The high-tech XR startup Zreality, the Business Innovation Center (BIC) Kaiserslautern, the Gipfelsprint GmbH and the Wirtschaftsförderung Kaiserslautern (WFK) are launching the world’s first Metaverse platform for small and large companies in the region. The Metaverse Business Innovation Hub is a platform that enables people to work in a distributed way via virtual reality and will be made available to all companies in the Kaiserslautern region.
Digitization is permeating all businesses at an accelerating pace. Facebook (now Meta) and Microsoft recently announced their alignment with the “Metaverse,” a new parallel world to our real lives where people can meet, interact, play, collaborate and communicate in virtual reality, despite being in different locations. For many people, working from a home office has become the norm. At the same time, it’s important for companies to be able to collaborate more efficiently from different locations, rather than just working with teams or Zoom.
For many companies, entering the metaverse is still difficult. Not everyone has VR glasses, the use of 3D worlds is still new for many people. At the same time, the feedback from people using virtual reality for the first time is almost always very positive, and the possibility of social interaction becomes much easier than via traditional video conferences. The feeling of being “in the same room” is made possible here, even if you have to collaborate over long distances. In addition, you don’t necessarily need VR glasses, but can meet virtually as in a computer game with PC or tablet.
To facilitate the entry into Metaverse for all companies, from startups, SMEs to large enterprises, the project partners Zreality, BIC, WFK and Gipfelsprint from Kaiserslautern provide a platform. You can imagine it almost exactly like a real office building with seminar rooms that you can rent and hold workshops, seminars and meetings there. Everything you know from reality is possible. As a person you have a 3D figure (avatar) with which you move in the rooms. People talk to each other naturally, can use objects with their hands, work together on whiteboards, share documents, videos and their screen, or view entire 3D objects such as machines, buildings and much more together. “Many also use the technology simply to network or play games,” says Michael Neidhöfer, CEO of Zreality. “But what ultimately convinces companies is the almost brutal efficiency of such solutions compared to face-to-face meetings, especially when it comes to bringing together people who would otherwise have to travel long distances. Companies save significantly on travel time and costs of their employees, but social communication remains and employee satisfaction increases. This is proven by many of our customer projects with companies like BASF and is not just short-term hype.”
“The BIC from Kaiserslautern has long stood for innovation in companies and promotes the collaboration of both startups and companies with the latest technologies. With this solution, we can rent virtual office space, hold seminars, support learning events and companies can present their products in it. In keeping with this spirit of the WFK, this project also supports the promotion of collaboration among companies in Kaiserslautern. Our Metaverse Hub is also open to other project partners at any time who want to offer their own services,” says Dr. Stefan Weiler, Managing Director of the BIC and the WFK. We were able to win Gipfelsprint GmbH as the first project partner, which is already providing a service and consulting package on the platform.
“Gipfelsprint is the startup and business accelerator in the region,” says Mathias Schmitt, CEO of Gipfelsprint GmbH. “We offer startups the necessary infrastructure and support the sprint from prototype to market entry through individual coaching and training. On the other hand, we pass on our experience to companies by supporting them in implementing digital and technological business models and thus increasing their competitiveness. As of now, we would like to enable startups and companies to enter the metaverse. On the one hand, this is about gaining experience and learning how to use virtual reality, but on the other hand, it is also about recognizing the enormous market potential and developing their own business models based on this new technology. We are convinced,” continues Mathias Schmitt, “that tangible value-added services will quickly emerge from the Metaverse hype.”
The platform is available to all companies and can be rented by the day. The costs range from EUR 250 for startups to EUR 2,500 per day for companies.
Access can be requested from Zreality via the following website:
Shortly thereafter, one receives a URL to log into the system and can meet with up to 10 people in a room at a time. More users are possible upon request. All you need is a PC, Mac, tablet, smartphone, or a common pair of VR glasses with internet access.