#General News

North East firms collaborate to bring immersive solutions to the healthcare sector

Animmersion UK and Onyx Health have formed a new collaboration that has been borne out of the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

The two North East companies are combining their expertise to support the application of immersive technology for the healthcare sector to enable professionals to continue to interact without personal contact or the need for non-essential travel.

The new alliance follows the fast-tracking of the development of Middlesbrough-based Animmersion’s Virtual Interactive Events (VIE) service, which will enable Onyx Health to form, partnerships with healthcare clients and target audiences to create custom virtual meeting spaces, including exhibitions stands and virtual showrooms.

Launched at the start of the lockdown, VIE utilises Animmersion’s proven technologies, including real-time 3D pitching software, online interactive product explorers and VR/AR, to deliver a class-leading virtual event and remote presentation service tailored to individual client needs.

At a time when face to face conferences and events are being postponed indefinitely and access to clinicians restricted due to the COVID-19 outbreak, VIE provides state-of-the-art solution educate and engage with healthcare professionals.

A specialist healthcare marketing communication agency, Newcastle-based Onyx Health has engaged with Animmersion to utilise the VIE concept to support clients in the life sciences, pharmaceutical and medical technologies markets.

Working entirely remotely, teams from the two companies are developing a targeted immersive product, tailored to the needs of the healthcare market.

Samuel Harrison, Managing Director of Animmersion UK, said: “Businesses are having to evolve quickly to new ways of working, including the application of new technologies and Onyx Health has been quick to identify how VIE can support clients in their marketplace. This new collaboration demonstrates that business and innovation can carry on, even in the toughest of times, and we are very much looking forward to a positive relationship with Onyx Health.”

Karen Winterhalter, Managing Director of Onyx Health, added “The COVID crisis has created seismic changes in the world of healthcare communications.

“Maintaining a business as usual agenda in the wake of the COVID-19 restrictions, inspired us to develop an innovative new solution to communicate and engage with our existing clients and targeted audiences. Animmersion’s inspired use of digital technology has helped us to create a unique immersive virtual learning experience that will bridge the communication gap in the sector.”

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.