#General News

Animmersion launches Virtual Interactive Events technology to support business communications & exhibition industry

Animmersion UK has extended its technology services portfolio with the provision of immersive meeting spaces to overcome public health challenges and provide a new way for businesses to showcase their products and interact with potential customers.

In light of the current global COVID-19 health crisis, the North East England-based company has fast-tracked the development of its Virtual Interactive Events (VIE) service, which was being developed to support environmental issues by reducing business travel.

The company is extending its digital communication technologies to develop the VIE service, which enables partnerships with customers to create a custom virtual meeting spaces, including exhibitions stands and virtual showrooms.

Utilising Animmersion’s proven technologies including real-time 3D pitching software, online interactive maps and VR/AR, the company can deliver a comprehensive virtual event and remote presentation service tailored to individual client needs

The service provides the opportunity to host live presentations and demonstrate products and services to multiple delegates who can interact in the space via a range of display solutions from desktop interaction to Virtual or Augmented Reality.

Through the integration of existing digital assets, such as 3D CAD data and digital content such as animations, Animmersion can help companies provide an engaging and informative experience for their customers without the necessity to travel to meetings or exhibitions while ensuring a worthwhile interaction with the business and its products.

Samuel Harrison, Managing Director of Animmersion UK, said: “The COVID-19 global pandemic has changed how we look at the world and accelerated the development of opportunities for businesses to interact on a personal level without having to travel.

“With continual event postponements and cancellations, many organisations are now considering an alternative approach, which will form part of their future strategies to reduce non-essential travel for both health and environmental reasons.

“To support a fundamental shift in client communication we have developed our VIE service to allow businesses to engage with clients and prospects as if they were meeting at an exhibition, but all in a remote setting.

“This is an exciting digital revolution that very much supports the new ways we will all be working and communicating.”

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COVID 19 Update – A Message from our Managing Director

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With measures to try and slow the spread of COVID-19 escalating around the world, organisations are focusing on balancing employee safety with maintaining their activities and continuing to serve their customers.

Animmersion moved to remote working for its full team on 16th March and continues to provide a business as usual service to its partners and customers. Our mission for the coming months is to support our customers in adapting to this changing environment and in preparing for a rapid recovery.

Digital media has long offered the opportunity to foster better communication and to engage audiences, whether delivered face to face or remotely. In these difficult times, digital communications assets such as animations, interactives software and immersive technology can add great value to your remote communications strategy.

Please contact us to arrange a call to help understand how to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on your business with digital media and maintain meaningful contact with customers.

We can help you to:

  • Create communications assets to inform, engage and educate remotely
  • Extract value from your existing digital assets and redeploy them online
  • Run online events and product demonstrations to broad audiences

Samuel Harrison, Managing Director

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New Director Roles At Animmersion To Support Future Growth

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Animmersion, the Middlesbrough-based visualisation and immersive technology company, has announced that co-founder Dominic Lusardi is taking on a new role in the business with fellow co-founder Samuel Harrison becoming Managing Director.

This will allow Dominic, who remains as a Director and major shareholder, further time to focus his future efforts in supporting the development of the growing digital cluster in the North East. Dominic is well known for his interest and commitment to the region and digital sector and this will become his primary focus.

In his role as Managing Director, Samuel will be supported by recently appointed Business Development Director Steve Carpenter to maintain the continued expansion of the business in its core UK and international markets.

Together Samuel and Dominic have established the business as one of the UK’s leading digital visualisation experts. With more than a decade’s experience in producing cutting edge, interactive, experience-driven solutions it operates in sectors including offshore energy, engineering and process as well as in the heritage and attractions market.

With a team of talented and experienced designers, artists and software engineers, Animmersion provides a range of animation, immersive virtual and augmented reality, holographic and interactive technologies to support customer projects.

Prior to co-founding Animmersion in 2006, Samuel was a Senior Virtual Reality Designer at Teesside University. He has been instrumental in the growth of Animmersion, managing key clients in the UK and United States alongside the implementation of new technology solutions and the skills development of the company’s workforce.

Samuel said: “We have built a talented and creative team at Animmersion and with the broad depth of skills and expertise across the team we are in a great position to continue our strong growth trajectory, both in our core markets and in the wider digital sector.

“As Managing Director, I will be maintaining the high levels of innovation and quality for which the company has gained its reputation, working with the team to secure new UK and international work and in continued collaboration with Dominic to strengthen our role as an influencer in the evolution of the digital sector in the region.”

Dominic said: “We have successfully established Animmersion in our target industries. Animmersion now has a very strong base for further growth at home and overseas. As a continuing major shareholder and Director I look forward to participating in Animmersion’s long-term growth and success.

“Looking forward, my focus will now be on working with other organisations and industry stakeholders, including supporting those that are earlier in their business development journey than Animmersion, and supporting the development of the wider digital sector in the region.”

How AI could impact the working environment of the future.

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Most forms of new technology have benefits and drawbacks, and AI is no exception to this rule. Slowly but surely it is integrating itself into the world of business, bringing with it potential successes and disasters, depending on how it is used. It has been suggested by some that simply applying AI to an aspect of a business, be it a supply chain or a piece of marketing, could add value and create profit.

The amount of control corporations will have by including AI into their business is impressive. Some have begun producing wristbands to track warehouse workers movement, and a similar concept can be applied to ID badges, in an effort to increase efficiency. Now whilst workplace surveillance isn’t exactly new, the amount of valuable data available to employers will be uniquely a result of AI. Now this has obvious benefits for them, productivity and efficiency will be increased. And for employees, there will be improvements. The advancement of augmented reality, especially in headsets, provides a unique opportunity, in all industries. One example though is that of construction. Being able to see pipes in the ground without having to dig to them seems a way to save both time and money, and when combined with the tracking information mentioned earlier, overseers will be able to improve the safety of the workplace. Having the ability to alert workers as to the location of potential hazards before someone discovers them first hand clearly creates a safer working environment.

But there are worries. The fear that machines could take jobs meant for humans is fairly commonplace, and there are concerns about the amount of data a company will have on its employees, especially given a newfound concern for how much social media giant know about us. Some companies go as far as to trach every press of a button on a keyboard, and this kind of behaviour may be seen as a step too far. And in the relentless quest for efficiency, there is a worry that AI could influence the hiring and firing of employees.

Now this does have its benefits. Some interviewers have unconscious biases, and whilst the question as to whether such biases affect ones decision is up for debate, it is, at the very least, worth asking. No such worry for an algorithm, provided it was designed to be free from the biases of the programmer. But let us say that an algorithm is monitoring productivity. As we get older, often we work more slowly. Does that mean that one will be recommended for dismissal by a computer upon reaching a point where your work is slower than said computer would like?

Artificial Intelligence in the workplace obviously has positives. Increased efficiency and safety, as well as being able to provide us with better feedback about what we do well and what we can improve, is a great way to increase productivity, potentially far beyond what is currently possible. But there are definite privacy trade–offs, which means that companies will have to tread carefully, especially since new European data protection regulations have come into effect. There are also concerns about what sacrifices will be made in the name of progress, and some implications of using AI to chase increased efficiency above all else are difficult to reconcile with.

Immersing ourselves into 2019

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We have already got off to a really exciting (and busy!) start to 2019 and were honoured have been named as one of the North East’s companies to watch in the Chronicle Live’s ‘19 for 2019’.

We will continue to grow the company in the coming year, in terms of both turnover and staff numbers, taking advantage of the wider adoption of immersive technologies that we now see occur much more frequently, and capitalising on emerging technologies as part of core business operations.

We will also be looking to extend our reach further around the globe than ever before, with various event planned both nationally and internationally!

Most importantly, this year we will continue to develop our products to meet our clients’ needs, building lasting relationships and helping both current and potential clients to realise the possibilities of immersive technologies.

Our 2018 highlights

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2018 was an amazing year for us.

We travelled all around the world, but our biggest achievement came right here in the North East where we were involved in the Great Exhibition of the North.

From VR installations for wind turbines and virtual cranes, to the world’s largest mixed reality window, we had an amazing time being involved in what was truly spectacular event.

We watched the public interact with our DeepFrame at the Great North Museum – it’s not every day your family sees a Raptor running around by the T-Rex – and enjoyed seeing everyone’s face when they created their own Great North hologram. We were taken aback by just how well this was received.

As well as the incredible reactions from the public, we were honoured to meet HRH Prince William and Mark Carney, Head of the Bank of England, plus many more.

We also had the opportunity to present at the various locations around the exhibition.

On top of our involvement with the Great Exhibition of the North, our team worked on exciting projects for Unipress, Mueller and Durham Light Infantry.

Unipress came to us with a training issue – they simply didn’t have enough time to train apprentices and carry out refresher training sessions for current employees thanks to limited equipment.

Any downtime on a crane was a loss in efficiency and output for the business, however they still needed to ensure all employees’ training was current and to a high standard.

To combat this, we came up with a VR training solution, incorporating a physical replica of the control panel used by employees to operate the crane. We’re extremely proud of the service we provide to our clients and it is so rewarding when we receive testimonials from our clients, so we were delighted to receive this amazing feedback from Mueller, a leading manufacturer and marketer of products and services used in the transmission, distribution and measurement of water in North America.

We also created film and interactive content for Durham Light Infantry (DLI) to attract and engage their visitors, as well as providing historical information of DLI; helping to tell the story of infantry regiment of the British Army in existence from 1881 to 1968.

Moving into 2019, we expect to see a real shift in how heritage organisations operate and predict that more investment will be put into immersive technologies to engage with a younger generation.