#General News

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.

Success Follows Since Exhibiting at MTEX 2018

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A couple of weeks has passed since we exhibited at the Marketing Technology Expo, MTEX in London, and we have been overwhelmed by the level of interest that we have received since showing our latest interactive displays, holographic and VR/AR and mixed reality display solutions, demonstrating the increasing demand for cutting edge digital tools.

It’s the first large scale expo that we have done of its type, whereby the event was not focused on a specific sector and was targeted at attracting a range of marketing professionals.

At the event itself, our Director Sam Harrison, held a seminar on the range of mixed reality solutions available advising how these can be applied across a multitude of sectors.  The world of technology is consistently moving forward and we understand that choosing between the right solution for your business and its needs – from augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality – is difficult.

With over 16 years’ experience in the industry and with a wealth of knowledge, Sam spoke passionately about the differences in such technologies and where these are best applied. Animmersion has been at the forefront of interactive digital content and emerging technologies for over a decade, which placed us in an ideal position to advise marketing professionals on the best solutions that will suit their business.

Each digital solution that we specialise in is suited for a different purpose, for example, our holograms are ideal to promote an offering in a truly unique way, whilst our VR technology offers an ideal training aide and AR can used as an informational tool.

On the stand itself our team spoke to a range of companies keen to take their businesses forward with the latest technologies and we generated a huge amount of interest in Animmersion’s touchscreen technologies and holograms that were demonstrated throughout the course of the event.

Since the event has such a great success for Animmersion, we have even booked up to exhibit next year and are very much gearing up for an even more successful show.

Click here to view a video from the event.

Animmersion celebrates its 12th birthday

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We are very proud to announce that this month Animmersion has turned 12. Founded by Dominic Lusardi and Sam Harrison, the business has experienced significant growth over the past decade as digital tools have become increasingly popular with a growing number of businesses.

Over the years we have catapulted from being purely an animation company to a complete full services interactive digital content company, to now be recognised as one of the leading companies of its kind throughout the country.

And the last couple of months, which has seen the appointment of two new members of staff coupled with a series of major contract wins, shows positive signs that we are firmly on track – if not well underway in exceeding – our ambitious growth plans.

We are extremely proud of everything we have achieved to date and we could not have done it all without the continued dedication of our very talented team. We would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for their hard work and look forward to what the future holds.

If you would like to know more information about our services, please call +44 (0)1642 688091 or email info@animmersion.co.uk.

How games can be helpful improving our real lives.

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While Game theory , and gamification of business apps is becoming increasingly part of the mainstream retail and business to business environment, for many people, playing video games is merely an enjoyable pastime.

According to the American Psychological Association, gaming can also  help to develop problem solving skills, and improve a range of other cognitive skills.

They compiled a list of 5 ways in which playing games can be beneficial in the real world and help develop widely applicable skills.

  • Helping us face challenges. Most video games have a challenging nature and overcoming said challenge is the object of the exercise. What’s true in game is true in real life, which is full of challenges, and learning to overcome them is an invaluable skill. To succeed in most modern games (with hundreds of hours of playing time) you have to be willing to commit the time, learn and apply strategies to reach the objectives. The theory that you need to practise for 1,000 hours to become truly skilled at any task is well accepted, and the ability to commit time and focus you attention is an invaluable skill.
  • Help to deal with stress. Fairly self-explanatory, but too much stress impedes not only our ability to work, but to live a full life as well. Games can relieve stress, and in some cases, they have been used to treat cases as severe as PTSD. Gaming is making inroads into healthcare, both mental and physical health, and so we predict it will, over time, loose the image of being a relatively sedentary and indolent activity.
  • Improve social skills. This might seem odd, but the in-game communities that are created online are one way for like minded individuals to socialise with one another. Augmented Reality games are especially effective at this, but all games are beneficial.  Again the image of gaming being a solitary experience will, we predict disappear over the next few years.
  • Improve multi-tasking. According to studies, playing Call of Duty, for example  allows people to more effectively handle auditory and visual distractions in the real world, without it affecting their workflow. What we learn for gaming, is being applied in the real world. In particular the lessons learned are being applied to auditory warning systems in, for example, the construction industry, and airlines. Allowing developers to streamline systems, and ensure important warning signals are harder to ignore.
  • Helping us when it comes to balancing work. In video games one often has a limit on how long you can take before you must have achieved a certain goal, and this is true of many situations in real life. Balancing our workflow and learning to compartmentalise tasks in order to get them done within a specific time frame, is a vital skill, and one that is honed by gaming.