5 European AR and VR startups helping us all work remotely

Amid the coronavirus-induced confusion, one thing remains certain: digital work lives on. While tech giants like Zoom, Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams are thriving (not without a few missteps) and are greatly profiting from the sudden urge to digitalise every step of our collective workflow, new telecom alternatives keep popping out in the app scenario.

In the dystopian present, communicating has become more pressing than ever, and high speed, super reliable, hyper realistic communications have become quintessential to the execution of ordinary operations in each and every sector. From real estate to manufacturing industries, from health facilities to higher education institutions, several businesses are turning to AR, VR and 3D tech to improve their improvised home-office arrangements. 

Here is a list of 5 promising European AR and VR apps that are helping us stay connected, trained, do businesses, and ultimately keep our companies afloat in the midst of the pandemic. 

Glue – Founded in 2018 by Santtu Parikka and Ville Miettinen, Glue Collaboration is a Helsinki-based company developing remote collaboration tools for AR/VR. In 2004, Santtu Parikka founded Fake Production, a VR and gaming studio that won multiple awards for animation. From there his passion for all things VR/AR has evolved into a clear vision: to enable people thousands of miles apart to collaborate effectively in virtual environments, just as they might in a real physical setting. In just a few years, Glue, the company developed with that purpose in mind, has already achieved tremendous results and amassed an impressive amount in funding, €3.5 million. 

Scotty – Italian SaaS startup Scotty is a solution designed to assist with industrial maintenance. The software helps you keep your business or plant up and running even during the pandemic and to carry effective maintenance and assistance operations remotely thanks to Augmented Reality. Puglian-based Scotty enhances your workers’ on-site performances with Augmented Reality-powered real-time video communications, and contextual data holograms. It also allows you to guide, train and monitor your first line workers with the support of smartphone, tablet, Microsoft Hololens and most of the other smart glasses on the mar

Proximie – London-based Proximie (2016) is a secure surgical collaboration platform, that enables doctors to connect and interact anywhere in the world. The medical platform is stepping up in these times of emergency. Proximie is, in fact, committed to enable self-isolating clinicians to remotely support colleagues on the front line, so that every clinician can connect and collaborate off site during Covid-19. At this very moment, Proximie is being used to provide remote ITU expertise to frontline clinicians, ensuring every patient has access to the best possible care.

ENGAGE – Ireland-based ENGAGE (2015) is a VR-powered education and corporate training platform. Based in the UK and Ireland, the platform allows educators and companies to host meetings, presentations, classes and events with people across the world. Features of the platform include: LIVE virtual reality sessions and classes, recording of sessions, extensive library of virtual objects, quizzes and forms, effects and virtual locations. Using a wide variety of effective and immersive virtual experiences and simulations, ENGAGE is able to enhance traditional distance learning while keeping training costs to a minimum. 

Mindesk – Mindesk was founded by three Italians: Gabriele Sorrento, Sergio Giorgio, Vittorio Bava in 2016. The company’s namesake product is a Real-Time 3D design platform that integrates with existing commercial CAD software to extend their operations to Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. The Mindesk platform also allows the users to save a sizable amount of time in document exportation and to seamlessly switch from VR to desktop and vice versa while editing the project in real-time. Mindesk is a favourite of architecture firms of the likes of Zaha Hadid and higher education institutions. 

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