PIXO Group began in 2009 as a gaming company, focused on motion comics and effects. Our console gaming then pivoted to mobile. With the Oculus DK2, PIXO Group began developing virtual reality. Today, we pursue VR and AR as our main platforms. Our game development experience segued perfectly into creating immersive experiences in VR and AR.
Write 2-3 sentences about your business. What problem is your business trying to solve?
PIXO Group builds human connections for a digital world. For each client, we try to solve the problem of pairing the right emergent technology with their business model and goals, to come up with the best solution. One example is training employees that perform potentially dangerous tasks on the job. Through the use of VR, companies can replicate hazardous situations without any risk to the employee. The additional immersion of the VR experience – versus traditional training like watching videos or reading manuals – will better prepare the employee if and when they are confronted with that challenge in real life.
What are your business growth plans?
We’re amplifying our marketing efforts around the applications of VR. Identifying and focusing on specific verticals is a critical next step, as VR for gaming or entertainment will only be part of the total market share moving forward. PIXO Group is utilizing its gaming experience, however, to bring challenging and engaging experiences to areas like corporate training and education.
We recently demonstrated our newest VR experience at TEDxDetroit. We took CAD data of a car and a water filter, rendered, optimized and converted them to quick-loading 3D models, and then placed the products inside a built environment in the HTC Vive. The two models were totally interactive, from animations to videos with information and music playing inside the car. The models also exploded – participants were able to see all of the components, even down to granular details like screws, nuts and bolts. This sort of application has tremendous potential for trade shows, training, sales and marketing.
What excites you the most about the possibilities of VR? In terms of transformative technologies where do you see VR on the spectrum? Fire, the wheel, the automobile, phones, airplanes etc.
The aspect of VR that is most underutilized – and is the most exciting – is the capacity for empathy. Through VR, a person can experience things otherwise impossible, like life on the other side of the world – or on another world. And the intense immersion facilitates an emotional reaction that traditional simulations like games, film or role playing can’t capture. What’s interesting about the transformative technologies listed is they encompass either transportation or storytelling – with VR you have both. A literal teleportation elsewhere, combined with an unprecedented level of narration and fantasy. This empathy can be leveraged in training and educational experiences as well. Corporate adoption of VR holds tremendous potential.
What industry do you think will be most impacted by VR? Education, HealthCare?
The industry that understands the most benefit to VR will be most impacted. VR is still, by and large, as far as the mainstream is concerned, a very not mainstream technology. As we are still in the early adopter stage, it remains to be seen which industry will embrace VR. According to some predictions, like Digi-Capital’s recent forecast, gaming will still see a large portion of the revenue, but that may be because we haven’t seen one particular market really adopt VR for things like ecommerce, training – or especially the aforementioned education and healthcare. The more that we as developers create for VR, both due to industry demand and pursuing our own creativity, the more the shift will come into focus.
Will VR unite or divide the world?
VR will unite the world due to the high level of facilitating empathy, but it can only do that if it is accessible and the world has an ability to gain access to it. Products like the Google Cardboard are excellent as they reduce the cost barrier to entry many outlets have – for example, a public schoolteacher wanting to use VR in the classroom. Part of it will also be developments made available on open platforms for easy adoption.
What will your children be able to experience with VR that is currently not possible?
Interacting with other people. Currently, VR is such a solitary experience. Once the headset and headphones are placed on the participant, they are isolated. The immersion is an inward journey. Incorporating others into fabricated worlds would be an amazing accomplishment for virtual reality.