Which markets are being targeted by the technological stakes of mixed reality? "There are many areas in the digital society which will be able to benefit from a better immersive interaction experience. First of all, there is Big Data. With much at stake in terms of data storage, aggregation and analysis, Big Data requires innovative visualisation solutions to navigate through dense and heterogeneous data. In the same way, the Smart Cities market should draw full benefit from mixed reality technologies, whether for urban planning, transport, e-training, e-Health, tourism and so on".
What trends are you seeing? "We are seeing natural and immersive interaction technologies becoming much more widespread. Until now, virtual or augmented reality systems were dedicated to major industrial companies in the automotive, aerospace and defense sectors simply due to their cost. They are now open to small business, local councils and the general public too. We can see this in how gesture and immersive interaction technologies have been integrated into a wide range of mass-market equipment, such as video games consoles, certain laptop computers or TVs and soon smartphones and other augmented reality glasses. "
What are your objectives at the Immersive Interaction lab? "In an environment which is changing at top speed, b<>com's objectives aim to help the French economy and its industrial companies to make their mark among mixed reality reference actors. To complete its mission, the laboratory is supported by 3 mixed reality systems which were at the heart of the demonstration rolled out for the 1st National IRT Forum.
Could you describe it to us?
"First of all, we have the Planar 3D ultra high definition screen (4 times more pixels as twice as many images per second) with over 2 metres diagonal, the only one of its kind in Europe. It provides a 3D data display connected with a movement analysis system; it represents an exceptional window into a virtual space. It enables the most natural interaction possible with data, with images literally leaping out from the screen. Also, a virtual reality head mounted display enables users to immerse themselves completely into the virtual data, with the specific feature of a very wide field of view. Finally, an augmented reality tablet enables contextual content to be integrated into the world in real time. These 3 pieces of equipment will enable b<>com to rise to the challenge of interoperability between the different mixed reality systems but also to increase their acceptability and facilitate their use while guarantee optimum levels of comfort. All of this strives to offer users with an ever more immersive and natural experience. "
Talking about experience, how did people react on 10th October?
It was very interesting. In addition to the completely natural "wow effect" thanks to the immersion quality, several guests told us of the obvious professional advantage this would have for their areas of activity. This is very encouraging in terms of opportunities and creating value for our work".