Big XR News from Unity, PIXO VR, and Microsoft
In the ever-evolving landscape of Extended Reality (XR), the stage is set for a multitude of game-changing developments. As we approach the mid-year crossover of 2023, the XR world is abuzz with anticipation, fueled by major players like Meta, Unity, PIXO VR, and Microsoft. XR Today, your go-to source for all things XR, proudly presents its Trends series, where we delve into the latest and greatest in the XR realm. Join us as we unravel the future of XR technology and its impact on various industries.
XR Trends 2023: Insights from Industry Titans
Our XR Trends series has been graced by the presence of luminaries from across the XR spectrum. These industry leaders have shared their invaluable insights and expertise, shedding light on the path ahead. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key takeaways:
1. Jake Rowland on XR and Unified Communications (UC)
Jake Rowland, Group Head of Business and Sales at Igloo Vision, highlighted the convergence of XR and unified communications tools. This exciting fusion allows for the creation of shared virtual spaces sans the need for a headset. The implications are profound, as major corporations stand to gain tremendous value from this innovative crossover. Rowland emphasized that this trend was already delivering substantial benefits to companies.
2. Michael Guerin on Immersive Storytelling
Michael Guerin, Principal CEO of Imvizar, provided a glimpse into the future of storytelling. According to Guerin, immersive and spatial storytelling experiences will become increasingly prevalent in the next three to five years. However, for widespread adoption, companies need to simplify the content creation process, making it accessible to a broader audience.
3. Dr. Chris Parkinson on XR Advancements
Dr. Chris Parkinson, Co-Founder, CEO, and Chairman of RealWear, Inc, offered insights into the evolution of XR devices. He predicted that XR devices would become smaller, lighter, and faster, with compact batteries and enhanced performance. Additionally, he foresees advancements in display technology and deeper AI integration, promising a more immersive XR experience.
4. Brian Ballard on Connecting People and Data
Brian Ballard, Senior Vice President of Solution Delivery at TeamViewer, emphasized the importance of connecting people to data sources. In a rapidly changing workplace landscape, XR solutions aren’t just about innovating hardware and software but solving real-world problems. This shift towards connecting individuals to data sources is poised to deliver substantial returns on investment for companies.
5. Peter Vindevoge on the Future of VR Gaming
Peter Vindevoge, CEO of The Park Playground, discussed the potential for increased VR gaming adoption. With tech giants like Meta Platforms and Apple entering the scene, VR gaming is on the brink of explosive growth. Collaborations with telecom giants like Vodafone are set to enhance the VR experience by enabling 5G connectivity, reducing motion sickness, and improving overall performance.
6. Christoph Fleischmann on Integrating XR with Workstreams
Christoph Fleischmann, the CEO, and Founder of Arthur Technologies, pointed out the momentum in mixed reality technology. He highlighted the potential for individuals to join physical meetings and team-building activities using XR technologies, seamlessly integrating with existing work processes. This integration promises to boost adoption rates, offering a truly phygital XR experience.
Unity’s Retreat on Runtime Fees
Unity Technologies recently made headlines with the introduction of controversial fees, sparking outrage within the developer community. Unity’s move drew criticism from developers who deemed the new fees unfair. However, in response to the public outcry, Unity partially rescinded its announcement.
Unity, a cornerstone of XR development, is widely used by developers and enterprises across various industries, from gaming to education and engineering. The new pricing scheme raised concerns, particularly among XR-related enterprises.
Renato Andrade, Senior XR Product Designer at Samsung R&D Institute, expressed concerns about the impact of the licensing fee on the XR industry. He emphasized that such changes could open doors for competing engines like Epic’s Unreal Engine.
Dilmer Valecillos, Founder & XR Developer at Learn XR, acknowledged the challenges but expressed his dependence on Unity due to ongoing client projects. He called for Unity to adopt a more transparent approach to pricing changes.
Zachary Kosma, XR Developer and Educator, appreciated Unity’s effort to establish a base model for pricing. He recognized the need for differentiated pricing based on project types and complexity, highlighting Unity’s willingness to collaborate and support developers.
PIXO VR’s Expansion into the Middle East
PIXO VR, through its Middle East Affiliate, Verse Foresight, is extending its XR training expertise to the Middle East region. This collaboration aims to bridge the knowledge gap required for effectively leveraging XR solutions at an enterprise level.
Sean Hurwitz, CEO of PIXO VR, expressed excitement about the partnership with Verse Foresight and their shared mission to enhance workplace safety and immersive learning through VR training.
The partnership is set to empower businesses in the Middle East by providing profound knowledge and understanding of XR’s potential applications across industries such as energy, construction, education, and healthcare.
Mostafa Nassef, CEO of Verse Foresight, emphasized the significance of the partnership in enhancing immersive learning experiences in the Middle East. Leveraging PIXO VR’s content creation expertise and enterprise-grade platform, the collaboration promises to make a substantial impact on regional businesses.
Microsoft’s XR Success Stories in Healthcare and Engineering
As Microsoft charts its course towards the industrial Metaverse of 2024, it is showcasing success stories from clients Nexco-East and Sanofi. These partnerships exemplify how Microsoft’s XR product portfolio enhances workplaces across various sectors.
Nexco-East, at its Technical Training Center, leverages Microsoft’s immersive training service to equip engineers with the knowledge and skills needed for repair and maintenance tasks. This immersive training solution offers a safe and repeatable virtual training environment for practical, real-world scenarios.
Sanofi, a pharmaceutical giant, utilizes Microsoft’s HoloLens 2, Dynamics 365 Guides, and Dynamics 365 Remote Assist to optimize production lines, training procedures, and onboarding. This collaboration streamlines operations and enables the firm to meet the growing demand for pharmaceuticals.
Christophe Lefebvre, Production and Maintenance Site Manager at Sanofi, sees the partnership as revolutionary in supporting better health and well-being. Sanofi plans to expand its use of Microsoft’s XR solutions to reach a wider audience and enhance data analysis capabilities.
In conclusion, the XR landscape is brimming with innovation and collaboration. From XR trends shaping the future to Unity’s pricing adjustments, PIXO VR’s expansion into the Middle East, and Microsoft’s success stories, the XR journey continues to unfold. Stay tuned for more updates as we explore the boundless possibilities of Extended Reality.