Recently, ENGAGE XR has taken steps to innovate its virtual collaboration solution by leveraging the latest in emerging technology. The firm is debuting integrated spatial computing and generative AI tools in this case.
By adopting new emerging technologies, ENGAGE XR is able to maintain its relevancy as a leading enterprise-grade Metaverse platform for remote collaboration and communication. Earlier in the year, Metaverse and VR communication platforms failed to retain the spotlight during the rise of GenAI, with many innovative technology firms like Microsoft moving from XR to AI with the debut of CoPilot.
However, the battle for headlines and funding between XR and AI has slowed. Now, firms like Microsoft are trying to figure out ways to operate AI and XR services side-by-side to boost technology sophistication and enterprise opportunities for Metaverse services.
Engage XR is experienced and has a storied history of providing immersive shared workplace collaboration solutions to a range of enterprise end-users – with its most recent innovations, the firm looks to increase its marketplace presence as 2024 ramps up to be a significant year for XR and the Metaverse.
GenAI Comes to Engage XR
ENGAGE XR is introducing Athena AI, an AI assistant available within the Metaverse service. Athena AI can interact with users via voice responses, interact with ENGAGE XR application features, generate images, and generate skyboxes.
ENGAGE XR is designing its AI assistant service as a solution for its enterprise clients, with the firm noting how Athena AI is a tool ready for employee onboarding, sales calls, education, and training.
To power Athena AI, ENGAGE XR is leveraging OpenAI’s Chat GPT service – now partially operated by Microsoft – the firm is also leveraging Dall.e 2 and Blockade Labs technology to support a range of AI use cases on the service.
The AI assistant leverages Open AI’s framework to debut a service that reacts according to a user and plays specific roles for use cases such as training. According to the firm, Athena AI leverages many different Open AI resources to “provide a cohesive single service.”
David Whelan, the CEO of Engage XR, said in a social media post:
ENGAGE XR is designing its AI assistant service as a solution for its enterprise clients, with the firm noting how Athena AI is a tool ready for employee onboarding, sales calls, education, training and much more.
ENGAGE XR also expects its users to leverage the AI assistant alongside its MR/spatial computing innovations, which sees the service enter a new reality to create “meaningful outcomes” for ENGAGE XR clients while opening up new revenue possibilities.
Engage XR: AR and Spatial Computing
The spatial computing revolution is coming, believes Apple. Last month, ENGAGE XR presented an AR demo that shows the platform’s users collaborating in 3D space overlayed on a real-world location, falling closely alongside Apple’s spatial computing vision.
Using Meta Quest Pro devices, the ENGAGE XR development team designed an AR/spatial computing feature – depending on one’s chosen technical language – as an “extensive development sprint” that prepares the firm for the upcoming release of the Meta Quest 3 and Vision Pro in 2024. Later this month, Meta will reveal more about its Quest 3 device later this month at Connect 2023.
The firm notes that its developmental team has more work to do. However, ENGAGE XR is debuting “MixedReality ARPassthrough SpatialComputing” support on its virtual service in late 2023.
In another social media post, David Whelan said:
Immersive technologies will change large parts of the internet in the coming years, and we are just at the beginning. The future of work and the future of education will be massively changed by remote solutions that actually work and not only put you in the room with others but enhance your productivity and creativity. – With the imminent release of the Meta Quest 3, Lenovo VRX, Pico, and Apple Vision Pro, which are all focused on AR passthrough capabilities, it’s a pretty exciting time for our clients and ENGAGE [XR] as we work together to improve issues with today’s remote communication solutions which are largely provided using video streaming services. – I’ve had access to most of the prototype VR/AR headsets created from leading manufacturers of the past decade and let me tell you I’m super excited for what’s coming up over the next few months.
New and Improve Engage XR
The news follows a series of updates to optimise the ENGAGE XR platform. Currently, the service is sitting as version 3.5.3 following a September 8th update.
The latest version includes updates to scalable sessions and optimised VR device input. Moreover, the 3.5.3 updates include various bug fixes and performance optimisation.
The most recent update follows the major 3.5 update, which ENGAGE XR debuted in August 2023.
Version 3.5 improvements include:
- Single sign-on (SSO), a beta release enabling Microsoft Entra ID – formerly Azure Active Directory – as an added authentication method. The applications support SSO options via a field on the Enterprise Admin Portal’s ENGAGE XR user profile page.
- The update also implements new restrictions on the number of users who can join a session that a LITE or PLUS user hosts – the limits are as follows: LITE users get a maximum of two total users. On the other hand, PLUS users get a maximum of 10.
- ENGAGE XR now has options letting users set a maximum capacity for a session.
- Moreover, updates to the Avatar system allow users on desktop and mobile devices to see personal avatars via options such as immersive selfies. The firm has also improved legibility between avatars by redesigning avatar display names and status icons.
- Events also gain new options. For example, the firm has removed the option to create ENGAGE Events within the application. Instead, users must now make their Events in the web manager.
- ENGAGE XR has also turned off the idle/auto sleep timeout for users operating the service on Android phones and tablets, iPads, and iPhones, which significantly improves usability for those without headsets because auto-sleep functions are massively detrimental for immersive experiences – especially AR ones.
- New security & log-in sections allow ENGAGE XR application users to access an account management menu to organise “group-related settings.”
Version 3.5 also added various fixes and improvements in a continued effort to optimise the platform leading into 2024.
Bringing New Eyes to Enterprise-Grade XR
ENGAGE XR is bringing new eyes to enterprise-grade immersive collaboration opportunities by continuing to innovate its platform with emerging technologies. Leveraging trend-setting technology should set the firm ahead of the pack as other Metaverse platforms like Altspace VR shut down.
ENGAGE XR appears to be aware of the need to bring new eyes to the technology. This year, ENGAGE XR hosted a virtual Fatboy Slim content, presenting the world-renowned DJ’s “Eat Sleep VR Repeat” concert as a virtual event ENGAGE designed to showcase its emerging platform.
The campaign hosted six shows, which lasted 45 minutes each. During each Metaverse performance, Fatboy Slim featured some of his top hits, including ‘Weapon of Choice’, ‘Rockafeller Skank’, and ‘Right Here, Right Now.’
David Whelan noted at the time that The Fatboy Slim concert “demonstrates the versatility and capabilities of VR.” Moreover, the CEO explained that the virtual event shows corporations and creatives how to build bespoke virtual worlds within ENGAGE for use cases such as “entertainment, business engagements, and so much more.”
Moreover, Garry Blackburn, Owner of Anglo Management and Manager for Fatboy Slim, explained that by participating in the VR event, “we’re learning the language of VR and how to behave in the environment.”
Blackburn also added:
With the record industry, when CDs and cassettes were gone, the only way these artists could make any money—notwithstanding artists like Beyonce—is by constantly touring. You see bands in their 60s and 70s still touring because they need the money. I think this is one way that [Web3 and the Metaverse] could be a way for them to generate money much more easily with touring in the future.
Blackburn stated that Web3 integration, such as NFTs, would be “amazing” and could address some industry concerns regarding fair artist compensation. He went on to say that Web3 platforms could also make it hard for rights and labels to work together.