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VRX Europe 2019 featured a world-class line up of VR & AR experts, who shared their experiences, stories, market insights and strategies to provide attendees with the tools to succeed in this dynamic market. Stretching across immersive tech, enterprise, gaming, consumer entertainment and investment, these industry leaders have a wealth of knowledge to support the growth of your business.
If you have a great story to tell and would like to join the speaker list for 2020, please contact Stefan Mullan on email@example.com to register your interest.
Head of Product Design - Social VR London
Vice President Virtual Reality B2B and Business Development
Vice President Customer Experience & Innovation
Head of AR/VR/Lens Partnerships (EMEA)
Co-Founder & CTO
Business Developer Digital Infra
Evangelism Lead, EMEA
EMEA VR Business Development Manager
Director, Immersive Technology
Global Virtual Design & Construction: BIM Integration & Training Specialist
Creative Department Manager
Head of Unit - Virtual Reality
VP of Development
Senior Product Manager VR/AR
Software Developer / Founder
Program Manager Digital Construction
VP of Strategy & Head of XR
Product Owner VR
Center of Competence for Augmented and Virtual Reality
Head of Mixed Reality Platform Strategy
Design Technology Specialist
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
SVP, New Business Development, Technology and Strategic Alliances
Head of Information Technologies
CEO & Co-founder
Executive Digital Producer
Head of Digital
Chief Technology Officer
Innovation Catalyst, Head of VR
Business Development Director
Collaboration Manager, Creative and Cultural Industries
R&D IT Innovation Consultant
Marketing & Communications Manager
Chief Executive Officer
Director of Digital Development
Creative Interaction Director
Technology Manager - Advanced Visualisation (AR/VR/MR)
Executive Creative Director
Executive Producer – Interactive Arts
Virtual Reality Developer
Project Lead - Exploring VR in Further Education, Language & Remote Learning
Global Virtual Design & Construction Team, Construction Chemicals
Philips Group Innovation
Associate Director Structured Experiments
CEO, Sixense Enterprises Inc.
VRX: Tell us a little more about your role in the XR industry
AR: I have been in the immersive computing industry for over 25 years with a focus on products that deliver powerful new ways for organizations to engage, teach and train their customers and employees.
VRX: In your line of work, what are some of the biggest challenges you’re seeing in the adoption and use of VR/AR/MR?
AR: One of the biggest challenges I see that affects the adoption and use of VR/AR/MR is the fact that there is no standardization for headsets and input devices. Currently, each HMD/input device has its own API and functions off of a closed platform.
VRX: Where do you see the biggest opportunities and innovations arising? What three things do you think will take the industry onto the next level?
AR: 1. An affordable, all-in-one, mobile headset needs to become the standard, with full position and orientation controllers that provide full-presence VR or AR. That, in turn, will attract a significant install base and enable economies of scale in the industry.
2. By providing economy of scale as described above, developers will be more enticed to develop the killer app(s) that will support the continuous growth of the VR/AR industry.
3. The next generation hardware will come with full-body motion capture and haptics that will allow for the development of more intuitive and therefore effective solutions in VR/AR.
VRX: What key topics are you most interested to find out more about?
AR: I am most interested in learning more about the adoption of VR and AR technologies in the European market so that we can better understand how we can bring our immersive computing solutions, like VR/AR, to the industries that we are focused on (healthcare, education/training, LBE) in that region. We are looking forward to learning about the various go-to-market strategies that different players in Europe are using. This will be a key takeaway for us.
VRX: What aspect of VRX Europe are you most looking forward to?
AR: I am looking forward to getting familiarized with the adoption of VR/AR tech in Europe and understanding what companies in the industry are interested in doing and how Sixense can adapt our solution to fit their needs.
Head of Unit - Virtual Reality, International Committee of the Red Cross
CR: Created and manage the first ever internal XR production unit within a humanitarian organisation
CR: Production cost for non-profit organisations. We stopped outsourcing 90% of our production for this reason.
CR: This is what I want to learn during the VRX Europe!
CR: To better understand the current and future trends in the industry. To open the dialogue between the XR industry and the non-profit sector as equals and not as client/suppliers
Center of Competence for Augmented and Virtual Reality, Audi AG
JP: As coordinator of the “Center of Competence for AR & VR” at AUDI AG, I am driving innovation and activities regarding Augmented and Virtual Reality solutions of the company.
My main interest, however, is the XR ecosystem as a whole. I see myself as a connector between the partially detached areas and with my activities I want to shape future solutions together with the network partners.
JP: From an enterprise view with a traditional product development process we have a big challenge right at the starting point of the XR journey. A seamless data process is one of the main topics we have to solve – single preparation of XR stories does not help to integrate new possibilities into the business processes. The question is: are we able to deliver the right information in a correct manner?
For sure you also have to care about acceptance of new technologies which has quite a lot of different aspects starting with creating the user experience and not ending, especially in a regulated environment such as Germany, with socio-economic questions about how will this influence the way we work in future.
Without emphasizing a special technology my general expectation is as follows:
JP: One of the main purpose of XR technology is information delivery. How will data be generated and information be linked in the future and how can we derive the context we as users are in?
I call it Dynamic Virtual Twin in which “Dynamic” brings in the difference and acts as a connector and enabler between us, the real and virtual world.
JP: VRX is a great place to get in touch with experts and discuss new and disrupting approaches as well as get insights how other areas are dealing with their challenges and how they solve it.
Who you'll see there - Program Summary for all tracks - Audience breakdown - Exclusive discount code
Head of Product Design - Social VR London, Facebook
FW: I build and grow teams focused on the design of new products in VR and beyond. I’ve been working in this space for more than a decade and love the challenges that come with forging new experiences that can transform communities for the better all over the globe.
FW: Broad cultural acceptance of new technology takes time. Humans tend to shy away from the unfamiliar and a big part of the puzzle to unlocking the potential these technologies have for communities is to introduce them in small, impactful ways that show positive promise – especially those that solve core needs that aren’t well met with current technology.
FW: Medicine, education and art. Take the same 3D data from any of the previous industries that you might experience in a 2D paradigm (in a book, on computer screen, tablet or phone) and now experience it in native 3D presentation (fully volumetric, at scale and in context) and your understanding of it is vastly unlocked. These technologies have so much potential when it comes to creating experiences that can increase our empathy and understanding of complex multi-dimensional problems, it’s staggering.
FW: I’m particularly interested in how these technologies are helping communities outside of the West to solve their needs and unlock their potential.
VRX: What aspect of VRX Europe are you most looking forward to?
FW: Meeting and talking to the incredible community of people that both build and celebrate XR tech!
Global Virtual Design & Construction: BIM Integration & Training Specialist, BASF Construction Chemicals
JS: As an implementer of training and communications for a large chemical manufacture of construction products, I see XR as a major part of educating those involved in the construction industry; from the design side all the way through the implementation of construction.
JS: For many reasons, construction is slow in adapting new technologies. It is important that the 3D BIM models are developed and maintained correctly for the VXR to perform as it is intended.
JS: How others are adapting and solving the challenges of training and implementation of VXR in their work environments
JS: The newest evolution of products in the VXR industry.
Vice President Virtual Reality B2B and Business Development, HTC Vive
HF: At work, VR has the power to transform many work processes or ways of working, it makes learning by doing accessible at large scale and low cost, engineers can work on virtual prototypes instead of building physical ones, it will also allow collaboration between distant teams to get close to what you do in usual face to face meetings. All those use case take time to build and refine and I have been building close partnerships between HTC Vive, large software solution companies like Dassault Systemes, Siemens or new VR pure players such as Innoactive, Simforhealth, Immersive Factory and large corporate customers to help them leverage on VR to solve their own industry challenges.
HF: Making it easy for large scale deployment is probably the most important thing right now. Until last year, the market was dominated by Proof of Concepts but now an increasing number of companies want to deploy in their business lines just like another IT solution. Their focus is shifting to Data confidentiality, software stability, easy operation behind their firewall, cross country support so they can scale using their existing internal processes. At HTC Vive, we launched last year the Enterprise Advantage Service Pack to cover all those specific requirements for enterprises and we are seeing a growing market traction.
HF: We are just in the first generation of VR headsets and we can expect key technology improvements every two to three years as we have seen in the smartphone industry at the beginning. Enterprises show a strong demand for hand gesture control so that anyone can use VR intuitively without having to learn how to use hand controllers. Augmented VR, which is a type of mixed reality will allow to recognize and warn you about obstacles in your space so you can easily use VR for a meeting anywhere without the need of a room set-up, those kind of improvements all go in the direction to make the use of VR more intuitive. I am also a strong believer in real time volumetric video capture for the mass, working with avatars of your colleagues is fine for early adopters but people love to feel other people. Mass producible depth cameras for volumetric capture are improving fast and I believe this will bring a lot of first timers to VR.
HF: I am always thinking about how to help grow scalable use cases, we can see already some of those in manufacturing industry, architecture, healthcare, education, or even the service industry where simulation training is growing fast. I try to listen to what partners are trying to achieve, checking opportunities where we could help accelerate as a business partner and sometime as well as a co-development partner through our Vive X start-up acceleration programme.
HF: Many Enterprise VR users come and share their experience and expectations with all parts of the XR industry, so we are very grateful for VRX to this year’s European edition.
Head of Digital, University of Sheffield AMRC with Boeing
RS: As Head of Digital at the AMRC, our role is to derisk adoption of new technologies by manufacturers. Part of the toolset that we are introducing these companies to is XR. We’ve been working in the field for nearly 20 years and have the knowledge and experience to help the manufacturers see through the hype and discover how to extract true commercial value through the adoption of XR
RS: The biggest challenge that we are faced with is the business case. We are consistently asked “What is the ROI of VR and AR?” to answer this we demonstrate how we have worked with companies of all sizes adopt this technologies and the financial value they have achieved. The other challenge is how to drive enterprise-wide adoption – too often XR projects are local ‘pet projects’ which can’t be scaled effectively.
RS: The biggest opportunities and innovations are in the improved performance of devices and in the interface designs for interacting with XR experiences.
The three things which will take the industry to the next level are; automation of the authoring and deployment process – too often this is a very manual ‘craft’ – software developers need to take this manual intervention of routine tasks out of the process; improved ergonomics of devices – any next generation device need to be ‘frictionless’ to use with reduced setup times and being less obtrusive to the experience; better connectivity – 5G and the other next generation communication protocols will open up whole new experience possibilities.
RS: Key topics will be about the new ways different sectors are using XR and how manufacturing can learn from these sectors.
RS: The diversity of sectors and users that will be there means that VRX is a great place to meet people, learn about the latest innovations and generally catch up.
Design Lead, Factory 42
JF: I’ve worked in video game development for about 15 years. Over that time, I have worked on early AR projects such as Sony PlayStation’s EyeToy and Wonderbook, on almost every VR platform currently available, and on Apple AR Kit. I am currently working with the Magic Leap platform at Factory 42.
JF: VR/AR/MR when done well speaks to the senses. Describing VR/AR/MR to a person is one thing, but that never comes close to actually putting a player into a virtual world so that they can experience it for themselves. I’ve seen many sceptics completely change their view once they have experienced such experiences first hand, so one of the challenges is finding ways for that first exposure to take place, so the value can be understood.
Another big challenge is the pursuit of the killer app. Every new platform needs software that provides something that is new, that cannot be found anywhere else, and that has the potential to eventually becomes indispensable.
JF: Location based experiences are proving very successful and are starting to fill the role that video game arcades did 20 years ago, in providing experiences for the broadest audiences that cannot be found anywhere else.
Practical VR and MR within scientific, engineering and medical fields. Think there is a real opportunity for these comparatively new technologies to become the standard tools of these industries within a few years.
Longer term, the reduction of technology as a barrier. This means everything from lighter equipment, wider field of view, increased resolution, cable free communication, and a lower cost to entry.
JF: Social VR/AR/MR, location based experiences, and mainstream experiences for non-gamers.
JF: Listening to what the other speakers have to say. The VR/AR/MR industry is moving so quickly, that there is always something new to learn from others working in this space.
VR Specialist, BMW AG
MH: I am in charge of the IT infrastructure for AR and VR at BMW.
MH: The biggest challenges are to industrialize gaming hard- and software and integrate it in the processes of developing a car.
MH: AR and VR saves us time in development. XR Applications help us to understand early states of cars and car experiences from the costumer point of view and evaluating new innovative concepts from the early beginning in design to final production and sales.
MH: We are looking for partners that can help us setting up our industrialized AR and VR platform to be able to create every VR and AR experience serving our development processes.
MH: I am looking forward to meeting new potential partners and getting in touch with new innovative technologies for AR and VR experiences.
Director, Immersive Technology, Deutsche Telekom
TRS: I act as “boots on the ground” in the U.S. Silicon Valley as well as similar locations worldwide – looking for technology innovators in both the hardware and software space that Deutsche Telekom can partner with to collaborative create business. I’m particularly focused on how to get us from B2B pilots to B2C monetization while leveraging our investments in edge compute and 5G.
TRS: Headsets, headsets, headsets. We are all waiting for the “holy grail” device to appear. However, in 2019, you will finally see a series of very capable tethered AR headsets that couple with mobile phones come to market. This will occur in parallel with the release of more powerful and use case or industry specific standalone devices.
TRS: To accelerate the adoption of XR devices and use cases, we need to provide better infrastructure. In the short term, the deployment of edge compute hardware and software ecosystems will be key to enable the low latency required to offload certain compute functions for the devices. In the medium term, the ongoing rollout of 5G will provide the bandwidth, accurate indoor/outdoor location positioning services and improved network infrastructure access to enable both AR and VR mobile solutions. Finally, we will need to rethink the entire software ecosystem from an app-first siloed experience to a people first experience that integrates a personalized set of collaborative services to provide a fluid, durative and multiple frequency use consumer platform. This last task is going to take the industry quite a while (years).
VRX: I’m looking forward to seeing how developers are blending input modalities to create more fluid multi-modal user experiences. I’m interested in learning what topics are of more demand for the B2C space. And finally, I would like to explore how we can all work together to share the AR cloud through efforts such as the Open AR Cloud Foundation.
TRS: Connecting with European innovators who are looking to drive B2B and B2C use cases from pilot to product in 2019.
Managing Director, vTime
CW: We run the world’s first cross-reality communications app, vTime XR, which also happens to be the most widely available social VR app of its kind. We’ve been doing that since 2015, and we’re continuously developing our apps, our technologies, and our features in order to delight our users and keep them coming back for more.
CW: For mainstream consumer adoption, it’s the fact that it’s so experiential – you need to try it to really “get it” – at least that’s the case with VR. Mobile AR is a lot more accessible as it doesn’t require the user to do something alien to them – i.e. put on a headset or a pair of goggles.
Fundamentally, we believe the days of 2D flat panel displays are numbered, and that increasingly consumers will start appreciating, and eventually demanding, that content can be experienced by them in an immersive way, whether that’s through AR, VR. or MR.
CW: On the hardware side we see great opportunities with the next generation of wearables and the forthcoming standalone wireless headsets.
The three things that will take the industry onto the next level are quite simply: 1) high quality apps that people love 2) engaging content and 3) revenue. The first you can measure based on store reviews. The second is whether your audience comes back for more. And the third, while obvious, is probably the hardest nut to crack.
CW: I’d love to hear more about what impact people think new technologies including Machine Learning, Voice and 5G/Edge will have on XR applications.
CW: Hearing inspirational speakers, some good meetings, catching up with industry peers and the location of course.
Immersive Lead, LADbible Group
JW: I lead a dedicated Immersive team within LADbible group, primarily focused on weighing up the precision and possibilities of emerging technologies, assessing how they can be combined to form new entertainment propositions for our audiences, both digital and location based.
JW: The purposeful debate that occurs both on and off stage.
Managing Director, TechStars London
EC: I’m the Managing Director at Techstars London, where I invest in and support early stage startups in the XR industry - across Europe, the US, Asia and beyond.
EC: There are significant obstacles to user adoption and user retention. I think a lot of the v1 experiences people have had have been substandard (at best). I think a lot of companies struggled to explain why they were using XR, and why people should use and/or care about that. With VR - we’re still a year or two away from headsets having their ‘Alexa moment’ and going mainstream. With AR - Pokemon Go and others are starting to show the appetite is there for great products. Now it’s time for us to deliver them.
EC: I think TikTok, Pokemon Go and others have shown that there’s a huge appetite for short form games and great experiences. I expect Niantic’s Harry Potter game to a watershed moment in terms of increased user engagement. We’re seeing a lot of companies in AR focusing on retail, but not really doing anything particularly special - apart from in interior design and home improvement, where there are some interesting applications. For AR, I think smaller headsets and heads up displays will really excite people - assuming it’s better than Google Glass. For VR - I think when we get to $100 headsets with good resolution, we’ll start to see interesting things happening. It still feels expensive and niche to own a product that’s not quite as maturity yet - so it feels like there’s a year or two to go.
EC: What are some of the B2B applications that people are developing for XR, what are some of the wider investment trends that people are seeing and what are some of the great up and coming companies that are working in this space?
EC: Networking with other great people from the industry.
Co-Founder, Reality Clash
TP: I Co-Founded Reality Gaming Group a few years ago and we were one of the first mobile games companies to successfully close an ICO back in Aug 2017. The money raised in the ICO was used to develop Reality Clash, the worlds first mobile AR combat game (think Pokemon Go meets Call Of Duty) and a crypto asset marketplace where you can buy and trade our ‘tokenised’ weapons integrating blockchain technology.
Reality Clash has just been named as one of the most anticipated blockchain games for 2019. https://www.blockchaingamer.biz/features/3283/most-anticipated-blockchain-games/
TP: We are focussed on mobile AR and since the launch of AR Core and AR Kit from Google and Apple we have noticed a big push from the App Stores in promoting AR gaming. The challenge the mobile games industry faces is to make compelling AR games to drive user adoption.
TP: There are estimated to be 5 billion smart phones in the world and Google and Apple are enabling AR on all new handsets giving mobile AR gaming a huge market, way bigger than VR.
The three things which will take the mobile AR gaming industry to the next level are;
TP: Case studies highlighting the future revenue opportunities.
Marketing & Communications Manager, Fast Travel Games
AJ: Fast Travel Games is a software developer founded by industry veterans from places like EA/DICE and Rovio, making high quality VR games you never want to leave. Our debut title, action/adventure Apex Construct, was released to critical acclaim early 2018 for all major high-end VR headsets.
AJ: As a games developer, you are required to develop your game for many different headsets, each with different controller solutions, and include a range of options to cater for the dynamic player preferences so that as many people as possible are able play your game. This lack of standardization means developers are required to spend a lot of time on QA sessions, which is a struggle for any smaller, independent studio.
The VR gaming industry is also still relatively small, at least compared to the traditional flat screen gaming industry, so a lot of our creative visions are hindered by the low install base of headsets - it just isn’t commercially viable to launch a big budget production in VR today. The high entry cost for VR gamers, where a headset + controllers + console/computer can end up at or above $800, is a major blocker, as is the somewhat complicated current nature of VR gaming where external cameras and cords are often required.
AJ: To meet people in the industry with similar or completely different experiences as myself, where there might be potential for partnering with a VR games studio like ours.
KTN Manager, ImmerseUK
AE: I am currently the Knowledge Transfer Manager for ImmerseUK. My role is to grow the immersive tech ecosystem in the UK; to help immersive tech companies in the country to scale and find funding; and to ultimately make the UK a world leader in the industry. I am currently leading all of ImmerseUK's work around XR in AEC and manufacturing; and all of our work with BAFTA around XR in film and gaming, among other things.
AE: I think the biggest opportunities in XR at the moment are in enterprise.
I think the three things that will take the industry to the next level are:
Chief Technology Officer, The Park Playground
CH: I wear a couple of hats. As the CTO at The Park Playground, I focus on driving mainstream adoption of XR in the entertainment industry. Growing the user base through our Location based venues on one side and highlighting the potential of XR to potential content creators or IP providers like broadcasters on the other hand. As VRARA Chapter President for Belgium, I focus on XR adoption in other industries. Marketing, AEC, training, and entertainment are the most mature sectors in our chapter. Lastly, as founder at Edorble, I look at VR adoption in education.
VRX: In your line of work, what are some of the biggest challenges you see in the adoption and use of VR/AR/MR?
CH: The Reliability and guidance of the XR experience.
We can't forget that non-technical profiles are our end users. We have to create with them in mind, making sure that we sell value and not technology. It's essential that regardless of the industry, the XR experience is easy to use and operate. Right now it's often a hassle to even get to experience the value proposition. Until then operators and hosts around the XR offering need to make sure the user experience is perfect, taking away all remaining friction to adopt.
And for those people to be able to do that, the product needs to be reliable. The technology advancements were making are amazing, but tend to be fragile. Typical for high innovation products, but deadly for mass adoption. For LBE, in the frontline with a mainstream, untrained, audience, you want to be as reliable as let's say a bowling ball because that's what you're competing with.
CH: First For LBXRE, there’s an opportunity to be the first in mind for people looking to have a good time with friends, family, and colleagues. That’s something you don’t achieve as a sole company but as a sector. Right now for customers, it’s as if we’re all offering the same night out ‘let's do XR.’ So this supposedly puts all of us in competition. I’d argue it’s too early to see other LBXRE’s as competition as our offerings are often very different. It would be in all of our benefits if we’d help customers understand the differences in our offerings and why they should experience each single of our experiences like they want to see different movies. We might find that some of us are competing, but then it’s up to those individual companies to decide if they want to compete already or have agreements f.e respecting each other's geographic regions. So a cross-sector initiative to educate our customers, making them try several of our offerings, would be the thing for LBXRE.
Second, for the in-home market, I'm very much looking forward to 5G streaming into headsets, with standalone headsets as a step in between. Only at this point, I expect we'll experience the same surge of adoption as the smartphone market when the iPhone happened.
Third, I believe there's a massive opportunity in doing more with our ears. Although already some companies are on this, I'd like to see the hardware on this front to evolve faster.
CH: I'd love to learn about value props or products that have achieved considerable traction at scale. I feel there's been a lot of promising signals the past year's and I want to learn who has successfully turned an XR solution in a necessity instead of a gimmick.
CH: The dynamics of cross-industry talents and learning how they succeeded in mass adoption in their respective industries. And if not, what is preventing them.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, REWIND
SR: I am the CEO and Founder of REWIND. We use new technologies to deliver immersive solutions and creative XR content for the world's largest companies, agencies, and brands. Our innovative approach has won us multiple awards and an Emmy nomination.
I’m also the Chairman of Immerse UK and the Chairman of BAFTA’s Immersive Entertainment Advisory Group. I’m on the board of advisors and a keynote speaker at technology conferences around the world. I founded VRLO - London’s popular XR meetup - back in 2015 to raise awareness of VR and push our burgeoning industry forward, it’s still going strong.
SR: There is still a big education job to be done, people often can’t see past the tech to the content.
To date, we’ve had an accessibility and ecosystem maturity problem with VR. Finally, we have reached a point where the hardware is appealing to users on the margin. The standalone VR category is shaping up nicely and will open up the medium to the masses. As VR is becoming more accessible, reliable (and cost-effective) it is being rapidly adopted across a whole range of industries, from architecture to tourism.
Mixed Reality is a technology that is currently sitting with developers and early adopters. Magic Leap and HoloLens have yet to release a consumer device. We are just scratching the surface of what is possible but there is no doubt in my mind that MR will change how we interact with the world and those around us. It is the future of humanity.
AR is easier for consumers to adopt as so many people have a smartphone. However, up until now, the user has had to download a standalone app (or integrate functionality into an existing app) and in some cases use a ‘marker’ to launch AR content. WebAR promises to take away the hassle of downloading an app or a marker. Now, users can view AR simply through a web browser. The AR landscape is changing at an incredible pace, with the technology only getting more inclusive and impressive.
SR: The convergence of AI, blockchain and immersive tech and what this means for content and data.
Social VR and its prospects from Facebook.
SR: I’ve spoken at VRX for a number of years and there’s always an interested and interesting crowd. I’m looking forward to catching up with old industry friends and meeting new friends.
Head of VR Development, Oxford VR
SG: I manage the VR development team at Oxford VR, where we make immersive therapies for a range of mental health conditions. I’ve worked with VR since cobbling together my first headset at Sony PlayStation. I like to keep active in the development community, talking about VR and running workshops for both kids and adults. I'm currently working on a free online VR design resource.
SG: One of the hurdles we find users still have to get over is setting up the kit. That’s a particular issue for our users as they’re medical professionals and patients, but not necessarily gamers or technophiles. The PSVR and standalone headsets are quite straightforward now, but the PC-based headsets can still be a bit of a faff if you’re not used to using them.
SG: We all want better graphics cards, higher resolution and a wider field of view. I’m not sure if we’re going to see big leaps so much as steadily accumulated progress. If you turn around and look at where we are today compared to just a decade ago, the difference is incredible.
SG: I’m always interested in how people approach usability. We’re still finding our feet in a lot of areas, so there's lots of opportunities for innovations that improve the connection between the user and the virtual world.
SG: The most interesting projects don’t always get the most attention, so I like to look out for things I haven’t seen yet. It’s also a chance to learn how other industries are looking to use VR in the next few years.
Technical Innovation Manager, Volkswagen
OH: I’m working for about 3 years in the XR field. My goal is to adapt existing technology within our company, to engage our experts on the shopfloor and to influence future developments.
OH: In your line of work, what are some of the biggest challenges you’re seeing in the adoption and use of VR/AR/MR?
OH: There are various challenges for the use of XR technology, depending on the respective application in different forms. Think about availability of wifi hotspots, accessibility of group-intern data bases, identification and visualization of the right data sets.
One of the biggest challenges is to permanently involve all relevant stakeholders during the initiation, development and rollout phase, even if a person changes over the course of the project.
OH: XR technology brings the big opportunity to make complex data available for non-experts. Think about CAD applications which require a lot of expertise and time to work properly with this kind of applications. XR technology allows an easy way to visualize, validate and manipulate data and therefore integrate stakeholders in an early project phase.
Three topics to bring XR industry on the next level:
OH: How will technology partners integrate 5G into their solutions?
What learned companies from failed innovation projects?
How are people permanently engaging their internal stakeholders?
OH: Networking with business partners, from small start-up representatives to experts from big groups
Managing Director, Faber Courtial
MC: An exciting subarea of the XR industry is the VR Film. The demand for good content for this "lean back" medium is huge! Only by offering convincing content, platforms, VR cinemas, etc. can develop a stable position on the market. It's here, where we see the main objective of our work.
You know: we started business as VFX company quite a long time ago, so the step towards VR in 2014 was quite logical. Since then, we have been focusing on the production of VR films in amazing quality, always trying to use the "best" ingredients possible: Impressive digital, photorealistic worlds in 3D, mostly combined with live action shots of "real" actors. And our success, all the international awards we've won so far, confirms that this is exactly the right approach!
MC: No wonder: one of the XR slogans is "location-based". Due to the fact that VR glasses have not yet entered the homes of most potential users, VR has to find other ways to reach them: for example, via cinemas which offer VR content. All participants on the VR market need to find ways to bridge this gap for the next years to come until VR finally reaches a status of acceptance and "normality" among people and is used quite "naturally”.
MC: For sure, XR will gain more importance in the industry, especially in medicine.
In particular, within the entertainment field, the development towards smaller, lighter, better will be a fundamental step forward. We all hope that one day there will be universal XR glasses, which do not look much different than regular glasses and their handling is going to be a child's play: darken and immerse or just stay right in the here and now with AR... how cool is this going to be!
MC: Of course, I´m especially interested in the VR film business: Which innovative solutions are coming up to reach the customer? Which interesting business models can be offered by VR platforms?
MC: The complete track regarding Consumer XR offers exciting and important issues to talk about!
Technical Director, OZWE Games
JW: At Ozwe, I have to make sure our game is playable within the different platform constraints and most of all that it is motion sickness free…
JW: Motion sickness is something we really care about. There is few things you can anticipate while building a game for VR which will help a lot for the end users. You need to know what sort of camera motion you should avoid.
JW: A lot of people are now talking more and more about AR and this is truly a place where there is still a lot to do. The good point about it is that it will carry on pushing all the industry in the good direction.
Of course wireless and more powerful headset will greatly contribute developing XR technology.
But for me I’d like to try some autofocus lenses. I have bad eyes and my vision is too often blurry because the helmet moved. As we always want better graphics, we also want clearer view.
JW: So yes, autofocus lenses is really something I’m interested in and this comes with eye tracking system which is another great feature to come.
JW: I’m really eager to come to VRX Europe so I’ll be able to meet great people and exchange great ideas.
Business Developer Digital Infra, Heijmans
CS: Within Heijmans I am developing our business of tomorrow and the day after. This includes Smart City concept where we will interact with our environment using XR technology in ways we cannot imagine. My role is to bring that future business to our business today and define a road from our current business to the future.
CS: If see a two main challenges.
The first: Getting our information systems ready and connected to bring the information to XR devices. Therefore, we require software that bridge the gap between our virtual Autodesk models and the digital twin solutions that monitor our physical infrastructure. In the model we need dynamic models that are lightweight and can easily adapt to real world changes.
The second: The availability of XR device that are robust enough to be used in daily work circumstances.
CS: As a company we will develop, install and maintain an increasing amount of object in the public system that require skilled service engineers. To bring the correct knowledge to the engineer AR and MR solutions are required. VR we will use to build and test our designed solutions virtual before creating them physical.
CS: New developments, new hardware (like Magic Leap and the new HoloLens).
CS: Meeting with inspiring people and trying new solution.
CEO, Mythical City Games
JJ: I am the CEO of a VR focused video game studio based out of Vancouver, Canada. Our studio has developed several VR games since 2016 across all major VR platforms and pioneered UX and interactions for complex VR environments.
JJ: The biggest challenges that we see from the video game community are the cost of VR hardware and misconceptions about comfort in VR. One of the most common things we hear from potential users is that they have tried VR but it made them sick or uncomfortable, but when we dig deeper it turns out that they have only ever tried early mobile VR and never experienced the comfort that 6 degrees of freedom and higher framerates bring.
JJ: As a studio we are looking more into the potential of games in the mixed reality space and we are very interested to learn more about the hardware and interaction techniques used in mixed reality.
JJ: I anticipate that the talks, experts and attendees of VRX Europe will be critical to linking European XR companies with the XR industry around the world. I’m looking forward to the connections that this event will create and the lasting relationships that will develop.
CEO & Co-founder, Cooperative Innovations
SB: I run Cooperative Innovations, an immersive technology studio. We develop technology and tools to support other creators whether they work in VR, AR or other formats. The focus of most of our tools has been to improve the quality of interactions and feel of XR experiences, to more easily facilitate multi-user experiences and to provide things like heatmaps to assist world designers.
We also develop applications, experiences and games using our technology primarily with a multi-user cooperative theme featuring full body avatars, voice chat, character customisation, lip sync, eye gaze simulation and more!
I’m from a programming background but as CEO primarily work in strategy, business development and high-level design for our products and services.
SB: With my game development hat on, and with 20 years of experience in that industry, I’d say that the adoption of new hardware can sometimes be a challenge, but the expected price decreases and better content releases have driven numbers up especially when it comes to PlayStation VR for instance. I’m very excited about Oculus Quest and other standalone 6DOF headsets for the same reason that the experience quality and price point feel just right.
The biggest challenge we probably have in enterprise is that linked to the overall adoption of the technology. I think once an individual has experienced high quality immersion then their mind is opened to the opportunities for work and play. While many companies are doing brilliant things with XR others have executives who haven’t had that eye / mind opening experience yet!
SB: I’m really excited to compare notes with a wide range of other companies in the industry in terms of the challenges they’re facing, approaches that are working well for them and to sanity check our own thoughts. The level of access at VRX is almost unparalleled in terms of senior people from a variety of companies across the immersive space.
SB: Last year was my first VRX and I loved meeting a wide range of people from across the immersive sector. Being able to speak about my passion of Social XR was an honour and I’m looking forward to sharing some of the work we’ve been doing again with others.
EK: We at mk2 have pioneer of VR LBE in Europe and content distribution. After opening one of the most premium VR location in Paris in 2016 we developed end-to-end VR solutions for professionals called www.mk2vrpod.com
EK: Time to market. The challenge is to have the right idea at the right moment and stay very agile.
EK: I think that when immersive technologies are used with a purpose, are useful and well design the public always adopts it
EK: I would love to know more about how is used in the automobile industry
EK: Exchange ideas and meet colleagues
Vice President Customer Experience & Innovation, ABB
TS: My focus is on envisioning, designing and delivering differentiated customer experiences. XR is a tool I integrate into customer experiences as a way to quickly build understanding and tame the complexity of digitalization topics.
TS: Ensuring that content and experiences are designed for global replication and scaling.
TS: ollaboration continues to be an excellent opportunity, whether in the same place or remotely.
TS: Meeting others and learning about how VR/AR/MR are being applied in other industries.
RR: My name is Roman Rappak and I am CEO of Mirocolabs - a company that creates and tours live music and VR concerts.
VRX: The biggest challenges come from the fact that this is a new medium, not simply a new technology. We are starting to evolve its language in the same way that the early days of cinema had to understand the "close up" or the "story arc"
RR: I think people are naturally drawn to things they can do collectively, and things that form memories, so most of the opportunities revolve around events, experiences and the senses.
RR: I’m interested to see who is taking VR outside of the restrictions of games and attractions
RR: I'm looking forward to hearing what Sol Rogers has to say. He has done some amazing work over the last year.