Insights from Appearition’s Chief Scientist

As part of our Thought Leadership series, we interviewed Ricardo, the Chief Scientist in Appearition, to gather insights on immersive technology and its significance to the present and future. 

As a Chief Scientist, Ricardo does a lot of research on the latest technology released in the market. He and the Appearition team began working on the products and solutions we have today as soon as they predicted the rise of immersive tech many years ago. 

1. Can you tell us a little bit about what your role is at Appearition and where your passion for technology and science stemmed from?

“I work for Appearition as a Chief Scientist. What it really means is I do a lot of research around the new technologies that are coming out. It’s not a new interest, it’s an interest I’ve had for a very very long time. I’ve always had it. I suppose since I start[ed] my career. I’ve been in software for a long long time now. So it’s just an extension of that, really, that curiosity and getting new things to happen with what’s there. 

We recognized very early on that virtual reality, XR, augmented reality, and mixed reality was going to be the future. This was going back 8 years ago, maybe. And so we started working on doing experiments and then from that came up with the products and developing that into what we’ve got now.”

2. Adoption of immersive technologies is speeding up thanks to the pandemic. What sectors are you seeing immersive technologies making a big impact on the way they operate during this time and particular ways you’ve been seeing this technology implemented?

“In a way it gives us a bit of an impetus for people to look a bit closer to any communication technology out there. And of course we’ve had them. Of course, now, we’re talking to each other not face-to-face but through a very complex network. It’s the idea that we can go beyond that. That is something that will necessarily come with situations like we’ve had before. We realized that we don’t have to have everything centralized to be more efficient. And I think that’s had an impact with the new technology that’s coming out.” 

3. Are there some sectors or industries where immersive tech is being used more than others

“There are a lot of areas where people have to go out there and do their work in the field and then were isolated from the rest of the workforce. This technology will incorporate them more into the organization and provide more support and a lot more. So that’s a big area like communication. Anyone in the field. If you think about how many jobs out there that we cannot do outside of the office. So, in any of those areas, this kind of technology really improves that, the production and efficiency. 

On the other hand, you also have situations where this can go very hand-in-hand with supporting people, even in face-to-face situations. Technology that we have can provide better simulations and faster, have a lot more authentic learning. It all comes down to them learning new skills than just reading stuff or looking at a video to learn it. We can create simulations in such a way that it’s almost there. Without any of the risk of what could happen.”

4. Appearition has a range of solutions targeted across many industries including education and real estate, what has been some of your most exciting work and favourite AR experiences?

“I’ve actually been involved in some museums and ads installations in the past which really pushed the boundaries. And museum pieces where you have artefacts, virtual artefacts, like they were actually real, like it actually was there. So people were really impressed like “Oh my god, walk through this projection of water but when I step on it, it creates the waves.” 

5. If there’s one area that people should look at as far as immersive tech, what would you advise your clients and customers to consider? 

“I think any area where it’s more of a mix…See a lot of people are just getting into augmented reality. A lot of people are just getting into artificial intelligence. I think anything that makes everything a lot more interesting, we’re gonna have a much much more fruitful outcome. In a situation where we look at what we really have, all of the stuff out there, we have a lot of networks of software and sensors that we’re not really doing what we could do with them.” 

And then making good use of that in terms of really good visualizations, so people can learn from the more and make better decisions. I think that’s basically a mix of all of that.”

6. Anything else you wanna to share?

“All I wanna say is that I think that some people think that “Oh my god, that’s just really nice but I don’t get it” or “I look at it and I think it’s great but I don’t see it has an impact on my life.” I think all of that will change very very quickly. Everything that you’re seeing now that you might find fantastic or amazing, not very long from now it’ll be part and parcel of everyday life.” 

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