If we've learned anything over the past 12 months, it's that the world of work is changing and the way in which we interact with one another will be significantly altered as we move through the next decade and beyond. While virtual reality and augmented reality technologies have been around for decades, their use in the business world was something of a novelty, seen by many as a fancy solution to a non-existent problem.
Enter 2020, and the world quickly caught on to the absolute need to connect when you can't physically be in the same room. As we look forward to the future of work in a post-pandemic era, employers will be seeking better ways to add value and create a strong culture between remote, on-site and hybrid teams.
Virtual and mixed reality technologies will be key to unlocking the next phase of business success, with companies like Virbela, Virtuworx and Hopin leading the charge in this new and exciting realm.
And it seems the market agrees. eXp World Holding, Inc. which owns Virbela, has published preliminary results for 2020 and expects Q4 sales to reach $609 million, up 122 percent compared to last year's figures. Hopin is another company leading the virtual events sphere. Established just under two years ago, the company recently announced it had raised $400 million at a $5.65 billion valuation, more than double what it was worth in its last investment round in November 2020.
David Cummins, Executive Director of The Virtulab and one of the creators of the Virtuworx platform, quickly recognised the need for the technology his teams were already harnessing. Cummins' former life as a military drone pilot proved invaluable, lending Virtuworx a unique expertise formed in a crucible where access to information and communication across distributed teams is critical to mission success.
By mobilising their efforts, the UK-based company was able to take an in-house productivity solution being used to train offsite oil and gas engineers, and roll it out to solve an emerging global challenge – how to meaningfully work from home in the middle of a global pandemic.
"At the heart of it, is the question of how we can connect people, businesses and nations," explains Cummins.
The Virtuworx platform is a fully customisable avatar-based environment that offers its users a compelling blend of the physical and virtual world. From conferences, to meetings and even live events, companies like The Virtulab are harnessing the latest in technology to help bring people together in an exciting way, when physical interaction just isn't possible. And it's a solution that shows no signs of diminishing even as the world begins to open back up.
"At Virtuworx, we build an experience around your digital avatar, enabling you to move between contexts and conversations just as you would in real life," explains Wayne Strydom, Virtuworx's Chief Innovation Officer.
Over the past year, Virtuworx has seen a surge in adoption. From running the world's first virtual avatar-based TEDx event, TEDxLyttletonWomen, to developing a virtual campus for the Green Building Council South Africa in partnership with IDNA Africa, The Virtulab team is demonstrating they are developing the innovations that will help businesses thrive in the new normal.