XR Challenge Final was arranged on 18.-19.9.2018 at Tampere Mediapolis where Softability was one of the finalists. The first day was a Pitch and Demo day for the finalists. The jury companies Fastems, Glaston and Valmet were seeking new ideas as well as product and service solutions for their global markets particularly among the XR-technologies.
The judges argued that the competition proved to be very interesting and it was surprisingly hard to choose the winners. Although all the finalists produced good pitches and demos it was Voconaut, Manu AR and SimLab IT that formed the top three in this year’s competition. When choosing the winners the judges were looking for compatibility with their global market needs, new solutions to existing problems and ideas with further development possibilities.
The XR Challenge competition provided XR Studio and its product, VIESTI Remote Support, excellent visibility and raised a lot of interest among the XR Challenge visitors. The solution has been developed together with a Swedish international industrial device manufacturer. VIESTI offers new solutions for remote support, fault diagnostics, device maintenance and user training for different industries. Even though VIESTI did not win the main prize this time the feedback from the judges was positive and encouraging:
“It was good that you considered remote support as a process and that the system backend existed already. The obstacles to pilot the solution were low enough and the pricing was made tempting. You clearly have overall vision that might translate into great value in the future. Usability still has room for improvement and there are a lot of competitors. How will you differentiate from the competition? You should consider adding data-analysis expertise to your company. Your performance on the stage was one of the best.” – Judges of XR Challenge
The day after the Final concentrated on the XR-seminar where Softability also participated in. The seminar gathered almost 200 XR-industry experts and people who were interested in the industry. The atmosphere at the exhibition was excellent: exhibitors were able to present their products to seminar visitors and make all new important contacts.
Besides the exhibition there were also three XR-specialists giving speeches on the XR industry. Professor Steven M. Lavalle from Oulu University presented Perception Engineering in which human perception and technology are combined to produce truly realistic XR experiences. Antti Kuosmanen from the Microsoft Surface -team talked about the possibilities of Mixed Reality and presented how digitization, especially for first line workers, should be implemented in steps for companies: “First you need to know how to walk before you can do a marathon”. Markus Heinonen on the other hand presented the improvements Varjo Technologies had developed for their VR-glasses and some impressive use cases. Their Bionic Display is based on the function of the human eye where only the area where the eyes focuses is experienced very clearly while the surrounding area is blurred with increasing intensity ever so smoothly. The product is still in its beta phase but should be ready for the markets sometime during next year.
Softability would like to congratulate the XR Challenge winners and thank all the organizers for making the event happen!
The future of VIESTI
The XR Challenge competition and the event in general offered a great experience that was also very instructive. VIESTI is continuously being developed to serve its customers better. The future of VIESTI will focus on search functionality, developing analytics and reporting as well as utilizing Augmented Reality (AR) technologies in remote support and work safety as well as using WebRTC –video communication technology more effectively.
Bringing analytics to VIESTI´s ticket based data would offer insights to management from devices’ maintenance operations: which devices need service, how often they need service, which kind of service they need, who implements the service and how effectively. Analysis of maintenance activities could also offer knowledge for device design for example how to design and manufacture a device to withstand actual use. Utilizing Augmented Reality (AR) technologies would offer the following features among others:
- Annotations on live video feed so that the markings would “float” over the correct target even when the user’s location changes
- Automatic object recognition and tracking of device and its parts for example tho find out which spare par needs it has
- Bringing the device´s Digital Twin to the mobile or wearable device´s screen to help the field worker in his/her job
- Utilizing (cloud based) machine learning for tracking work safety related issued through the device´s camera.
Sales Manager Mikko Luukkonen, Softability Group Oy, firstname.lastname@example.org