The VR/AR Association Publishes the Universities and Colleges Report with over 40 Institutions that offer Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Courses and Programs

An educated workforce is a more than a qualified workforce; it is citizenry embracing curiosity. That very curiosity, encouraged by educators, creates the realm of possibility for a thriving, human-centered global populace. Enterprise may develop novel and innovative products with the latest VR/AR and immersive technologies, but without access to a trained, well-educated, and yes, curious workforce, business and industry cannot flourish or compete globally, no matter how cutting-edge or groundbreaking the technologies may be.

The overarching goal of the VRARA Universities and Colleges Committee is to increase higher education’s curiosity and knowledge of VR/AR. We seek to support and promote the bringing together of diverse disciplines, stakeholders, and interest groups within and across institutions in the service of learning both with and about VR/AR.

This report represents the first in a series of steps intended to advance that goal. It provides a high-level overview of over 40 institutions around the world are doing in this space, including:

  • VR/AR courses and programs being offered;

  • Use of VR/AR to support learning and teaching in other courses and programs;

  • VR/AR-related research and development activity being undertaken;

  • VR/AR in other areas of the institution (e.g., recruitment/ marketing/outreach, libraries, student services).


We hope that the report will be a useful resource for locating expertise, facilitating connections, and building collective capacity among those who are part of the growing community interested in the potential of VR/AR in higher education.

Beyond this report, a further role of the VRARA Universities and Colleges Committee is the coalescing of a higher education– industry alliance aimed at bridging the gap between current educational practices and offerings on one hand, and the emerging workforce needs and demands on the other. To that end, we have recently embarked on an environmental scan of major industry sectors using or otherwise impacted by XR— such as transportation, medicine and healthcare, arts, media and entertainment, and advanced manufacturing—the findings of which will be cross walked to curricular and pedagogical approaches as a means of better understanding how we can prepare students for the jobs and careers of the future.

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In the words of Jean Piaget, “the goal of education is not to increase the amount of knowledge but to create the possibilities ... to invent and discover, to create [ people ] who are capable of doing new things.” Join us in our efforts as together, we forge a path for a thriving future of higher education, and of a global workforce enabled by as well as further enabling next-generation VR/AR and immersive technologies.

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RSVP for our Fireside Chat with Charlie Fink, Vertigo Games, Schell Games, and Ubisoft. A candid discussion about designing and licensing Games for Arcades

RSVP here

Location Based Entertainment consumer spending is expected to reach $809 million by 2022, but what about from the development perspective…how do business models differ here from the rest of the Games Industry? Are releasing, licensing and creating titles for Arcades really all that much different? And is there a new type of Gamer for whom these titles designed for?

This fireside chat moderated by the LBE Committee’s go to man Charlie Fink, will be asking some of the most recognised Games Studios how they are diversifying their portfolios by offering unique gaming experiences for Out-of-Home Entertainment and how making the move to LBVR compares with developing successful titles for the home consumer market (console, PC, mobile, VR, etc.)?

Schell Games – I Expect You to Die! & Until You Fall

Ubisoft Blue Byte – Escape the lost Pyramid – Assassin's Creed

Vertigo Games – Arizona Sunshine

Build a prototype in 10 weeks through Unity-Certified VR and AR Training. The next cohort begins May 27

The VRARA is committed to providing members the educational resources you need to strengthen your development skills for the VR/AR industry. Our ongoing partnership with leading VR/AR educator Circuit Stream helps us achieve that by delivering Unity-certified virtual and augmented reality education direct to our members.

Circuit Stream is a Unity authorized training partner and has taught over 20,000 students through workshops and classes since 2015.

Circuit Stream's training is designed for professionals investing in their careers and companies building their own VR/AR projects. Their VR and AR course is based on industry best practices to give you the skills, contacts, and confidence to kickstart your virtual reality or augmented reality application.

We’re helping bring premium education and student support to all VRARA chapters and members interested in advancing their development skills in Unity.

  • VRARA members receive a 20% discount on all Circuit Stream events and courses

  • Circuit Stream hosts free live online workshops on Virtual and Augmented Reality for foundations in Unity development

  • The online VR & AR course features weekly 1:1 sessions focused on creating a working prototype in 10 weeks

Download Circuit Stream’s syllabus to start building your own VR/AR application. The next cohort begins May 27.

Access Circuit Stream’s syllabus here. VRARA members receive 20% off all Circuit Stream courses and events. Download the syllabus to automatically qualify for the discount.

The VR/AR Association Publishes the Enterprise Industry Sector Report with over 100 Companies

Worldwide spending on VR/AR is forecasted at $20B in 2019 with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 69.6% (IDC). According to Gartner, the use of VR and AR are one of six top technology workplace trends that will drive the digital workplace and “are ready for mainstream businesses.” And, Nielsen concluded enterprises adopting VR/AR training technology will save $13.5B that would otherwise have been spent on traditional training that includes instructors, dedicated learning spaces and traveling to remote facilities.

There are plenty of other examples and predictions that demonstrate the importance of VR and AR to forward-thinking enterprises in the immediate future. Successful trials (and increasing number of deployments) of VR and AR in enterprises are getting the competitors of early adopters companies to start recognizing that they may be missing out on the real strategic advantage they can achieve.

The VR/AR Enterprise Industry Sector Report includes a wide range of companies and the kinds of customers they serve, showing how impactful their VR and AR solutions have become to enterprise customers. A quick look through this report also makes it clear just how targeted many of these companies are, with products and services often aimed squarely at specific industries and use cases.

The Report will be presented at our VRARA Enterprise Summit at LiveWorx in Boston on June 10th. For details about the event and tickets see here

Thank you to our Sponsor Atheer for helping with this report!

About VR/AR Association
The VR/AR Association (VRARA) is an international organization designed to foster collaboration between innovative companies and people in the VR and AR ecosystem that accelerates growth, research and education, and develops best practices and guidelines. VRARA has over 4200 companies and 26,000 professionals registered, over 50 chapters globally, and 20 industry committees. VRARA programs & initiatives are designed to accelerate anyone’s growth, knowledge, and connections. Learn more here  

 
 

Enterprise AR: Hear from ExxonMobil, Fidelity, Intel, Julabo, Lenovo, Accenture

See detailed program and get tickets here

VRARA Enterprise Summit at LiveWorx

The premier event for industrial VR/AR applications

Presentations and demonstrations will include topics on AEC, Aerospace & Defense, Energy, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Training, and much more.

The VRARA Enterprise Summit, hosted by the VR/AR Association, will take place on June 10th at the LiveWorx digital transformation conference at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. The full-day event will bring together the best minds in VR/AR from across the globe. Presentations from industry leaders will include topics on AEC, Aerospace & Defense, Energy, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Training, UX & Design, and much more. LiveWorx is the world's most respected conference for the enterprise to experience the most innovative and disruptive technologies — VR/AR, IoT, machine learning, blockchain, robotics and much more. 6500+ attendees are expected. LiveWorx is June 10-13.

JULABO is the world's leading experts in temperature control systems.

Lenovo - Sivan Iram, XR Business Development Manager North America, will talk about the newly announced ThinkReality Platform and ThinkReality A6 AR headset.

Fidelity - Matthew will present VR education and training modules for multiple business units

Intel - Raj’s keynote will be about proposing VR, AR or MR into any enterprise environment can raise eyebrows within business units, IT operators and Finance teams. There are lots of questions and there always concerns around viability and efficacy. As company that drives technology enablement in the enterprise segment for MNCs, large scale businesses and SMB shops, Intel has been right in the center of the tremendous growth of technology. Intel has seen first-hand the successes and failures of enterprise and scale deployments of new technology. Come listen to Raj Puran, Director of XR Business Development and former IT Systems Engineer  from Intel Corporation share the experiences Intel has had in deploying new technology to the enterprise like VR and AR and how to build customer confidence.

See more info and get tickets here

Join us in Vancouver! Applications open for the VR/AR Global Summit

On November 1 & 2, 2019, the most innovative leaders in VR/AR/MR will come together from across the globe at our VR/AR Global Summit to share their knowledge and discuss topics like education, enterprise, training, and blockchain. This world-class event takes place in person in Vancouver, Canada. 

Do you consider yourself a leader in the VR/AR/MR industry? We’re looking for speakers, exhibitors and sponsors like you to join us! 

Current featured speakers include Cathy Hackl of Magic Leap, Marco DeMiroz of The Venture Reality Fund, Matt Miesnieks of 6D.ai, Amy LaMeyer of WXR Fund, and Amy Peck of EndeavorVR. 

The VR/AR Global Summit is your chance to connect with industry experts from around the world and an enterprise-focused audience of founders, executives, and businesses that rely on immersive tech. You don’t want to miss out!

Apply here to be a speaker, an exhibitor, or a sponsor at the VR/AR Global Summit
https://www.vrarglobalsummit.com/apply-now

Early bird tickets are available now... don’t miss out on great deals!

Zappar Expands Its ZapWorks Platform with ARKit & ARCore Compatibility

Zappar, a leading global developer of Augmented Reality (AR) experiences and creative tools, today announced the launch of a slew of new features to their AR content creation platform ZapWorks Studio, providing brands, agencies and independent creators with a one-stop shop for building immersive augmented, virtual and mixed reality experiences. 

“This new update is our most impressive release to-date and makes ZapWorks Studio one of the most versatile and scalable AR platforms currently on the market, continuing our mission to build the most accessible, affordable and feature-rich toolkit for AR creators across the globe,” commented Caspar Thykier, CEO and co-founder of Zappar. 

Advancing the last iteration of the software, which prioritized lowering the barrier to entry by enabling creatives without coding knowledge or development background to build interactive short-form content for mobile, ZapWorks Studio 6 aims to put more power and functionality into the hands of the creative community. This level of control means that AR creators can build the widest range of fully customizable AR experiences possible without compromising on speed or ease of use.

Notable new features include:

World Tracking — In addition to best-in-class image tracking, ZapWorks Studio 6 gives AR developers even more creative freedom with the addition of world tracking powered by ARKit & ARCore. Build once and instantly publish across both iOS and Android.

Face Tracking — Studio now supports powerful computer vision facial tracking algorithms, enabling AR developers to create more expressive face-tracked experiences using ZapWorks Studio’s new built-in UI. 

Sketchfab integration — Access to Sketchfab’s extensive library of over two million 3D models, characters, scenes, and environments directly in ZapWorks Studio. Powered by Zappar’s support for the gITF 3D model format, creatives can search and import chosen models quickly and reliably.


Sketchfab CEO, Alban Denoyel, commented on the new Sketchfab integration: “Sketchfab’s mission has always been about making it as easy as possible to find, publish and share 3D content with the world, having Zappar (and ZapWorks Studio) as one of our key partners further expands this mission into the world of AR”. 

Thousands of creatives already use ZapWorks Studio to build AR experiences that engage audiences and level-up their brand’s mobile app strategy — from small businesses and creative agencies to big brands such as the BBC and Oath. 

Peter Maddalena, Director at VRCraftworks added: “ZapWorks Studio has become an essential tool for us to create engaging AR content for our clients — transforming their products, campaigns and ideas into interactive experiences that generate engagement, spontaneous media, and financial return. With every Studio upgrade, we are better equipped with the strategic tools to produce quality experiences while positioning ourselves as innovative and forward-thinking to our customers — a win-win situation.”

To download or learn more about ZapWorks Studio 6, please visit: https://zap.works/studio/

Learn more here http://zap.works

VR has a longer history than you might imagine (Intellectual Property)

What do The Sword of Damocles, Morton Heilig’s Sensorama, and the 18th century apparatus La Nature à Coup d’Œil all have in common?

They were in fact all early attempts at simulating an artificial reality. The present day equivalents to these inventions are termed “virtual reality” (VR), “augmented reality” (AR), mixed reality (MR), or, more broadly, “extended reality” (XR) devices and now utilise cutting-edge technology.

The concept itself, however, is by no means new. One of the earliest inventions in this field was patented by artist Robert Barker in 1787. 

La Nature à Coup d’Œil, later termed ‘The Panorama’, comprised a large landscape image painted onto a long canvas strip which was then displayed inside a circular building. The intention being that the observers would stand in an enclosure in the centre of the building and view the painting as if it were a real panorama as seen from a high viewpoint. Barker’s patent even goes on to describe the lighting, ventilation and access required to achieve maximum immersion. Despite sounding very elementary, it was reported that many visitors felt disoriented and sick as a result of the experience.

Jumping forward nearly 200 hundred years to 1962, we come to Morton L. Heilig’s patent for his Sensorama Simulator. This contraption, operating a bit more like present-day VR devices, but looking a lot more like a test you would have at the optician’s, includes means of providing a 3D visual effect, vibrations, a breeze, stereo sound effects, and even “odour-sense stimulation”.

The simulator, which ran short films such as “Belly Dancer” and “I’m a Coca-Cola Bottle”, was unable to secure funding and ultimately ended in failure.

Just six years later, computer scientist Ivan Sutherland developed what is widely considered to be the first VR Head-Mounted Display (HMD): The Sword of Damocles. This device used head-tracking technology to display a virtual overlay that changed perspective based on the user’s head position. Such an overlay meant that this device was also a precursor to augmented reality technology.

Extended reality experiences have clearly been of interest to innovators for many years, but how far have we really come from these early endeavours? And where might this technology take us?

Despite an unsuccessful reception in the late 90s, advances in technology have seen VR devices experience a resurgence of interest in the last few years. This sudden revival has culminated in the development of high-end gaming devices such as Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR.

While the broad concept has changed very little, current technology now allows users to enter completely artificial worlds in ways that had not previously been possible. By using positional tracking sensors and handheld controllers, users are able to interact fully with a simulated environment, while the HMD provides immersive visuals and 3D sound.

This refined fusion between precision tracking and high-resolution displays is allowing VR/AR technology to regain traction in the gaming industry. Beyond the mainstream developments already mentioned, AR company Magic Leap has recently released for general sale their cutting-edge AR goggles: Magic Leap One. Using a multitude of tracking cameras and what Magic Leap call a “photonic lightfield chip”, the Magic Leap One is able to display virtual objects in different focal planes relative to real-world objects. This means that if a virtual ball is sitting on your real-world coffee table and you virtually knock it off, you will see it virtually fall off the real-world table and virtually roll along the real-world floor. 

The complexity of achieving such a feat is reflected by the array of advanced technology implemented in the goggles. In a 22-step “teardown”, technology analysis and repair firm iFixit identified a range of components such as: infrared projectors and LEDs for depth sensing; magnetic sensor coils for tracking headset position; a LCOS microdisplay to provide the visuals; and a plethora of processing units to analyse the incoming image data.

But the ability to realistically simulate an artificial environment stretches well beyond the gaming and entertainment industry. Increasingly VR/AR devices are being used in other industries as genuine tools for improving experiences and efficiency and many believe this is where the future of these technologies lie.

VR is being applied in education as a means of providing VR field trips, such as to the International Space Station, or inside the human body. In the retail industry, shoppers are able to try on make-up, explore their dream kitchen, or even explore the shop itself all through VR. In manufacturing, AR technology is being used for visual inventory management (“vision picking”) and remote maintenance and inspection of machinery. Architects are using XR technology to design and demonstrate buildings. The increasing realism and precision now available through XR means that it is even being applied in healthcare, allowing surgeons to perform surgery remotely.

While it is clear that the present day XR innovations are worlds apart from the early attempts there is one thing that all of these inventions certainly have in common: Intellectual Property.

From a big painting in a round building (Patent for displaying Views of Nature, Robert Barker) to corneal sphere tracking for generating an eye model (EP3329316A1, Oculus VR LLC), it is clear that all of these individuals and companies understood the importance of protecting investment and market share.

A recent study by IPlytics found that VR/AR patent applications have increased nearly six fold between 2010 and 2018. Whether it is a registered design for the shape of a headset or a patent to protect the technology inside it, the value of intellectual property protection has never been higher in this field and we expect to see many more interesting inventions coming our way in the years to come.

See our website marks-clerk.com to learn more

Call for Presenters and Invitation to Participate in our Tourism-Travel Committee and Webinar with Expedia and others

The VR/AR Association Tourism & Travel Committee is inviting speakers for a Webinar we are planning for June. Please email info@thevrara.com if you’re interested to present! Let us know if you’re also interested in Sponsoring this webinar. Our webinars get 200 people attending live, and 1000’s watch the recording.

This committee will create best practices, guidelines, and call to actions (e.g., recommendations for standards) for Travel & Tourism. Specifically, to identify opportunities and accelerate widespread adoption of VR/AR technologies in the travel industry by OTAs, Airlines, Lodging, DMOs and other Travel companies, for marketing, branding and enhancing the user experience through each phase of the traveler journey (dream, plan, shop, book, pre-trip and post-trip)

Join our Committee and representatives from airports, travel agencies, service and solution providers! 

Regards, 

Darshan Lama, Expedia

Craig Vezina, Realcast

VRARA Co-Chairs

The Enterprise Reality Ecosystem: how VR/AR is driving ROI

Come see Tim Merel speak at our VRARA Enterprise Summit at LiveWorx June 10th in Boston!

While consumer AR/VR is proving itself, enterprise AR/VR is already delivering strong return on investment (“ROI”) for major corporations like Walmart, Lockheed Martin and Verizon. But the market remains a series of connected point solutions, not a fully functioning ecosystem (yet). As major players like Microsoft build towards an end-to-end stack and win half-billion dollar contracts from the US Military with HoloLens 2, we’re still in the earliest stages of the Enterprise Reality Ecosystem. How is enterprise AR/VR driving ROI today, and what else does it need to scale across platforms?

(Note: this qualitative analysis is based on discussions across the industry extracted from Digi-Capital’s Augmented/Virtual Reality Report Q2 2019, and will be updated as the market develops)

Active Users

For the Enterprise Reality Ecosystem to thrive, it needs active users. Lots of them. Not hundreds of millions to billions like a consumer ecosystem, as even wildly successful enterprise platforms like Slack have just 10 million active users today. For our purposes, we’re talking about hundreds of thousands to millions of active enterprise AR/VR users.

The largest installed base for smartglasses today is Microsoft HoloLens 1, reported at 50,000 total across all enterprise customers (note: active users is a different number, due to both multiple enterprise users per device and device attrition). The launch of HoloLens 2 and Microsoft’s 100,000 headset US Army contract could more than double this figure in the short term, taking enterprise smartglasses active users into the hundreds of thousands.

Other enterprise smartglasses companies like Vuzix are in the tens of thousands, while Google has not discussed numbers for Google Glass for Enterprise. Recent industry surveys indicate Microsoft HoloLens (even before HoloLens 2 was announced) is seen by the industry as the market leader. (note: Magic Leap is often discussed in creator/consumer terms, but also supports enterprise)

Consumer VR is largely a games/entertainment market, particularly in light of Facebook/Oculus’ John Carmack’s comments. Yet VR headset makers and startups are also focused on enterprise. Enterprise VR active users (note: again different to installed base) are beginning to reach critical mass in the training vertical in particular. Enterprise VR training company Strivr partnered with Walmart to roll out 17,000 Oculus Go headsets loaded with its software to 4,700 stores and 1 million employees, as well as Verizon using it to train 22,000 employees across the US.

One of the veterans in the enterprise VR space, Ford (led by former Immersive Realities Tech Specialist Elizabeth Baron) developed its own Ford immersive Vehicle Environment (“FiVE”) system back in 2012, and has seen usage grow 50% annually ever since. Over 10,000 staff used it in 2017 across engineering, design, user experience/ergonomics and performance (motorsports), with over 1,000 “product health” reviews in 7 countries.

Mobile AR has hundreds of millions of compatible and configured smartphones and tablets that could run enterprise mobile AR already, but active enterprise mobile AR users make up a very small percentage of that number today. Just because someone’s mobile device is capable of running your enterprise mobile AR app, that doesn’t mean they have downloaded it or used it yet.

Nonetheless, PTC Vuforia EVP Mike Campbell says that it has “over 630,000 registered developers and 5,000 enterprise AR customers today, with 85% of Vuforia Studio usage on mobile AR and a $20 million software only (no services) business.” Those figures are pretty encouraging, and enterprise mobile AR has potential to grow active users far beyond its current base.

High Frequency Users

For enterprise AR/VR to succeed, it needs to become an indispensable, everyday business tool. Solutions that are used all day, every day, are why companies like Microsoft, Salesforce and Slack are so valuable in the broader enterprise IT space. High usage frequency is a good yardstick for the value of enterprise AR/VR solutions.

Upskill CEO Brian Ballard points out that type and frequency of use for enterprise smartglasses depends on use cases, “In manufacturing and logistics, we have most customers applying Assisted Reality (HUD-style) smartglasses in all-day, every-day use, sometime across multiple shifts. In field services, we see smartglasses predominantly used in exception-based repairs.”

The largest rollouts of VR in enterprise have been in training, which by its nature is an occasional activity for most staff. There are other enterprise VR use cases (e.g. design) where staff use it many times per day, but the jury is still out on high frequency usage of VR broadly across enterprise. High frequency usage in mobile AR is also early in its development.

Critical Use Cases

We think about enterprise use cases on a spectrum from valuable to critical. Critical is interesting, valuable not so much. Valuable might be cool and technically hard to do, but doesn’t transform enterprise user experience or isn’t something most enterprise users care about. And what enterprise users really care about is ROI. This is where enterprise AR/VR is beginning to shine across platforms.

Lockheed Martin’s Emerging Technologies Lead Shelley Peterson explains that its “satellite operations have used HoloLens 1/Scope AR to reduce training time by 85%, as well as dramatically cutting operating times across alignment (-34%), Design for Inspection (“DFI”) (-39%), drilling (-46%), torque (-50%), and cable fastener activities (-93%). Cost savings at this level are unheard of in the satellite industry.”

Getting back down to earth, BAE Systems division building electric battery propulsion systems for hybrid buses has used Microsoft HoloLens 1/PTC Vuforia to cut front-line assembly workers cycle times by 50%, training by up to 40%, all at a tenth of the cost of alternatives.

Upskill’s Ballard described how they’ve leveraged smartglasses with clients across automotive, aerospace, and retail, “We’ve seen employee ramp time reduced by a week (25% faster), FTQ (First time quality) improved by 38% during training, productivity increases from 12% – 300% (mean 40%), and time to first fix improvement reduced from weeks to hours. Positive ROI is now measured in months, not years.”

For operational capability/readiness, King County is seeing ROI from working with Taqtile’s Manifest platform running on Microsoft HoloLens. Perhaps the most significant benefits have come from transferring and codifying institutional knowledge from a retiring workforce to new workers.

Remote collaboration is emerging as another way that enterprise ROI is being delivered, with smartglasses maker DAQRI CEO Roy Ashok describing how it “has enabled clients’ service departments to cut troubleshooting time by 60%, eliminating the cost of sending a technician entirely in many instances.”

Trimble has focused on the use of HoloLens for early identification of discrepancies between design and construction to reduce rework in architecture, engineering and construction (“AEC”) projects. Aviad Almagor, Senior Director – Mixed Reality and BCI, said that “using mixed reality for early resolution of clashes and coordination issues has saved clients weeks of work, prevented cost overruns, and schedule delays.” Trimble has also announced XR10 with HoloLens 2 bringing mixed reality to front-line workers.

In enterprise VR, Bell used HTC Vive to cut development time for its new FCX-001 helicopter from an industry standard of 5 to 7 years to just 6 months. While these time and cost savings are impressive, the increased competitive advantage and revenue growth from dramatically faster time to market are measured in the millions of dollars.

Strivr’s CEO Derek Belch explained how the company’s enterprise VR training solutions have enabled its customers including “Walmart to improve training test scores for 70% of associates, United Rentals to cut training times by 40%, Fidelity to grow customer satisfaction by 10%, and a Fortune 100 insurance client to reduce training times from 3 hours to 25 minutes.”

Integrated VR/CAD modelling company Mindesk has been helping AEC clients replace physical models with virtual ones. CEO Gabriele Sorrento said that this has resulted in customers “saving $2,000 or more per design phase, and delivering positive ROI straight away. Our integration with standard CAD software has also eliminated preparation/conversion between systems, cutting costs even further.”

Remote collaboration platform Streem is focused on using mobile AR to make enterprise expertise more accessible, enabling white goods and insurance company clients to cut up to 42% of service technicians callouts (“truck rolls”) and related costs. CEO Ryan Fink said this is achieved through, “using the customer’s smartphone camera to connect them to remote experts and call centers, while empowering the expert with more contextual insights than were possible before. This includes spatial mapping for accurate remote measurements, AR tools, and object recognition/OCR for automatic serial/model number capture, and context identification.”

Critical Apps

For reference, enterprise users access 8 enterprise mobile apps per month on average, with IT departments deploying another 2 to 3 enterprise mobile apps on average per year. So critical use cases for new platforms are not enough. They need to be part of existing enterprise apps, or something an enterprise IT department will actually roll out.

Many smartglasses rollouts require a significant services component for implementation and compliance, while SaaS solutions can be simpler and faster to implement. Microsoft’s approach with an integrated suite of standardized enterprise solutions like Dynamics 365 is aiming to make enterprise implementation/compliance easier, and leverage the company’s decades of enterprise experience.

But even with strong progress across the market, enterprise customers tell us it is too early to make a call on critical enterprise apps for smartglasses, VR or mobile AR.

Cloud/Data

The Enterprise Reality Ecosystem needs a strong cloud backbone and data analytics/business intelligence to support decision-making. The enterprise AR Cloud is emerging with Microsoft Azure Spatial Anchors, as well as broad AR Cloud startups like 6D.ai and Ubiquity6. So despite its early stage, there appears to be a path forward for the AR Cloud to support both smartglasses and mobile AR. There is less clarity for the enterprise VR cloud, although some have suggested blockchain as a solution. For enterprise AR/VR data analytics/business intelligence, Digi-Capital’s AR/VR Analytics Platform launched as the first dashboard solution to service this market at Google in mid-2018.

Installed Base

While the largest enterprise platforms today have users in the billions (PC, mobile, Microsoft Office etc.), enterprise AR/VR platforms need installed bases in the hundreds of thousands to millions to scale. Microsoft HoloLens 2 will reach hundreds of thousands of enterprise devices in the short term, but be highly concentrated in the company’s massive US Army contract at first.

HoloLens 2 (and eventually 3) could scale from that base to millions of devices across industries, but it might take Apple launching smartphone tethered smartglasses and bring-your-own-device (“BYOD”) demand for enterprise smartglasses installed base to reach their inflection point. Digi-Capital first forecast Apple launching in late 2020 over 3 years ago, but only Tim Cook and his inner circle really know if and when that could happen (and what it might look like).

VR’s enterprise installed base has seen individual corporate rollouts in the tens of thousands of units for training (e.g. Walmart), but still has a way to go to scale more broadly across enterprise.

Mobile AR has an enterprise installed base in the hundreds of millions today due to the ubiquity of compatible and configured devices. Again this isn’t active users, which is a much smaller number today.

Critical Hardware

Enterprise tech platforms don’t just need critical use cases and apps, they need critical hardware to run on. As above, HoloLens 2 could become smartglasses’ first critical hardware, with other players competing for that title (again Magic Leap has been primarily consumer/creator focused, but is also positioning for enterprise).

VR’s high-end and mid-range headsets from HTC, Facebook/Oculus and others have been used by the enterprise community for several years now, with ultra-high-end VR headset Varjo also launching this year. iOS/Android smartphones/tablets already do most things that enterprise mobile AR users need without dedicated hardware, although rear-facing depth sensors could add functionality as they become more commonplace.

Investment

Investment is a key driver to fuel the Enterprise Reality Ecosystem, with internal corporate spend as important as VC funding of startups.

In the consumer smartglasses market, Digi-Capital’s AR/VR Analytics Platform tracked Magic Leap raising over $2.6 billion so far. In the enterprise smartglasses market, Microsoft’s internal spend on the HoloLens ecosystem could dwarf that number (note: Microsoft has not discussed a figure). This appears to be yielding results, with the company’s $480 million US Army contract the largest single contract with an enterprise customer to date.

VC investment into consumer VR has dropped dramatically in recent years, with some enterprise VR exceptions. Facebook and HTC continue to spend internally to grow their enterprise VR businesses, with some large enterprise contracts to show for it. Investment into enterprise mobile AR has been small compared to smartglasses so far.

Leaders

There are strong players in specific parts of the enterprise AR/VR market, but only a handful of companies with resources and capabilities to lead across the stack (in a similar way to Apple in the broader smartphone market, not just enterprise).

For enterprise smartglasses, Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 and ecosystem look like the ones to beat in the Enterprise Reality Ecosystem. Google and Apple could challenge, but Google Glass for Enterprise is an indirect competitor in some ways, and Apple remains Sphinx-like. Magic Leap has been positioning itself too, so it will be interesting to see what it delivers.

For enterprise VR, HTC, Facebook/Oculus and Microsoft (with partners) are the contenders for full stack enterprise solutions leadership. Likewise Apple and Google for enterprise mobile AR.

Too early to tell

The Zhou Enlai quote “it is too early to tell” is an appropriate summary of the Enterprise Reality Ecosystem today. Enterprise smartglasses, VR and mobile AR have solved parts of the puzzle, but each needs key pieces to become a true ecosystem in its own right. The focus, energy and talent focused on the challenge are formidable, so it’s going to be exciting to see where things goes from here.

(A big thank you to other great folks who helped in the research: Herb Schilling of NASA, JR Dawkins of Verizon, Jan Pflueger of Audi, Amar Dhaliwal of Atheer, Dirk Shart of Re’flekt, Marco Campanari of Hyperfair, Karl Maddix of Masters Of Pie, Florian Haspringer of Holo-Light and Daniel Seidl of Innoactive)

About Digi-Capital: Digi-Capital is a Silicon Valley based AR/VR adviser (reports, analytics platform, strategy consulting, investment banking)

Come see Tim Merel speak at our VRARA Enterprise Summit at LiveWorx June 10th in Boston!

Call for Speakers, Exhibitors, Sponsors now Open for our VR/AR Global Summit in Vancouver Nov 1-2

Join us November 1 & 2, 2019 at Parq Vancouver!

The VR/AR Global Summit is a world class event bringing together the best knowledge and networking in VR and AR for enterprise, hardware, software and content providers from across the globe. Check out our new website and sign up to receive updates about speakers, workshops, demos and other great opportunities to connect at the summit.

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We are excited to launch this years’ event with a new logo, website and look.. and that’s not all. The 2nd edition of the VR/AR Global Summit will feature some new and exciting programming and fun networking opportunities at the event. We are curating a program that is based on real conversations and content-driven... along with great industry announcements and more. Plus, the event falls right after Halloween... costume party anyone? Buy your tickets early so that you don’t miss out.

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The VR/AR Global Summit is looking for partners to make this event out of this world! If you are interested in speaking, sponsoring or exhibiting (or have an exciting idea you want to showcase) we would love to hear from you.

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The VR/AR Association issues an Open Call for Companies to participate in the VR/AR Enterprise Industry Sector Report

Fill out this form if you are interested in being featured (VRARA and non-VRARA Members are welcomed if you are a B2B company with a VR/AR solutions or services) and email info@thevrara.com if you would like to Sponsor this report

This industry report will feature companies specializing in VR/AR for B2B Enterprise solutions. The report will be published in June and will be promoted to the industry globally via our Newsletter (25K emails), Website (20K monthly visitors), and at our Global Summits, and via our partners’ networks.

Foreword

by Geof Wheelwright, Co-Chair, VR/AR Enterprise Committee

We are in an industry that most major analysts agree is growing fast. According to a December 2018 report from International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide spending on augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) is forecast to be nearly $20.4 billion in 2019.

This number is part of a five year growth prediction by IDC spanning the 2017 to 2022 period forecasting that worldwide spending on AR/VR products and services will achieve a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 69.6%. And IDC is not alone in making this kind of prediction.

According to Gartner Distinguished VP Analyst Matt Cain, the use of VR and AR are one of six top technology workplace trends that will drive the digital workplace. “Immersive technologies, such as augmented and virtual reality, are ready for mainstream businesses,” he predicts in a March 2019 story that discusses evolving workplaces.

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Meanwhile, research firm SuperData (a Nielsen company), recently concluded that enterprises adopting XR training technology (covering Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality) will save $13.5 billion that would otherwise have been spent on traditional training that includes instructors, dedicated learning spaces and traveling to remote facilities.

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Another big story lies in where AR and VR are being rolled out. AR. in particular, has a strong mobile story - with analyst predictions suggesting that it will only grow stronger in the coming years. According to a recent story in AR Insider - also quoting recent SuperData numbers - there has been tremendous growth in the development of Mobile AR apps, particularly for iOS mobile devices.

Mobile AR applications are not, however, primarily driven by enterprise needs - but the steep growth in overall app development for ARCore and ARKit - reflects the massive installed base and opportunity they represent for enterprise AR developers.

There are plenty of other examples and predictions that demonstrate the importance of VR and AR to forward-thinking enterprises in the immediate future. The real story right now, however, may be in the “second wave” of adoption that will come in behind the first wave of adoption we are seeing now.

There will always be companies that have the budget, interest and bandwidth to conduct pilots and do field trials of potentially useful technologies. And those have been the primary enterprise customers for VR and AR technologies over the past couple of years.

We are now, however, on the cusp of a moment where the successful trials (and increasing number of deployments) of VR and AR in enterprises are getting the competitors of early adopters companies to start recognizing that they may be missing out on the real strategic advantage they can achieve.

The range of companies you’ll see in this report - and the kinds of customers they serve - are a great example of how impactful their VR and AR solutions have become to enterprise customers. A quick look through this list also makes it clear just how targeted many of these companies are, with products and services often aimed squarely at specific industries.

Just consider the range of applications on offer (and the sectors they aim to serve):

  • Virtual meeting room technology from Ireland’s meetingRoom.io, which counts the Bank of Ireland among the enterprise customers for its low bandwidth remote work platform.

  • Spiral Technologies, a company that uses Mixed Reality technology to deliver a solution for the aerospace industry that is aimed squarely at the MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) market. The company’s solution provides remote calls and video streaming, object recognition, display of static information, interactive voice assistance and 3D visualisation.

  • Apprentice.io, which aims its AR-based solution at lab, line and suite environments, with extensive specialization in pharma and biotech industries. The company says its solution is used to empower scientists, engineers and manufacturers who operate in various complex, compliance-driven environments

  • 900lbs, a creative agency and innovation lab offering VR/AR/MR experiences, with an impressive enterprise customer list that includes PepsiCo, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Shell, NTT Data, Bell Helicopter, DXC Technologies, Perot Museum of Nature and Science and Activision/Blizzard.

  • Dimension10, a company that aims squarely at meeting the needs of industries such as  oil and gas, architecture, engineering and construction - where three-dimensional models in VR can deliver real value. Enterprise customers include Skanska, ÅF Group, Aker BP, Framo, NTNU and AF Gruppen.

  • Atheer, a pioneer in the development of the Augmented Reality Management Platform, with customers in the automotive, aviation, manufacturing and logistics sector. Customers include Porsche Cars North America, which says it has shortened service resolution times at its dealerships by up to 40 percent through the use of Atheer’s AR platform.

  • Frozen Mountain, which brings live streaming to AR and VR devices in the enterprise. The company provides the software, tools, and professional application development services that enable the delivery of multi-party ultra-low latency live video and data streaming.

  • vSpatial is designed to be a virtual reality workspace that connects users to their computer applications and coworkers. It allows virtual office collaboration using a VR headset while providing access to popular productivity applications.

  • VR Vision is a XR (Extended Reality) company that provides immersive technology training platforms for use across multiple vertical markets, including healthcare therapy as well as hospice and retirement homes. The company counts Toyota, Siemens, Thales, the University of Toronto and Alchemy Systems amongst its customers.

  • Viewpointsystem, a Vienna-based company with two decades of experience in eye-tracking technology, has made eye-tracking the centerpiece of its latest product:.the new “VPS 19” smart glasses that consist of Eye Hyper-Tracking glasses, a separate Mixed Reality click-on (that includes a waveguide display and is placed in front of the lenses) and a pocket-sized intelligent hardware component called the Smart Unit.

  • MeetinVR, as the name suggests, is a company all about using VR to empower and enhance enterprise collaboration. The company's public roadmap for VR hardware support includes Vive, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, Oculus Go and Windows Mixed Reality.


— Geof Wheelwright, Co-Chair, VR/AR Enterprise Committee

Companies already included in the Report include:

  • Apprentice.io

  • Atheer

  • meetingRoom.io

  • Spiral Technology

  • EndeavorVR

  • 900lbs

  • Dimension10

  • Frozen Mountain

  • Tech Guilds

  • vSpatial

  • VR Vision

  • Viewpointsystem

  • MeetinVR

  • VRgineers, Inc.

  • NextReality

  • Plus, 100+ Companies are listed in our Directory)

Fill out this form if you are interested in being featured (VRARA and non-VRARA Members are welcomed if you are a B2B company with a VR/AR solutions or services) and email info@thevrara.com if you would like to Sponsor this report

Member Precision OS brings virtual reality to surgical residents

 
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Vancouver-based Precision OS (CEO Dr. Danny Goel will be speaking at the VR/AR Enterprise Summit in Boston) has partnered with 10 North American universities and medical institutions to bring their high-fidelity virtual reality orthopedic surgery training platform into the surgical classroom.

“VR training is the way of the future. It will enhance patient care by having a more skilled and well-prepared surgeon. The software and training unit of Precision OS is brilliantly put together and is a major advance for our residency and fellowship training program!”

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Precision OS envisions a future where surgeon trainees (residents) everywhere can receive the highest quality orthopedic training with real-time feedback, augmenting the cadaveric experience. To get there, they’re using the power of virtual reality technology.

Virtual reality offers unparalleled surgical immersion unimpeded by real-world circumstances and without the risk of harming patients. The Precision OS platform simulates operating room experiences, from the virtual tools used to the patient anatomy. This is reinforced with user-specific metric feedback collectively to empower surgeon trainees to reach peak performance through repeated practice and personalized learning.

"Virtual reality has the potential to positively impact and advance the way surgery residents are trained by offering more frequent and in-depth operating room experience. We are looking forward to exploring this technology and introducing the Precision OS platform to our residents and fellows." Dr Joaquin Sanchez-Sotelo, Professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the Mayo Clinic

Unique to the Precision OS system is the breadth and depth of their training modules. Residents can practice a procedure under a variety of changing conditions, to ensure they are prepared with the skills needed to navigate potential complications in real surgery. Conditions such as arthritis and age can change the standard of procedure for surgeries involving implants. While it is not a guarantee that a resident will be exposed to such surgical experiences in a traditional training program, with VR it is.

The Precision OS VR platform offers surgeon trainees the opportunity to gain more operating room experience than they typically would in a traditional medical residency. From minor complications to critical mistakes, residents can experience surgery up close simply by putting on a headset.

Several hundred surgeon trainees at 10 medical institutions in the United States and Canada will now get to experience this technology first hand in their residency programs. Precision OS will be used for orthopedic surgery training at:

  • The Mayo Clinic

  • The University of British Columbia

  • The Sunnybrook Hospital at the University of Toronto

  • The Pan Am Clinic Foundation

  • Western University

  • McGill University

  • Dalhousie University

  • The Boston Shoulder Institute

  • The University of Mississippi Medical Center.

The Precision OS team are also collaborating with Dr. John Costouros, MD FACS, an orthopedic surgeon and Assistant Professor at Stanford University, to trial virtual reality in training soon-to-be graduating surgeons.

 
 

This will be the first time that this quality of high-fidelity and immersive VR technology will be used for such intensive surgical training.

“The next generation of surgeons will have to learn advanced skills and decision-making with limited time for their training. Virtual reality offers an impactful way to create value by improving surgical skill and reducing errors. Precision OS will deliver value to all stakeholders in healthcare: educators, industry, hospitals, insurers, and patients. The timing of such a technology could not be more perfect!” Dr. Jon J.P. Warner, Founder of the Boston Shoulder Institute, New England Shoulder and Elbow Society, The Codman Shoulder Society, and a past president of American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons

Precision OS offers an enhanced learning environment for orthopedic trainees by increasing access to surgical practice. By way of a headset and handheld sensors, residents can step into the operating theatre any time from anywhere. This increases practice volume and improves surgical skill outcomes in case-based scenarios.

“VR training is the way of the future. It will enhance patient care by having a more skilled and well-prepared surgeon. The software and training unit of Precision OS is brilliantly put together and is a major advance for our residency and fellowship training program!” Dr. Peter MacDonald, Professor and Head Section of Orthopaedics at the University of Manitoba

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And each time a resident begins a Precision OS training module they are immersed in a life-like surgical experience. The virtual patient is responsive to successes and errors in a procedure, thereby allowing trainees to learn from their mistakes. This simulated environment is a critical difference between VR and traditional surgical training, as mistakes are not permitted in real surgery to prevent causing harm to patients. But it is precisely this opportunity for error that demands heightened attention and focus from trainees and creates a more active, effective, and impactful surgical learning experience. This is what makes Precision OS unique.

During and following a procedure, residents are provided with detailed performance metrics so they can assess their surgical skills in real-time and identify areas of improvement. This immediate feedback facilitates tangible performance improvements and increases surgical precision quickly.

“Our core agenda has always been to combine surgical education and cognitive skill in a portable, efficient, and immersive learning experience.” Dr. Danny Goel, CEO and Co-Founder of Precision OS, and an orthopedic surgeon at the University of British Columbia

Precision OS is leading the way for innovation in orthopedic surgical training and the international medical community is taking note. Last year, Precision OS secured $2.3M in funding led by AO Invest, the venture capital arm of Swiss orthopedic education and research organization, the AO Foundation.

The company has also been nominated for the Technology Impact Awards and was a semi-finalist at the Orthopedic Research Society.

“This is only the beginning of what may be a complete disruption of how we learn and train surgeons. To be at the cutting edge of introducing this technology, with a focus on demonstrating its value, is a social responsibility for us at Precision OS. Virtual reality is an exciting and innovative area of technology that can influence surgeons and their patients around the world.” Dr. Goel

Precision OS is a software company developing the most high-fidelity virtual reality platform for surgeons to practice specific procedures. Their focus on the critical elements of surgery haptics and metric feedback provides for an unparalleled educational experience. In addition, their pre-operative planning tool eliminates the trial and error associated with fracture care through an immersive interaction with the patients’ images. This, combined with their carefully selected team, provides the domain expertise one would expect to change the delivery of Orthopedic care globally. For more information, please visit https://precisionostech.com/.








22% of U.S. Adults Use Mobile AR (new report)

ARtillery Intelligence’s latest report, AR Usage & Consumer Attitudes examines original consumer AR survey data. Subscribe for the full report. VRARA members get a discount.

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How do consumers feel about mobile AR? Who’s using it? How often? And what do they want to see next? More importantly, what are non-users’ reasons for disinterest? And how can app developers and anyone else building mobile AR apps optimize product strategies accordingly?

These are the questions we set out to answer. Working closely with Thrive Analytics, ARtillery Intelligence wrote questions to be presented to more than 3000 U.S. adults in Thrive’s established survey engine. The results are in and analyzed in the latest ARtillery Intelligence report.

This follows the last few months’ ARtillery Intelligence Briefings, which examined social and commerce-based AR. Now, a deeper view into real consumer usage and attitudes validates those narratives while providing new dimension on mobile AR strategies and opportunity spotting.

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AR Approaches Adolescence

As for the findings, mobile AR usage is up to 22 percent of the U.S. population. These users are mostly experiencing mobile AR through apps, such as those built on ARkit and ARCore. But we see trending towards lower-friction experiences such as “AR-as-a-feature” and web AR.

These formats have advantages of less friction. Web AR can have easier session launches and compatibility given that it takes place in the mobile browser. AR as a feature meanwhile takes place within already-popular apps. Pokemon Go and Social Lenses are examples of the latter.

Users also appear active and engaged across the board, with more than half reporting they use mobile AR at least weekly. The top app category is gaming, which we attribute to Pokémon Go’s popularity. But other key categories, such as Social AR and visual search, are on the rise.

That includes commerce-related AR like product visualization. And utilities like visual search could represent AR’s first truly mainstream killer app and “all-day” use case. We’re at the stage in AR’s lifespan when utilities will start to emerge to challenge gaming & social use cases.

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Double-Edged Sword

Mobile AR users also indicated high levels of satisfaction with the experience. But beyond these and a few other positive signals, there are some negative signs. For example, non-mobile AR users report low likelihood of adopting soon, and an explicit lack of interest.

This disparity between current-user satisfaction and non-user disinterest continues to underscore a key challenge for AR: you have to “see it to believe it.” In order to reach high satisfaction levels, apps have to first be tried. This presents marketing challenges to push that “first taste.”

Put another way, AR’s highly visual and immersive format is a double-edged sword. It can create strong affinities and high engagement levels. But the visceral nature of its experience can’t be communicated to prospective users with traditional marketing such as ad copy or even video.

The same challenge was uncovered in our corresponding VR report last July (we’ll publish the second wave in Q3). This makes it a common challenge with immersive media like AR and VR. It will take time and acclimation before they reach a more meaningful share of the consumer public.

Meanwhile, there are strategies to accelerate that process and to build AR apps that align with consumers’ current standards. We go deep on those strategies in the latest report.

Subscribe for the full report. VRARA members get a discount.

The VR/AR Association publishes the AR Cloud White Paper

Members: download it from our Members GDrive or email info@thevrara.com

Introduction

The world is moving towards a fundamental shift where our physical reality will soon blend with a virtual one. This idea opens up an entirely new frontier in which our experiences and our realities will be extended in ways we could have never imagined. In this near future, the possibilities for AR are endless.

Brands can attract and engage customers with more immersive and interactive experiences not bounded by physical constraints. Employees can learn how to operate equipments more effectively in complex assembly lines, reducing cost and risks for businesses. Students can visualize complicated diagrams in 3D, improving academic performance. Consumer products, instruction manuals and textbooks are just a small fraction of static objects that can be brought to life.

For mass adoption of AR to occur, content must persist in the real world across space, time and devices. The 3D virtual art will “live” in that space as if it’s really there and will not disappear between different app sessions. Multi-user, occlusion are two additional functions that are key to augmented reality adoption. To enable these abilities and a streamlined experience, the “AR Cloud” is needed.

Authors:
Alex Chuang, Shape Immersive
Amy LaMeyer, EnteringVR
Colin Steinmann, Bent Image Lab / youAR
Gabriel Rene, VERSES
Mikko Karvonen, Immersal
Sam Beder, Ubiquity6
Steven Swanson, VERSES
Contributors:
Matt Miesnieks, 6d.ai
Kris Kolo, VRARA

Table of Contents
1.1 Definition(s) of AR Cloud
1.2 Tech Giants Are Investing in AR
1.3 Building the AR Cloud
2. Use Cases
2.1 Gaming: Niantic
2.2 Indoor Navigation: Immersal
2.3 Productivity: YOUAR
2.4 Social and Gameplay: Ubiquity6
2.5 Events: Geogram
2.6 Location and Tracking: Fantasmo
2.7 AR real estate: SuperWorld
3. Conclusion