Call for Participation in the Israel VR/AR Ecosystem Report

The VR/AR Association (VRARA) Israel Chapter is producing an industry report on the country's VR AR ecosystem to promote Israeli companies and organizations involved with immersive technologies and media. The report will be promoted by VRARA and our media partners around the world.

Would you be interested to have your company featured in this report or sponsor the report? If yes, then please email

The report will specifically highlight the following:

  • Size of the Israel market

  • Number of relevant companies in Israel

  • Company info (size: number of employees, revenue; vertical, customers)

  • Reasons why company is based in Israel

  • Needs and hopes from and for the Israel ecosystem

As a sponsor, you will receive:

  • Recognition on the front cover of the report, in our newsletter to 27K emails, on our website (20K unique visitors per month), and social media (1M reach)

  • Email blast to the contact list of people downloading the report

As an example, you can see our Reports for other ecosystems around the worldhere.

If you are interested in being featured or sponsor, please email

VR/AR Association Publishes the Taiwan Ecosystem Report for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality; Big Opportunities in Medical/Healthcare, Biotech, Pharma

Members can download the report from our Cloud Drive. To apply for Membership, click here

Big Opportunities in Medical/Healthcare, Biotech, Pharma for VRAR (x AI x IoT + other emerging technologies e.g. blockchain)

Taiwan companies will be represented at our VR/AR Global Summit Vancouver Nov 1-2. More info here

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Taiwan is sometimes called the "Asian Miracle", a small island of just 23.5 million people, yet it has become one of the top 20 economies in the world, hub of APAC/ASEAN and bridge to China. Taiwan is currently undergoing a digital renaissance with billions of dollars being dedicated to building a "Asian Silicon Valley" and "5 + 2" Industrial Innovation Plan. Taiwan has some of the best talent in the world, consistently ranking globally in the top 5 or 10 of STEM scores. The Digital Giants are investing heavily to develop Emerging Technologies in Taiwan. Taiwan provides a wonderful environment to do business or start a company. One can now find literally hundreds of startup events, incubators and accelerators. Besides all this Taiwan is consistently listed as one of the top 10 or 20 Best Places in the World to Live, Best Places to Travel, Best Places for Foreigners to Live and Work!

By being strategically situated in Asia-Pacific region, Taiwan is an excellent route for foreign companies into the emerging healthcare economies of Asia, while also being an ideal platform, from which to enter the Chinese market. Taiwan’s welcoming culture and reliable business environment underpin the potential for strong partnerships. Joint R&D opportunities lie in Taiwan’s ICT strengths, as Taiwan excels in hardware development with a well-established and professional supply chain. Taiwan’s leading ICT giants are actively seeking investment opportunities and R&D projects as they diversify into the healthcare industry. They welcome horizontal and vertical integration models of emerging technologies such as VRAR, especially for medical devices and healthcare services through M&A or forming strategic partnerships.

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In the biotechnology sector, capitalization of local publicly-listed biotech companies is valued at $23.9B USD with a total revenue of 7B USD up 17% since 2015. With over 105 bio-related IPO companies, Taiwan is a prime location for industry investment, partnerships, and licensing opportunities, as a result pharmaceutical companies like GSK and AstraZeneca are actively running clinical R&D centres in Taiwan. Taiwan is a significant global market, with National Health Expenditure accounting for 6.3% of GDP (34.7B USD) this is expected to grow annually at a rate of 4.8%. It applies WHO/FDA healthcare standards and has a high level of IP protection. Taiwan’s high quality universal health coverage single payer National Health Insurance (NHI) program covers 99.9% of the island’s 23.5 million population with public satisfaction at 83.1%. Looking ahead Taiwan has a number of serious health challenges that need to be addressed, not least of all an aging population, international cooperation will be vital to solving these issues.

Taiwan companies will be represented at our VR/AR Global Summit Vancouver Nov 1-2. More info here

Gabriel René of VERSES's book, The Spatial Web, is Published, on Web 3.0 and VR/AR

Get a copy of the book here

The essential guide for how humans, machines and AI will unite to create a new web in the physical world. Be among the first to get your hands on it.

Come see Gabriel speak at the VR/AR Global Summit in Vancouver Nov 1&2

Gabriel Rene, who’s on the VR/AR Association’s Board of Advisor’s, describes the future of how AR/VR, AI, IoT, Blockchain and Crypto converge to form Web 3.0. Him and his co-author Dan Mapes, lay out the critical missing components needed to ensure that Humans, Machines and AI can collaborate together. They describe the ethical, cultural and environmental applications and implications and lay out a roadmap for how individuals, businesses, governments, and communities can work together to turn the tide of our current social and environmental state and responsibly use these technologies to enable a smarter, safer web and world.

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Augmented & Virtual Reality: Navigating the Emerging Legal Terrain

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With a continuously expanding market for Virtual Reality technology, from Google’s Daydream to Facebook’s Oculus Rift, the legal landscape is beginning to follow suit. According to market intelligence provider TrendForce, merchandisers sold 14 million virtual reality devices worldwide in 2016, and it projects that VR device sales and software will snowball into a $70 billion market by 2020. With such expansion, the recent $500 million verdict in the U.S Zenimax v Oculus case suggests that intellectual property disputes in virtual reality tech may become the next litigation “cash cow”, with billions riding on the outcome of each case.

Virtual Reality IP Ownership Disputes

As AR/VR technologies continue to evolve quickly, they have led to the development of considerable intellectual property and other assorted legal issues in the AR/VR space.


Disputes over who holds the copyright to VR software will be an important source of liability in the future. One prime example is Zenimax v Oculus, where Oculus was found guilty of misappropriating copyrighted intellectual property from Zenimax in order to develop their Rift technology. The court ruled in Zenimax’s favour, requiring Oculus to pay $250 million for the copyright infringement.  Copyrights protect original IP, including computer programs and dramatic works, both of which play a large role in the development of AR/VR technologies. Undoubtedly, frequent litigation will follow suit.


Trademarks may be a combination of words, sounds or designs used to distinguish the goods of one creator from those of another – and last fifteen years. However, and particularly notable in the relatively new VR industry, expensive legal battles can arise when a company must prove the authenticity of their non-registered trademark. Imagine this: your VR avatar stumbles upon a vending machine and buys a drink – a bottle in every way identical to a real-world Coca Cola can. If the consumer reasonably believes the untheorized patent holder was the source of the goods, or endorsed the goods, liability can arise. Would anyone think Coca Cola produced the game – likely not. Is it possible that some might think they endorsed it – definitely. A second layer of complexity arises if the avatar can interact with the product, by buying or drinking it rather than just having it appear on screen. Treading through this novel VR terrain could bring with it many trademark claims.

Patent Disputes

Through a patent, the Canadian government grants inventors the right to stop others from making, using or selling their invention for up to twenty years. What does that mean for companies involved with or entering the AR/VR space? A significant recent increase in patent applications in respect of AR/VR technologies reveals companies’ desires to maintain a competitive advantage and protect their inventions.  As the field grows more crowded, it will become necessary for companies to protect their IP through patents.

Personality Rights

Like trademark claims, the idea of personality rights will inevitably arise in the virtual world. In Krouse v Chrysler Canada Ltd, the court decided that regardless of the degree of public notoriety, an individual has the same rights as celebrities. In other words, if an individual can prove that their name, voice, or likeness was used in VR content without their consent, they may have a potential claim. This expands the net of liability, especially in the realm of gaming and advertisement. Misappropriation of personality goes so far as to include “look-alikes”; if you create a Morgan Freeman inspired avatar, hire a Morgan Freeman look-alike, or record voice imitation, there is potential for liability.

VR companies can encounter another liability issue; users importing unauthorized “personas” to a metaverse. While the law in this area is still developing, companies may be subject to such claims, and should take precautions to avoid them. Overseeing the use of VR technology and removing any evident personas – including celebrities – is a crucial step.

Product Liability Claims

In part due to the nature of VR products, there will inevitably be claims made by users against VR companies. Since most VR technologies require the use of a headset and other equipment, the potential for personal injury is great. Without being able to see the environment one is in, falls, trips, hits and other injuries are likely – especially if the VR technology requires physical movement. Nausea and motion sickness are also likely, mostly when a user’s body movement does not align with the visual stimulus because of subtle delays in screen responsiveness. Finally, privacy issues may arise where users are asked for personal information, or data storing.

Long term physical and psychological effects can also result in liability against VR technology manufacturers. Some scholars suggest that because of the lure of VR, users may become more detached from reality, leading to psychoses. In certain instances, copycat violence, insurance claims, negligence, nuisance, and product liability suits will follow. Therefore, companies and manufacturers are wise to require terms of use, including disclaimers waiving liability to minimize the chance of litigation against the company.

Virtual environments raise complex and novel legal issues for both VR content creators and rights holders alike. While it is easy to allow yourself to be lost by the technical advances of the virtual world, without proper legal support, a return to reality may bring with it a host of legal liabilities.

By: Marius Adomnica, Associate and Natasha Vlajnic, Law Student

For more information, or to connect with one of our lawyers, please contact us at: or 604-629-5400

This article is for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

Join us at our VR/AR Global Summit Vancouver Nov 1&2 to learn more about the legal aspects of VR/AR

Early Bird tickets now available for our VR/AR Global Summit happening in Vancouver Nov 1-2

More info and tickets here

VR/AR Global Summits are world-class events bringing together the best knowledge and networking in VR and AR for enterprise, hardware, software and content providers from across the globe.

Join us Nov 1 & 2 at the Parq Vancouver, a new international entertainment and conference destination, located in downtown Vancouver. 

Lenovo is growing its VR/AR team! Here are the job postings!

Lenovo is looking to grow its team in becoming a global leader of commercial AR and VR solutions and is hiring in software and hardware positions. The recently announced ThinkReality brand is Lenovo’s solution offering consisting of both a software platform that allows enterprises to build, deploy and manage AR and VR solutions, and additionally it’s ThinkReality A6, the first AR headset offering in a line-up of AR devices. The ThinkReality A6 is a lightweight fully featured AR headset.

72471 --  AR integration Test Engineer 

72800 --  Android OS Engineer

72799 --  AR Engineer – Apps Dev Lead

72470 --  AR Customer Deployment Technical Lead

71867 – Head of Commercial VR

72356 – Hardware Product Manager, Commercial AR/VR

72415 – Software Product Manager , Commercial AR/VR

About Lenovo

Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is a US$45 billion Fortune Global 500 company and a global technology leader in driving Intelligent Transformation through smart devices and infrastructure that create the best user experience. Lenovo manufactures one of the world’s widest portfolios of connected products, including smartphones (Motorola), tablets, PCs (ThinkPad, Yoga, Lenovo Legion) and workstations as well as AR/VR devices and smart home/office solutions. Lenovo’s data center solutions (ThinkSystem, ThinkAgile) are creating the capacity and computing power for the connections that are changing business and society. Lenovo works to inspire the difference in everyone and build a smarter future where everyone thrives.  Follow us on LinkedInFacebookTwitterInstagramWeibo, read about the latest news via our StoryHub, or visit our website at

Take these online VR AR courses beginning this week/month!

Columbia College Chicago Online is offering all members of the VRARA a 15% discount for any of the following 8-week fully online courses beginning this week: 

To enroll, please contact Danielle Rauser at or 312-369-7437

A Leap Forward in the Asia Pacific Region for Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality

Augmented and virtual reality technologies in the Asia Pacific Region, particularly in third world countries, have been hardly welcomed by the locals due to the expensive costs of the headsets and limited number of local suppliers. 

Last May 30 to June 1, 2019, faculty members of De La Salle College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB), attended the Seoul VR/AR Conference to benchmark on the latest industry AR and VR trends. The faculty members who attended the conference were Rexcel Cariaga, Gerson Lopez, Patrick Astilla, Benjamin Marasigan Jr., Ma. Beatrice Lapa, and Johndale Julian Alfred. Mr. Cariaga and Mr. Lopez are from the Multimedia department of the said institution while Mr. Astilla and Mr. Marasigan are from the Animation department. Mrs. Lapa and Mr. Alfred, on the other hand, are from the Game Design and Development department. 

During the Seoul VR/AR conference, DLS-CSB faculty members met with Mr. Pradeep Khanna (VRARA Asia Executive Director - Sydney Chapter) and Mr. Sangku Lee (VRARA Chapter President - Korea ) to discuss future collaborations with universities and colleges in the Asia Pacific Region. By being the first university/college VRARA member in the Philippines, De La Salle - College of Saint Benilde hopes to revolutionize the use of AR and VR technologies in the country, specifically its use in training and education in third world countries.

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VR/AR Association gets Featured in Fortune 500 Issue along with HTC Vive and others

As part of the VR/AR Association (VRARA) partnership with Fortune on a multi-media initiative entitled, “Next Gen VR/AR Technologies”, the first issue has arrived with an in-depth coverage of the VR/AR sector in all the original content edit developed by Fortune covering the VR/AR sector. The objective of this partnership is to help meet Fortune’s readers growing demand for greater in-depth insight into how they can best leverage next gen VR/AR technologies. This first issue was handed out at our VRARA Enterprise Summit at LiveWorx in Boston on June 10th and was widely promoted and distributed at this marque industry event.

With its current audience of over 3.4 million engaged readers, VRARA’s new partnership with FORTUNE represents a wonderful opportunity for VRARA members to promote the value of our industry and to collaborate with FORTUNE to drive the instrumental thought-leadership dialog informing their audience of influential business decision-makers how today’s most transformative VR and AR technologies will dramatically enhance their operations and improve the customer experience.

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Your Guide to Selecting the Right Augmented Reality Tools

With so many augmented reality technologies available, it’s vital to select a solution that will meet your specific needs.

Augmented reality is emerging as mission-critical for industrial enterprises. And while the benefits are impressive, success depends upon projects—and products—that address your pain points. Are you certain you’ll have the AR capabilities you need, and make sure you won’t pay for capabilities you don’t need?

In your free Industrial AR Buyer’s Guide, you’ll find:

  • AR use cases with maximum ROI potential

  • Extensive criteria for evaluating AR products

  • Vuforia AR products, organized by capabilities and use-cases

  • A capability checklist that you can use with any AR product

Not all AR software solutions are created equal; why gamble on your AR investment, when you can maximize your odds of success?

Pick the right Tools for the Job

Recap of VRARA Enterprise Summit at LiveWorx - our Members gave stellar presentations to the industry on the latest Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Solutions

We invite you to participate in our VR/AR Global Summit Nov 1&2 in Vancouver! More info here

The VR/AR Association (VRARA) partnered with LiveWorx to host the VRARA Enterprise Summit at LiveWorx 2019 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. LiveWorx is the world’s most respected digital transformation conference for the enterprise to experience the most innovative and disruptive technologies — VR/AR, IIoT, machine learning, blockchain, robotics and much more.

VRARA Members had the opportunity to present to some of the top industrial companies from across the globe like Applied Materials, Arcadis, Boeing, ExxonMobil, Franke, Hasbro, Johnson & Johnson, Julabo, Medtronic, Miller & Long, Toro, Sajo, Shell, Siemens, Sprint, Unilever, Zimmer Biomet, Vaillant Group, Verisk. Presentations included topics on AEC, Aerospace & Defense, Energy, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Training.


Kris Kolo of VRARA and Cathy Hackl VRARA’s Board of Advisors & Enterprise Strategy at Magic Leap.

Enterprise VR/AR Spending is expected to reach $13-20B in 2019, and experience a 89% growth to $120B by 2023. So, where are Enterprises spending all of that money? And are they getting the value out of this level of investment in VR/AR? Matt Short of Accenture from our Silicon Valley Chapter shared with us what Accenture is seeing in the market and where their clients are spending the money.

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Dan Cotting of Shockoe from our Virginia Chapter gave an excellent overview of strategy for delivering a rapid return on enterprise VR/AR. Dan has worked with clients like Lexus, JB Hunt, Arrow Electronics which has helped shape his beliefs that VR/AR are poised to usher in an entirely new approach to business operations.


Raj Puran, Intel from our Austin Chapter talked about how Intel is driving VR into enterprise and how to overcome the resistance of adopting new technologies.

Marlo Brooke of Avatar Partners from our LA Chapter demonstrated to us an example of how VR/AR is used in the commercial construction industry.

Sivan Iram, Lenovo from our Silicon Valley Chapter demonstrated the newly announced ThinkReality Platform and AR headset from Lenovo, and gave us some great insights!

Frank Black of HTC Vive Enterprise shared with us high-value use-cases from the DoD, Healthcare, and Emergency Response sectors.

Chad Eikhoff of Trick 3D Studios from our Atlanta Chapter along with their customer InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG), discussed an end-to-end enterprise strategy how VR/AR can be used across sales, design, marketing, and design departments in enterprises.

John Cunningham of DiSTI Corporation, from our Orlando Chapter (which is considered to be the Modeling & Simulation Center of the US!) organized an amazing panel on the use of VR/AR in Aerospace.

A fascinating group presentation on healthcare and VR/AR was given by Zimmer Biomet and Precision OS’s Danny Goel, a practicing Surgeon and CEO from our Vancouver Chapter. Together, they are reimagining the educational landscape for health care professionals.

Geof Wheelwright of Atheer, from our SF Chapter and Chair of our Enterprise Committee organized an excellent panel that explored where VR/AR are getting the most traction and how the market has evolved over the last couple of years.

Corporations invested $87B on Training in 2018 and according to Nielsen reports, Enterprises can save 15% ($13B) on Training with VR/AR; VR has retention rates of 75% while traditional methods are only 10%. Jonathan Moss of Sprint Retail Stores and a Member from our Missouri Chapter and Co-Chair of our Retail Committee showed how he’s using VR to train his staff and the ROI benefits. Our Training panel of speakers further discussed VR/AR and Training with additional real-world use cases from Tom Turner of Exxon Mobil and Jay Fraser, HP.

Our AEC specific presentations included Katy Rupp of Ghafari and member from our Detroit Chapter, Aubrey Tucker of ETRO Construction, and a member from our Vancouver Chapter, Vivek Sharma of Magic Leap, and a panel moderated by Mike Festa, VRARA’s Boston Chapter President.

Next we had a Group Presentation focusing on 2 case studies - Siemens Power/Gas & HP Digital Printing and how VR/AR is being used to improve technician and field services.

A recent Gartner report stated "The biggest barrier to the adoption of VR/AR is the lack of good user experience," and Clare Bond of EPAM Systems from our SF Chapter showed us how we can bring experience design to VR/AR.

Thank you again to our Summit sponsors!

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We invite you to participate in our VR/AR Global Summit Nov 1&2 in Vancouver! More info here

Luxsonic is awarded a contract by the Canadian Space Agency to help define the future of Medical Training during Deep Space Missions using Virtual Reality

As humanity reaches out to explore the solar system, it will be critical to maintain the health and wellness of astronauts. During deep space missions, communication with Earth could be difficult, so medical assistance from Earth may not be available. Medical evacuation, in times of emergency, will be impossible.

The Crew Medical Officer and other crew members will need to maintain and test their basic clinical skills. They will also need to learn new skills during the voyage and have instant access to medical information, like crew health data or diagnostic images. All of these needs will have to be addressed with the limited resources that can be taken on board the space craft. Luxsonic plans to use virtual reality technology to meet these requirements.

The CaregiVR Medical Support System is a technology concept being developed by Luxsonic for the CSA. CaregiVR could provide the crew of long-duration space missions with an advanced tool for medical education, training, and skills assessment. It could also be an integral part of overall ship medical systems, giving astronauts the support they need to stay healthy as they venture out into the solar system. Luxsonic is excited to develop the CaregiVR Medical Support System technology concept, which may one day contribute to the health and well-being of astronauts on deep-space missions.

See the Announcement from the CSA here

About Luxsonic:

Luxsonic develops virtual reality applications that are used by some of the most innovative Canadian healthcare institutions. Our VR software products improve medical education, training, and healthcare delivery while reducing operational costs for our clients. SieVRt, Canada’s first virtual reality medical imaging system allows physicians to view and interact with complex medical imaging data in an intuitive, user friendly, and distraction free virtual environment. It is currently available for sale in North America through our Clinical Innovator Program. Luxsonic is headquartered in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and has a satellite office in Toronto, Ontario.

Contact Details:




This Friday, join us live for our LBVR webcast with the legendary Jesse Schell of Schell Games, Cyril Voiron of Ubisoft, and John Coleman of Vertigo Games

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

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Here's a Sample list of Companies participating at our VRARA Enterprise Summit at LiveWorx June 10th. You can still save $800 for LiveWorx June 10-13

Get tickets here!

The VRARA Enterprise Summit at LiveWorx starts next week on Monday, June 10th, taking place at at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. LiveWorx is June 10-13. With our Summit ticket, you save $800 on the LiveWorx All-Access-Pass (4 days)!

Our Summit 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.

Below are sample of companies attending the Summit and more info about the events:

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  • June 10th at LiveWorx (LiveWorx is June 10-13)

  • 30 Sessions, Panels, Demos. 40 Speakers

  • Presentations & demos from Accenture, Atheer, Boeing, ExxonMobil, Fidelity, Intel, Julabo, Lenovo, HP, HTC, Magic Leap, Siemens, Sprint, Zimmer Biomet, and others.

  • Meet executives from Applied Materials, Arcadis, FlightSafety, Franke, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, Miller & Long, Toro, Sajo, Shell, Sprint, Unilever, Vaillant Group, Verisk, Whirpool, and other industrial corporations looking for VR/AR solutions!

  • Networking Lunch, Breaks, and Reception

  • $800 discount for LiveWorx All-Access-Pass (4 days)!

  • See the event page to learn more!

  • June 10-13 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center

  • 6500+ attendees, 640+ speakers, 240+ sessions, and a 200,000 sq. ft. exhibit hall filled with VR/AR, IIoT, Robotics, and Enterprise solutions.

  • See Event website here

  • Demographics from 2018:

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ICVR Interactive completes the Digital Human Project

This is a photorealistic digital human, created from over 30,000 photographs and rendered real-time in Unreal Engine. ICVR, in collaboration with our friends at The Scan Truck, will be showing off the many possible applications of this tech at SIGGRAPH 2019. We will demo how it can be driven by AI, controlled in real time through facial/body capture, and more! We’d like to especially thank Jason Linere White for offering his likeness to this project, and becoming the face of our Digital Human!

Learn more on our website here

Ticket Prices go up May 31st! Register now for our VRARA Enterprise Summit & LiveWorx and save $800! See you June 10-13 in Boston!

  • June 10th at LiveWorx (LiveWorx is June 10-13)

  • 30 Sessions, Panels, Demos. 40 Speakers

  • Presentations & demos from Accenture, Atheer, Boeing, ExxonMobil, Fidelity, Intel, Julabo, Lenovo, HP, HTC, Magic Leap, Siemens, Sprint, Zimmer Biomet, and others.

  • Meet executives from Applied Materials, Arcadis, FlightSafety, Franke, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, Miller & Long, Toro, Sajo, Shell, Sprint, Unilever, Vaillant Group, Verisk, Whirpool, and other industrial corporations looking for VR/AR solutions!

  • Networking Lunch, Breaks, and Reception

  • $800 discount for LiveWorx All-Access-Pass (4 days)!

  • See the event page to learn more!

  • June 10-13 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center

  • 6500+ attendees, 640+ speakers, 240+ sessions, and a 200,000 sq. ft. exhibit hall filled with VR/AR, IIoT, Robotics, and Enterprise solutions.

  • See Event website here

  • Demographics from 2018:

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Why Your Industrial Skills Gap Is More Than Just a Retirement Problem. AR Heralded as the Solution

For manufacturing, service, and other industrial markets, the skills shortage problem is well documented, and it shows no signs of slowing. Frequently attributed to aging experts exiting the workforce via retirement, the role this trend is playing shouldn’t be overlooked—in the next few years, over a quarter of all manufacturing workers will be older than 55. However, the skills resource problem is more nuanced than age-based attrition.

Augmented reality has been heralded as the solution, but AR isn’t one-size fits all; it’s highly customizable and requires proper direction to solve specific problems. To successfully address the skills deficit with AR, it is important to recognize the four factors that are contributing to your skill drainage.

Lack of systems to produce new skilled workers

Simply put, there’s a lack of systems to put people on the path towards becoming skilled experts. Students are increasingly encouraged to pursue traditional college degrees rather than careers in skilled work, due to societal and economic factors. Technical schools have also broadened their focus to include IT curriculum, and many secondary education districts have reduced courses that expose students to labor skills. But while STEM initiatives are up, the focus is often on utilizing those skills outside of a manufacturing context.

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While the industry needs to address these underlying trends to increase demand for manufacturing jobs, AR can provide an important stopgap. AR-delivered training has proven to both accelerate skills development and improve competency outcomes, which allows manufacturers to get more expertise from smaller pools of candidates.

Competition with other types of jobs

As manufacturing has seen declining preparation and focus in education systems, it also must contend with competition with other job options once students graduate. Potential employees are being lured away to retail, construction, shipping and transportation and service sector industry jobs—even if long-term career benefits for these jobs are not as good. These jobs are frequently more ubiquitous in populous areas, and have a lower barrier to entry.

Innovative technologies like AR can help the manufacturing industry appeal to a new generation of students consisting of “digital natives”. AR-driven training and guidance can help to quickly upskill novice technicians while bringing the allure of working with exciting emerging technology solutions.

Continued global expansion

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Global expansion is a complex issue that affects the skill gap in multiple ways. Primarily, it reflects an exodus of manufacturing jobs from industrialized nations to countries where the cost of living and salaries are lower. While this reduces costs of operations for large enterprises and helps create global economic growth, it has also contributed to the skills gap. Manufacturing increasingly becomes considered an outsourced occupation—which can hinder companies that desire or require operations in more developed economies. It also creates a burden for companies that must increasingly manage localized processes, from training and guidance, to translation, to local compliance and governance.

AR is a communication medium that can massively reduce localization requirements, both in providing new training and in ongoing guidance. Content is easily adapted to local languages, but more importantly, AR also relies heavily on iconography, design files, products themselves, and other elements that reduce the amount of text-based content.

Increasing product complexity

While the previous factors deal primarily with workforces, product complexity represents a different type of skills gap pressure. Competition and evolving market conditions have accelerated the need to customize and personalize products, requiring more intricate and agile operations and a wider variety of processes for individual skilled workers. Product complexity also requires manufacturers to better facilitate the documentation, management, and delivery of training and guidance. This pressure increases with accelerated, on-demand processes.

Industrial enterprises can now use AR to easily update and deliver manuals and guides almost immediately, instead of reprinting and shipping them to reflect product variance. Even relative to PDF and digitized manuals, AR is easier to navigate and select. Hands-free, over-the-shoulder guidance allows workers to easily understand instructions for different assembly, operation, or maintenance variations.

Addressing complex challenges requires a multi-faceted skills solution: augmented reality

The skills shortage is a complex problem that requires manufacturers to change how they recruit talent, manage their resources, and even how they interact with government agencies as they lobby for workforce-friendly legislation. And while there is no single answer, augmented reality is proving to be a game-changer for how industrial companies onboard, upskill, and empower their employees. In fact, industrial applications of augmented reality are predicted to far outpace all other types of AR investment over the next half-decade.

To learn more about why augmented reality is so effective for training and guidance, the innovative ways its being implemented, and how you can harness AR for rapid value, download this complementary eBook: Closing the Industrial Skills Gap with Augmented Reality.

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