The technologies that sit under the umbrella of XR all have a great deal to offer companies and corporate projects of all types. As with the entertainment and education sectors, how they are implemented to exploit that potential has to be considered carefully so that the technology will bring practical benefits instead of being merely a gimmick.

This issue was addressed by Hilary McVicker, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at design and engineering company The Elumenati, in her XR Summit ISE keynote presentation Integrating VR and AR into Corporate Culture. The Elumenati designs and builds 360-degree domes, cycloramas and other spaces to create physical immersive, interactive XR spaces for the entertainment, enterprise and education markets.

McVicker explained that aim was to allow people to connect with an actual space, which added to the overall effect. “XR is very much for UX [user experience],” she said. “Augmented and mixed realities [AR/MR] enhance the real world around us. Immersive XR connects the digital world with the physical world and makes for a more social experience.”

The aim, she went on, was to bring people together in one environment, experiencing the same presentation without the isolating barriers of headsets. “Entertainment is more fun when you’re sharing it with someone else, “McVicker said. “In the commercial and corporate world it can used to help people work together and collaborate better. And for education there is a more immediate aspect to the learning process and decision making.”

While entertainment is an obvious area for XR – and McVicker agreed that it was well suited to the technology – it has applications in science and education and is possibly deeper rooted in those areas. “Probably the first immersive 360-degree experience people have is at a planetarium,” McVicker noted. “The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Eyes Visualisation project, including Eyes on the Earth, uses data-based working and is an example of making XR accessible to all in museums and similar institutions.”

McVicker highlighted IBM’s Big Think Conference, due to take place online from 5 to 7 May, as an example of how big corporations are using XR and interactivity to get their message across. “It’s a way for consumers to connect first-hand,” she concluded. “The difference [between these new presentations and older methods] is between being told a story and bringing in the story and making it your own.”

XR Summit took place on 11 February 2020 at the Hotel Okura Amsterdam. Please find the image gallery here. See you next year at Integrated Systems Europe 2021!