Hannah Jarvis our Technology Specialist in Stockholm speaks exclusively with us about hot topic Virtual and Augmented Reality. 2016 has been a pivotal year for this market with the release of Pokémon Go generating much enthusiasm, excitement and positive press and an ever rising increase in start-ups in Stockholm specialising in this market with the goal to be seen to create the next big thing! Hannah, alongside Eurostaff Junior Brand Manager Carley Malena, co-hosted our Meetup in Stockholm: Disruptive innovation mapping the technological future in virtual and augmented reality’…
Hear what Hannah has to say about why 2016 is such a significant year for VR and AR.
1. Why is Virtual and Augmented Reality such a hot topic at the moment?
VR technology has actually been around since the late 30s. It is such a ground-breaking concept, you can capture real things in a more visceral way, as well as being able to construct things that aren’t even real or possible. Following various companies failed attempts to bring VR into the mainstream or even into the stream at all, we finally have the technology possible to make this possible and ideas a reality! We have the power to create any kind of real life experience anywhere in the world. It makes virtual dreams become a physical reality. It is taking over the tech world, it is taking over the gaming world and now it is taking over everyone’s world as different industries adapt the technology to create their own interpretation of how it could be useful.
2. It has been said that start-ups are jumping on the VR/AR bandwagon in Stockholm – what have you noticed working within recruitment?
As you know Stockholm is quickly becoming the tech hub of the world. Stockholm with a fraction of the population of London is rivalling none other than Silicon Valley. Sweden alone got 15% of the worlds tech investment last year. Stockholm has over 22,000 tech start-ups alone (www.techcrunch.com), I have worked at various European tech markets, and I have noticed a stark increase in the number of VR/AR start-up companies in Stockholm. I think that with some of the catastrophic failures by some of the major companies (Nintendo), either making it not laymen friendly, too expensive etc., the larger companies have been hesitant about launching anything VR/AR related since due to the standard of product and investment that might take. So we have seen a direct correlation in the new start-ups supporting the VR/AR agenda. It is a huge part of technology, that is relatively still untouched and with such a huge potential both in more niche and every day aspects of life. So it is unsurprising that so many start-ups want a piece of the pie whilst they still can and to also make the significant positive impact with their software that will be revolutionary – Pokémon go is a prime example of an idea that took a while to create but once it went mainstream it was a massive success!
3. What are your thoughts about the new Pokémon Go app?
I think it is the first time that VR/AR has been brought into our sphere on a day to day basis. It is ingenious as it is affordable, easy to use and appeals to everyone of all ages and gender. My little brother and grandma can be playing it together, both not quite knowing how Pokémon may have got near their drive, but that’s the beauty of it, it’s the unknown, its technology that is so baffling to most of population but so relatable and so incorporated into their every day lives. You know you are onto something great when you can go out to the local shop to get some milk and come back with a Squirtal for your collection!
4. Which other VR/AR apps interest you and why?
One that is of personal interest to me Star Walk AR App, as being very interested in astronomy and never actually knowing enough of it; this app brings it all to life. If you’re looking for a particular constellation or star, the app can tell you when and how you can see it. It also syncs with social media, so you can share your findings. It’s a great education tool for young and old stargazers.
5. Most importantly, What do you think the future holds for VR/AR?
I think one of the most powerful purposes for VR/AR in the future, is the power VR/AR has to change real behaviours or attitudes. You can bring different situations to life for people that might never be able to experience that. For example the tool for careers of people with alzheimers being able to experience what It would be like to have the disease, will make for an acutely clearer and empathetic understanding of the disease, so they are much better equip to deal with it. The future doesn’t only just hold new and fantastical worlds to explore, its also about using this ground-breaking technology to create a better world when the headset is off.
6. Tell us more about your first Meetup in Stockholm: 2016 Mapping our technological future with Virtual/Augmented Reality disruptive innovation…
The Meetup on Thursday, 25 August was held for a few different reasons. It was first and foremost a chance for some of the Stockholm tech community to come together on a shared passion or interest. We chose to do the topics of VR/AR and Women in tech. Although they may seem different to some people I think they go together well, as we are going into a new tech age in terms of VR/AR, we cannot leave behind the incredibly important issue we still have today regarding the under/misrepresentation of women in tech. Why progress with one, but not the other? If VR/AR is the future, then in this day and age shouldn’t women be standing firmly with that?
We want to show the Stockholm community that Eurostaff is committed not only to providing the best and most innovative recruitment service but being constantly immersed and up-to-date in our ever-changing market. We want our Meetup to be an opportunity to come together and share, network and listen to each others ideas so we leave feeling more informed, connected, inspired and most importantly fed. Join our Meetup and come along to our next one...