it's just going to take awhile.
As I mentioned, gaming content for VR is key. With big IP and AAA publishers will come new waves of adoption. Second is untethered devices. This is ESSENTIAL and Oculus Quest is showing how effective this has been. While some enterprise applications and heavy-duty gaming experiences require high-powered PCs, the content that pleases the general consumer should be light and easy enough for an untethered device. Finally, in-app payment processing is something that isn't talked about enough. Giving people the opportunity to take action while they are inside an experience is key to conversion, and companies like Payscout are creating great solutions.
VR = gaming
AR = branded content
MR = enterprise
As I mentioned, Payscout is doing great things with payment processing. Also, Friends with Holograms has created really innovative educational, training and branded content that really focuses on leveraging the technology itself and not just using it for its novelty.
AI will really take it to the next level. XR is about interaction and immersion and AI is going to be important in driving that -- especially if you incorporate natural language processing and voice activated commands so players can engage naturally with virtual worlds.
Not to sound repetitive, but gaming is really essential to VR. Finding multi-player opportunities will really take it to the next level. For AR, providing utility to mobile applications will provide big growth, such as maps (which Huawei and Google are leveraging). I think games are less essential to AR. They seem obvious but so far I haven't seen a case study that enhances the experience in a big way. Brands can find innovative ways to use AR in mobile ads and sponsored content like social media overlays. I think educating brands on this new market is going to be really important. And, of course, there are soooo many ways enterprise will continue to push this technology forward, and vice versa.
I want to hear about how the largest companies are leveraging the innovation and technology that smaller companies are honing. They need each other since small companies have a lot of agility and can push through creative solutions quickly by avoiding bureaucracy. Meanwhile, XR needs large companies to spread the word and draw in general consumers, so seeing these symbiotic relationships will be a lot of fun!
Meeting the smartest, most innovative people in the industry! These folks are true trailblazers and I can't wait to hear more about what they are doing next!
A lead an association focused on growing and supporting the virtual reality and healthcare market: IVRHA (International Virtual Reality and Healthcare Association)
Education, education, education. We can’t do enough about it yet. Most people still have never tried virtual reality, and no amount of description or explaining does it justice. We have to continue to focus our efforts about giving people their first VR experience, and then explaining how it can impact their job and life.
I’m biased here, but one of the reasons I’m working in the healthcare VR sector today is the potential. There is so much happening under the radar that it is going to transform how we experience and receive treatment. But it’s going to be a long haul. Healthcare doesn’t like change, and it doesn’t move fast. Unfortunately, we’re looking at a 10-15 year horizon before it’s commonplace.
I have been extremely impressed with the Oculus Quest headset since it launched back in May. This is the first headset where everything is right, and the user experience is top notch. It’s now at a quality and price point to compete with games consoles for consumer dollars. We just have to market it now. Easier said than done.
I am very much looking forward to the networking and the exhibit area. When I attended the San Francisco event for the first time two years ago, I was very impressed with the breadth of companies on display.
At Look On Media we are passionate VR developers bringing high end AAA game standards to education, medical, and training industries. Our goal is creating unforgettable VR experiences that produce a more prepared and engaged workforce.
Because the technology is relatively new, there isn’t a large body of data yet that proves ROI strictly from a financial perspective. This makes some clients hesitant, however with every new successful case study Look On Media generates and others in the industry, more clients are excited to adopt VR.
Working with so many great clients has allowed us to create really robust software solutions that are only getting better with more use. This is really exciting for us because it assures we can refine our client’s solutions while gathering critical data to assure the software is accomplishing the client’s goals. While this is all happening, the hardware keeps improving which excites us as developers because we can really push the tech. So the biggest opportunities and innovations we see are coming from both software and hardware iterations as the industry adoption rate skyrockets.
For Look On Media, we really love the making compelling solutions for non-gaming industries that still feel fun. Our challenge as developers is to take material that many view as dry or tedious and package it in engaging VR software that makes people want to use it again and again.
Clearly we are always watching what the hardware companies are doing and excited about any advancements they can make to streamline the user experience. We also primarily develop in UE4 so seeing Epic make VR specific enhancements to their engine is always great.
User data and analytics that can help us create better solutions while proving the efficacy of the technology. This is why we developed our own proprietary dashboard called NeXR that does just that.
We’ve seen huge interest in our utility training solutions because that industry is particularly hazardous and the benefits of VR learning are obvious. Really, any industry in hazardous environments that require very specific training will get the most value out of early XR adoption.
Gaming is going to be critical in getting people used to using the technology and pushing developers to come up with new and creative solutions gameplay. I think we will start to see a lot more robust XR companion pieces to large entertainment franchises.
All of them. We’re information sponges and love learning new things about our industry.
We can’t wait to meet new people from various different industries, run them through our demos, and talk a whole lot of shop! Looking forward to seeing you all there :)
I have taken on the informal role of leading the evangelism of XR technologies to businesses. I host a podcast interviewing business leaders who are either making or using XR solutions and ask them the questions that drive business; What are the costs, challenges, benefits, pitfalls and of course ROI. These are the questions that will unlock the potential of these technologies. XRForBusiness.io
In my day job, I am the CEO of MetaVRse an XR consulting and custom development firm. We build world-firsts and challenging projects that require development that pushes the limits of the technology. We break stuff fast so our customers can get to the best ROI fast. We also represent a number of other XR solutions in a sales capacity. MetaVRse.com
In my other-other job, I work with my wife and long-time business partner to manage the XR Ignite community hub and virtual-accelerator. XRIgnite.com
It is no longer a technology problem, it is now an adoption problem. We have solved enough of the technical problems to deliver real enterprise and corporate value in everything from marketing to training to design and remote collaboration. The point in time where we are, the only challenge to adoption and scale is sales and marketing solutions to the right customers and showing real ROI. If you can make or save a customer 10% more, you will get their business. XR shows 25-100% better results across the board so we just need to stop showing cool stuff and show ROI first, then maybe some cool stuff LOL.
We have recorded over 75 episodes of the XR For Business podcast and I can tell you there are four main areas that are driving XR adoption
Training and Education. That is my passion, that is my life’s work and that is our mission; to democratize education globally by 2037.
I am precluded from talking about specifics, but I think there are some excellent AR glasses coming out, there is a lot of work in creating 3D assets quickly, new spatial tools will make it easier to produce higher quality products. I am excited by anything that promises to drive the cost, complexity and time down to create XR content.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is essential to XR. There are several parts to AI that are directly related to XR;
Computer Vision - The ability for our devices to map out and understand the world around us. Cloud-mapping, infrared cameras, laser scanning, spatial anchors, plane, image and 3D detection, time of flight cameras. Computer vision captures all the data about the world around us to create an experience that is in context to our real world. You will see this when your Pokemon hides behind a tree!
Machine Learning - The ability to take all the information gathered by computer vision systems and make sense of it real time. There is so much math going on behind the scenes that it boggles the mind. I am just glad there are so many passionate people making those calculations seamless for the users.
Natural Language Processing - The ability to interact with your computer (ala Siri, Alexa and Google) is getting much better, but the voices of these AI generated voices still sounds off. In the near future, these voices will get better and will understand everything we say, in any language, with any accent. Add AR glasses to this and you have the possibility of embodying these voices in avatars that appear when we need them in many forms from human to robot and anything in between.
While all industries will see a dramatic benefit from XR, the ones that are seeing the biggest impact right now are:
Healthcare - From dental offices to nursing homes to surgical suites, XR is making the biggest impact right now in the health and wellness sector. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of examples of XR being used in mental health, pain management, distraction therapy, physician and technician training as well as PTSD and MRI visualization. The possibilities are endless and people are working hard to develop these.
Retail - Over the next 10 years, every single item will be sold online and they will have a digital twin or 3D model version. Technology to capture or create these new marketing assets is getting much better and soon there will be AI algorithms that automatically create 3D models from 2D images (oh wait...that already exists!). Retail is using VR for in-store buying education and decision making, on websites as 3D content converts 50-150% higher, AR to visualize products in your space live. You can already try on your favourite lipstick, sunglasses, hat, necklace or shoes using only your mobile phone. And conversions double with this technology.
Automotive - Car companies love VR. This gives them the ability not only to design vehicles 10x faster, but then they can market test them 10x faster with customers years before the car will be built. Design, remote collaboration, test drives, auto shows, AR service manuals, AR-assisted technician support. If there is one industry that is ramping up XR fast, it’s the automotive industry...and…
Aerospace - Similar to automotive, aerospace has had a long relationship with XR. From the early days of space exploration to present day, NASA has been using 3D, VR, AR, MR and every variation thereof to design, prototype, develop, test, and deploy. From million dollar VR rigs in the 1990’s to using Mixed Reality now, NASA has always pushed the limits of this technology. The only group that has more experience with XR is…
Military - This section is classified.
Porn. Seriously, they are always on the leading edge of this technology. They were doing volumetric video capture and AI intelligent avatars long before anyone else. But beyond that obvious one, the greatest effect this is going to have is on the video game industry.Being inside the game is incredible. From racing simulators to MMORPG’s to new genres that were never possible before, VR and AR are going to unlock a whole new world to explore...it’s going to be fun.
Hollywood is already experimenting with next generation entertainment. They realized that the best way to get you back to the theatre is to offer something you can not get at home. A multi-player entertainment experience where you watch the movie from inside the movie and you are a participating character. Keep an eye on the volumetric capture space.
I want to know everything about how companies are leveraging this technology so I can share it with the people who are looking for answers on how to do this for their company.
Meeting the people. As much as doing everything in a virtual world is amazing, the entire reason we do all this is really to be able to share our learnings and stories with others who are as passionate about this technology and what it can enable for humanity. I am looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones, about making new memories (real and virtual) and about learning as much as possible.
Co-Founder & CRO
Over the past few years there has been a resurgence of interest in deploying XR for business, but XR use has been restricted to a few experts in only the largest companies due to the cost and complexity of XR solution, as the challenge has been how to make XR accessible, scalable, collaborative, and easily integrated into business processes across an organization. iQ3Connect’s role is to solve these challenges by bringing the power of multi-user collaborative XR to everyone, by eliminating barriers to usability, accessibility and affordability. iQ3Connect has eliminated those key barriers to adoption by delivering a solution that provides 10X capability at 1/10th the cost, so that any organization, small or large, can leverage the strategic benefits of XR to reduce design cycle time and cost. This is possible because with easy access to usable XR capability they can make more informed decisions earlier in the development process.
The biggest challenge to adoption of XR is the confusion surrounding the capabilities of VR/AR/MR and the subsequent lack of understanding of use cases, business benefits, and concrete ROI that is created by this confusion. The incorrect implementation of any of these applications or the choice of a use case that does not generate a measurable ROI creates the perception that the technology is not mature and reduces interest in XR at the management level. Management believes that integrating into business platforms is mandatory for enterprise adoption and requires solutions that are more than standalone niche applications. In addition there continues to be limitations due to the need for tethered headsets and high-power graphics cards, cost of XR devices, confusion in the boundaries between VR and AR use cases, and the lack of published research on the power of XR to enable decision making.
On the Innovation side, we see the need for improvements in hardware with lighter and untethered devices for improved ergonomics, simplified and reliable hand/body tracking to provide for a more natural user experience, and also new developments in AI/ML to enhance user productivity in XR environments.
With regard to opportunities, we see that Industry 4.0 Digital Transformation will drive the need for better communication of digital content that can only be delivered through immersive technologies. The concept of digital transformation requires that more be done without physical hardware. In order for this to be effective, organizations will need to implement XR at the enterprise level to ensure that everyone has the correct understanding of the design and can communicate changes quickly and efficiently.
What three things do you think will take the industry onto the next level?
To get to the next level we need:
Use case 1 – Training, and specifically, multi-user instructor led training. Training is the single most valuable investment companies can make. There has been substantial investment in VR/AR training environments, but they have not fully delivered on the expectations due to the cost, time, and complexity of developing VR training programs. Additionally, what is missing is the interaction with other students and instructors in real time as this interaction is what provides a more rewarding experience, improved learning and higher retention. Replicating the instructor lead environment within a VR session can provide for better retention of training material while also reducing the cost of training.
Use case 2 – Design review. Today organizations are distributed and rely on a partner network, this leads companies to conduct expensive on site design reviews or ineffective remote reviews. By using multi-user collaborative XR technology, companies would be able to conduct more frequent remote reviews that are even more effective than on site design reviews. By enabling teams to meet virtually as frequently as needed they will solve problems quickly, which means the solution is developed in less time and at lower cost.
Any company making lighter, untethered devices, reliable hand/body tracking with minimal hardware, AI/ML to enhance user productivity in XR environments.
Graphic Card technology – as more powerful graphic cards are developed and reduce in cost, it is likely that even basic computers will have VR capability in a few years. This means that companies will no longer have to invest in VR specific computers to empower their workforce with VR. This will also expand the B-to-C potential as more consumers have VR capability
Affordable, unthrottled 5G – in order to have instant access to complex 3D content from anywhere you need a strong, fast and reliable network. 5G will enable the graphic intense content of XR to be shared to more users in real time.
Hear about real production use cases, production ROI, and adoption metrics.
Meeting and networking with executives (decision makers) and engineers (users of XR).
iQ3Connect has participated in 4 VRX events and the interaction with other participants and attendees is fantastic. The format provides for exchange of ideas and interactions that help all parties to gain insight and further the advancement of XR in industry. I look forward to continuing my learning process by interacting with people I already know but also from those that I will meet in December.
I got into the XR space back in 2015 originally building social multi-player experiences. Our goal was to merge the worlds of 2D content and virtual reality. We were building technology to stream 2D video within social 3D environments for the telecom and gaming industries. Viewers and streamers could watch multiple streams of content simultaneously and the environment around them would change based on the content being streamed.Through this process, we made friends with many developers in the space and saw the value that our internal analytics could provide to all teams building VR applications. We launched Observer Analytics in late 2018 to provide analytics tools and services to the community of VR developers building trainings and games. We believe it’s paramount to iterate based on user behavior in these early days of the industry in order to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
On the consumer side of the market, awareness and retention are difficult. Developers have limited channels to promote VR content and marketing immersive experiences with screenshots and 2D videos don’t do the medium justice. Additionally, once they get a user to download their application, there are no good ways to get them to come back for a second session. There is a gap in the market for retaining users in VR.On the enterprise side, hardware management and scalable content are two challenges for most training experiences. There are many studies being published that highlight the ROI of immersive training, but there are a ton of hurdles to jump over when it comes to scaling these practices across an organization.
The biggest opportunity for consumer content is adopting the freemium model. There needs to be a better way for developers to make money other than one-time store purchases. For the enterprise, device management and hygiene are problems that need to be solved before we will see adoption accelerate.
For consumer VR, I think the most compelling use-case is social. The community builds a stickiness that is necessary for ecosystems to grow.For the enterprise, the most compelling use-case is training repeatable tasks/motions. This is applicable to a ton of industries ranging from utility workers to nurses to warehouse employees.
I think that both Oculus and HTC will continue to launch supporting infrastructure which will allow the consumer and enterprise ecosystems to grow more rapidly. I think they have been working hard this year behind the scenes to build foundational elements that will help developers monetize better and will help enterprise projects scale more efficiently.
Analytics! Understanding user behavior and building a feedback loop based around these learnings is critical for content to succeed. With every new technology, there is a steep learning curve before the community is able to rely on key benchmarks and standards that act as a blueprint for development and scaling. Right now we are in the process of establishing these benchmarks so developers can take the guesswork out of development.
In the short term, I think corporate training will grow quite rapidly. I believe there is a huge ROI for certain industries that were once scared to be early adopters, but the risk is worth the gamble. VR in the workplace can provide so much value to current training practices and I expect adoption to increase in the next eighteen months.In the long-term, I think the gaming vertical will naturally grow to one day rival the console and mobile app industries. While it will take time, game economics and social capabilities in immersive environments will be far more compelling than the alternative 2D games.
I think that content will become more interactive over time. The next generation will want to be included in the story and have the ability to guide the narrative. These are two elements that VR can offer through avatars and interaction. I also think that VR will be adopted as a tool by filmmakers, simplifying motion capture and shot sequencing as VR tracking becomes more advanced.
I’m interested to hear from the earlier movers in the enterprise space who have already adopted VR/AR in the workplace. I’m hoping to learn more about the value the tech is providing, how they are evaluating ROI, and the current roadblocks to scaling.
I’m most looking forward to networking with the XR community. I believe the community will grow faster if we can work together and build long-term relationships with one another.
Business Development Regional Manager
/IO Industries provides high resolution cameras for many different industries including the XR industry. Our most recent camera, VoluCam was inspired by all of our experiences in the XR image capture space providing a cutting edge platform for image acquisition in this space. Our cameras are currently being used by companies such as Micrsoft and 8i as well as a number of other companies currently working on many different types of image acquisition and asset creation with the XR space.
I would say the biggest challenge that we experience is customer knowledge levels. As there are a lot of companies pushing their way into the space, it is hard for customers to know who to go to and what to believe. In order to be successful it is critical that the customer have a very clearly detailed set of objectives and goals and to ensure that they speak with people who are reputable within the industry.
We are currently only involved in the image acquisition component of the asset creation portion of the work flow which is really all that we can comment on specifically. Some of the key areas that we feel will elevate our side of the industry are as follows:
Obviously the entertainment and gaming industries are very compelling but we are also seeing applications in the medical community as well as training and many others.
There are honestly too many to mention. Obviously Microsoft and 8i are ones that we are closely aligned with but we are also talking with many other companies all over the world who are evolving the industry in many different ways.
In essence entertainment and gaming are the two biggest which will lead the others. I think training, medical science, R&D, etc. will follow a bit behind but will also see significant growth and advancement
The possibilities are unlimited. We have talked to companies that are planning on recording actors and actresses in a way that will allow their “assets” to be used to give them life in future roles after they have passed on. We have also talked to companies that are looking at ways to broadcast live stage events in places like Las Vegas allowing people to attend live performances from the comfort of their homes.
We are really open to hearing about all the developments and how things are evolving. Specifically I would say that our primary interest would be in the image acquisition field but we are also very interested to see what is happening in the image rendering and stitching world as that continues to evolve along with our technology.
I would have to say that we are most looking forward to the opportunity of presenting to our piers in the hopes that we can provide insight into the world of multi-camera acquisition systems.
I am a Managing Partner at the WXR Fund investing in early stage companies with female leadership that are transforming business and human interaction using spatial computing (VR/AR) and artificial intelligence. We also have a virtual accelerator program which is completing its third cohort in fall 2019.
I am also is also an angel investor and advisor to several VR, AR and AI companies and organizations including XR in Learning and ARVR Academy.
I wrote the chapter ‘Sound and AR’ in the book “Convergence: how the world will be painted with data” and was co-author of a white paper on the AR Cloud as part of the VRARA. I speak frequently at events including SXSW, AWE, VRAR Global Summit, XR in Learning, and am looking forward to participating in VRX.
Emerging technologies take time to develop, particularly those dependent on hardware. Not only does the hardware need to be comfortable and affordable, but the content needs to be easy to use and useful (or at least interesting). This is also a challenge for spatial computing since much of the basis of user interaction is still begin formed.
To take the industry to the next level we need lighter headsets, hand gesture haptics, broader FOV and brightness (MR/AR).
Also 5G will help performance and latency- enabling multi-users, improving frame rates and streaming, speeding up downloads, facilitating real time interactions and data exchange.
Enterprise use of the technology will help consumers acclimate to new technology.
Every industry can be enhanced by spatial computing although entertainment, education, training, healthcare, retail and productivity are some of the areas that are seeing initial traction.
Artificial intelligence is a highly complementary technology for XR -particularly machine learning, computer vision and natural language processing. We can only begin to imagine what the confluence of these technologies will bring, but areas like synthetic beings give us a glimpse into that future.
I am looking forward to the VRX pitch fest and to meeting new start-ups in the space. It is always fulfilling to help educate those that are new to XR and inspiring to connect with the builders of new content and platforms.
I’m Dan White, CEO of Filament Games. We’re a boutique educational game development studio that has spent the last 14 years exploring the power of games to improve learning. In the past few years, we’ve developed a strong XR development practice and have released several VR titles, including Publication International’s Encyclopedia Britannica VR Exploration Box Sets, the Webby award-winning Breaking Boundaries in Science published in partnership with Oculus, and our own upcoming VR robotics sandbox, RoboCo.
As an educational game development studio, the biggest challenge we see is at the hardware adoption level. Many of the current dominant VR platforms are cost-prohibitive for large-scale school or district purchasing, so there simply isn’t a lot of territory for us to claim in terms of institutions with substantial VR implementations. That being said, more affordable all-in-one solutions like the Oculus Quest are paving the way towards a future where it’s possible that each student could have access to their own VR headset. We’re really encouraged by this trend towards affordable, self-contained VR hardware.
We’re really excited about VR’s potential for education, and have a five-point theory on how VR changes learning - in no particular order, VR allows for greater impact, relevance, immersion, embodiment, and identity.
#1: Relevance – VR experiences feel real. Learning designers can use VR to completely eliminate the disconnect between a learning objective and its real world relevance. This creates learner motivation, because when learning has an obvious real-world application, we’re less likely to question why we should care about the content. It’s the difference between reading about the rules of basketball and just playing a game of basketball yourself.
#2: Impact – VR has the ability to deliver high-impact experiences that would normally be impossible or extremely difficult to achieve in the real world. Instead of just looking at pictures of a suit of medieval armor, you can see how it would it have looked within its historical context. Instead of just reading about the surface of the Moon, you can stand there yourself and collect dirt samples. High-impact experiences like this are great for learning because they’re memorable, and lead to a deeper appreciation of the content.
#3: Immersion – In VR, the user IS the character, which makes even basic gameplay actions like throwing things or pulling levers surprisingly entertaining. The sense of presence in VR means that players are immersed in an experience that provides deep, multi-sensory engagement. In education, we like engagement because it leads to heightened focus and effort, which lead to better learning outcomes.
#4: Embodiment – Because the player’s body acts as the controller, VR is perfect for learning games that teach the player how to do something with their body. When the learning objective is tied to a physical act, we call this embodied learning. Some examples: operating construction machinery, performing surgery, or even something as simple as changing a tire.
#5: Identity – Identity is a powerful teaching tool and a natural extension of embodied learning. VR is different from traditional games because the player physically performs the character’s actions, which reinforces their connection to the character’s identity. This is critical because taking on a new identity allows the player to adopt a new perspective, either about the content or even their own abilities. The sense of presence in VR means that players can try on new identities as easily as they might try on hats, which has particularly exciting implications for VR career training games and simulations.
Robotics! Robotics are huge in education right now, being used to facilitate the kind of project-based learning (PBL) modalities that foster the development of future-ready skills like communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. This is great, but also comes at a cost - parts need to be replaced year after year, so the longitudinal cost of physical robotics kits can be quite high. Our title RoboCo is targeted at providing a similar PBL-style robotics experience without the cost of replacements and the logistical burden of keeping an inventory of robotics parts. Players can experiment and iterate freely, fully realizing the freedom and flexibility of a digital workspace.
We can’t wait to meet the other inspiring XR creators out there, as well as folks looking to generate their own XR content. We’re not only a veteran educational game developer - we also have a strong track record of shipping successful VR and AR titles with partners like Publications International and Oculus. We’re always looking for new partners for collaboration. If you want to talk about how we can make your XR dreams come true, stop by our booth!
I am an original content creator focusing on producing XR-native content that uses the latest technology to push the boundaries of what is possible in storytelling.
The headset manufacturers focusing on consumer AR are likely to cause the biggest shakeup in the industry as their devices get released, so I will continue to keep an eye on established organizations like Apple and Facebook, as well as XR-focused companies like Magic Leap.
Wearables and haptics will allow for even further immersion for entertainment and enterprise experiences alike, but even more so, advances in any tech that can bring down the size and weight of XR headsets (such as batteries) will help massively with consumer adoption.
The current trend is in LBE experiences that are becoming more and more robust. I think we’ll see a large amount of innovation in this sector, giving audiences the chance to sample content which utilizes professional-grade tech to create mind-blowing experiences that go way beyond what they can see at home.
I’m most looking forward to connecting with other content creators and product innovators to collaborate on future projects and the evolution of storytelling in XR.
Techistential provides strategic advice and thought leadership on how Exponential Technologies redefine the future. XR industry is a key technology enabler, which companies will either embrace to be relevant, adapt and grow or be disrupted.
Education to provide immersive and experiential learning, because of how antiquated the current “classroom” knowledge system is.
AI will enhance VR/AR to create cognitive functionalities which are smart. Within AI technology Computer Vision and Machine Learning. Equally important would be the converge of AI and VR in a 5G wireless network environment.
I see XR as a core technology, so over time becoming ubiquitous for all industries. Short term, I expect the B2C market to have the edge in terms of explosive growth namely Media (Gaming, Entertainment).
VR will become pervasive for all industries, so very much looking forward to hearing participants’ insights, updates and applications across their respective sectors to start interpreting the early signals of where XR is really going.
Recognized internationally as a transformative Global Moonshots and XR edupreneur, current VR School District Superintendent and a Motivational Speaker on the Future of Work, I also co-founded Silicon Valley’s leading XR in Education startup InventXR which has a mission to connect the unconnected to exponential technologies. In 2017, immediately after teaching the Design as Discovery Computer Science course at Stanford University, the first VR wireless adaptors, standalone headsets and mobile headsets hit the market and the world’s first self-driving college became a Moonshot and provided some insight on the convergence of the AI revolution with XR advancements. I believe that the convergence of today’s AI revolution with AR advancements gives us the ability to create individually customized learning environments. Throw sensors in the mix for tracking of neural and physiological data, and students will soon be empowered to better mediate a growth mindset, and even work towards achieving a flow state (which research shows can vastly amplify learning).
Within the classroom, Magic Leap One’s Lumin operating system allows multiple wearers to share in a digital experience, such as a dissection or historical map. And from a collaborative creation standpoint, students can use Magic Leap’s CAD application to join forces on 3D designs. In success, AR’s convergence with biometric sensors and AI will give rise to an extraordinarily different education system: one comprised of delocalized, individually customizable, responsive, and accelerated learning environments. Continuous and learn-everywhere education will no longer be confined to the classroom. Already, numerous AR mobile apps can identify objects in a user’s visual field, instantaneously presenting relevant information. As user interface hardware undergoes a dramatic shift in the next decade, these software capabilities will only explode in development and use. Gazing out your window at a cloud will unlock interactive information about the water cycle and climate science. Walking past an old building, you might effortlessly learn about its history dating back to the sixteenth century.
One of my students, a 17 year old young lady designed a collaborative algorithm to empowered students to participate in the peer review process regardless of their demographics. Her moonshot, Yewno Create, generated a knowledge map which showed that when AI and VR converged with wireless 5G networks, our global education problem will move from the nearly impossible challenge of finding teachers and funding schools for the hundreds of millions in need, to the much more manageable puzzle of building a fantastic digital education system that we can give away for free to anyone with or without a VR headset. This inspired the invention of iStudyXR, an education operating system which would transform the future of XR learning forever. At Design Tech at Oracle, along with the godmother of Silicon Valley, Esther Wojcicki (Woj), we taught an XR Moonshots Design Lab and founded one of the world’s first VR Lab in a high school which was dubbed by Wired as Silicon Valley’s ultimate incubator. My students reimagined the Oracle school on Virtual Reality and using unity they were successful to do so. This culminated in the founding of the world’s first VR School which enrolled the first full-time diploma students in 2019. InventXR has made significant contributions in education transformation and acknowledged in the best seller, How to Raise Successful People.
Today, InventXR sits on the Steering Committee of the United Nations Green Jobs for Youth Initiative as an XR thought leader. Each week alone, an estimated 1.3 million people move into cities, driving urbanization on an unstoppable scale. By 2040, about two-thirds of the world’s population will be concentrated in urban centers. Over the decades ahead, 90 percent of this urban population growth is predicted to flourish across Asia and Africa. As new materials forge ahead to create pliable and self-healing structures, green infrastructure technologies are exploding into a competitive marketplace. Aided by plummeting costs, future cities will soon surround us with self-charging buildings, green city ecosystems, and urban residences that generate far more than they consume. And as 5G communications networks, proliferating sensors and centralized AI hubs monitor and analyze every aspect of our urban environments, cities are fast becoming intelligent organisms, capable of seeing and responding to our data in real time.
Education XR biggest opportunity: For all of history, our lives have been limited by the laws of physics and mitigated by the five senses. VR is rewriting those rules. It’s letting us digitize experiences and teleport our senses into a computer-generated world where the limits of imagination become the only brake on reality. VR will democratize travel in unprecedented realms, one day allowing first graders to travel to the Moon or planets even farther afield. The VR space is massively heating up and we will see the biggest opportunities in education.
Augmented Reality Education (AR School): Today, adults in the U.S. spend over nine hours a day looking at screens. That counts for more than a third of our livelihoods. Yet even though they serve as a portal to 90 percent of our media consumption, screens continue to define and constrain how and where we consume content, and they may very soon become obsolete. We got our first taste of AR’s real-world gamification in 2016, when Nintendo released Pokemon Go. Thus began the greatest cartoon character turkey shoot in history. With 5 million daily users, 65 million monthly users, and over $2 billion in revenue, the virtual-overlaid experience remains one for the books. In the years since, similar AR apps have exploded. In 2019, both Apple and Google are racing to deploy phones with requisite infrastructure to support hyper-realistic AR. Riding new advancements in hardware and connectivity, augmented reality (AR) is set to replace these 2D interfaces, instead allowing us to see through a digital information layer. And ultimately, AR headsets will immerse us in dynamic stories, learn-everywhere education, and even gamified work tasks. In our classrooms, AR will allow children (and adults alike!) to explore both virtual objects and virtual worlds. But beyond the classroom, we will have the option to employ AR as a private teacher wherever we go. Buildings will project their history into our field of view. Museums might have AR-enhanced displays. Every pond and park will double as a virtual-overlaid lesson in biology and ecology. Or teach children the value of money with virtual budgeting and mathematical tabulations at grocery and department stores. Already, apps like Sky Map and Google Translate allow users to learn about their surroundings through smartphone camera lenses, and AR’s teaching capabilities are only on the rise. Ultimately, AR will give rise to neural architectures directly embedded through brain-computer interfaces. Our mode of interaction with the IoT will evolve from smartphone screens, to AR glasses, contact lenses, to BCIs. With companies like Niantic ($4B valuation), Improbable ($2B valuation), and Unity ($6B valuation) achieving unicorn status in recent years, the future of XR in Education is more abundant today than ever before. That is why I founded InventXR as an Edtech corporation committed to XR inventions.
XR in the Workplace: In the workplace, VR will serve as an efficient trainer for new employees. 10,000 of Walmart's 1.2 million employees have taken VR-based skills management tests. Learning modules that once took 35 to 45 minutes, now take 3 to 5. The company plans to train 1 million employees using the Oculus VR headset by the end of this year. The upfront costs of VR headsets will ultimately be recovered in labor efficiencies. Vuforia Chalk, a novel AR tool that helps customers fix appliances with real-time virtual assistance. As users direct their smartphone cameras towards troublesome appliances, remote tech support workers can draw on consumers’ screens to guide them through repair steps.
XR in Medicine: Riding the convergence of low-latency networks, mixed reality, high-precision robotics, and advanced sensors, telemedicine is making high-risk, life-saving procedures far more accessible. By allowing some of the world’s best doctors to operate in remote communities from afar, robotics and virtual interfaces will soon decentralize, delocalize and democratize healthcare. We will begin to see long-distance telerobotic platforms across the globe as 5G, satellite constellations, and balloons bring high-speed connectivity to today’s most inaccessible regions, distance to care could grow immaterial over the next 15 years.
Three Things that will take the industry to the next level
Artificial Intelligence is a complementary technology that will help grow XR industries and lead to superior Human Experiences. Through the 2000s, the convergence of increasingly powerful game engines and AI-image rendering software flipped the XR script and the XR universe opened for business across industries. In AR, we will begin to see the ability to switch into different modes such as the Education mode where education is wherever you look, your AI-enabled AR headset can deliver physics lessons, historical rundowns, or linguistics courses. Virtual educators appear on demand, answering nearly any question you could possibly think of. (Every action, from an arching football to an ocean wave, can teach you about physics.) Every moment is filled with constant learning and growth.
Education: VR will not only cover traditional educational content, but also expand our emotional education. We no longer live or learn in only one place. We have real-world personae and online personae. This delocalized existence is expanding exponentially. With the rise of XR, we’re introducing more layers to this equation. Every time we add a new layer to the digital strata, we’re also adding an entire economy built upon that layer, meaning we are now conducting our business in multiple worlds at once. VR, especially when combined with AI, has the potential to facilitate a top shelf traditional education, plus all the empathy and emotional skills that traditional education has long been lacking. In 2016, venture investments in VR exceeded US$800 million, while AR and MR received a total of $450 million. Just a year later, investments in AR and VR startups doubled to US$3.6 billion. Already, VR headset sales volumes are expected to reach 98.4 million by 2023, according to Futuresource Consulting. But beyond headsets themselves, Facebook’s $399 Oculus Quest brought in US$5 million in content sales within the first two weeks post-release this past spring.
AI Cloud XR : When researchers talk network evolution, “G” is the term-du-jour. It stands for “generation.” In 1940, when the first telephone networks began to roll out, we were at 0G. It took forty years to crawl our way to 1G, which showed up with the first mobile phones in the 1980s. But this also marked the transition from deceptive to disruptive. By the 90s—around the time the internet emerged—2G came along for the ride. But the ride didn’t last long. A decade later, 3G ushered in a new era of acceleration as bandwidth costs began to plummet at a staggeringly consistent 35 percent per year. 2010 saw 4G networks unleash smartphones, mobile banking and e-commerce. But starting in 2020, 5G will hotwire the whole deal, delivering speeds a hundred times faster at near-zero prices. How fast is 5G fast? With 3G, it takes 45 minutes to download a high-definition movie. 4G shrinks that to 21 seconds. But 5G?
With 5G on the ground, balloons in the air and private satellites blanketing the Earth from space, we are on the verge of connecting every person on the planet with gigabit connection speeds at de minimis cost. As 5G electrifies a world of trillions of sensors and devices, we’re about to live in a world where anyone anywhere can have access to the world’s knowledge, crowdfund ready capital across 8 billion potential investors, and 3D print on the cloud.And as the population of online users doubles, we’re about to witness perhaps the most historic acceleration of progress and technological innovation known to man. Meanwhile, groundbreaking progress in BCI is driving us closer to Ray Kurzweil’s prediction that our brains will connect seamlessly to the cloud by 2035. Elon’s Neuralink is already striving towards a 2 gigabit-per-second wireless connection between a patient’s brain and the cloud in the next few years. And in the long-term, BCIs will amplify both average human intelligence and our access to an instantaneous wealth of knowledge.
A leader in the brain-to-brain communication field, Miguel Nicolelis has previously conducted studies that linked rat brains through implanted electrodes, effectively creating an “organic computer.” The rat brains synchronized electrical activity to the same extent of a single brain, and the super-brain routinely outperformed individual rats in distinguishing two electrical patterns. Building on this research, the leaders of the “BrainNet” human study claim that their non-invasive device could connect a limitless number of individuals. As brain-to-brain signaling grows increasingly complex, human collaboration will reach extraordinary levels, allowing us to uncover novel ideas and thought processes. Rather than building “neural networks” in software, operations like BrainNet are truly linking networks of neurons, creating massive amounts of biological processing power. We are fast approaching the prediction of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Murry Gell-Man, who envisioned “thoughts and feelings would be completely shared with none of the selectivity or deception that language permits.
Networking and connecting with the World’s great thought leaders across verticals and building lasting connections towards an XR powered world.
My company, Raytheon, is a technology and innovation company specializing in aerospace and defense. We leverage XR across a broad set of applications. My focus is on supporting training efforts of Government customers, with XR applications ranging from visualization and accelerated understanding of complex scenarios, to the development of synthetic realities that use XR as a point of entry. We leverage much of what the commercial market produces, but also work directly with XR innovators for specific application of their products to solve some tough problems for our customers.
Military customers need unique capabilities that have a higher-consequence capability for which investment is needed. In this space, we assess the most significant challenges as: physical burden, field-of-view, dynamic occlusion at range and daylight AR avatars. XR wearables need to be less cumbersome. Soldiers already carry a lot of gear. Every piece of kit needs to provide extraordinary value for the burden it costs. And that kit needs to work in the sub-zero arctic to a 120-degree desert, to 100 percent humidity and 100-degree heat in tropical jungles. Physical size, and weight, are obvious challenges, but also power heat, processing and communications all need to be seamless capabilities. Field-of-view needs to approach natural peripheral vision thresholds to be useful in an operational or realistic training environment. Occlusion at long sight ranges has to resolved for a realistic training in an accurate synthetic environment. Avatars in an AR daylight application must be also be realistic to make the training engaging and effective.
Think about how most technology came into widespread use. If the tech was more time consuming to set up and reach an operating tempo, then the expected outcome value it would provide for the work unit, then it was more of a niche experience for those use cases where the outcome value could be effectively balanced with the up-front “pain.” Increased capability of commercial XR products will eventually flow to high-consequence training in defense and aerospace sectors, this tech trajectory will benefit from technology insertion without investing previous research and development funds. Adopted for tank and helicopter training decades ago, VR saved money on fuel, ammunition and parts, but required heavy-duty infrastructure and specialized software development. There is no way the commercial sector could market that up-front burden for cost-effective applications. The pace of this technology is the primary driver of the industry. This is followed by the intuitive ease of use that eliminates up-front “pain.” Third, is the cost value that is enabling widespread use and new applications almost daily.
XR is ideal for any use case that has high consequence risk. Risk is consequence as a function of probability and confidence. When you consider the probability and confidence however, many of low probability high-consequence risks are accepted. With XR and complementary modeling and simulation technologies we can explore those risks and develop mitigation strategies. The other use case I would like to highlight is making an experience “sticky.” The ability of XR to stimulate not just sight and sound, but haptics, motion, and even some work in olfactory stimulation, complete an immersive environment that becomes compelling and “sticks” with the immersed person. Of course, this assumes high quality graphics and frame rates that prevent any lag or blur in the scene. Putting forward a very believable experience, or a highly realistic training scenario is one of the most compelling uses of XR.
Artificial intelligence/machine learning is a complementary and rapidly innovating technology space that is intimate with XR. With XR visualizations and the complexity of dynamic scenarios, the ability for AI to effectively balance cross-platform experiences to meet user expectations, and the ML to ensure accuracy in the continuous approximation of those expectations, will enable the broader acceptance of XR in more applications. A challenge with XR is in scenario development. If an experience is a single scenario with limited variation, repeat use is not likely. Our customer base at Raytheon wants free play synthetic environments for multiple repetitions that continually challenge. These training experiences actually become excursions with the dynamic variability of events in a multi-domain synthetic environment. To be clear, this is not just free play on a synthetic island against other single players. This is interaction with more players and effects across domains like cyberspace in the synthetic environment than can be reasonably managed with other players. This is where AI that can provide a credible culturally aware virtual human with who to talk and understand a situation, or manage the doctrinal deployment, maneuver and reactions of a large scale attacking force.
I am one of the award-winning producers of the virtual reality film, “Under the Net,” which raises awareness and funds for the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign to fight malaria worldwide. Unlike many other VR experiences, I built a 360-degree, integrated marketing campaign around the film to engage VR enthusiasts, donors, partners and even members of Congress in its work to prevent malaria. It has won over a dozen communications and XR industry awards for its demonstrated ROI and success. Today I counsel corporate clients and nonprofit professionals about the strategic use of XR for social good and frequently speak about how to harness this medium to change attitudes and behaviors to solve the world’s biggest problems.
I often find that companies and organizations are dabbling in the use of VR but they either didn’t build strong, measurable goals at the outset or they failed to build a truly integrated marketing campaign around the experience to maximize their resources, reach and results.
I want to see more brands partnering with nonprofits to work together to address some of our biggest societal issues. XR experiences have a unique ability and opportunity to build common understanding and empathy, in a world where increasingly we as human beings have neither. I want to see XR used to make the world a better place.
I love seeing it change hearts and minds. I have seen countless people take off a headset, cry, and then spend 20 minutes talking with me about a disease that kills children half a world away that they didn’t know existed, and want to help in some way.
I love what PwC and the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion is doing with VR. Its “Check Your Blind Spots” mobile tour travels the country visiting companies and using VR to help employees spot their unconscious bias. What a powerful tool to change perspectives and build respect and understanding.
Hi there! I’m Lidiia Bogdanovych and I’m the Director of Augmented Reality Lens Design at Snap. We see our role in the industry as creators of not just technology but compelling consumer experiences. We aim to create technology that make augmented reality a part of people’s daily lives via Snapchat. My personal mission is to help make complex and powerful technology fun and accessible to as many people as possible.
We always working to strike a balance in the way we bring AR experiences to the mainstream. There are trade-offs to make between a cutting edge experience for a smaller group of people (with higher end mobile devices) and an accessible feature that everyone in our community can enjoy.
I’m thrilled to be part of the AR community because it’s so dynamic, evolving so quickly, and driven by some incredibly smart and creative people.
From here, I’d love to see an improvement in semantic understanding and machine learning experiences. With these, you can change the world around people, but also understand more about the scenes they’re in which allows us to make even more magic!
I think that Lenses are a compelling example of AR (of course, I’m passionate about what I do!). But, I believe this because they’ve helped promote AR technology with a consumer population that lets them be creative and expressive. The more instances where tech can be created to help achieve something core to humanity that helps people (like lenses do for communication and expression), the better!
The opportunities are endless! The key is to find the right (and creative!) approach to appeal to each vertical and users there. To just name a few: retail, travel, education, beauty, fashion, and of course entertainment. AR is a tool that can add new layers of comfort, utility, information, and delight to so many aspects of our daily lives.
I am so excited to participate in this amazing event, hear more about how other industries are applying XR, and see what we can all learn from each other.
I have been a strategist and consultant in immersive technology since 2014. I travel globally speaking about how enterprise companies can dramatically improve training, design, collaboration and processes with this technology.
I am also a Venture Partner at the Capital Region XR Accelerator.
We seem to be stuck in PoC jail. Part of the problem is the hardware form factor, but that is changing rapidly.
The other issue is simply managing headsets and multiple solutions - then integrating into legacy systems.
All of these things are solvable - it’s just going to take some time, more specific standards and best practices.
There are many innovations happening concurrently - all-in-one headsets, 5G for delivering dynamic content, true AR/MR wearables and content, content, content.
As far as the opportunities - they are endless but 3 solutions I personally would like to see built:
We have certainly seen remarkable traction with training and education.
There are also some amazing collaboration and design tools for both AR and VR.
The thing I find most fascinating is that companies, educators, designers, physicians - all kinds of specialists - are finding their own unique ways to use immersive tech. They are either learning Unity/Unreal or teaming up with devs to solve specific problems or just to improve their own performance within their area of expertise.
Well, of course all the usual suspects - HTC’, Microsoft, Magic Leap and Oculus Quest. I am really looking forward to 2022, when Apple will reportedly deliver hybrid MR headset followed in 2023 with a true consumer wearable.
5G and the AR Cloud (I could not limit it to just one thing).
It sounds a little ridiculous to say, but any company can find a use case for immersive tech. I prefer to think in terms of horizontal solutions - Training, Design, Collaboration and Visualization.
If companies are not looking at this tech, the time to start was yesterday. I would highly recommend that IT, Innovation, R&D and Safety Training teams come to events like VRX to learn more about this tech, to demo the hardware and by all means, reach out to me with questions and I can help steer you in the right direction.
e-Sports will see many new opportunities And I believe there will be opportunities for new storytelling constructs that follow branching narratives like AAA games and potentially even morph into worlds of exploration where multiple storylines are all happening in real time. - like life!
LBE will zero in on more sustainable business modela and companies like Adventure Lab will redefine interactive multiplayer experiences with hosted and scheduled VR events.
I look forward to meeting more great developers and see solutions that aren’t already on my radar.
I also enjoy meeting companies who have been working quietly with XR technologies - this happens at almost every VRX event. I am always impressed by small teams of internal XR champions who have successfully launched PoCs, pilot programs and even deployed.
The talks and panels are always interesting with valuable insights. I also look forward to meeting those new to the industry, and catching up with colleagues and customers.
I am developing the vision for our educational programming at the RLab, the nation’s first city-funded center for research, entrepreneurship and education in virtual and augmented reality, spatial computing and related technologies. With 16,500 square feet of studios, classrooms, studios, coworking space and more in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, RLab is the city’s new home for immersive tech.
One of my main responsibilities at RLab is to make sure the NYC workforce is ready for all of the new businesses, opportunities, considerations and emerging tech around spatial computing and XR. We see companies wanting to explore how these technologies might be able to integrate into their business strategies, production pipelines, R&D and professional development. But we find that often the opportunities/use cases are not understood on a level to create urgency around training and hiring to develop new XR products or integrations. The field may be exciting but still feel a bit speculative.
There are so many interesting and fascinating use cases that are currently being used on many different industries right now, that it is hard to pick just a few to highlight.
One of the most challenging things about learning about VR/AR/MR is that you have to “see it to believe it”! There are not many opportunities to learn about and experience what is happening at the enterprise level at companies and I cannot wait to learn more about how I can continue to help NYC become a desirable place to condition their business based on the unbelievable talent that NYC provides.
I produce events that showcase the power of mixed reality for storytelling and marketing -- connecting the dots between immersive technology, creativity and the consumer experience. I also foster conversations across disciplines, getting technologists, creatives, advertisers and business execs in the same room so they can hash out their differences (and find unique opportunities to collaborate).
Mobile and desktop AR tools continue to show their strength as some of the most scalable, consumer-friendly applications of immersive technology -- particularly for retail and ecommerce. The simple act of letting someone try on accessories or makeup, or envision what a product might look like in their home has been shown to increase the likelihood of a purchase (and even entice people to pay more, in some cases).
VR's applicability as a tool for mental health and wellness is also quite promising. There are strong use cases for therapists and counselors to integrate VR into their clinical work, but also for more casual, consumer-facing experiences for self-care and relaxation.
I like Sensiks and Spree Interactive (formerly HolodeckVR), and Kluge Interactive (the team behind Synth Riders).
The hardware outlook panel. When it comes to VR adoption from a consumer POV, it all comes down to the headsets and their cost, portability and comfort. Everyone is excited about the Quest, but I'd love to learn about what Vive & Oculus have coming out even further down the pike.
I am and architect and designer, I also direct research and innovation efforts at Perkins and Will. We use XR in many ways, mostly to visualize our designs in team and client collaborations. I have consulted with software developers to develop tools for developing and editing designs within the VR medium. On the academic side, I have worked with graduate students to develop prototypes for an immersive VR locomotion interface.
For VR, the biggest challenge is design collaboration. VR creates individual experiences, and even with tools marketed for VR collaboration, there still is a barrier.
There is a great potential for AR and XR in the design industry. The next biggest innovation would be for VR/AR/XR to be developed into an intuitive, robust and collaborative design medium where multiple designers can create and edit models while seeing each other – and not just use it as a medium for visualization. I also get very excited about the design potential of AR in real life, where a blur of the physical and digital can exist to enhance every aspect of our lives. Development of robust high resolution and low latency untethered hardware will be essential.
Beyond design, gaming, entertainment, education and manufacturing, I think distant medical assistance and disaster response is a very compelling case for VR/AR – it allows access to the most vulnerable.
Digital display on everyday surfaces.
I’m a self-proclaimed XR evangelist with a heavy emphasize on utilizing and promoting the use of MR devices like Microsoft’s HoloLens to solve real world challenges for our clients, and I absolutely love what I do.
From my perspective the most compelling use cases for XR help address two of the biggest challenges our clients face, aging infrastructure and aging workforce. I’m seeing the most impact using these technologies in design engineering, knowledge capture and transfer and training and task guidance.
My focus over the next few years will be in combining the use XR with AI, IoT, Digital Twins and Autonomous Vehicles in an effort to identify which combinations of technologies and use cases fit together in ways that will maximize our invest, uncover new opportunities and provide the most value along the way.
I think the use of XR in the AEC space is one of the top industry verticals that will see some of the biggest growth over the next few years. While many forward-thinking firms have been leveraging the existing capabilities of XR to their fullest for many years now, most of the industry has not yet come to recognize the revolutionary impact XR will have on design, construction, operation and maintenance over the next decade.
My number one priority at VRX 2019 is to meet with as many fellow attendee’s as possible. The time I spend connecting and conversing with others at VRX, is among the best uses of it.
Though I work on a team that is relatively small, we experiment within a “test-and-learn” environment to envision and prototype the variety of applications within virtual space that could to assist, inform and entertain our customers in the future. My background is in Technical Art and Environment Art for games, so my role is to bring prototypes and test cases to Expedia with the goal of giving our clients a better understanding of how Travel can play a role in their experiences.
For virtual reality it’s really about usability and content. Once there’s plenty of variety to the content and a wider range of users to play, develop, and explore, I believe that’s where we’ll really see it take off. On the other hand, when it comes to augmented reality, the main challenge lies in its use cases. AR will really develop as we see how it can be tied with our everyday life to make tasks easier or to allow for a higher quality output. I’m confident XR as a whole will really start to develop once the content is available to the public both in practical application and variety, as well as the ability to share your experiences with others via Social XR.
I think the biggest game-changer in terms of bringing virtual reality to the next level, I’d say it’s the stand-alone devices that allow for untethered use. As we’ve seen with consoles in the past, the ability to steer away from the high-end PC will allow for everyone to have the technology in their home. The untethered models also allow for devices to be purchased based on use and price-range. For example, my mom may not want to game, but she may want to watch TV on the Oculus Go.
Having some background in education and gaming, I feel there are great cases to be made in elevating the XR industry through travel previews and educational applications, as well as medical uses for rehabilitation, cognitive therapy, and training purposes.
I think the greatest change we’ll notice will actually be from the variety of audiences the technology will be made accessible for. I’ve seen children running around with HTC Vive to play kids games, then the same device is used later by dad to watch sports. It opens so much in terms of control and accessibility for people, not just socialization in a new manner, but for these device to become as common and versatile as we watched happen with smartphones.
I am Chief Marketing Officer for Enduvo, a company that develops a no-code, rapid AR/VR content authoring platform that is getting traction within the government, industrial manufacturing, healthcare, and education sectors. My role within the XR community as a marketer, creating brand awareness and value for Enduvo, and as an evangelist to help companies see the value of XR for training, collaborate, and communication.
XR technologies drive more impactful exchanges of information and enhances the way people collaborate. XR facilitates a contextual communication experience; thus, enabling people to engage in more meaningful ways. To achieve the promise of XR, solutions must become as ubiquitous as cell phones and computers. They must be so simple to use that anyone can create an immersive experience, and they must be at a price point that allows widespread adoption.
I am fortunate to be able to engage with creative people that are exploring innovative uses for AR and VR. From an enterprise perspective, I see compelling applications for these technologies across customer service, training, collaboration, and compliance. For example, Enduvo is working with the military to help with warfighter readiness, hospitals to enable doctors to better prepare for life and death situations and with manufacturers to capture the knowledge of an aging customer service workforce.
The value of XR is no longer in question. The biggest challenge in the industry right now is the widespread adoption of XR technologies. Therefore, I am watching not just how people are using technology but am equally as interested in companies that can drive adoption.
Hands down IOT technologies tops my list for extending the value of AR/VR.
The XR industry is evolving fast, and it has widespread implications across so many use cases. Therefore, I am looking forward to learning from my peers about new and innovative uses of XR as well as meeting colleagues that are equally passionate as me about the potential that XR has on changing the way we create, share, and communicate ideas.
I lead Spatialand, a V-Commerce startup defining the next generation of retail through immersive, memorable experiences. Spatialand is a portfolio company of Store N°8, Walmart’s incubation arm for uncovering ideas that will transform the future of commerce.
More than challenges, what excites me most about the industry are all the opportunities to leverage VR to help people live better. That being said, one thing that I will say has been a challenge in the space – which, often happens with emerging technologies – is the lack of patience some people have. The rush to monetize and capitalize on the novelty factor of the technology has resulted in a number of what I would refer to as “solutions in search of problems” and poor user experiences which, unfortunately, have the potential to impact the perception of the entire industry and require effort to overcome.
The great thing is that we have already seen a number of compelling use cases and experiences, and new ones arise every day. The common theme is those experiences leverage technology to solve actual problems and make people’s lives better. Although my team and I spend our days focused on leveraging VR to create the next generation of retail, I have seen powerful solutions in education, training and healthcare, among others.
When I think of where we are in the development of the VR & AR/MR industries, I think about the evolution of the mobile phone industry. Although there are a lot of complementary technologies I believe have the potential to have an impact, one that immediately comes to mind – and is also directly related to mobile phones - is 5G. As bandwidth increases, latency decreases and access expands, the ability to deliver rich content and responsive solutions will enable us to create more dynamic experiences that will reduce friction for users and change the way they interact with the world. Those great experiences will drive more adoption which, in turn, will spur more innovation and help grow the immersive technology space.
People build technology. Consequently, VR would be nothing without creators, and I am looking forward to getting to meet and spend time with fellow innovators doing amazing things as we work to build the future.
Sixense is an immersive computing company that creates products that improve lives. Our team leverages years of experience in virtual and augmented reality to create a powerful competitive advantage for our customers and partners across industries including healthcare, training, and entertainment.
We believe that any sort of training that is dangerous, costly, difficult to replicate, or simply mundane, whether that’s training someone on how to use a new tool or how to do something physically, is a compelling use case for VR/AR/MR. For example, the solution we created with our partner Lincoln Electric, the VRTEX System, allows for welding students to be trained on a variety of different welds in a safe, reliable, and data-driven environment. The VRTEX System decreases operating costs and allows students to develop their skills safely, allowing them to build muscle memory, dexterity and familiarity with processes before they ever lay hands on live equipment.
Verticals such as healthcare, manufacturing, and military are huge growth opportunities for XR. These are industries where a small mistake can quickly turn into a dangerous situation or an expensive problem. XR allows for companies in these spaces to cost-effectively educate and collaborate, which in turn leads to greater productivity and enhanced employee safety.
We are really looking forward to hearing from companies that are using immersive computing to directly impact their bottom line.
We can’t wait to hear from industry leaders about their projects and goals for 2020. We also look forward to speaking with attendees and discovering new technologies, processes, and partners.
I am CEO of Fallen Planet Studios, we are a development studio formed in 2013. We create and publish virtual reality titles to consumers and license them to VR arcades and theme parks. We also operate in the B2B sector which involves creating bespoke VR applications to a brief for our clients.
There are still many challenges for this industry to overcome and we live in a world now where consumers expect everything all of the time. The gradualism that we have seen with the adoption of VR and other mixed reality systems is to be expected, especially given the whole new set of input systems, UI and spatial interactions that need to be created to enable the user to interact, navigate and negotiate these new worlds. The progress being made in these areas is rapid, however a lack of consumer awareness is still something for the industry to overcome; many people have still never tried VR, or were first exposed to it through Google Cardboard or GearVR and don’t realise the amount of progress made since then.
Hardware is improving all the time and this crucial for mass adoption. A large part of the consumer market is still driven by VR enthusiasts, however hardware such as the Oculus Quest, which allows for great untethered experiences, will enable a wider audience to enjoy virtual reality and broaden the reach of the technology. Content is improving all of the time as well and this is probably the most important element from the point of view of the end-user. Developers are still getting to grips with the new headsets coming out, such as the Oculus Quest, and we are only now starting to see great VR titles informed by great VR titles (Beat Saber + Superhot = Pistol Whip), this continued evolution of dedicated content is critical to bring new users into the eco-system. These improvements in both hardware and software are increasing the user base, which in turn increases the potential revenue available to developers. That is good news for studios such as Fallen Planet, however it is a critical factor for larger studios with well know IP that are still waiting to enter the space, as their bigger development costs rely on a having a large audience to market their titles to. We are now beginning to see these IPs enter the VR market and that is a very good sign for all involved.
The capability of VR to create environments which facilitate pain relief and/or rehabilitation, could have the largest impact on society. These use cases are still being explored by the creators but I’m sure at some point we will see users purchasing VR hardware specifically for these purposes.
Fallen Planet Studios recently collaborated with Ultrahaptics, now called Ultraleap after their acquisition of Leap Motion this year. We created the first commercial LBVR installation to utilise their mid-air haptic technology called AFFECTED: The Visit, which we are now licensing to VR arcades. The Ultraleap technology is an important part of the evolution of UI in the VR space, I am sure we will see many more companies adopting their technology moving forward.
I expect to see growth in VR training and collaborative applications that enable a speedier design process and improve overall workflow, as well as growth in education facilitated by virtual reality. Training in VR offers huge cost savings and risk reduction compared to traditional methods, we are already seeing large companies such as Walmart invest in these types of applications and the introduction of high-end untethered HMDs will only accelerate this further. Collaboration within VR is also an obvious use case and companies such as Mercedes are already employing it to increase productivity and drive down the costs of design. In education, VR will facilitate the proliferation of knowledge to huge swathes of people for whom it was previously out of reach, and drive the cost down for people currently paying large amounts for their current education services. The implications of this will be extremely disruptive to current systems but will be of massive the benefit to the end user.
I am really looking forward to learning more about how XR technologies are being employed in sectors that Fallen Planet Studios is less familiar with, such as health care, and to understand more about the advances that are being made there. I’m also keen to listen to talks from the companies that we rely on daily, such as Oculus and Unity, as they continue to invest in and accelerate the VR ecosystem. Hearing from companies such as The Void, that have been a leading light in high-end LBVR for the past 4 or 5 years, are also on my to-do list at VRX.
Industry events such as VRX are so important to the continual development of the XR industry; sharing ideas and learning from the individuals that are driving the different sectors forward is hugely inspiring to me as a CEO and informs the direction that we take as a development studio.