Europe Should Lead in Immersive Education Technology


Following article was published initially in VRinSight Green Paper



Future of computing will be immersive

Future of computing will be immersive. New technologies are replacing the current, somewhat crude VR and AR headsets and take over the smartphone and 2D screen-based computing experiences.

Radical developments are giving us a glimpse of the future. Last year Oculus Quest created a new category for VR HMDs – the powerful 6DOF standalone. Data suggests that this category is very different from the wired PC VR. People spend considerably more time in VR and return to consume content more often.

In the AR/MR side we will see the big wave hit during the next five years as behemoths like Facebook and Apple are positioning themselves for the fight over the new immersive market. These companies are employing thousands of people who are constantly trying to find exciting new ways to defy the constraints of the physical world and, I am sure, will deliver us something amazing in a couple of years.

As one of the major Nordic XR solutions providers, Wakeone has been tackling the technological and use-case challenges in the frontlines for years now, and we’re seeing a major shift in the enterprise segment attitudes because of 1) technological development and 2) urgent need to find productivity gains in a sustainable way. In many ways, sustaining this momentum is critical for the future of Europe.

In order to realise their goals, enterprises require capable and educated people. Major long-term trends and the current situation are driving the need for more effective ways to prepare people to enter the workforce. Thus, improving our education system is critical. Our education system needs to be able to evolve and help the enterprises take advantage of these emerging technologies.

Currently majority of the investment activity as well as the major leading companies investing in this sector are in USA and China. Next five years will formative in the sense that the big race for the next computing platform is fully on. We hope to see European companies take initiative and leadership in both developing hardware and platform solution to enable the immersive future. As the platform game is still on, we should be active in creating alternatives for the biggest players Microsoft, Huawei, Apple and Facebook that are playing the long game and inching towards the similar dominance they have today in the cloud platforms.

European Union activities are critical in creating such an environment that can facilitate the emergence of world-class technology companies that can actually compete in the global platform game. Cross-country collaboration in major technology development efforts creates the basis for a more unified sector that can take on the challenges posed from the East and the West. We believe that the next Horizon effort should focus major resources into projects that help to take forward the European XR sector.

It is clear that during the next five years the European higher education institutions have the opportunity to accelerate the diffusion of this technology. VRinSight project has created a curriculum that can be used as the first step to participate in developing the immersive future for Europe. Adopting these technologies among the first will give us keys to, not only more effective and engaging education, but also unlocking the expected productivity gains that are elemental for ensuring the prospering Europe in the 2020s and beyond.

Future is unfolding in front of our eyes as technologies converge in unexpected ways. Immersive technologies will help us address the biggest challenges of our generation by transforming the ways we experience the world and tools to make the world smaller, in a good way.