We know that the majority of ІТ employees are men, and women are still forming a minority. According to Zippia, only 34.4% of women make up the labor force in US tech companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google та Microsoft. This is due to gender stereotypes about ІТ as a male-dominated industry. However, these stereotypes are gradually fading away and changing in a positive direction.
Despite the obvious sexism, modern women successfully influence ІТ industry, including extended reality and other immersive technologies. To illustrate this influence, we’ll present 5 famous women, who are ruling in XR industry.
Empowering Women in XR
In the 19th century, famous mathematician Ada Lovelace worked on Charles Babbage’s first mechanical computer and wrote the first algorithm for the machine. And in the 20th century, Austrian-Ukrainian-born Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr, along with composer George Antheil, pioneered an Allies torpedoes radio system during World War 2. It became a prototype for modern wireless technologies, like Bluetooth, GPS, and Wi-Fi.
Get ready for more information about outstanding women that became the next Ada Lovelace and Hedy Lamarr in modern XR technologies.
Nonny de la Pena, Godmother of VR
Nonny de la Pena was awarded the title “The Godmother of virtual reality” by top online media like Forbes, The Guardian, and Engadget. She’s a journalist, VR documentaries director, and the founder and CEO of Emblematic Group, which develops VR/AR/MR content.
The greatest merit of de la Pena is that she invented immersive journalism. Nonny de la Pena showcased her first VR documentary, The Hunger in Los Angeles, in the Sundance movie festival, back in 2012. You can read more about de la Pena’s most famous works in our previous article about VR in journalism.
In March 2022, de la Pena was one of the 16 Legacy Peabody Awards recipients for her work and influence in modern journalism. In her acceptance speech, she reminded about the importance of immersive technologies and what advantages they offer to modern journalism, using her joint project with Frontline After Solitary as an example. The VR experience is based on the true story of Kenny Moore, who spent many years in a solitary confinement cell in the Maine State Prison.
“When we did a piece in solitary confinement with Frontline, we did scanning of an actual solitary confinement cell. Well, now you’re in that cell. You’re in that room. And it has a real different effect on your entire body and your sense of, “Oh my God. Now I understand why solitary confinement is so cruel and unnecessary”. And you just can’t get that feeling reading about it or looking at pictures.”
De la Pena’s accounts in social media:
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nonny-de-la-pe%C3%B1a-phd-4363644/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nonnydelapena/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/ImmersiveJourno
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nonny.delapena/
Dr. Helen Papagiannis, Experienced AR Expert
Dr. Helen Papagiannis works in augmented reality field for 17 years. Papagiannis is a founder of XR Goes Pop, which produced immersive content for many top brands including Louis Vuitton, Adobe, Mugler, Amazon, and many more. Particularly, they designed VR showroom for Bailmain, where you can see virtual clothes and accessories from a cruise collection on digital models, plus behind the scene videos.
Virtual try-on and shops are successfully applied by fashion brands, because they allow a customer to try on digital clothes before buying real one. You can read more about it here.
Doctor Papagiannis constantly gives her TED Talks and also publishes her researches for well-respected media like Harvard Business Review, The Mandarine, Fast Company, etc.
In 2017, the scientist and developer published a book called Augmented Human. According to Book Authority, it is considered to be the best book about augmented reality ever released. Stefan Sagmeister, designer, and co-founder at Sagmeister & Walsh Inc, thinks Augmented Human is the most useful and complete augmented reality guide, that contains new information about the technology, methods, and practices, that can be used in work.
Dr. Papagiannis’s accounts in social media:
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hpapagiannis/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/arstories/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/ARstories
Christina Heller, Trailblazer of Extended Reality
Christina Heller has 15 years of experience in XR. Huffington Post included her in the top 5 of the most influential women who are changing VR.
Heller is a founder and CEO of Metastage, that develops XR content for various purposes: VR games, AR advertisements, MR astronaut training, etc. Since 2018, Metastage has collaborated with more than 200 companies including H&M, Coca-Cola, AT&T, NASA, and worked with famous pop artists like Ava Max and Charli XCX.
Speaking about Heller herself, before Metastage she had worked in VR Playhouse, which immersive content was showcased at Cannes Film Festival, Sundance, and South by Southwest.
Under Christina Heller leadership, Metastage extended reality content was widely acclaimed and received many awards and nominations, including two Emmy nominations. Moreover, Metastage is the first US company, that officially started using Microsoft Mixed Reality Capture. This technology provides photorealistic graphics of digital models, using special cameras. And these cameras capture a human movement in a special room, where XR content is superimposed.
“It takes human performances, and what I like about it most is that it captures the essence of that performance in all of its sort of fluid glory, including clothing as well, said Heller. And so every sort of crease in every fold of what people are wearing comes across. You get these human performances that retain their souls. There is no uncanny valley with volumetric capture.”
Christina Heller’s researches were published in “Handbook of Research on the Global Impacts and Roles of Immersive Media” and “What is Augmented Reality? Everything You Wanted to Know Featuring Exclusive Interviews with Leaders of the AR Industry” (both 2019).
Heller accounts in social media:
Kavya Pearlman, Cyber Guardian
Kavya Pearlman is called “The Cyber Guardian” and she is a pioneer in private data security with the use of immersive technologies, like metaverse. For three years in a row, from 2018 to 2020, and also in 2022, Kavya Pearlman was included in the top 20 Cybersafety influencers.
Pearlman is a founder and CEO of XR Safety Initiative, a non-profit company that develops privacy frameworks and standards of cybersecurity in XR.
Pearlman worked as a head of security for the oldest virtual world, Second Life. Basically, Kavya Pearlman was the first person who started considering ethical rules, data security, and psychology implications in the game and researched how bullying in VR can affect person’s mental state.
During The US Presidental election in 2016, Pearlman worked with Facebook as an advisor on third-party security risks, brought by companies and private users.
Kavya Pearlman is a regular member of the Global Coalition for Digital Safety and is a part of Metaverse Initiative on World Economical Forum, representing XR Safety Initiative.
Pearlman accounts in social media:
Cathy Hackl, Godmother of Metaverse
In the immersive technologies world, Cathy Hackl is known as “the godmother of the metaverse”. Hackl is a futurologist and Web 3.0 strategist that collaborates with numerous leading companies on metaverse development, virtual fashions, and NFT. For the last two years, Big Thinker has been including Cathy Hackle in the top 10 of the most influential women in tech.
Cathy Hackl is also a co-founder and the head of the metaverse department in Journey. The company works with such big names as Walmart, Procter & Gamble, HBO Max, Pepsico and so on. One of its latest use cases are Roblox VR platforms Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play. In these platforms, players pass through different challenges, collect virtual merchandise, and interact with the environment.
Moreover, the futurologist and the metaverse specialist publishes science and analytic articles for top media, like 60 Minutes+, WSJ, WIRED, and Forbes.
Hackl also wrote four books about business in the metaverse and the technology development. The latest book, Into the Metaverse: The Essential Guide to the Business Opportunities of the Web3 Era, was published in January this year. On Amazon, the book has the highest rating — 5 stars out of 5. The book describes the metaverse concept at a very understandable and detailed level and is itself a quick read.
Hackl accounts in social media:
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cathyhackl/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cathyhackl/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/CathyHackl
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HacklCathy/
Qualium Systems appreciates inclusion and respects contributions made by women in XR, metaverse, and other immersive technologies every day. Moreover, our co-founder and CEO Olga Kryvchenko has been working in the IT field for 17 years already.
“It’s important for women to work in tech industries, and particularly in Immersive Tech, because it helps break down barriers and empowers women to pursue careers in fields that may have traditionally been male-dominated”, said Kryvchenko. “When women have more representation in tech, it creates a more welcoming and inclusive environment for future generations of women in the industry. Additionally, having a diverse workforce leads to better decision-making, as different perspectives and experiences are taken into account, ultimately resulting in better products and services for everyone.”
Dental education is a demanding discipline, requiring students to develop precise manual dexterity, particularly in preclinical restorative dentistry. In the past, students have been trained using conventional phantom heads or mannequins, offering a simulated but less tactile experience for practising procedures. However recent advancements in haptic feedback technology have transformed preclinical dental education, providing a more immersive and tactile training experience! The Importance of Haptic Feedback in Dental Education In dental education, the development of psychomotor skills is paramount. Dental students must hone their manual dexterity to perform procedures with precision and efficiency. Traditionally, students have trained on phantom heads, but these models lack the realistic tactile sensations experienced during real clinical procedures. Furthermore, the use of plastic teeth in these training models not only fails to replicate the natural variability of real teeth but also raises environmental concerns due to plastic waste. Obtaining natural human teeth for training purposes is also challenging due to ethical constraints. Haptic feedback technology has emerged as a game-changer in dental education. Haptic devices, such as Simodont, provide realistic tactile force feedback, allowing students to practice procedures on virtual patients. This technology offers several advantages: Realistic Sensations: Haptic technology simulates the resistance and pressure experienced in real clinical settings, enhancing students’ motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and dexterity. Safe and Controlled Environment: Haptic-based training allows students to practice dental operations indefinitely in a safe and controlled environment without the risk of harming a living patient. Personalized Feedback: The technology can provide personalized feedback to students, helping them identify areas where they may be applying too much or too little pressure and deviations from the proper trajectory. Limitations of Conventional Phantom Head Training Despite the advantages of traditional phantom head training, it has several limitations: Lack of Realistic Tactile Sensations: Phantom heads do not provide the tactile feedback experienced in real clinical settings, which can hinder students’ skill development. Environmental Concerns: The use of plastic teeth in phantom heads leads to plastic waste, contributing to environmental issues. Limited Reproducibility: Real patient procedures are not repeatable for practice, limiting students’ exposure to various clinical scenarios. Read also: Empowering Doctors And Patients: How Augmented Reality Transforms Healthcare How VR and AR Address These Limitations Haptic feedback devices, when integrated with VR and AR technologies, offer solutions to the limitations of traditional training methods: Realistic Tactile Sensations: VR and AR technologies create immersive virtual environments that replicate real clinical scenarios, enhancing the realism of training. Personalized Learning: These technologies allow for personalized feedback and performance evaluation, enabling students to identify and correct errors in real-time. Unlimited Reproducibility: VR and AR enable students to practice procedures repeatedly in diverse and realistic scenarios, ultimately improving their clinical competence. The integration of haptic feedback technology in dental education, especially when combined with VR and AR, has revolutionized preclinical training for dental students. It addresses the limitations of traditional training methods by providing realistic tactile sensations, personalized learning, and unlimited reproducibility!
Navigating the intricate maze of technological progress and human engagement reveals a constantly shifting terrain. Haptic devices stand out as the vanguard in this revolution, and WEART is undoubtedly leading the charge. In this expanded discourse, we at Qualium Systems, specialists in custom IT engineering, explore the engineering marvels and the expansive business applications of WEART’s pioneering haptic technology. The Technical Ecosystem: A Deeper Dive Hardware Innovation: More than Just Touch WEART’s devices go beyond mere simulation to recreate tactile sensations intricately. The wearables make use of cutting-edge actuators and sensors to offer a wide spectrum of tactile experiences, from the velvety softness of a petal to the ruggedness of a rock. 1. Actuators: Employing both mechanical and electronic components, actuators deliver precise tactile feedback. They play a crucial role in mimicking various textures, thermal cues and forces, pushing the boundaries of what users can ‘feel’ digitally. 2. Sensors: These aren’t your everyday touch sensors. WEART’s sensors can detect minute changes in pressure and movement, making the haptic interface responsive and incredibly realistic. Software Engineering: Facilitating Haptic Integration Qualium Systems takes pride in offering SDKs compatible with both Unity and Unreal Engine, making the integration of WEART’s groundbreaking haptic features easier than ever. 1. Unity & Unreal Engine SDKs: These engines are favored by developers for their ease of use and flexibility. Our SDKs are tailored for these platforms, offering rapid prototyping and high-fidelity rendering capabilities. 2. Custom APIs: Our SDKs come with a range of APIs that allow you to fine-tune the haptic experience to align with specific use-cases or requirements. 3. Data Analytics: The SDKs also include telemetry functions that capture key metrics. Businesses can assess user engagement in real-time, modifying experiences for better interaction. Expanded Case Study: The Transformational Power of Haptic Technology in VR Chemistry Lessons A Paradigm Shift in Science Education Our VR Chemistry Lessons App is a landmark example of how WEART’s haptic technology can revolutionize education. Typically, the teaching of chemistry has relied heavily on theoretical knowledge, supplemented occasionally by lab experiments. The WEART-enabled VR Chemistry App changes this equation dramatically. 1. Molecular Vibration: For the first time, students can tangibly feel the vibrations and movements of molecules, providing an entirely new dimension to understanding kinetic energy. 2. Chemical Reactions: Imagine the educational impact of feeling the heat dissipate in an exothermic reaction or the sudden cold in an endothermic process. It’s not just theory; it’s practically hands-on learning. 3. Substance Interaction: Different elements and compounds come with unique textures and properties. Our app lets students ‘touch’ these materials virtually, further enriching their understanding. The Birth of Dynamic Learning Environments The integration of WEART’s technology moves education from a unidimensional, rote-learning model to a multi-sensory, experience-driven paradigm. This shift is monumental in helping students better retain and apply complex scientific concepts. Business Implications: Why This Matters to You Economic Efficiency: Beyond Cost Savings Integrating WEART’s haptic devices significantly reduces the overheads associated with conventional training methods. Virtual reality setups eliminate the need for physical resources and spaces, making training efficient and cost-effective. Customer Experience: A New Frontier Introducing a tactile component to your services enhances the overall user experience. Whether it’s a virtual showroom or an online educational platform, the added layer of tactile interaction can make your services unforgettable. Competitive Strategy: The First-Mover Advantage In a market that is continually evolving, early adoption of new technologies like WEART’s haptic devices can give you a significant edge. It’s not just a matter of staying current; it’s about leading the charge in the new age of digital interaction. Final Remarks: The Road Ahead The amalgamation of WEART’s groundbreaking haptic technology with Qualium Systems’ expertise in software development is a game-changer. Whether you’re an innovator in the technical sphere or a forward-thinking business owner, the era of multi-sensory computing has arrived. The scope of what this technology can achieve is only limited by our imagination. At Qualium Systems, we’re excited to be your partners in this exhilarating journey into the future.
Today, modern technologies provide incredible opportunities in numerous areas, including the hotel business. This technology creates a deep connection between the guest and the hotel, overturning the usual idea of hospitality. Virtual reality allows you to surprise guests with immersive unique experiences that are not only exciting but also facilitate the activities of the establishments themselves. In this article, we’ll look at how virtual reality revolutionizes the hospitality industry and helps to deliver unparalleled guest experiences. Exploring Diverse Dimensions of VR in Hospitality There are several main areas where virtual reality is most often used in the hotel industry, including virtual tours, staff training, and VR entertainment. Enhancing Guest Experiences through VR VR hotel tours are one of the most popular directions where virtual reality is typically when dealing with hospitality. Before checking in, guests can take a trial visit to the property in VR to assess the hotel environment. This technique will help to better understand where exactly they want to stay, in which room, and whether this hotel meets the requirements. “One of the reasons why VR marketing has taken on a viral tone, arises from the fact, that guests will be provided with a hands-on point of view when making an important booking decision. Using such technology clearly illustrates that the property in question is keeping abreast of the latest digital trends. Today, VR tours can be easily placed on an online platform, through the rise of cost-effective software packages,” according to Keystone Hospitality Property Development. For example, the Atlantis Dubai Virtual Tour shows future customers what the hotel looks like, starting with the exterior and ending with the appearance of the hotel rooms. The experience was filmed in the 360o format. Thriving Frontier of VR Entertainment in Hotels Once your guests have checked into their hotel rooms, they should receive high-quality entertainment offered by the hotel chain itself. These can be virtual reality rooms for guests to spend their free time. For example, the Polish spa resort Czarny Potok also has a virtual reality room where visitors can play various games in VR headsets. In addition, virtual reality can be used as a preview of real entertainment available. Before your guest tries, for example, sightseeing, they can get a preview of a tourist destination they could go to. Consider a VR tour of the ancient city of Petra in Jordan. Read also: Virtual Tours of National Parks. Discovering Nature’s Beauty through AR and VR Navigating Future of Hotel Reservations through VR Another area of virtual reality that is developing in the hotel industry is VR booking. Similar to virtual sightseeing, a user can see the chosen vacation spot for themselves, though the range of possibilities of VR booking is wider. So, a VR headset user sees a digital globe of the Earth in front of them and decides on the point where they want to go. Next, they interact with a 3D model of the plane, which clearly shows the seats that can be reserved. Moreover, there is an opportunity to rent a car and choose the price of this rental. With virtual booking, users can select a payment method by scanning and adding a digital credit card. Virtual booking from Amadeus IT Group provides such options to users with VR glasses. VR’s Role in Transforming Hotel Staff Training In the hotel industry, virtual reality is used not only to serve customers but also to improve customer service. Virtual reality training, which fully reproduces the real work environment in digital reality, is an effective tool to improve the efficiency of hotel staff. For example, the Best Western Hotels chain recorded a 71% decrease in the number of customer complaints after the introduction of VR training. Virtual training is already used by the famous Hilton network. In this training, employees use VR headsets to immerse themselves in the digital space that reproduces the hotel.There, they perform various tasks typical for the hotel staff: cleaning the room, preparing a cart with lunch, and checking in guests. The integration of virtual reality marks a revolutionary step towards improving the guest experience and redefining the hospitality industry. With the introduction of virtual reality in hotels, guests are no longer limited by physical boundaries. Virtual tours of hotels and attractions allow them to go on exciting journeys and explore these places without leaving their homes. Once a decision is made, users can completely organize their own trip through VR booking in a gamified form. Virtual reality in the hospitality industry has also paved the way for more comfortable and faster service with the help of VR training for hotel staff. The combination of technology and hospitality has created a new dimension of travel planning where potential guests can virtually walk through hotel rooms, imagine their stay, and make informed decisions. Image: Freepik