An Advertising Feature is created, supplied and paid for by a commercial client and promoted by The Irish Times Content Studio. The Irish Times newsroom or other editorial departments are not involved in the production of advertising features.

Immersive technologies: from hype to hyper-performance

International ARVR Innovate Conference and Expo returns to RDS Dublin on Friday, May 10th

Recent international studies point to potentially dramatic productivity gains from the use of augmented reality technology

Recent international studies point to potentially dramatic productivity gains from the use of augmented reality technology

 

Immersive technologies (augmented, virtual and mixed realities) are finally on the cusp of a breakthrough in adoption at business and enterprise level in Ireland, as more case studies emerge pointing to a clear ROI case.

Given the relatively high price point of many of the wearable devices currently on the market, it is not surprising that early adopters are in the enterprise and manufacturing sectors. Recent international studies point to potentially dramatic productivity gains from the use of augmented reality technology. A recent seminar from the Augmented Reality Enterprise Alliance quoted impressive gains.DHL saw 25 per cent productivity gains in their warehouse picking operations, combined with reduced worker errors. Using AR smart-glasses for remote assistance, Xerox were able to resolve 76 per cent of technical problems without any on-site help, and one of the world’s largest shipbuilders, Newport News Shipbuilding, claimed a reduction in final sign-off inspections from 36 hours to just 90 minutes.

[To buy tickets to the ARVR Innovate Conference, click here.]
 

Policy

Immersive technology's potential for growth is being recognised at a policy level. According to an Oireachtas PQ response provided last year by the Government, “AR/VR is a new disruptive technology impacting on many verticals and as a result it is difficult to scope the numbers of companies involved and the corresponding employment levels, albeit a significant area of opportunity for Ireland.” More recently there were a number of successful immersive technology projects in the first round of successful applications under the Government’s €500 million Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund. The ecosystem for immersive technologies in Ireland spans large international players such as US-founded industrial smart-glass manufacturers, and software solutions provider, DAQRI. The company, who have a significant presence in Dublin, provide software applications to a growing base of users in key vertical markets such as engineering, medical, gaming, entertainment, education and training. A recent development has been the launch of a representative group for the sector in Ireland: Eirmersive aims to showcase the potential of the sector to both industry and government alike, and is made up of a number of companies with solutions for both business and consumer end-markets.

A particular area of focus will be how remote assistance is being facilitated by augmented reality

Against the backdrop of this expansion, this year’s ARVR Innovate Conference and Exhibition, taking place in the RDS, Dublin on Friday May 10th, will again offer delegates the chance to hear from leading international and domestic speakers who will illustrate practical best-case deployment of AR and VR in business. A particular area of focus will be how remote assistance is being facilitated by augmented reality. With the latest smart-glass technologies, companies are saving on travel by technical support in sectors such as engineering, oil refining, and telecoms by allowing them to assist remotely their staff in the field. A number of these remote-access providers will be exhibiting at the event.

Training

Training is predicted to be one of the largest growth areas for virtual reality. The ability to virtually train employees in what would otherwise be hazardous contexts, such as fire training, is an obvious area for growth.  US retail giant recently purchased 17, 000 VR headsets to be deployed in customer services training, including a Black-Friday simulation experience. This year’s conference will feature a number of speakers, and demoing companies, with a focus on this dimension of immersive technology use.

The ARVR Innovate conference recently was listed in the Top 30 international immersive technology conferences and, in addition to attracting Irish delegates, has welcomed a growing number of overseas visitors, including an official delegation from Immerse Liverpool. This year the Augmented Reality Enterprise Alliance will partner with the conference to run a dedicated panel discussion on using AR in enterprise contexts, addressing the challenges at both boardroom, manager and employee level to faster deployment.

Pat Breen TD Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection using a VR headset software developed by vStream technology for Audi. Photograph: Conor McCabe
Pat Breen TD Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection using a VR headset software developed by vStream technology for Audi. Photograph: Conor McCabe

3D Data Hack Dublin

Taking place over the same weekend will be the inaugural 3D Data Hack Dublin. ARVR Innovate founder Alex Gibson, who runs a new Immersive Technology for Business course at TU Dublin says, “we are really delighted to partner with Dublin City Council's Smart Docklands team on their 3D Data Hack Dublin event. This is a global first which will allow app developers and professionals working on the built environment unique access to a highly accurate 3D model of the Dublin Docklands; the intention is that this will stimulate creative new ways of using spatial data." The apps developed by participating teams will provide a rich range of AR and VR experiences for visitors, workers and residents of the Dublin Docklands, and will feature in an exhibition in the CHQ building in September 2019.  Teams and individuals can register for the event at www.3ddatahackdublin.ie.

Keynoting at the ARVR Innovate conference this year is Dean Johnson. As an accomplished design leader, writer, presenter, BBC tech pundit and former head of innovation at Brandwidth, Johnson is shaping the connected future for film, TV, automotive, publishing, music, education and leisure sectors with the emphasis on user experience and engagement. Other speakers include the AR and VR global leaders for Audi and Medtronic who will outline how user adoption of the technologies can be facilitated. A new feature of this year's event will be a TU Dublin Open Labs workshop where attendees will be able to explore the practical workflows of developing an augmented reality experience in a case-study context.


ARVR Innovate takes place on Friday May 10th in the RDS, Dublin. To buy tickets to the ARVR Innovate Conference, click here.

The Irish Times are official media partner to the ARVR Innovate conference booking site and readers can avail of a 30 per cent discount using the code IT30 at the time of booking.