Event round-up: driving forward enterprise adoption of immersive tech

On 11 June, techUK hosted the online panel Driving forward enterprise adoption of immersive technologies. techUK were joined by Amy Peck, Sr. Director of Enterprise Content, HTC Vive, Asha Easton, KTN Manager, Immerse UK, Mark Green CEng MIET, Industry Technology Specialist, Intel, Farooq Yaqub, Immersive Technologies Lead, Ford Motor Company. The panel was chaired by  Laura Foster, Programme Manager – Technology and Innovation, techUK.

You can view the panel in full here. We would like to thank our four speakers for taking their time to share their insight with techUK members. Below is a summary of what we learnt from the panel


What does it take to build an enterprise use case?

For an enterprise just starting out on their immersive journey, it can be difficult to navigate the wants and needs of your desired use case against the realities of company culture, infrastructure and budget. The reality is that AR/VR adoption usually occurs alongside a wider push for digital innovation from key stakeholders rather than in isolation.

The panelists recommended starting small: Build a team of advocates who understand the opportunities your immersive use case will bring and work on ideas together to develop the strongest value proposition for your company. In the first instance, it could be worthwhile exploring where low barriers of adoption can offer an introduction to immersive technologies, such as mobile apps and consumer facing products.

Farooq Yaqub emphasized the importance of showcasing ROI. Cost still remained a major issue for businesses; you need to show the advantages of scaling even if a project is still in pilot mode.

It is important to find your ecosystem and talk to people who are in the space. There are a number of recourses available, from starting with a search on LinkedIn, or reaching out to a number of organizations that promote adoption of immersive technologies like techUK, ImmerseUK, and the AREA. Cross-sector learnings are also crucial and key industries like healthcare and many creative industries will have use cases that relate to other sectors like manufacturing and architecture. As the AR/VR ecosystem develops, solution providers will have ready-made VR scenarios that can be tailored to your needs, and many tier one solution providers will have community partnerships that enable enterprises to reach their goal. It is becoming increasingly clear that enterprises do not have to undertake their immersive journey alone.

COVID-19 has renewed interest in ARVR

Necessary exploration of emerging technology during the outbreak of COVID-19 has given rise to the adoption of immersive for collaboration, from telepresence software to AR classrooms, with the potential of making learning more accessible.

Amy Peck emphasized that COVID-19 has ensured AR/VR/XR is going through a faster life cycle since collaboration is one of the biggest use cases for this technology, and companies may be ‘more forgiving’ of the technology in order to deploy as speed. This is not exclusive to a key industry, and could lead to increasingly wider adoption of immersive in the future.

The panelists also highlighted the role of immersive technologies in the manufacturing process during the UK Ventilator Challenge, a consortium of significant UK businesses from across the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors working together to produce medical ventilators for the UK. This included work from Farooq Yaqub in the Dagenham Factory at Ford.

COVID-19 has shown many businesses that technology has the potential to conduct businesses more efficiently and safely. VR is undeniably part of this opportunity  that can be added to a business’s ‘toolkit’.

Immersive technology is part of technology ecosystem

The adoption of XR is dependent on other technological advancements in cloud, edge and 5G. The panelists discussed the future of AI with ARVR, which can already be seen with AI characters in the creative industries and will continue to be adopted in the enterprise space, such as Scandit using machine Learning for object identification in warehouses.

There is also opportunity for VR to visualize the massive amounts of data that never seen before, which the panelists referred to as big data visualization. If you are interested in exploring how immersive will revolutionize digital twins, you can sign up to techUK’s digital twins webinar 23 June.

Once again we would like to thank our panellists for joining this session 11 June, and for each participant who attended and asked questions. If you are interested in getting involved in techUK’s ARVR for business panel, please do reach out to laura.foster@techUK.org.

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