FIRA Barcelona, Gran Vía
1-4 February 2022

RISE Spotlight: XR in Today's RealityStartup Nation

XR startups aim for a wide range of industries

XR has enormous potential for widespread radical innovation – more than many other technologies, During the Startup Nation segment of the RISE Spotlight on XR, Andy Lurling, Founding Partner of venture capital company LUMO Labs, highlighted companies that are looking to change the worlds of training, advertising, exercise and more with these technologies.

Discussing market trends with moderator Már Másson Maack, Andy noted that the global pandemic has had a major impact in accelerating the growth and use of XR. He predicted that education and training spaces will adopt modern technology more going forward. Traditional training and even online classes are “not immersive enough anymore” and for a “generation of gamers” who are used to learning in virtual reality scenarios, XR can offer more “emotionally engaging” experiences than reading a book.

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Touching upon health and wellbeing, Andy recognised that “people are looking for mindfulness” and a “distraction from the daily world”. This is reflected in many of the latest technologies, which act as an escape from reality by creating a truly immersive experience that can aid mental wellbeing.

Innovative start-ups that Andy highlighted included:

  • Virti – which uses XR, artificial intelligence and gamification to help employees learn faster and remember training for longer
  • Tropos AR – the world’s first advertisement network that uses augmented reality as its medium
  • SENSIKS – which offers software and a content platform for the creation and sharing of a wide range of ‘sensory reality’ experiences and applications, and
  • CREAL – manufacturer of a light-field projector for smart eyewear.

More detailed presentations came from PWXR and Warp VR, whose founders both joined the session for a three-minute elevator pitch and Q&A. Peter Kortenhoeven from PWXR, an award-winning studio that specialises in active esports games and applications, pitched its aim to encourage people to exercise, particularly the younger generation. The games use the participant’s body as a controller which allows them to run, crawl and even jump in virtual reality, all at a high pace.

Thijs de Vries spoke for Warp VR, the virtual reality software designed for training. Acknowledging that the workplace is “changing dramatically”, Thijs introduced the benefits of XR to train and develop individuals to create a real impact and grow a business. Warp VR’s mission is to help employees worldwide to access immersive and interactive real-life experience to maximise their learning potential.

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