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Big XR News from AWE 2023, Siemens, Microsoft, Meta, and Nokia

Another busy week, as always, in the XR space. October’s conclusion saw AWE EU 2023 wrap up with a number of vital takeaways which can assist enterprise clients in understanding the ever-evolving AR/VR/MR marketplace.

Earlier in the month, IGS 2023 lit up the stage in Orlando, showcasing the industry at large, and AWE EU 2023 followed up at the end of October with a bang.

On the other hand, the XR space is ramping up for its final few updates and product releases before the year concludes. 2024 promises to bring a new breed of life to the growing industry based on the successes in Q4 of 2023.

AWE EU 2023 Round Up

Augmented World Expo EU (AWE) 2023 hosted its yearly event highlighting recent innovations in enterprise-grade AR/VR/MR solutions, as well as related emerging technologies such as genAI, digital twins, and geospatial tech.

Meta showed up at AWE EU 2023. The firm’s Senior Director and Global Channel Partnerships at Reality Labs Era Sahni, took the stage to discuss how XR can assist in transforming workplace communications.

During the session, Sahni said:

Mixed reality is revolutionising the way we work today, and it’s only going to accelerate from here. As a Channel Director at Meta, my job is to help companies adopt new technologies that will help their employees feel more connected, collaborative, and empowered at work. – Mixed reality is not just looking into the future of work. It’s delivering real value today, not just to people at home but also to businesses. But it is easy to overlook that business use. Because it is true to say that, to date, it is the gaming consumer that has driven the success and growth of VR. But if you look at the history of technology adoption, right from the use of personal computers to the internet and cell phones. Time and time again, we have seen how important businesses have been to scale that technology adoption.

Johannes Stettmeier, Business Development Manager for AR/VR Technologies at Lenovo, also took the stage to explain how some of the most fruitful use cases for XR exist in the enterprise, not in consumer or gaming.

Stettmeier added:

People have realised you can interact via video conferencing. What is now our mission is to tell people that 3D, immersive collaboration is a good thing to do because it brings you a new dimension of engagement.

Moreover, Stettmeier noted that Lenovo is taking an enterprise-first approach to developing XR solutions, meaning you cannot purchase the device via conventional means such as Amazon, instead, going through professional channels – “because we want to make this an enterprise story,” Steinmeier said.

Thomas Dexmier, AVP of Business Development and Enterprise Solutions at HTC VIVE EMEA, also joined AWE 2023 to represent another market-leading company to discuss the uptrend in XR applications across the workplace.

The exec highlighted various use cases whereby XR solutions drive positive outcomes for workers and decision-makers. During the session, Dexmier showcases how Virtalis and Ford Motor Company leverage digital twins to improve workflows covering collaboration, reviewing, and on-site inspections.

Dexmier highlighted how the healthcare market is seeing an XR uptick due to recent positive outcomes recorded by international facilities. Dexmier cited a 2023 survey of 400 healthcare professionals on the state of XR training, which highlighted how 91 per cent agree that XR enhances education in the sector, 75 per cent agree it improves learning speeds, and 86 per cent say they will adopt XR training by 2026 – a lucrative insight.

Moreover, XR training can also have a tremendously positive sustainability impact. One of HTC VIVE’s enterprise customers, FLAIM, creates immersive training solutions for firefighters, which saved roughly 20 million litres of water and 27 tonnes of carbon emission – based on 2,000 hours of training.

Microsoft, Siemens Industrial Copilot Debuts

This week, a partnership between Microsoft and Siemens led to the debut of Siemens Industrial Copilot, an AI assistant that aims to improve human-machine collaboration in manufacturing.

The Siemens Industrial Copilot solution also comes alongside the integration launch of Siemens Teamcenter software – integrated with Microsoft Teams – that enables the industrial Metaverse, according to Microsoft, by simplifying virtual collaboration procedures for “design engineers, frontline workers, and other teams across business functions.”

The software also leverages genAI to connect different groups of frontline workers while assisting each party in collaborating on product design and manufacturing workflows by improving accessibility to mission-critical factory data.

Siemens Teamcenter for Microsoft Teams will debut at the start of December 2023 for general availability.

Nokia Unveils Cutting-Edge AI Solution

Nokia Bell Labs announced on Wednesday a natural language processing (NLP) solution that streamlines network configuration using AI and machine learning (ML).

Developed by Nokia Bell Labs’ UNEXT research initiative, the company’s Natural-Language Network transforms network operations. This is crucial as Nokia scales up its network infrastructure amid the rise of the industrial metaverse.

The company revealed the new digital tools at the Brooklyn 6G Summit in New York, NY, which took place from 31 October to 2 November.

At the event, Nokia stated the new NLP solution can configure networks using prompts and speech while also understanding user intentions and operating autonomously using AI neural networking.

Snapdragon Summit 2023: AI will Transform XR Experiences, says Meta

Qualcomm recently highlighted its past year of XR successes at Snapdragon Summit 2023. This yearly event also showcases the firm’s innovation in other technology markets with a focus on genAI this year.

Head of Hardware Partnerships at Meta, Jenniffer Hom, a figure who helped bring Meta/Qualcomm devices to market, took the stage to explore the relationship between Qualcomm and Meta.

Hom talked extensively about the benefits of leveraging XR alongside Ai, stating:

Connect was a huge success for us [Meta]. We announced the Meta Quest 3, the Ray-Ban/Meta smart glasses, and gave the world a glimpse into the future of the metaverse. The most important takeaway for our developers and partners is that AI has the power to transform XR experiences. For creators, it will open up so many new opportunities to create amazing experiences and give you and me – the consumer – superhuman capabilities. Very soon, you will be able to ask your Meta AI a question, and the AI will answer you with the context of seeing and hearing through your smart glasses.

Hugo Swart, Qaulcomm’s VP and GM of XR, backed up Hom’s statements by adding, “smartglasses will become the eyes and ears for virtual AI assistants.”



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