AR & VR Companies in Gothenburg: Emerging, Evolving, Impacting & Competing with Tech-Giants of the World

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ATHENA Ethical MEDIA

The pace of digital inventions and technological innovations are relentlessly emerging and evolving in the tech sectors: Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR) & Virtual Reality (VR), Cyber Security, sensory networks and many more. The interesting development in AR & VR sectors is that its applications are not restricted to playing games but are used in life sciences, remote learning (and teaching), training in medicine for surgeries and in creating models for constructions before construction begins among others.

The Wired reported how VR is used by clinicians and researchers in diagnosing psychiatric and neurological conditions: “VR has been touted as a promising means of treating some conditions, but it also may help diagnose them. As a diagnostic tool, VR potentially offers some big advantages: It can create convincingly realistic simulations of experiences that may provoke symptoms, and it can do so consistently, potentially making diagnoses more objective—or at least less subjective.”

Gothenburg the headquarters of Volvo Cars & Volvo Group and SKF is also catching up with AR & VR. Where does the Gothenburg region stand in the latest AR & VR development trends? The Business Region Göteborg has mapped AR & VR companies in Gothenburg, and their ecosystems, and their status in the current trends in this area. Companies and experts in AR & VR gathered at the Visual Arena of Lindholmen Science Park and shared their products, and information about their projects. There are more 100 companies specializing in AR/VR and the driving industries are as varied as life sciences & automotive industry, engineering & construction among others.

Augmented Reality (AR) & Virtual Reality (VR): a seminar was organized by Erik-Wilhelm Graef Behm, Area & Investment Manager of ICT at Business Region Göteborg (Gothenburg) to reflect the latest trends and also to identify challenges and opportunities. He told www.gothenburg-400.com that AR & VR sector has matured and definitely there is a cluster of more than 100 companies. He said, “The companies working and specializing on AR & VR are not that visible because they are very much business to business. If you have consumer applications, everyone talks about it but when it is B2B everyone is using it but not everyone knows they are using it.”

Business Region of Gothenburg helps companies that want to establish and grow in and around Gothenburg and also enables local companies to interact with one another. Its experts also give one-to-one guidance to companies to give wings to their ideas.

Johan Hogsved, CEO, Haw & Co gave an overview of AR & VR companies from West Sweden and Alexander Fransson, Project Manager at Haw & Co shared the data surrounding AR & VR sectors. According to Alexander, the forecast distribution of the augmented and mixed reality market in the world by 2022: gaming (34%), healthcare (15%), engineering (14%), live events (12%), entertainment (9%), real estate (7%), retail (5%), military (4%) life sciences. And the forecast for AR & VR market size in the world would have risen (and would rise) from 2016 to 2022 is from US $ 6.1 to $ 209 respectively. Alexander exuded the confidence that the growth in these sectors are bound to happen. He noted, “Gothenburg region’s AR & VR companies are eager and waiting for an opportunity to show themselves.”

AR & Types of AR:

Alexander Fransson presented a snapshot of VR sector: There are three types of virtual reality: Non-immersive reality, fully immersive reality and augmented reality (AR).

Non-immersive reality: It is non-immersive reality because the viewer does not get gully immersed in the reality the device produces.

Fully immersive reality: It should be able to adjust to the person’s experience. The viewer would have a head-mounted display (HMD) and would also put on sensory gloves. To achieve the fully immersive virtual reality, the device will make use of two monitors and a sound system.

Augmented reality: Interactive experience of a real world environment where the objects that reside around augmented by computer generated perceptual information.

HiQ is a Swedish company with an office in Gothenburg. It is a ‘one-stop shop where technology, people and business intersect to make the world a better place by making people’s lives simpler through technology, design and communication’. It’s a company that ‘spans across the entire technology and media landscape from initial business development and digital innovation of new services, business models and experience to implementation and marketing’. Oliver Edsberger, Head of AR & VR Visualization, HiQ, shared the visualization of some aspects in the automobile industry through AR & VR. 

SEMCON is an IT company focussed on automotive, energy, industry, life science and telecoms sectors, and offers services in applied autonomy, automotive facelifts, design management, education, electrification, hydropower, product information, smart products and substations.

Nicklas Jarl, Concept Owner AR/VR at SEMCON’s PRODUCT INFORMATION, shared the product information in AR & VR areas of the company. He observed that the AR & VR can help the educational and construction sector in the way of giving remote guidance and micro-training. He said that these areas have the potential to train the non-trained in many sectors or people with basic skills can be trained remotely. He explained, “Using AR technicians can arrive on-site and view whatever they’re repairing with AR glasses or handhled devices accessing necessary technical information on-demand. It is also possible to use remote assistance from a helpdesk of experts that are connected via video chat and can see what the technician sees and can guide them by augmenting their view.”


Lars Andréasson, CEO of Rapid Images: Visualiza

Lars Andréasson, CEO of Rapid Images, presented to the audience about his company’s work in images related to AR & VR. The Gothenburg-based company delivers 3D based configurations and images, films and VR 360° apps boosted by automated workflows and innovative minds. The company was founded in 2005 with focus on highly technical content creation with CAD/CAM and product visualization and today it diversified to other areas: digital consumer journey and partnered with global companies such as IKEA, Volvo, H&M, Electronix, Essity and others. The company is based in Gothenburg and has 80 employees.


OutHere’s creative director Filippos Arvanitakis explained AR & VR’s applications

OutHere is a creative VR & AR Agency. Its mission is to create unique immersive experiences that make a difference. Its creative director Filippos Arvanitakis explained the company combines technology & design, originality & joyfulness, and innovation & quality in VR & AR. The company has made great strides in ‘immersive experience design for global audiences’ in industries ranging from cars to trade shows. It also collaborates with architects and hardware engineers we design both the VR experiences and spaces that help eliminate transportation costs and safety issues while being accessible to large scale audiences.

Jonas Myrstrand, FilmCurator, Gothenburg Studios, LIndholmen (www.studiojox.se) showed to the participants a slice of bygone era of Gothenburg.  

AR & VR:

AR: Augmented Reality (AR) is live direct or composite view of a physical, real-world environment superimposed with virtual elements.

VR: Virtual Reality (VR) is replacing the physical world stimulus such as light, sound, taste, touch, and even smell with a computer generated sensations. 

AR & VR are the human interface to the latest tech trends, such as IoT, Security, AI and Sensor networks.

Virtual reality is replacing the stimulus of physical world such as light, sound, taste, touch and even smell with a computer-generated sensation. Here a headset is used with a built-in screen that creates a virtual world around a person. The headsets use a technology called head tracking that allows the user to see the world around by moving one’s head.

AR is live direct or composite view of a physical, real-world environment superimposed with virtual elements, which have augmented (enhanced) by computer-generated sensor input such as sound, video, graphics or… in AR digital images are layered around the user with the images taken out from a visor or smartphone and see those images moving around you. AR is used in different sectors and could impact retail sector significantly by giving a virtual tour of a product or service.

WHAT ARE THE AREAS in VR & AR fields, WEST SWEDEN IS LACKING?

Through an app, the organizers asked the participants to name an area of knowledge or an organization that is lacking in in Western Sweden in VR / AR or visualization in general?

The participants identified the following as lacking in the area: customer-supplier- partner, content creators, VR short courses on university level, users, hardware manufacturer, product visualization, e-commerce, VR HUD, early stage investors, and the unicorn!

Another question was asked: “In 2021, Visual Arena is a driving and gathering force for development around VR and AR. What are our success factors?” The answers were: collaboration technology, business model, publicity, money, funding, story tellers’ content, business model, actual user number, welfare, real needs based, technology, and tech.

With creative professionals working actively in the AR & VR fields in and around Gothenburg, the city is poised to make a mark on the AR & VR map of the world. And, there is a possibility a firm can emerge as the world leader.

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