Boosting MedTech training and after-sales services with augmented reality

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With travel restrictions and physical distancing widely adopted as measures to tackle the global Covid-19 crisis, many sectors of society have had to expedite their digitisation plans and look at more effective ways for remote working. But there are also many essential service workers who can’t do their jobs remotely. How can we assist them in these exceptional times?

In this blog, Stereoscape’s Karoliina Leisti discusses how augmented reality and other digital interactive technologies can help boost learning, installation and maintenance functions in the MedTech sector.

In your view, what are the particular challenges the MedTech sector is facing in light of the restrictions brought about by the coronavirus crisis?

Medical technology and the healthcare industry overall are, of course, front and centre in fighting the pandemic. One of the recurring issues I’ve encountered when talking with MedTech companies recently is the need for the sector to find ways to overcome problems caused by travel restrictions and physical distancing – like keeping the installation processes on schedule.

One of the specific challenges for the MedTech sector is the strict regulations that surround installation and maintenance of equipment, and the training of staff to use and service the equipment. For example, there can be tight regulations around how many training sessions need to take place before a staff member can use a certain piece of equipment. This is hard to achieve when trainers cannot travel, and face-to-face contacts are restricted. Effective digital communication then becomes mission critical.

Many companies have been considering digitising and streamlining their installation, training and maintenance processes, but it’s taken Coronavirus to awaken people to the reality that changes need to be made now, to be better prepared for the future.

Beyond the ongoing crisis, the sector faces the continuing challenges of e.g. cost cutting and skills shortages, and hence needs to find new ways to improve productivity or train staff quickly, safely and effectively.

How can AR applications help deal with these challenges?

Ultimately, digital interactive technologies, whether augmented or other extended reality, are there to help make people’s lives and work easier. Due to their ability to provide effective on-the-job assistance, easy-to-use AR solutions can speed up troubleshooting, improve first-time fix rates, and reduce both downtimes and ramp-up times. In times of high demand for field service, there may be people on the job who perhaps are not so well trained as regular staff. AR can help them get up to speed faster.

In on-the-job learning, interactive AR applications improve engagement, memory and recall, leading to better learning results. They can also help reduce unnecessary travel for training and maintenance, whilst effectively facilitating remote, real-time guidance. A lower carbon footprint comes as a positive side effect.

Can you give some examples of practical AR applications that are relevant to the MedTech sector?

In the MedTech sector, AR can be used, for example, to create visual, interactive, step-by-step service manuals that can be projected directly onto real-world equipment to help with installation and maintenance tasks or used as part of on-the-job training. Staff can use either a mobile device or AR glasses to keep their hands free for the actual tasks.

In collaboration with our German partner, RE’FLEKT, we can provide MedTech clients packaged AR solutions such as interactive maintenance manuals, 3D visualisations and other digital content projected directly onto real-life equipment; and solutions for real-time remote support to employees or clients via AR and live video.

What advice do you have for MedTech companies considering trialing AR in their processes?

The first step is to identify the specific use case that would be the target for the AR pilot. If you are not yet sure where to start, we can help with mapping options, and identifying the most critical and urgent functions that would benefit the most from an AR transformation.

Once the pilot case has been identified, we would then scope out the particular challenges of this specific target and the goals of the AR transformation, including how to measure the success of the solution using key performance indicators. Based on this initial workshop we then build the solution together with the client. 

Once the project has been scoped out, we start from your existing manuals and other documents, build the AR application from there, and train all users. We offer various packages to suit different clients’ needs. For example, we can create the AR solution from your existing CAD files, or we can train you to use the software to create your own AR content.

Benefits of AR technologies to MedTech sector, in a nutshell

  • Interactive and visual digital information at workers’ fingertips or in their field of view, in the right place, at the right time
  • Real-time on-the-job and remote guidance for field service workers or customers
  • Effective on-the-job learning and training of new hires and temporary staff
  • Effective solutions to support business critical deliveries, installation and maintenance in exceptional circumstances

Examples of benefits produced by RE’FLEKT solutions

  • 90% less chance of human mistakes
  • 60% faster training
  • 40% fewer mistakes
  • 25% faster processes

Leading to:

  • Increased operational efficiency
  • Better quality
  • Cost savings
  • Environmental benefits

A true mixed reality experience using Varjo XR-1

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Stereoscape recently developed a mixed reality experience using the brand new Varjo XR-1 headset. We sat down with Stereoscape’s CTO Ferhat Sen and creative producer Jyri Nolvi, and developer Daniel Leggat to discuss the experience and possibilities of working with the new Varjo headset.

How did each of you come to work with VR?

Ferhat Sen: I studied mechanical engineering and visual communications design, and am finalising my PhD focusing on virtual reality and interactive. I have worked with VR for the past ten years in various capacities.

Jyri Nolvi: When I studied producing and animation, I got interested in stereoscopic 3D. I joined Stereoscape more than six years ago and have since worked with various new technologies in the fields of 3D, holography, VR, AR and interactivity.

Daniel Leggat: I come from an industrial design background: in my native South Africa I studied product design. Gradually, I got interested in photorealistic rendering and became familiar with Unity: a graphics engine popular within the gaming context, which allows the programming of real-time experiences. This capability also forms the basis of VR architecture. I’ve been dedicated to working at the cutting edge of VR for the last five years.

Can you tell us about the Varjo project?

JN: A large technology client asked us to create a mixed reality ‘journey’ to show practical possibilities of 5G, to be installed in their executive experience centres at various locations internationally. We decided to create a portal – a physical door – through which the user, wearing the Varjo headset, walks into a virtual world, where four different scenarios can be explored, each highlighting the benefits of 5G in a different enterprise setting, for example a health clinic and a construction site. Whilst inside the virtual experience, the user still sees their own hands! This mix of the real world and virtual world provoked quite a few “wows” when we launched the experience.

FS: The experience is host-driven, meaning that whilst the user experiences the virtual scenarios, a guiding expert can follow their ‘virtual journey’ through an adjacent screen, guide them verbally, and switch between different scenarios using a keyboard. We also created an interactive presentation for a large touch screen that can be used by users to explore the various 5G offerings in more detail, either before or after the immersive XR session.

What was it like working with the brand new Varjo XR-1 headset?

FS: We chose Varjo XR-1 glasses as the ideal platform for this experience, because Varjo allows the user to see the real world smoothly through the headset, also seeing augmented reality elements on top of the real world. Another unique feature of the Varjo technology is the ‘human eye resolution’, which allows the user to see small details and even read small text within the virtual experience.

JN: From a creative point of view, the Varjo headset delivers exactly what it promises – high quality XR – which made the process of content creation for it really smooth.

DL: I was really inspired by how real and convincing you can make virtual objects look thanks to the ultra-high resolution of the Varjo headset. The true mixed reality capability of the platform enables a genuine ‘wow’ factor in the users of the experience.

Where do you see the Varjo glasses adding the most value to enterprise users?

FS: The Varjo headset is particularly suited to B2B use, especially for any sectors that require XR capabilities, and particularly for industries that would need the ability for the user to see the virtual elements in great detail and the ability to blend those virtual elements with the real world.

DL: I think the high-resolution and MR capability make Varjo glasses particularly valuable to anyone who needs to communicate a design, texture or process with great detail. Simulations and design contexts are obvious examples – such as training pilots that have to interpret information on dashboards; or designers that may want to try out and alter design decisions.

Why should we be excited about VR in the enterprise community?

DL: VR has a lot of power when you want to create a strong impact on the user your target audience. This is not just due to the novelty value of the technology, but the actual physical impact it has on the person experiencing it. VR (and mixed reality) tricks the brain into thinking you are physically ‘there’ in the virtual space, and actually experiencing the events. This creates a much stronger emotional and physical connection than you would be able to create via traditional / 2D media. The ability to integrate interactivity further pushes the engagement, creating memorable, high impact experiences for the user – be it in marketing, training or other applications.

Although your reach with VR may not be as high in terms of numbers as it would be for mobile apps or Youtube video; you are likely to create a far stronger emotional impact. It all comes back to communications basics: think about what you want to communicate, and to whom, and choose the  appropriate medium to do so.

Enterprise AR/VR – proving the business case

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AR and VR are helping drive digital transformation in enterprises. VR is typically used in product design or to replicate real-life situations in immersive learning, whilst AR is streamlining workflows, speeding up troubleshooting, boosting on-the-job learning and more. Presenting a solid business case is one of the key steps in adopting AR/VR for enterprise use. A well-structured proof of concept will help you build the business case.

The large upside potential of AR and VR

An extensive survey of executives at 700+ companies in different parts of the world by Capgemini Research Institute found that 75% of organisations with large-scale AR/VR implementations realise over 10% operational benefits. PwC predicts AR and VR have the potential to deliver a $1.5 trillion boost to the global economy by 2030 – from $46 billion in 2019. The business benefits these technologies can deliver are now richer and more attractive, and technological advances are creating an improved user experience.

But challenges in implementation

Whilst there’s mounting evidence of the business benefits and economic potential of AR and VR (or XR for short), there are several challenges that can hinder XR adoption. Last year, the Swedish RISE research institute published a study on why industrial companies haven’t yet fully implemented XR. Insufficient in-house knowledge; difficulties in finding a concrete business case; and lack of XR vision that employees can follow were some of the challenges identified – along with more technical problems, like secure transfer of CAD files.

AR/VR use cases

Capgemini’s research shows that the inability to identify a use case is a challenge for more than 50% of industrial enterprises. Fortunately, early XR adopters are showing where to look for applications that are likely to generate the most value – some “must-do” use cases, like AR-enabled repair and maintenance, are already emerging.

A 2018 survey by IDC identified key AR use cases in different parts of enterprise value chains. For example, the top three service-related use cases included 1) providing interactive, 3D digital service instructions; 2) improving knowledge transfer between seasoned and new employees; and 3) displaying information, like service details, associated with a machine. So, to find the ‘right’ use case, useful information is available from companies already utilising XR.

AR/VR business case

Once the XR use case has been identified, the next challenge is to help management see a real business case in XR: does it make business sense to invest time, effort and money in an XR implementation? A proof of concept (PoC) is a crucial step in demonstrating the business case.

An effective XR solution should fit its intended purpose; the solution should be desirable, viable, feasible and sustainable. A PoC will help prove whether the XR technology and solution perform as planned. A PoC will shed light on whether end users are willing to adopt the solution; whether the solution will boost worker performance or produce other business benefits; and whether the solution can contribute to business sustainability. A PoC also gives various stakeholders a chance to evaluate design choices before full-scale implementation and provide valuable feedback.

PoC sprints for smart XR solutions

At Stereoscape, we use the sprint approach to proofs of concept – fast iterations and quick learnings in a time-boxed process – in tune with the well-known design sprint framework. The purpose is to move quickly to practical evaluation of a prototype XR solution that has been tested with real users and that has predefined measures for success to help decisionmaking.

Discover – Define

Some of our clients have a clear XR use case in mind, whilst others have recognised the XR potential in, let’s say, training but have not yet identified a specific application to investigate further. An exploration workshop – with benchmark and reference cases, demonstrations etc. – will help pitch a particular use case to decisionmakers.


The mapping phase is intended to research and understand the use case from different perspectives to define it in more concrete terms for the concepting phase: What are the problems we are solving or the opportunities we are targeting with XR? Who are the actual end-users and other key stakeholders? What are the qualitative and quantitative measures for success (KPIs)?

Develop – Deliver


The focus here is on developing alternative XR solution concepts for the concrete use case – for example, concepting XR learning experiences that solve current problems in the safety training of temporary staff hired for annual maintenance. Wireframes and storyboards help illustrate the concepts to decisionmakers.


Once a concept (or concepts) has been selected for prototyping – based on user, stakeholder and business needs – we create a simple prototype in a format that users can test and react to. The aim is to help the end-users and other stakeholders develop a clear understanding of what the end solution will look and feel like. A brief user testing guide is also created.


We test the prototype with target end-users to see how it solves the identified problems or improves performance in line with the KPIs. Findings and learnings are documented to refine the prototype for a pilot or full-scale implementation, depending on the PoC outcome. We also prepare a roadmap for the building of the actual solution with cost estimates and a timeline.

AR, in particular, is making strong inroads in enterprises, as companies already have available the digital assets (CAD data, manuals, handbooks etc.) and hardware (smartphones and tablets) that can be leveraged in AR solutions. A well-structured proof of concept will help you progress from experimenting to implementing AR and other XR solutions.

Investments in emerging technologies don’t have to be large to be effective. Indeed, with technologies such as VR and AR, small- and medium-sized businesses are discovering enormous upside potential for relatively low cost.


Interactivity and multilayer storytelling

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In our last blog, we looked at how effective information architecture (IA) helps make sense of complex information. The way information is organised becomes even more important when creating interactive or multi-layered content. In this article we take a look at how information architecture underpins interactive, multi-layered storytelling, helping personalise and customise content for effective B2B marketing and sales.

What is multilayer storytelling?

aLayered storytelling in the context of B2B marketing communications means that a presentation, experience or website has a top level, which is immediately visible or audible to the user, and several deeper layers, which open up to exploration. The different layers provide a flexible experience to users, allowing a degree of customisation to fit the different levels of expertise, interest, time available and attention span of different individual users.

For example, the top layer of a website could in itself provide an experience similar to watching a documentary on television; but clicking or interacting with points of interest could lead to a more book-like experience, making more in-depth, focused exploration possible. This kind of layered storytelling approach is particularly valuable when communicating complex information. Where the top layer may provide an engaging overview, the further layers facilitate individual journeys into deeper sense-making.

Good information architecture underpins interactivity

Interactivity and multilayer storytelling open up a lot of creative possibilities, but they also create additional complexities around user experience and information architecture. Great content is not enough; one must consider how the story will be delivered to the audience.

For example the BBC, long an innovator in the field of implementing complex digital strategies, introduced a new way of thinking about pathways through content and experiences already back in 2015, to help design IA for their multilayer projects. Calling this technique ‘trajectories’, they started with a foundation of information architecture, and layered experience architecture on top it. The user’s journey and experience was at the heart of this new way of imagining information architecture.

Tips for interactive design for multi-layer stories

To make a positive impact on your audience with your interactive stories, you must consider both information architecture and user experience.

Information architecture

  • Select a format and device that serves the story you want to tell
  • Consider the nature of the experience: are the users free to explore around the content, or does the experience follow a set sequence?
  • Design the narrative: each new ‘layer’ of the experience must provide added value and depth
  • Consider cognitive capacity: design the visuals and copy to help information retention

User experience

  • Design the user experience around the story you are telling
  • Consider the device or platform the story is consumed on
  • Linear approach works with short stories; more complex information requires more freedom to explore, and thus, flexible navigation becomes key
  • Clear interaction: signpost clearly the points where the user can engage with content, for example, by clicking
  • Reward engagement: provide instant feedback to users, for example if they make a selection or ask a question

To sum up…

When we hear about information architecture and user experience, we usually think about website or app design. But the same principles hold true for designing an interactive, or multi-layered experience.

In our next blog we will turn to look at the benefits of 3D and Computer Generated Imaging visualisation, and other content types.

Information architecture for effective B2B communications

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In an increasingly busy world, effective information architecture helps make sense of complex information. The reverse is also true: even good content can fail if it is structured badly. In this article we shed light on the elements that underpin effective information architecture.

What is Information Architecture?

Information architecture (IA) refers to the organisation and structuring of information in a clear and understandable way. As a practise, it is underpinned by library science and cognitive psychology, and it can relate to anything from the underlying structures of websites and printed materials, to the layout of physical spaces – anything, where the experience of the person using the product or service needs to be guided and made effective by design.

At the heart of information architecture there is the creation of structures that help users navigate and use the system, and find what they are looking for. On a practical level, information architecture results in the creation of site maps, hierarchies, categorizations, navigation, and metadata.

To give a real world example, imagine arriving for an emergency visit at the hospital, but not being able to find the correct entrance because of confusing or missing signposts. You walk around the building, knocking on doors and windows, and eventually somebody guides you to the correct entrance – only to discover the door is locked.

Similar frustration frequently occurs when navigating the online world. If you cannot find what you are looking for on a website, it is likely you end up frustrated and using another service. Successful information architecture is often ‘invisible’, whereas we quickly realise when it has failed. In both the online and the physical worlds, information architecture is crucial in providing a positive user experience that helps people achieve their goals.

Stereoscape’s SMARTSCAPE® solution for an “Interactive Tug Boat ” – an interactive product presentation that consists of powerful 3D visualisations and multiple layers of content


Creating effective Information Architecture

Designing effective information architecture will help you tell your story in a way that makes an impact on your audience. Below are some areas of consideration when beginning the IA design process.

Understand user expectations

The goal of information architecture is to structure information so that it is easily usable and findable. To succeed, one needs to consider what the user expects to see. Information is easier to discover when it’s in a place that matches the user’s expectations. To understand the user preferences and expectations, research must be undertaken, and the design process based on research findings. The research could take the shape of usability tests, stakeholder and user interviews, and card sorting exercises.

Limit choices to help focus

Just like a computer has limited processing power, the human capacity to process information at any given moment is limited. This is why it is important for information architecture to consider the ‘cognitive load’ of a user, and provide just enough information to complete a task. Too many choices can overwhelm, whereas a limited amount of information available at any one time helps absorb it. Ideally, one should provide a structure that helps people understand what is available, and how they can access more information or options, as they dig deeper.

Multiple pathways

Different people use different methods for finding the information they are after. Information architecture needs to ensure there are different ways to browse or access the content users are interested in.

Effective navigation

How people move through content or a service also falls within the domain of information architecture. Specifically, information architecture must enable users to fulfil their goals by guiding them through the service, whether it is a website or a physical world experience.

Visual hierarchy

Any content must be easily readable to be effective, whether on a website or on an information board in a physical space. Physical differences of objects, such as size, colour, contrast, alignment and so on help the brain distinguish between them, and understand their relative importance. People typically scan a page visually before reading it, to gauge a general sense of interest. Therefore understanding eye-scanning patterns is also important for designing effective visualisation.

To sum up…

We live in a world where people expect to find a solution to their problems quickly and effortlessly. If the process of finding information is too complex, slow, or confusing, there’s a high risk that people will simply give up and find an alternative that is more user-friendly. Good IA, in contrast, facilitates a positive user-experience.

The next blog turns to look at how information architecture underpins interactive, multi-layered storytelling, and helps personalise and customise content for effective B2B marketing and sales.

Interactivity in B2B marketing and sales

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Interactivity in B2B marketing and sales

Whilst suppliers have a hard time selling in competitive B2B markets, their customers are struggling to buy. With B2B buying getting more complex, it’s critical for suppliers to make the purchase process easier for their customers. Interactive content can help B2B companies support their customers in completing the buying job.

In the complex B2B purchase process, information matters

One of the key challenges that modern B2B marketers and sales teams face is communicating complex products, services and solutions to increasingly busy buyers. The buyers, on the other hand, deal with an increasingly complex purchase process, and comprise increasingly diversified buying groups.

77% of B2B buyers interviewed by Gartner in 2018 indicated that their latest purchase was very complex and difficult. B2B buying typically involves six to ten decision makers who spend about two-thirds of their buying journey researching on their own and learning from whatever information they can obtain. Therefore the type of information they encounter and explore really matters. Gartner concludes that the information available actually matters more than a specific supplier capability or individual sales conversation.


Make B2B buying – and selling – easier with interactive information

To better reach multiple buyers or stakeholders in the same company, many B2B suppliers are turning to account-based marketing, or ABM. A recent study on ABM suggests that personalising and tailoring marketing to the key contacts at each account is one of the top challenges in getting started with an ABM strategy.

Getting the right type of information in front of the right people can be a challenge, as decision makers from different functions have different information requirements. Some need content that is rich in detail, whilst others just need an overall understanding of the data presented. Linear, one-way communication can seldom satisfy all the different needs. This is where interactivity steps in: it can help tailor the content to match the needs and interests of the different recipients, thus helping speed up the sales cycle.


Engage, educate and learn more about your customers

Incorporating interactive elements in existing content strategies can significantly improve the engagement, conversion and retention of corporate buyers. In fact, according to Demand Gen’s 2019 Content Preferences Survey, 86% of B2B buyers state that they prefer to consume more interactive content they can access on demand.

Many companies are now using interactive content to build larger databases, develop rich prospect profiles, and improve lead scoring. SMBs, mid-market companies, and large enterprises like EMC, Cisco, Atmel, and Oracle are all using interactive content to start conversations and add value for their buyers.

Personalised, user-focused experiences engage and create two-way dialogue. This two-way interaction provides value to both the client, and the marketer. You educate your audience but learn about them as well. By extracting data from the interaction sessions, the supplier can learn about the customer profile and follow up with even more tailored content. For users, interactive content can provide more useful experiences, better addressing their individual concerns and interests.


What makes B2B interactive content successful?

At the heart of successful interactions with B2B audiences is providing real value. It’s the quality of the content that gets people excited and engaged. Compelling visualisation, smooth navigation of content, user-friendly interaction via hotspots or other interactive elements, and an effective information architecture all contribute to a useful and engaging interactive experience.

Business buyers value suppliers who make their purchase process easier by providing easy access to the right information for the job to be done. Helpful information is easy to share – also across geographies; it’s available across channels for anywhere & anytime access; and it remains consistent across channels, not depending on the individual salesperson’s ability to offer the right information. Providing such helpful information is at the centre of smart product communication.

Whilst interactivity is not a panacea for communicating product information or engaging customers, it can significantly help clarify the communications, especially around complex products, services and processes.


Is interactive expensive?

Interactive doesn’t have to mean expensive. Instead of starting from scratch, re-purpose your most successful static content into interactive forms. For example, consider adding interactivity to popular content formats such as video. Start by connecting interactive elements to your existing marketing efforts to learn how interactivity can enhance your marketing communication.


Benefits of interactive content, in a nutshell

Whether your objective is to create awareness, generate leads or help your customers progress through the purchase process, interactivity can make your content more effective. Unlike static, one-way content that is designed for consumption, interactivity encourages participation and enables active exploration – helping your customers understand complex information and learn something new in an experiential way.

  • Grab attention and sustain it
  • Enable personalisation and customisation
  • Educate and entertain
  • Create clarity
  • Promote dialogue
  • Gather valuable data and analytics
  • Stand out from competition
  • Show commitment to innovation


Our next article in this blog series will discuss how information architecture and multilayer storytelling help personalise and customise content for effective B2B marketing and sales – and even for training purposes. 

Interactivity for effective marketing

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In the overcrowded world of marketing messages, digital interactive tools are proving to make product communication and other marketing more engaging and effective. Our new blog series on smart product communication begins with a look at why interactivity is such a powerful tool for modern marketers.


From information to interaction society

High-speed internet, interactive video games and smart mobile devices that allow intuitive navigation through touch screens have together prepared the ground for genuinely engaging user interactions with digital content. With interactivity literally at our fingertips, and with people around the world spending an average of 800 hours using the mobile internet in 2019, some experts suggest we are fast moving from an information society to an interaction society.

In the world of television entertainment, the BBC recently launched an interactive version of the 1000th’ episode of the flagship technology programme Click in a “narrative that allows for personalisation, localisation and variable depths of explanations”. The objective was to cater for different levels of viewer’s knowledge. Elsewhere, Netflix is offering several interactive titles, like the Emmy-nominated TV movie Bandersnatch that gives viewers the opportunity to control the storyline, with further interactive content on the way.

Aside from entertainment, journalism is another business area where interactivity is growing in importance. Due to increasing competition, online content needs to stand out immediately to engage readers. Interactive digital content such as animations and multi-layered infographics allow journalists to tell deeper stories, while making readers spend a longer time with an article.


What is interactive marketing content?

Most of us are familiar with quizzes and personality tests through our personal social media feeds. In its simplest, and perhaps most cost-effective form, digital interactivity can mean tools just like these – games, assessments, questionnaires and infographics designed to engage, entertain and educate, whilst also gathering valuable data for marketing purposes.

The interactive marketing toolkit can include almost any combination of rich multi-format media that allows a degree of user responsiveness. For example, using interactive graphics and animations to enliven white papers, statistics and eBooks are just some examples of the kind of tools that can be used to improve engagement. Interactive product tours and walkthroughs, interactive product configurators and virtual showrooms are further examples of the variety of interactive tools available for modern marketers.

What distinguishes the new interactive tools from traditional, static content is that the user can react and respond to the content, and the content has a degree of flexibility, creating a personalised experience for each user.


Why go interactive?

Various recent studies suggest that interactive content outperforms traditional marketing content such as static PDF’s and standard emails in engagement, message retention and time spent with the content. For example, a study on interactive vs. static email showed that interactive content generates up to 4-5 times more page-views than static content.

While static pdfs are often still the benchmark for many marketing documents, they provide no data to marketers about campaign effectiveness other than click-through rates or downloads. In contrast, interactive content allows marketers to directly assess which elements work and which don’t – allowing them to improve performance and relevance.


What makes interactivity so effective?

When used successfully, digital interactive tools can facilitate two-way communication between a brand and its audience. To use a classroom analogy, think about the difference between a lecturer talking to a packed room of distracted people, and a lively debate between a facilitator and an engaged audience. Which method of learning is likely to be more effective and memorable? The same principle applies in all human interactions. An active participation, whether in person or via digital interfaces, improves engagement, attention span and recall. Think dialogue, not monologue; active, not passive.

Transposing this concept to the world of marketing communications, the first great challenge met by today’s marketers is the increasing volume of competing marketing messages out there. Interactivity and visualisation are proven to grab attention, helping brands stand out from the competition. Beyond the initial interest and awareness raised, interactive content helps sustain the user’s attention for longer than static content.

Importantly, interactive tools can also help marketers gather valuable intelligence and analytics about their buyers and their behaviour.

Our next blog post will focus on B2B marketing, where interactivity can help shorten the sales cycle, along with other benefits. Further instalments of this blog series will discuss information architecture, multilayer storytelling, 3D visualisation and other aspects of smart product communication.

Stereoscape’s Anant Shiv talks about putting XR in the service of people at work

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Anant Shiv, Business Unit Manager at Stereoscape, sat down with Laura Hyppönen to discuss how Extended Reality (XR) can facilitate and improve workplace performance.


Could you tell us about your background & role at Stereoscape?

I come from a Mechanical Design Engineering background, with a Master’s in International Design Business Management. Before joining Stereoscape, I worked in various design, development and engineering projects in IT and aerospace industries. I joined Stereoscape in 2018 to work on productisation, and as of this year, I’ve been responsible for managing our new business unit that focuses on productivity improvement solutions based on interactive XR technologies.

What is Stereoscape’s background and position in the XR landscape?

Founded about ten years ago, Stereoscape started out in stereoscopic and other 3D content (hence our name!) and gradually added interactive technologies in the offering. In the past four years, our core emphasis has been on interactive Extended Reality (XR) for the enterprise market. Specifically, our mission is to put XR in the service of people at work. We have been developing various professional solutions based on Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality for clients such as Nokia, Wärtsilä, Vaisala, ABB and Valmet to name a few. We sell our XR solutions under the PROSCAPE and SHOWSCAPE names.


In your view, how does Extended Reality add value in the enterprise arena?

XR provides a new dimension to how people see, use and share digital information. It’s a fundamental shift in the way we can interact with the digital world. XR allows us to blend digital content in our physical environment; use natural interactions like gestures and gaze; and present objects and information in a 3D space rather than being confined to a flat 2D screen. When applied successfully, XR can help make digital information more accessible and understandable.


Can you give an example?

To help our client Nokia demonstrate the potential of their 5G technology in a highly illustrative and experiential manner, we delivered a multi-user VR experience where an expert at Nokia’s 5G lab in Finland shares the same virtual space with customers located in another part of the world. The expert gives the customers a tour in a virtual lab, that we created by 3D laser scanning the actual 5G lab. All participants are present as avatars or virtual characters in the VR environment. It has been a hugely successful demonstration of 5G. There are many other examples of our XR projects on our website.

In your view, how can industry and enterprise clients benefit from XR?

Our goal is to apply XR tools to help employees in our client organisations work smarter, learn faster and collaborate more effectively and efficiently.

For our client companies, this means potential to lower costs, improve safety and quality, and increase productivity. XR can also enhance customer experience and engagement and shorten development cycles. And it can provide companies with entirely new business opportunities in the form of XR-enabled services to customers. Both academic research and practical implementations indicate that the performance and productivity improvement potential is significant.

More and more companies are embracing the new technologies and understand the value and potential of XR. Early adopters already have empirical proof of the operational benefits of applying XR solutions to their working practices and processes. Studies also show that the majority of workers, and an even larger share of millennial employees, are willing to use XR technologies in the workplace. It therefore comes as no surprise that many forward-looking companies have engaged in proofs of concept or piloted XR projects, with many projects already maturing into full-scale implementations.


What services do you offer in the field of XR?

Our XR solutions and services cover experiential marketing, immersive learning, assisted working and collaboration. Let me tell you a little bit more about each of these areas.

In marketing, XR enables new opportunities to engage customers, like virtual showrooms and virtual walkthroughs. You can basically turn any location into a virtual showroom for one or several users to explore. You can offer highly convincing experiences of products and spaces that are still on the drawing board, show products in life size and easily add new products to your showroom. The virtual space is unlimited. What’s more, you will avoid transporting physical equipment to tradeshows etc. It saves both costs and the environment. We also build hybrid solutions where a screen-based interactive product experience is augmented with AR elements or enhanced with both AR and VR. These solutions are getting increasingly popular.

In learning, XR is a powerful tool for “learning by doing”. A virtual space is a safe learning environment; mistakes do not involve risk of injury or equipment damage. Making invisible workplace hazards, like radiation, visible is an important advantage of XR, as we demonstrated in a learning solution for Fortum’s nuclear power plant. People feel more immersed, are more focused on the task and show higher levels of motivation in XR than in traditional training settings. Improvements in retention and recall as well as time and cost savings are also typically achieved. There’s already plenty of evidence of the benefits of XR-enabled learning.

In assisted working, AR and MR are the technologies of choice. Step-by-step installation or repair instructions, quality inspection checklists, order picking lists and other work instructions can be digitally superimposed on the real work environment – at the right time and place. Such on-demand, in-context information enhances worker performance, drives faster completion of tasks and ensures higher first-time quality. The AR/MR-enabled smart work instructions are also an effective tool for on-the-job learning.

In collaboration, several people can share the same virtual space to collaborate, for example, on product design or process development. And the people don’t need to be in the same location. “Collaboration without co-location” is a phrase often used in this context. XR-enabled assisted and collaborative working are combined in so-called remote assistance where an on-site worker and a remote expert can collaborate in augmented reality.


How easy is it to jump on the XR bandwagon?

In our client projects, we emphasise selecting the right use case and building a business case for XR. There’s already a substantial amount of experience of XR benefits in a number of industries and in different use cases like assisted working and learning. Our advice is to start from a clearly defined use case that meets a real need in the workplace in terms of employee performance, safety, quality etc.

A set of KPIs to monitor during proofs of concept and pilots is important to prove the business case. It’s not only keeping track of technological feasibility and business viability. Involving end users from the outset and getting their feedback on usability and desirability is vital. Fundamentally, professional XR is about making people’s working lives easier.


What can you tell us about the technologies underpinning XR?

XR technology continues to improve rapidly both in terms of performance and user experience. A growing number of XR software development tools; constant refinements in the comfort, ergonomics and processing power of head-mounted devices such as Oculus, HTC Vive and Varjo for VR, and Hololens, Magic Leap and Realmax Qian for MR; and a surge in new AR smart glasses coming to the market are important drivers of industrial XR – not forgetting developments in 5G, IoT and AI technologies.


Do you have any advice for choosing the right technologies for XR?

The variety of XR technologies available can be confusing, but there’s a place for each tool, and we are here to help you choose the right one for each use case. For example, if you are only beginning to explore the possibilities of XR, a good place to start might be Augmented Reality applications on smart mobile devices, where headsets are not required. In its “simplest” form, AR involves overlaying digital information on the camera feed of a smart mobile device, allowing you to see the information in the real world.

We are an end-to-end XR provider, which means that we help our clients in identifying the XR use case and the appropriate XR technology for the project. We then design and develop the solution, train end users as well as take care of the solution maintenance.


Any words to sum up?

Getting started on XR is becoming easier by the day. To companies that have not yet begun their XR journey, I would say it is time to start building an understanding of XR opportunities in the workplace. Extended reality enables entirely novel means of access to information, experiences and people, and its business benefits can be significant.

Empowering employees with smart instructions

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The 2019 annual economic survey by Eurochambres highlights the lack of skilled workers as one of the major challenges European companies are facing. Hiring under-qualified employees means companies will have to spend more time and money on training, which has a negative impact on productivity. Augmented reality is one of the technologies that can help close the skills and productivity gap by enabling effective on-the-job guidance.

Need for on-the-job guidance

It was June 2011. I was starting my summer internship in one of the leading automobile manufacturing firms in South Asia. My initial task was to observe bus body parts – what were those parts, how were they being assembled and were there any abnormalities in the overall docking process (assembling the bus body with the chassis).

In the first few weeks, I was completely confused. I could not tell one bus model from another, let alone the bus body parts, overall process steps and docking process. I spent the first three months of my four-month internship just trying to understand the overall process, bus model numbers and their respective parts. It was only in my fourth month that I was able to give some concrete suggestions related to process improvements. When I went back to the university, I was not surprised to hear many of my coursemates complain that they could have done so much more, if only there had been more time.

Typical training periods in the automobile and other industrial sectors range from four to six months and even then, there is no guarantee the trainee is ready to start as a fully-fledged production worker on a manufacturing line or prepared to work independently on service & maintenance tasks in the field. The larger the original mismatch between worker skills and work content, the more time and money is needed to bring employees’ skills up to speed.

Enterprise augmented reality

There is no magic pill solution for the skills gap and all the new skill demands that new employees face, but if we were to compare existing and emerging solutions in terms of effectiveness and time to implement, step-by-step instructions in augmented reality would be one of the best solutions in many situations.

Augmented reality in itself is a vast field, consisting of various technologies such as markerless AR, marker-based AR, location-based AR, spatial recognition and object recognition. These technologies help people make better sense and use of data by visualising any data directly on real products, equipment or environments. Read my blog post onAugmented reality in corporate training  to learn more about AR.

With stronger hardware and better algorithms, AR technology is developing at a greater pace than ever. ARKit and ARCore are packed with various features, specifically for the B2C segment, whereas platforms like Vuforia focus on industrial AR applications. Among the latter, there is an AR tech supplier with its services spanning the product lifecycle. RE’FLEKT GmbH and its enterprise AR ecosystem – with best-in-class object recognition, cross-device support and an easy to use authoring tool – check all the boxes of a plug and play AR solution for industrial applications.

REFLEKT ONE for step-by-step instructions in AR

RE’FLEKT’s AR solution for step-by-step work instructions is called REFLEKT ONE, which is supported on iOS, Android and Windows platforms, like HoloLens. REFLEKT ONE consists of three main elements:

  • Authoring to create AR content from technical documents, CAD files etc.
  • Publication and hosting of AR content on the Azure cloud or in the customer’s IT environment
  • Visualisation of the AR content on any mobile device or smart glasses

How does REFLEKT ONE assist workers once the solution is implemented?

Let’s think of a use case: There is an industrial grade large electric motor that requires repair. A field service technician reaches the premises. He takes out an iPad, scans a QR code on the machine to find out the model number from REFLEKT ONE viewer client and within seconds, he sees an augmented version of the necessary repair steps on his screen:

Step 1. Please remove the right-side cover

This highlights the exact part that needs to be removed with screws around it.

Step 2. Please remove the rotors

The rotors are highlighted, and an AR animation explains how to remove them.

The AR-based guidance continues with the next steps.

The direct benefits of such AR-assisted work include

  1. Control over the work process – higher first-time fix rates, consistency and high quality maintained
  2. Effective on-the-job knowledge transfer – less experienced workers able to complete the job
  3. Up to 30% faster work with on-demand, in-context information – shorter downtimes, higher productivity

Using wearable technology, AR-powered smart instructions can be displayed in the workers’ field of vision, freeing up their hands and gaze for the job.  For even more effective on-the-job or guidance, REFLEKT ONE can be combined with REFLEKT Remote, an AR-based solution that connects field workers to a remote expert in one simple click.

Assisting work through augmented reality can help bridge the skills gap in the workplace. To learn more about the opportunities or to discuss a proof of concept, please contact us.

Stereoscape chairman Heli Nelimarkka shares her insights on interactive XR and Smart Product Communication

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Continuing our blog series about Extended Reality in the corporate sector, Laura Hyppönen sat down with Stereoscape chairman Heli Nelimarkka to discuss digital interactivity and the journey of Stereoscape from a pioneer in stereoscopic 3D and holography to a leading provider of interactive Extended Reality solutions to the corporate sector.

Can you tell us a little bit about Stereoscape’s journey to date?

We started out doing stereoscopic 3D conversions of films. Later we progressed to working with glasses-free 3D technologies, including 3D holographic displays, gradually integrating interactivity into our portfolio.

Whilst stereo-3D ultimately didn’t take off in the consumer market, these early experiences gave us valuable insights and skills in the areas of immersive user experience, cross-disciplinary teamwork and effective integration of a broad range of technologies – all in the service of client business goals. And stereoscopy that tricks the brain into perceiving depth is of course an essential element of virtual and mixed reality.

How did you make the leap to interactivity?

Our work on interactive experiences started back in 2012. At that point, people were already regularly using touch screens on their phones and tablets to navigate content, and we noticed that one-way video or animation, even when 3D, or running inside a holographic display, felt too passive. People expected to interact with content. We began testing out gesture-based interactions, but our main focus was on touch screens of all sizes. Mobile AR was a natural evolution from touch-based interactivity.

In his inspiring new book, The Age of Smart Information, Mike Pell talks about the a-ha moments, the exhilarating moments of clarity when we ‘get it’, and how we can engineer such moments with the help of Smart Information. A cool technology like 3D creates lots of wow moments, but we were looking for something more: new ways to get people to those a-ha moments. The visual wow is important, but ‘wow, I get it’ is the experience we want our solutions to produce. This is also the idea behind smart product communication, a concept we introduced a couple of years ago and now the underlying theme of our work at Stereoscape.

Where is your focus now, as a company?

Interactivity is the driving force behind all our solutions. It puts people in control of their experience, driving engagement on a personal level and enabling customisation for different audiences. It also helps customers understand complex product information and enables learning and micro-learning in employee training. Content becomes more easily absorbed, leading to more effective knowledge retention.

In terms of solutions, even with gaze and gestures gaining ground as interaction techniques, touch will long remain an important interface to digital content, and mobile touch screens continue to be a rational choice for distributing AR. This said, we are very impressed by the smart glasses available on the market. In industrial settings, they enable hands-free, heads-up work, and therefore have the potential to significantly improve worker performance and productivity.

What about Extended Reality? How does it fit into the bigger picture?

In the enterprise segment, the ongoing XR transformation is about much more than shiny new technology: it’s about making people’s work easier and safer. Putting XR technologies in the service of people at work, helping them work smarter and learn faster – this is the big mission we are working on at Stereoscape.

Crucially, our approach is to devise solutions that build on companies’ existing systems and processes. For example, a Virtual Reality training module could be added to a current safety-training programme, and Augmented Reality elements incorporated to enhance an eLearning programme. A further example would be to turn existing CAD assets and paper manuals into interactive, step-by-step AR/MR instructions for production and maintenance workers.

Even though AR, VR and MR are still emerging technologies, big technology companies are investing heavily into their development. Some of the world’s leading companies – and many smaller ones – are already reaping business benefits from XR in the form of better worker performance, better quality, better learning outcomes and improved safety.

At Stereoscape, working with these exciting new technologies has been a natural continuation of our early involvement in immersive stereoscopic 3D.


You mentioned Smart Product Communication. What do you mean by it?

People are communicating a lot of product-related data and information to their audiences, and interactive 3D and XR can greatly enhance that communication. Smart Product Communication simply means making complex product information more understandable, by using smart information architecture, interactivity and immersive 3D and XR technologies.

We are also increasingly involved in the other aspect of Smart Product Communication: Making the growing volume of IoT data communicated by connected products more easily understandable to people. This is an area where we expect to see many exciting developments.

A few examples might help illustrate the concept. Where the traditional way to assist a field technician might be a thick paper manual, a new approach could be wearing AR smart glasses that provide the same information in interactive digital format in the exact right place on top of the physical world. Or instead of a PowerPoint presentation to communicate the design of a new project, a virtual walkthrough might provide a far more engaging simulation.

For several years now, we have mainly worked with B2B brands. Many of our clients are multinational technology companies, that typically have complex products, services or processes to market, sell, manufacture, install, service and provide training for. We assist these companies in communicating their product data and information more effectively and efficiently in all of these applications, and Smart Product Communication has emerged as the phrase that well captures the service we provide.

What is Stereoscape’s current position, and what are the next steps for you?

We are experiencing an exciting period of growth and interest in interactive and extended reality applications in the corporate sector. Over the past few years, our core team has worked across various pioneering projects, delivering business benefits based on interactive 3D and XR, in close collaboration with Finnish industry leaders such as Nokia, Fortum and Wärtsilä.

We see our role as an agile partner to large and medium sized companies. We offer productised solutions that provide an easy route to capitalise on the potential of the new technologies. We also have clients who want to run test cases across the spectrum of interactive and extended reality applications. Because of our broad range of expertise, we can also create custom solutions incorporating various interactive and digital technologies. Our cross-disciplinary expert team and lean networked structure allow for a flexible approach and makes us an ideal partner for companies either wishing to run pilots or start from a productised solution.

Do you have tips for companies looking to get started on XR or interactive projects?

We always start from understanding the client’s business targets. What are the business benefits we are aiming at? Each new project we work on begins by meeting with the client team to understand their end user needs and the client’s business case, and to agree on key performance indicators for the project. From there we can propose appropriate solutions and platforms.

Although XR technologies are still at an emerging stage, their applications are already producing substantial business benefits for a growing number of companies across various industries globally. Our recommendation is to start from a clearly defined, limited use case to gain experience and to understand the different feasibility, usability and viability aspects of XR solutions.


Mixed Reality for training and other enterprise applications

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Mixed Reality applications present a growing opportunity to increase efficiency and cut costs across a range of enterprise settings from design and manufacturing to training, maintenance and retail. This article focuses on Mixed Reality use across industrial and manufacturing settings and gives some useful tips on how to get started on a Mixed Reality training project.

What is Mixed Reality?

Mixed Reality as a broad concept refers to a continuum of experiences anywhere between the extremes of the real, physical world, and a fully virtual experience.

In a more limited sense, Mixed Reality (MR) refers to visualisations and environments where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time, allowing users to experience digital elements as if they were a part of the real world. In enterprise settings, MR typically refers to this more limited concept of Mixed Reality.

Bridging the physical and the digital

In a Mixed Reality experience, digital elements appear three-dimensional to the user, and respond to user cues via gaze, voice, hand gestures or motion controllers. The digital elements can be fixed to a point in physical space, retaining their position, shape and scale even if the user moves around. This interactivity facilitates the creation of life-like simulations combining digital and physical objects, locations and people.

How does MR work in practice?

A user of a Mixed Reality application typically wears a see-through headset, which allows the viewing of and interaction with the digital elements overlaid with the physical space. As opposed to the closed-off virtual reality, the user is completely aware of the actual surroundings while interacting with the digital content. Another important advantage of MR devices is that they allow workers to perform tasks hands free with on-the-spot digital information displayed in their field of vision.

Whilst the Microsoft HoloLens is the leading MR ready headset, several alternative solutions exist. MR ready hardware includes helmets and hardhats that adhere to safety requirements at building sites and other hazardous environments.

Key benefits of MR for industry and enterprise

1.   Improve employee performance

Replace lengthy paper manuals with real-time, interactive instruction received via a headset, combining digital graphics and remote support via video and audio to the on-site engineers and front-line staff. Save time and cost by using digital components over physical prototypes to test ideas, design and functionality.

2.   Increase training efficiency and safety

Speed up the training of new staff significantly, facilitating remote support by experts or sharing the knowledge of retiring workers. MR also facilitates effective on-the-job training and safe training for hazardous situations.

Case study: Stereoscape collaborates with energy company Fortum at a nuclear plant to trial an MR application which detects hazards imperceptible to human senses.

3.   Stay competitive

The ‘Industry 4.0’ transformation is underpinned by the adoption of digital technologies that help automate processes, optimise efficiency and reduce costs. Virtualisation is an integral part of the transformation, and industry leaders across sectors are adopting MR and other XR technologies to increase productivity, quality and safety.

Which industries can benefit from adopting MR?

With industries including aerospace, architecture, construction, design, energy, manufacturing, mining and retail already trialling and adopting MR applications, it is clear the field holds much promise.

The automotive industry in particular has been an early adopter of MR in their processes. The below examples highlight different ways in which MR can be applied to increase efficiencies and stay competitive.

  • Improve engineering design processes (Ford)
  • Assist mechanics with repairs (Porsche)
  • Help build cars faster (Toyota)
  • Employee training and showrooms (Mercedes-Benz)
  • Improve showroom experience (Volvo)

MR is a powerful learning tool

A chance to integrate digital guidance in the real world makes MR especially useful in on-the-job training. Context-relevant digital information helps workers perform tasks, even if they have little formal training. And a remote expert can provide further assistance in the trainee’s field of vision. Working and learning simultaneously enables more rapid skill acquisition, and MR can even lower the skill requirements for new hires.

MR is also well suited for advance practice of tasks. Mixing together digital content and real-world views provides a visual, inspiring and interactive way to teach complex topics.

Training is more engaging and memorable. Multi-user MR enables training sessions where a “master” – like a retiring employee – guides “apprentices” through digital training content and participants can explore the content from various vantage points.

How to get started on MR training?

1.   Visit industry events or tech vendors’ and solution providers’ showrooms to personally test drive MR technologies and solutions. Seeing is believing, and it’s important to experience MR in action to understand its potential.

2.   Think about MR as an enhancement to – rather than a replacement for – your existing training solutions, as you have invested a lot of money and intellectual capital in them. It can also make financial sense to replace a traditional training module with an MR alternative. You may be able to save on travel and material costs or significantly speed up the learning process.

3.   Consult end users and other stakeholders to choose a use case. Do your employees feel they have learned certain tasks on the job through trial and error rather than in a separate training session? Do your workers need to train for dangerous situations that are expensive to replicate in the real world? Would the learning services you sell to your customers benefit from MR as a competitive differentiator?

4.   Start from a pilot to demonstrate technological feasibility, business viability and usability and desirability from the trainees’ point of view. Identify key performance indicators you will track to measure pilot results.

5.   If you are thinking of partnering rather than developing the solution internally, there is already an ecosystem of potential partners available. Choose a good partner who understands your needs and get started.

My next blog post discusses virtual reality in recruiting and on-boarding.

Augmented Reality in corporate training

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Augmented Reality in corporate training

Augmented Reality provides a nimble and cost-effective way to engage corporate learners, particularly the Millennial workforce that has grown up using their mobile devices for gaming and communication. This article continues our blog series about how to benefit from various extended reality tools and techniques in the corporate training context.


What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality (AR) refers to the overlaying of on-screen digital objects such as images, text or video, with real-world, physical elements. The applications of AR are already versatile, and the list of use cases is rapidly growing: Christie’s invites clients to explore its fine art auctions in AR; Gatwick helps passengers navigate the airport with an AR wayfinding app; and Caterpillar uses AR to guide service technicians through complex procedures.

From gaming to shopping, the number of AR users grew from an estimated 60m in 2013 to 200m in 2018, and the value of the AR market is estimated to reach US$120 billion by 2020. The popularity of AR among consumers drives the growth in the use of AR in corporate training.


AR in corporate training

Automotive supplier Bosch is currently launching AR applications to make complex technology more transparent in the training of workshop personnel. Learners pointing their tablet computers (or smart glasses) onto a vehicle component receive explanations, 3D objects or videos overlaid on the physical component. In a multi-user scenario, the trainer can control the participants’ tablet devices to supervise the learning experience and customise the contents to each specific training group. Embracing AR for training is not limited to a specific sector or industry. Whilst its use is growing particularly fast in the Education and Healthcare contexts, industries from Hospitality & Tourism to Oil & Gas, and organisations as varied as Boeing, DHL, Honeywell, Cisco and the US Marine Corps have already employed AR in their training programmes.

The strength of AR lies in its ability to provide a mixed-life experience, adding digital elements to the physical environment of the learner, allowing users to learn and practise skills safely in a realistic environment. AR can increase engagement and skills retention in diverse learning situations, from new employee onboarding to receiving real-time support for challenging or rarely performed tasks. AR is also ideal as a didactic support for mobile eLearning applications.

AR should not be confused with VR, which refers to an entirely digital and fully immersive environment, experienced in a way that shuts out the real world. Both approaches have their uses in the digital training toolkit, depending on the specific learning goals.


Benefits of AR: engage, on-demand, anytime, anywhere

  • Great way to engage Millennial workforce and younger employees
  • Mobile devices allow learning anywhere, anytime
  • Mixed-life experience & personalised learning increase engagement
  • Safe training for dangerous or life-threatening situations
  • Particularly good for decision-making training due to real-life component


Cost-effective, nimble, relevant, real-time

  • Many Android & Apple phones are AR-ready, saving money on hardware costs
  • Due to consumer familiarity with mobile-phone based AR, little training is required to get started with AR learning
  • AR is cheaper than building entire VR environments or using gamification
  • Cost-effective solution for off-site training
  • Potential to measure outcomes of learning, and push specific content to learner
  • Trainers can provide relevant, real-time guidance to off-site learners through connecting to their mobile devices and “seeing what they see”


Our next article provide tips on how to get started on a Mixed Reality training project.

5 benefits of extended reality in corporate training

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Using Extended Reality (XR) is a growing trend in corporate training. Want to know why?
This article commences our blog series about using XR in a variety of learning contexts.

For those new to the topic, Extended Reality is an umbrella term that brings together Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR).

Energy, automotive, manufacturing, construction and retail sectors are some of the early adopters of XR facilitated training, but other industries are fast catching up.

The Volkswagen Group is training more than 10,000 production and logistics employees with VR simulations. In the United States, Walmart is integrating immersive learning tools to its retail training programmes, and universities are experimenting with XR to provide elements of medical training to surgeons. Further, XR is being incorporated e.g. in the training of airplane traffic controllers and fire-fighters.

Whilst XR facilitated training presents valuable opportunities in sectors that deal with high-risk or particularly complex products, machinery or processes, using immersive training can yield proven and significant benefits to any sector where active, ongoing learning and first-hand ‘learning through experience’ are required.

Below are some of the benefits XR can have over traditional classroom or online training methods.

1. Increased learning effectiveness & retention

Due to its immersive nature, XR based training tools can engage and provide learners a first-hand experience, with the potential to increase learning effectiveness by up to 75% compared to other training methods. Immersion based training can also be more fun and memorable than traditional teaching methods – leading to better retention.

2. Reduced training costs

XR facilitated learning can help cut corporate training costs. Instead of paying for staff and faculty travel to training centres or remote real-life operational sites, XR-based training can take place at local offices and facilities, or even remotely from home. Further costs can be cut in sectors where training involves expensive materials and equipment, with XR replacing the need for physical materials and reducing risk on equipment.

3. Overcoming distance

Incorporating immersion is particularly well-suited to providing simulations of e.g. difficult-to-access locations. With the help of XR, companies can create remote guided tours and facilitate life-like remote collaboration. XR based training can also help companies access the best skills and expertise from around the world, without the cost of employee or expert travel.

4. Learning through mistakes

XR can facilitate valuable learning through mistakes, which in real life could be dangerous, detrimental to business, or even fatal. High-risk industries are not the only ones to benefit from this potential; the use of XR can be equally useful in a range of customer service and sales training settings, where mistakes in real-life could lead to loss of business.

5. Tracking & analytics

Incorporating XR tools into training can help monitor and track training progress, providing feedback to management, training staff and learners. XR can capture a wide range of data about learner behaviour and responses, and produce reports on progress.

Our next blog will look at Augmented Reality in corporate learning and training.

Stereoscape collaborates with artist Josefina Nelimarkka to visualise real-time air quality data

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Helping products tell their stories is a growing field we are working on at Stereoscape. The increasing volume of IoT data generated by the things around us needs to be communicated to drive better understanding, learning and decision-making. To broaden our thinking on how to translate and present IoT data for explanatory, analytical and inspirational purposes, we also look for new insights at the intersection of art and technology.

Our project with artist Josefina Nelimarkka on her latest exhibition, Kairos καιρός at HAM Helsinki Art Museum, is an exciting collaboration on communicating atmospheric phenomena. A graduate from the Royal College of Art in London and the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki, Nelimarkka works in both cities. She merges arts and sciences in her multidisciplinary works that often focus on rendering visible the inaccessible and invisible worlds that are impossible to grasp directly.

Kairos (‘time’ and ‘a supreme moment’ in Ancient Greek and ‘weather’ in Modern Greek) is inspired by the research on atmospheric aerosol particles and climate change at INAR Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research at the University of Helsinki. Stereoscape had the pleasure of working with the artist on screen-based installations, including augmented reality that overlays digital content on top of the real world. Air quality data from a real-time emission monitoring system installed on the roof of the museum in downtown Helsinki is translated into interactive visual experiences. These ‘airscapes’ are constantly changing in form, colour and sound with the actual air quality.

Enabling products, objects or spaces to communicate with people through interactive visualisation of real-time sensor data is an integral part of smart product communication. This inspiring art project has provided us with fresh impulses on how to render the invisible visible through creative visualisation and how to help users interact with IoT data to explore and make sense of it.

IoT meets AR? – Common questions from our clients answered by our tech experts

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Internet of Things (IoT) and augmented reality (AR) are match made in heaven. Saving money, making work more efficient, safe, fast, accurate… the benefits are numerous and clear. There are, however, some questions that often preoccupy the minds of people when talking about IoT and AR applications. To get the right technical answers to the questions that I hear the most from our clients I asked our Development Director Matti Gröhn and our CTO Ferhat Sen for explanations in plain English.


Q: IoT and AR are a match made in heaven. But what are the prerequisites, for example, what is the right data format for IOT data used in AR applications? 

A: The right data format is standard and well documented. Any standard data format that provides the necessary information for the application in question is good. One commonly used, for example, is JSON. Also, what comes to documentation the AR applications are no exceptions to any other applications; the data structures and content need to be well described. AR as such doesn’t bring any extra claims for the data format.


Q: IoT means real-time data. But how real are we actually talking about in AR applications? 

A: This is completely context dependent.  That is, how frequent updates are needed depends fully on what is being measured. For example, for measuring changes in room temperature you don’t need to update the data every millisecond; once a minute is already good enough.


Q: How can you document the events in AR applications? I.e. how can it be seen afterward what route did the person take, which sensors and what data did he see etc.?

A: Short answer: record every necessary event into a log file. For getting an estimate for what route the person actually took and what he saw, or was supposed to see, you need to use indoor tracking. Indoor tracking has taken big steps and is now mature enough for commercial use, even AR applications.  If you also need to know afterward what the person was actually seeing – or where did he look – you can record the device camera view and use gaze-tracking to get the exact knowledge. Everything can be saved in the log files for very accurate documentation, but how much and what is necessary to save on the log files depends, once again, on the case.


Q: There are plenty of AR devices on the market already; from tablets and smartphones to smart helmets and smart glasses; what are the pros and cons of the existing devices and where is the development leading to? 

A: Pokémon Go took the world by storm a few years ago. Since then the amount of different AR applications for mobile devices has been increasing rapidly. However, for industrial IoT AR applications, it is often essential to keep heads-up and hands-free. Which in turn means that you need to use head-mounted devices instead of tablets and smartphones.

With head-mounted devices the problem is often to find the right balance with the field of view – i.e. the size of the area where data can be displayed – and how much the display itself obscures the person’s view. Naturally, small smart glasses have a smaller area to display the data than larger helmets or devices with visors, but in turn, they block less of the real-life view. For user comfort it is also important to have devices that are not too heavy.

We have used and tested, for example, Microsoft HoloLens, Daqri smart helmet and glasses, and RealWear HMT-1 for some time already and have seen how rapid the development is. It has already advanced to the point when it’s feasible to pilot the devices in different tasks and parts of processes. A full-scale release of applications, that make the IOT and AR match made in heaven come true, will be a lot easier when testing and finding the benefits are done well and in advance.

Anything else about IoT and AR that puzzles you? Please give me a call or come to meet us at Arrow IoT Summit in May to see how we can be of help to you.


Jani Leskinen
Key Account Manager
+358 (0)40 552 7337

Mixing realities in 3D holographic displays

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To make the impossible possible. That is one of my favourite phrases when talking about augmented, virtual or mixed reality. Many of our customer cases serve as great evidence of this. Taking you underwater to see how a propulsion system of a ship works, making you ”see” the invisible, or making it possible for you to pack a whole house with all its design furniture and objects into a simple box to travel around the world with. By doing this, our smart product communication solutions help people understand more about products to make more confident purchase decisions or to work smarter, learn faster and collaborate more effectively.

At exhibitions and trade fairs, the queues to experience the digital realities – still novelties in many ways – are often long and create a good buzz at your stand. Visitors donning AR, VR or MR headsets are instantly amazed: The depth of the experience is unrivalled; creating powerful engagement, impact and emotions. But the number of headsets available limits the number of visitors you can engage.



When you need to reach wider audiences – the thousands of passers-by – 3D holographic displays are an alternative worth considering. Such displays, like Dreamoc XL3 or the new DeepFrame from our partner Realfiction, can provide realistic 3D visualisations with unique perspectives and a captivating sense of depth. Content that appears to be floating in mid-air is an eye-catcher and visible to the naked eye by anyone within a viewing distance. Many of the displays also allow you to place physical items inside the display, enabling a mix of real and digital.

We recently created a series of 3D animations for large holographic displays to showcase a client’s products in large trade fairs. In real life, the products are used thousands of meters under the earth’s surface. With 3D holographic displays the products and their unique features and benefits could be shown in a very effective way: visually outstanding, highly informative and inherently interesting. And most importantly, they could be shown to large groups of people at the same time.



In a world where “VR can take you anywhere and AR can bring anything to you” just showing your content in a display might seem like a step backwards. In my opinion, it is rather a “sidestep with bonuses”. Firstly, it is possible to add touch or gesture control to involve your audience in interaction: Viewers change the content; see your products from different angels etc. Secondly, it is another medium for people to interface with 3D content – along with AR, MR and VR – putting your digital assets in efficient use.

Once created, the same photorealistic 3D model of your product can be utilised for different purposes – not only in marketing and sales, but also for other product communication needs across the product lifecycle. In the realm of marketing, you need some clever creative storytelling on top of the 3D model to catch the audience attention and let them learn about your product in a condensed format, while conveying a lot of complex information in an easy-to-understand manner – a common dilemma in the communication of industrial products and services, which is what we specialise in.



When you need to engage large numbers of viewers in a short time, a holographic display could be the right solution for you. But it definitively doesn’t mean that you have to exclude the new digital reality tools from events and exhibitions. On the contrary. Once you have caught the attention of the masses with your holographic display, one short conversation is enough to scan the ones with true interest and business potential. And what would be a better way to deepen their interest than an in-depth experience – be it VR, AR or MR – that allows them truly immerse in your product or service?

Interested in hearing more about how to use 3D holographic displays to present your products to the masses? Give us a call!


Jani Leskinen,
Key Account Manager
+358 (0)40 552 7337


AWE Europe: The benefits of AR in industry come in two digit numbers

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Augmented Reality World Expo AWE Europe was held in Munich in October. Steresocape’s team visited the expo where all the latest solutions, applications, software, hardware, cases, and pilots were showcased under one roof.

Here are the team’s key takeaways fresh from Munich:

“Industrial AR –  the numbers speak for themselves”

The two digit numbers for productivity improvement, cost or time savings that industry giants like Bosch, Coca-Cola, GE Aviation, Lockheed Martin and Siemens were presenting were simply impressive.

  • Coca-Cola cut down training time for field workers from 4 weeks to 2 weeks using AR
  • Lockheed Martin’s assembly workers accuracy rate improved to a full 100% with AR.
  • GE Aviation reported 8-12% increase in mechanics’ efficiency for critical engine maintenance tasks.
  • Siemens Power and Gas used AR to train new workers in 45 minutes when it used to take a whole day with traditional training methods.

90% error correction, 30% reduction in assembly time in manufacturing and warehousing, 30-50% reduction in inspections, 50% travel reduction for field engineers in insurance and construction, 20-50% reduction in training…. Just stop and think what this brings to the bottom line – when sometimes even a 1% improvement in maintenance efficiency can bring cost savings worth over 200 million euros annually, like it does in aviation industry!

Jani Leskinen, Key Account Manager

“The devices get smaller and lighter and the benefits get bigger”

Who wants to look like Robocop every day at work? Hardly anyone, at least I don’t! The acceptance problem has been a reality with industry AR and VR. That’s why it was very pleasing to see in Munich the wealth of new hardware and devices for both AR and VR that were smaller, lighter and easier to use.

  • VRGineers’ VRHero 5 headset comes with high-quality 5K resolution displays and 170 degree field of view.
  • The new smart glasses from Epson only weigh 69g, not much more than a pair of normal eyeglasses.
  • Our partner Daqri was also presenting its new smart glasses with remote expert function.

Of course, the acceptance problem can’t be solved with just devices, no matter how light or convenient they are. But with devices that are comfortable to wear and have well designed interfaces and functionalities that really add value to the worker himself as well as to company we’ll see great benefits coming from AR and VR.

Jussi Korhonen, Software Developer

 “The global leaders are already presenting the results from their pilots”

It was interesting to see not only the American companies but also some European leaders like Audi, BMW, Bosch, and Siemens presenting projects with very impressive results.

  • Bosch presented 15% time saving in its car service workshops using AR solutions.
  • GE Aviation gained substantial improvements in how mechanics performed critical engine maintenance by using AR; errors reduced, efficiency and product quality improved, worker compliance increased and job satisfaction was higher. The savings are counted in millions of dollars.
  • Siemens created an AR tool to make wind turbine hub inspections more efficient and more effective. The inspections were done 40% faster with AR.

In terms of technology the presentations contained no big news for us. However, what was prominent was the fact that most of the industry cases presented in Munich were still pilots. An indication that the global leaders are working hard to be ready to reap the profit when the time is right. Also indicating that the time to do the pilots is now.

Some big companies like Bosch with its Common Augmented Reality Platform (CAP) and Boeing with its Boeing Augmented Reality Kit (BARK) are already taking the next steps. They are piloting customized industrial AR solutions in their own research labs and trying to standardize them in their own processes and in their stakeholders’ processes. Have you started your pilots yet? If not you’d better hurry up!

Ferhat Sen, CTO

Read more news and thoughts from AWE Europe from Jani’s LinkedIn post.

Greetings from Tech Open Air Berlin and Fraunhofer HHI

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Tech Open Air (TOA) Berlin is Europe’s leading interdisciplinary technology festival. The event, held already for the 6th time in July filled the legendary Funkhaus Berlin with more that 20 0000 attendants. With over 200 satellite events spreading around Berlin made the entire city vibrant with technology, music, art, and science. This year’s conference topics covered a huge spectrum of everything that is bubbling at the moment; from design to blockchain, from food to future cities and health to AI, VR and IoT. The speakers, more than 200 of them, came from big companies and organisations like NASA, World Economic Forum, Google, Samsung NEXT, IBM, and Unity, as well as a wealth of small innovative companies in fields of tech, music, art, science or the intersection of all four.

I visited TOA Berlin already for the second time. From this years conference offering I build my program mainly concentrating on speakers that coming from interesting up and coming companies in virtual reality, spiced up with a little bit of research, design and media. From the wide offering especially presentations from Adina Popescu, founder of Snowblack VR, Samuel Huber, CEO of Advir.co, Sonja Galunder, Senior Research Scientiest at Smart Information Flow Technologies (SIFT), Khalid Meniri, founder & CEO of Six Agency, and Ian Forrester, Senior Producer as BBC R&D gave a lot of food for thought.

 To sum it up, the thoughts that I took with me from Berlin this time were:

  • Putting yourself into the picture; explore how data can be visualised so that the user has control of it and can make an impact in it to make it more engaging and rewarding to the viewer.
  • Variations matter in storytelling; use metadata to enrich the content and to get variation.
  • Collect data; design VR so that you can collect data from it to learn about user behavior.
  • Users want to do things but they want it do be done for them; give less choice but more engaging options.

Apart form taking part in the conference program I also attended a satellite event at Fraunhofer HHI. Fraunhofer HHI – German equivalent to our Finnish VTT – is Europe’s largest application oriented research organization with a budget of more than 2,1 billion € and research highlights such as MP3 audio codec under their belt. Seeing their current research activities in the fields of VR, AR, MR, and IoT was enlightening.

A visit to Berlin is always worthwhile. After all, it has for some time already been the tech capital of Europe. Lot’s of lessons learned and a lot of wow moments experienced. The world we work in is developing so fast you have to move fast to keep on track. Therefore it was also rewarding to see that here in Finland we at Stereoscape are definitively on the right track and moving at pretty much the same pace with the big players.


Rami Salle,

Project Director, Stereoscape

Go Allport on new technology!

By | Blog

World is a complex place. Every media is telling us that the world is changing and becoming faster and more dynamic. The change is mostly caused by the constant development of technology.

If we take a quick look back in time, the first industrial revolution took place around late 18th century. It was about inventing the mechanical industry where steam power played a big role. The second revolution took place about 150 years later in the early 20th century when Henry Ford with his colleagues came up with the moving assembly line. The third industrial revolution started around 50 years later, which Alan Turing had lots to do with his research on computer science and artificial intelligence.

Whether we are on the brink of the fourth revolution, or the third one is just prolonged, doesn’t really matter. The only thing that matters is that the speed of change is levelling and more and more variables come to play making the world ever more complex.

One way to try to cope with the complexity is to use stereotypes. Gordon Allport is one of the most famous psychologists who understood how people perceive other people. According to him people have developed cognitive models – stereotypes – into their head to handle social situations faster and more efficiently.

In fact, the field of social situations is so complex that people wouldn’t be able to reasonably interact with each other without a certain ready-made model. These models can also be called information categories. Several psychologists and social psychologists have continued to study the topic and expanded the theory to objects and entities as well.

When people encounter something that doesn’t fit to any of their existing categories they either start forming a new one, shape the old one to accept the newcomer or leave it outside without getting to know it at all.

Now that we are somewhere between industrial revolutions number 3 and 4, constantly witnessing new innovations and having non-stop noise from various channels, it might be hard to stay on top of everything – even impossible. That’s why categorizing things, using stereotypes, is a very recommended way to interpret the world.

Below there are three “every-day” statements followed by a short explanation derived from social psychology describing what could be the reasoning behind the statements. Those can all present how existing stereotypes might affect people’s thoughts on new technology, such as augmented and virtual reality.

What’s YOUR standpoint on these?

  • “It’s nice at the moment and there’s no need to do anything.”
    • People tend to justify their existing position towards everything else.
  • “New technology doesn’t help me at all.”
    • In this case you might have categorized all new tech into one category and that might be even too simplified solution to understand the world these days.
  • “Generally our company thinks that we need new technology to stay forerunners on our field.”
    • People tend to think similarly as their closest reference group. This way they can make a difference between them and another group they don’t (even want to) belong to.


If the last statement is the one to best represent your thoughts and you want to hear more about the possibilities of new technology, such as AR and VR, we at Stereoscape are at your service. Give us a call!


Juuso Pihamaa

Key Account Manager, Stereoscape

VR and AR bring business benefits – highlights of Heli Nelimarkka’s speech at 3DExpo

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Heli Nelimarkka, chair of Stereoscape’s board, was one of the speakers of 3DExpo held in Finland in May. Below is a summary of her speech focusing on the clear benefits and competitive advantage that augmented, mixed and virtual reality bring for business.

“Digitalisation and the state of VR and AR today

We already have massive amounts of IoT data. With artificial intelligence the data can be turned into knowledge. When this knowledge is – with the help of wearable technology like Daqri smart helmet or HoloLens – visualised and made available just at the right time and in the right place it opens up a whole new window of opportunity to companies.

The hype around VR and AR has been going on for some time already. However, as Gartner Hype Cycle and other recent studies indicate, VR and AR are already well on their way of becoming business as usual for companies. The sectors expected to benefit most of this new technology are manufacturing industries, BIM, and healthcare. The ones of you still in doubt, I advice to take a look at a recent PwC survey showing that companies are more and more willing to invest in AR and VR in sales, marketing, training, maintenance, customer service, or development of new business models.

New ways of working bring clear business benefits

A 3D animated digital replica of a product, created using existing CAD models, can be combined with product information and interactivity to allow several new ways of working. A product or a process can be simulated virtually even before it exists physically. A virtual showroom allows product presentations whenever wherever. With the help of collaborative VR teams can work together and be present in the same virtual space although physically located in various parts of the world. So-called digital twins – digital 3D product replicas incorporating real-time IoT data from the physical objects – offer even more exciting prospects.

Examples of VR and AR in corporate use are already numerous and so are the benefits and competitive advantage they bring along. Companies like Boeing in USA or major car manufacturers in Germany are already taking full use of it. The benefits are counted in two-digit numbers. For example, at Boeing a team using AR with a tablet was 30% faster and reached 90% better quality accuracy than the team working with traditional means. And this is just the beginning. Alongside with direct cost savings and productivity improvements the benefits from e.g. faster learning, improved collaboration, and totally new business opportunities are waiting just around the corner.

Get started now!

The AR & VR ecosystem is developing fast. That’s why my advice to you is to get started now. Begin with simple steps and simple solutions, but do begin. You need to start collecting experiences of this new technology. Because it will open a new window to a world where the digital and the real world are merged together. To a world that allows better understanding of products, easier decision-making, faster learning, improved performance, increased work safety, better collaboration, i.e. creates real competitive advantage. Not many companies can afford to have dedicated resources to keep up with the development for building AR and VR solutions. That’s why the best way to get started in this new world is to team up with a reliable partner that has the knowledge and the talent. We at Stereoscape are at your service.“

Heli Nelimarkka, Chair of the Board, Stereoscape

DAQRI SMART HELMET – so much more than a helmet

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Recently at a virtual reality industry event I had the pleasure to invite people to test an augmented reality helmet. “Wow” is the word to best describe the feelings at our stand during the event. Wow, coming from the people testing the helmet. And wow, coming from me and my colleague demoing the helmet for six hours without a proper break in order to give as many visitors as possible from the constant queue outside our stand an opportunity to testdrive the device.

What is this magical helmet and why does it create such a fuss even at an industry event packed with cool VR, AR, and MR demos? DAQRI SMART HELMET is a mixed reality hardware integrated with safety helmet and visor. The device differentiates itself from other HMDs (head mounted device) with the actual hard helmet that houses the mixed reality device. So it is a real helmet for people with a real need to protect their head in their duties. Duties, where safety is always an issue and where you work with your hands. So you wear a helmet and want to keep your hands free. Which is why DAQRI offers the protection and has a user interface that is operated with head movements or voice commands; to keep your hands free for the duties on site.

DAQRI SMART HELMET brings mixed reality to any harsh working environment with rugged design and large potential in hardware and software solutions. The fact that the device is purpose-built for industrial environment shows in many ways. The device itself as well as the software are designed from ground up to perform in demanding environments like construction sites, factory floors etc. It also shows in the numerous extra features that the helmet has. DAQRI has mixed reality technology cameras for spatial awareness and holographic displays. Thermal vision, in turn, allows the user to capture infrared pictures and video. In an environment where heat is potential danger – to workers as well as to equipment – it certainly is an important feature.

The remote expert –application in DAQRI allows new kind of communication between the worker on site and a remotely located colleague. Real time video communication through WiFi with helmet user and remotely located colleague allow information to be sent directly to helmet’s view. This way the worker on site with the helmet can get precise assistance to the task at hand.

Stereoscape is the official partner of DAQRI in Finland. There is a lot of new things expected from DAQRI in 2017. So stay tuned to hear the latest, come and meet us at Arrow IoT Summit in Vantaa on 18.5. or just book a visit to our showroom to testdrive DAQRI yourself.

Jani Leskinen,

Key Account Manager

MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2017 – virtual reality, connected city and a Stereoscape project live

By | Blog

A couple of weeks ago, Barcelona hosted the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry, the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017.  The huge event covers a wide scope of everything “mobile”. The telecom focus of this year’s event was the 5G technology and its implications to human life. The demonstrations and representations of these implications appear in various forms such as connected cities, connected cars, smart buildings using various media types, etc.

Virtual reality was also highly visible at the event, as a vast majority of the big brands used VR applications in one way or the other. Some used it to demonstrate their product or services, while for others it was just a hook to catch the attention of the audience. QUALCOMM, for example, enabled visitors to embody their favorite Power Ranger character using a 360-animated video produced by Lions Gate. Ford introduced an auto-delivery experience using drones within their city of tomorrow concept. Mercedes-Benz was showing a virtual car configurator. Intel had 360 VR streaming and untethered wireless VR. Nokia offered a gamified tile-breaking demo showing comparison between 5G and 4G, while Samsung had multiple Gear VR stations involving various types of moving or rotating seats.

HTC, one of the immersive VR device manufacturers, also had a large presence at MWC. While its competitor Oculus probably decided only to attend the Game Developers Conference, which was arranged at the same time, HTC had almost 10 Vive stations showcasing different products and features including the new tracker.

Microsoft’s HoloLens was in frequent use in several demonstrations, though not so much as VR yet. But it definitely seems that mixed reality will be used more in the upcoming shows. For example, one of the attraction points at the event was Intel’s connected cars experience that features a BMW and a significant number of HoloLenses showcasing IoT, 5G and the city life.

As Stereoscape, we visited this year’s MWC with a special interest, as we wanted to get personal feedback on a customer project. The project; visual presentations with 3D content, interactive video applications, AR demo and mobile applications for one of the biggest companies in the mobile industry was presented at the event for the first time. It was a rewarding and informative experience to observe how Stereoscape’s 3-month long project was used in the real context by the product owners.


Ferhat Sen

CTO, Stereoscape

Immersive art; slow transitions from physical to virtual

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Stereoscape recently had the pleasure of working again with artist Josefina Nelimarkka on designing a custom VR experience for her latest exhibition at gallery Oksasenkatu 11. The piece, entitled Argos Telekinesis, exists parallel to Nelimarkka’s painting practice, connected not only by concept but also in their dual demands for time. The works are not simply made but require making, remaking and unmaking; the audience is encouraged to spend time, time to move and time to explore. In this way VR is the ideal medium to provoke a deep and prolonged engagement with art works.

The visitors work their way through the installation, past interventions, past paintings exposed by starlight, descending the spiral staircase and eventually encountering the possibility of the Oculus Rift headset, to provide a portal into another world. The pacing of the exhibition allows for one to transition slowly from the physical world to the virtual.

Unique, individualised experiences with gaze control

The goggles rest on a chair, inviting the viewers to sit comfortably and place them over their eyes, finding themselves within an infinite colour field, soft and drifting. The sky is laced with Greek letters, recalling constellations, both of the sky and of sentences. From here they can use their own eye movements to determine the direction they travel in, the words fly through space, revealing themselves to the reader. Their gaze decides what part of the narrative will be uncovered next, in this way the work is not just an immersive experience but a unique and individualised one, it will always be slightly different depending on the desires and decisions of the viewer. Even though there is also an external screen allowing others a glimpse into this world, they will not see the same journey as the lone traveller wearing the headset.

Argos Telekinesis also functions as a kind of expanded book, using VR in this way introduces the possibility of a more immersive form of reading. Many visitors to the exhibition chose to stay in the virtual space for quite some time; it has already been acknowledged that VR is one way to potentially support positive sensations and consciousness. In the context of an artwork this provides a direct way to tap into and convey feeling in a style that is impactful, meaningful and long-lasting.

VR and contemporary art run parallel

The physical navigation of the audience recalls many of the themes present in the exhibition, in this way VR is a very versatile medium, able to adapt and run parallel to many of the major themes within contemporary art, such as presence, embodiment, memory etc.

It’s inevitable that VR will develop even more of a role within contemporary art and here at Stereoscape we are excited to encourage this new frontier in the art world.


Yet; predicted futurities tracked in poems

at Galleria Oksasenkatu 11, 4.11.-27.11.2016




– Iona Roisin

Virtual reality in Architecture, Construction and Engineering

Five essential questions on VR – and some on AR and MR too

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Virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality – the terms are everywhere, but what is it all about, really? And what does it mean for you and your business, really?

The terminology and the technology can seem intriguing if you are not a technical expert. To help you orientate in this new digital landscape, Stereoscape has put together answers to some common questions on VR, AR, and MR and their significance to businesses.

1. What is virtual reality and how does it work?

Virtual reality training

Wikipedia defines virtual reality as: “the computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors.”

In plain English, this means that virtual reality is a digitally created environment, based on a real-life environment or an imaginary one. The digital environment is created through computer animation or by capturing reality either with a 360-degree camera or via 3D scanning – or using a combination of two or of all three methods.

You can enter the virtual world by wearing a headset (simple, mobile one using a smartphone as a screen – or a more sophisticated one that is connected to a high-performance computer). The headset shows you an image, and when you turn your head the image is modified accordingly. This way the person experiencing the virtual world has a full 360-degree view of the environment – just like in real life. It is also possible enjoy virtual reality as a 3D projection on one or several surfaces (so called VR cave); using stereoscopic 3D glasses like the ones we wear in 3D cinema. Even if the experience is not quite so immersive as with head-mounted display the projection-based VR is an option worth considering because not all people feel comfortable wearing a head-mounted display.

2. Virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality – what’s the difference?

Augmented reality in these days may be best known from and most popular in Pokémon Go – a game that surged the world some months ago. In Wikipedia AR is defined as: a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. In augmented reality, the digital content is not anchored to the real world, and the real and digital worlds cannot respond to each other. There’s no interaction between the two.

Mixed reality in turn, as defined in Wikipedia, is the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time. So mixed reality, just like augmented reality, merges real world with digital content. But in MR, the digital overlay is anchored in the real world and the two worlds interact with each other, in real time. For example, Microsoft HoloLens eyewear that enables you to interact with high-definition holograms in a real environment is marketed as mixed reality equipment.

VR, AR, and MR are closely related technologies. As the technologies and especially the applications are very new, the definitions and terms still vary to some extend. Some definitions, for example, interpret mixed reality to encompass the whole spectrum between real reality and virtual reality. It seems more than likely that the different technologies will overlap and even merge in the future.

While there are similarities, there is, for sure, also a difference in VR, AR, and MR. Taking a somewhat simplified example from the world of Pokémon, one could say that with VR you can really enter the world of Pokémons and really throw the Poke ball to catch that Pikachu. You are wearing a VR headset and using your handheld controllers to throw the ball – but it feels like you really are a part of that imaginary world. With AR, in turn, you get to see the Pokémons through your smartphone as part of your everyday environment. Walking on the street, you just point your phone and there’s that Pikachu in front of the bus stop for you to catch. But when the bus arrives, the Pikachu will still appear in front of the real view. It’s just the background that changes. With MR it would be possible for your Pikachu to react to the arrival of that bus and, say, get on a certain bus but not on some other.

3. Just entertainment or serious business?

The simplified example above explains the differences of the three related technologies. Pokémon Go and other examples from the world of gaming and entertainment seem to have been the center of attention and the most commonly known applications. But the technologies are most certainly not limited to video gaming – on the contrary. Today the new technologies are showing up in a number of industries and business sectors, and the potential is huge. Design, engineering, maintenance, architecture, training, marketing, medicine, real estate…. the list is long.

Today VR, AR and MR are used for designing and testing cars, aeroplanes, construction machines, vessels, or even entire factories. Some oil companies are using the new tools to help finding oil and gas and others for marketing them (see Stereoscape’s project for Neste). Lockheed Martin is training military personnel for better mission readiness. NASA is training engineers on how to fix space satellites. Ford is designing new cars using virtual prototypes and taking consumers to the Le Mans racetrack. The Royal London Hospital is live-streaming surgery. And all this is done with virtual reality. Field service technicians at Thyssen Krupp are using HoloLens to diagnose and repair elevators. Trimble, in turn, is bringing architectural models to life as full-scale holograms, enabling remote teams to collaborate on the designs in real time and shortening the cycle between design iterations.

If the list of use cases for VR, AR, and MR is long, so is the list of business benefits they bring along: better performance, less risk of damage, more confidence in decision-making, time savings, fewer business trips, and, most importantly, clear cost savings. For example, sending a pilot to a warlike exercise in an actual F-35 is said to cost about a million dollars per hour – to do it virtually costs only a fraction.

4. Is virtual reality expensive?

Virtual reality in sales

Talking about money, a question one can’t avoid is the price of the new tools. The assumption very often is that VR is expensive. It is true that if you, for example, google the words “VR” and “expensive” you will find several articles saying: “yes it is”. But look a bit deeper, and you see that most of the articles are referring to the mass markets and, notably, the price of VR hardware from the consumer’s viewpoint. Undoubtedly for consumers, a device that costs several hundred euros, like HTC Vive, or several thousand euros, like Microsoft HoloLens, is rather expensive. On top they both need a computer that has power and capacity way over your average home PC. But when we talk about business use, is the cost of a headset or a powerful computer really an issue? Hardly.

For businesses the questions to be asked are related to the benefits and gains attached to the use of the new technology. How much will the use of VR, AR or MR add to the top and bottom line? How much more value can we capture by improving our processes or performance through VR, AR or MR? How much can we cut off from the time to market by testing our products and processes virtually before actually making or building them physically? How much can we save on travel expenses or shipping costs by doing things virtually? How much smaller will our ecological footprint be when we replace real with virtual? Can we improve safety by training our machine operators and field service technicians in hazardous tasks using virtual reality? The answers to these questions will tell you whether VR, AR, or MR is expensive or not..

5. What’s in it for me and how do I start?

VR, AR, or MR; what is the right technology to use and what brings the best results naturally lies on the project at hand. Where are you now and where do you want to go? What do you want to achieve? Do you need a fully virtual environment or do you just need to add some digital information on top of the real world? How are your competitors taking advantage of the new technologies?

What makes VR interesting is the possibility to take the viewer into a world that would otherwise be impossible to experience, for example, because it doesn’t exist yet, is too risky or too expensive. What makes AR interesting is its relationship with the real world. And further, what makes MR even more interesting is the possibility of the real and the digital world communicating with and reacting to each other in real time. And all three are adding value to business in several ways; reducing risks, shortening time to market, bringing cost savings, driving purchases. In training, VR becomes especially valuable in situations where training in the real world is costly, involves health risk to the inexperienced trainee or possible damage to expensive materials and equipment or where on-the-job training is otherwise difficult to arrange.

What is right for you naturally depends on your business. But one thing is clear: Just like in the “old digital media”, what works for TV doesn’t necessarily work in the web. The same applies to the use of the new technologies – there are no one-size-fits-all solutions.  Every project has its own potential and challenges and the best results can be achieved when the project is designed and implemented with people and organisations specialised in the new tools. At Stereoscape we have a strong and experienced team committed to handle your VR, AR or MR project from start to finish and ready to help you every step of the way.

Want to know more? Book a visit to our showroom and we’ll get you started or contact us and we’ll send you more information.

Academic research looks beyond the hype for better quality virtual reality experiences - Stereoscape

Academic research looks beyond the hype for better quality virtual reality experiences

By | Blog

“We believe virtual reality is going to change the world,” said HTC Vive senior vice president Rikard Stelber when announcing the launch of their app store for virtual reality worldwide this fall. A lot of similar statements have been heard during this year. 2016 has in many occasions been named the year of virtual reality; new devices, games and content have entered the market, big investments have been made in companies developing VR, and consulting firms have published predictions of a billion dollar business. The hype around VR is hot.

Demystifying the hype

“Once again!” say researchers Jukka Häkkinen and Takashi Kawai from the Visual Cognitive Research Group at the University of Helsinki, Institute of Behavioral Sciences. The two scientists have a long history of research in head-mounted displays and virtual reality and have certainly seen a few hypes come and go. As an example, they mention the 3D TV. “Despite the early hype it never became a success,” says Jukka Häkkinen, and asks if it in the end came down to the fact that the content was not so attractive and didn’t give real added value to the consumers.

However, when it comes to virtual reality the two want to demystify the hype and contribute to the development of VR with their research. The Finnish-Japanese VR and 360 video research program started in April this year. The research program is a co-operation of University of Helsinki, where Häkkinen works as principal investigator and university researcher, and Waseda University from Tokyo, where Kawai is a professor at Department of Intermedia Art and Science at the Faculty of Science and Engineering. Right now Kawai is a visiting professor at the University of Helsinki and the joint research effort aims to create evidence-based guidelines for better user experiences and virtual reality contents.

Focus on user experience

The program focuses on head-mounted displays (HMD) experience and ergonomics from the user aspect. The key questions in the research program are therefore: What are the positive experiences and how to facilitate them, and on the other hand what are the negative experiences and how to avoid them? The topic as such – scientific research of user experience in virtual reality– is rather new. “Naturally, as the technology has been there to experience for only a short time, there hasn’t been much research yet. One of the challenges in the research is to how to explore the experiences in a new medium properly without assuming too much,” says Jukka Häkkinen. “We want to try to understand the user characteristics, the emotional aspects, formalize the knowledge and make it research based,” says professor Kawai.

When talking about the user experiences, a topic that cannot be avoided is cyber sickness. Cyber sickness, or virtual reality sickness, involves symptoms – nausea, headache, drowsiness, general discomfort etc. – experienced by some after exposure to virtual environment. Especially now that the consumer devices have entered the market, the issue of cyber sickness has been gaining more attention. Traditionally, the professional users of VR have been more tolerant of discomfort. Häkkinen and Kawai tell an example of early use of virtual reality in training of helicopter pilots. Unfitting helmets caused bleeding in head, but the pilots didn’t want to report the negative sides in order to not to risk getting to fly.

Researchers Jukka Häkkinen and Takashi Kawai want to create guidelines for better quality VR.

Researchers Jukka Häkkinen and Takashi Kawai want to create guidelines for better quality VR.

But when it comes to consumers, there is hardly such tolerance. That is why the issue is taken seriously. For example the head-set manufacturer Oculus is employing three comfort ratings: “comfortable”, “moderate” and “intense”, based on the degree of camera movement, player motion or disorienting content and effects etc.

Häkkinen and Kawai, however, say that it is not inevitable that there are always symptoms when a headset is used. According to their research, there are multiple factors that are affecting the user experience: interaction, display, content, and also the user conditions. For example, depth magnitude, i.e. too high depth values for a long time, has been shown to cause eye strain. “Another factor to take into account is, for example optical design and headset design. We are all individuals and just like with eyeglasses, one model might not fit all. The question is: what is the optimal size,” explains Takashi Kawai.  “Our aim is to – within the framework of our research program – to be able to create guidelines that optimize as many of the aspects as possible.”

VR creates stronger emotions

But as said, the research does not only concentrate on the negative experiences and how to avoid them. The other main goal is to give research-based evidence on what the positive experiences are and how they can be enhanced.  “Our research shows, for example, that virtual reality content creates much stronger emotions than traditional media,” Häkkinen and Kawai say. The creators of virtual reality content have a lot of hands-on knowledge on how to trigger the emotions and create compelling content. Another important aspect in the research program is interaction with the different players, especially the content creators and the technology developers. “There is a lot of tacit knowledge that the players have. Our aim is to explain it in a scientific manner and spread the knowledge,” Takeshi Kawai explains.

Killer content and guidelines for ergonomics

As more and more devices are coming to the market, the researches believe that, for example, game consoles will be the next step in VR breakthrough. But, as Jukka Häkkinen points out, virtual reality is not only about technology. “Content is important. To attract the big masses you need killer content.”

For augmented reality, we have seen the killer content this summer as flocks of people are wandering the streets and parks, staring at their mobile phones and hunting Pokemons. For virtual reality, the killer content is yet to be seen. But it might not take long before we see it. And what comes to the ergonomics, Häkkinen and Kawai are planning to have some guidelines ready within a year to spread the knowledge on how to make the experience better for the users.

A recent TNS Gallup study shows: Competitive advantages from VR and AR seen by 87%

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The Virtual 2016 event was arranged in Espoo, Finland on May 26, gathering a number of companies and people engaged and interested in virtual and augmented reality. Together with the event arrangers, TNS Gallup Oy did a survey “Virtuality changes tomorrow’s business landscape – what Finnish decision-makers say?” Katja von Alfthan, Director, Innovation & Product Development at TNS Gallup presented the results and noted, “This event is the first connecting business and virtual technologies, at least in Finland.


Katja von Alfthan presenting TNS gallup results at vIRtual2016

TNS discussed with stakeholders to gain more understanding of the issue, talking with companies utilising VR and AR, companies interested but not yet utilising the technologies, companies producing content and having a view on this ecosystem in Finland. TNS Gallup asked 100 business decision makers what their take is on virtual reality, how well they know the technologies, what kind of opportunities they see, and if there are some issues that still need to be solved before they can really do business with these technologies.

Of these 100 decision makers, 19% said they know VR and AR technologies. “Recent studies made in the UK and US indicate that among consumers, some 23 to 25 per cent have never heard about VR or AR,” Katja von Alfthan told the audience. Of the 100 companies, some 25% are already utilising VR or AR – with a somewhat bigger percentage (some 35%) among larger companies. Approximately half of the respondents said they are interested in trying this out in their own businesses, with medium size companies, some 60%, showing most interest. However, when asked if the companies had made any specific plans on utilising VR or AR technologies quite many said no, some 60% of small companies, 70% of medium sized and 35% of big companies.

“87% see that these technologies can provide them with competitive advantages, something new they have not seen yet,” von Alfthan noted. Quite many mentioned several fields where they could utilise these technologies. The most frequently quoted were customer experience and marketing, and education and training as well as communications.

More than 80% of the companies working in the B2B and B2C markets saw benefits in VR and AR technologies. ”We made a statement that virtual technologies are only hype,” von Alfthan said. ”Three out of four disagreed (76%); as do I. I think business leaders, too, see more and more of news headlines and examples of VR and AR applications around, so maybe it is not just hype, maybe it is here to stay.”

”Two out of three (67%) said they want to be among the first to utilise VR and AR and gain the business benefits. They want to explore what is in it for them, and two out of three (65%) decision makers think there is top know-how within this field in Finland.”

But there were also barriers identified in the results. 58% think that the technology is not ready enough. The decision makers are a bit uncertain of where we are going at the moment.  They have a lot of questions starting from the very basics like what is AR and what is VR, and how can you use this really. How much money is there to gain? They also want to know what their consumers and clients think. Katja von Alfthan notes that this information is lacking, which is why TNS Gallup has launched a project to explore the consumer market in Finland next.

When do the businesses think that they can really start utilising VR and AR technologies? Two out of three (67%) think it will take more than three to five years, even more, before they can increase the usage of these technologies in their businesses. There is a huge need for information on VR and AR. And more than 60% of the respondents did not know where they could find the necessary services or services that help them create the content for VR and AR.

tns gallup logoSummarising, Katja von Alfthan noted, ”There is a lot of interest, it is a hot topic, it is not hype, it is here to stay, and it is very promising for businesses. However, there are some gaps, and the question is, how can you bridge these gaps? How can we actually make it happen, to make this interesting for business?”

”There are a lot of opportunities, but the businesses do not seem to be in a rush. The bottleneck is that they just do not know whom to contact or what to do. They cannot do specific planning before they have all the facts and before they understand how this will benefit their business.”

As the decision makers see they will only be able to utilise these technologies in 3 to 5 years, Ms. von Alfthan asks: How can the companies control the risks? They show plenty of interest, but there is a lot of information missing, so it is hard to see what there is to gain or lose with AR and VR technologies.

Noting that most respondents think there is excellent know-how in Finland, but it is often hidden, Ms. von Alfthan thinks there is a need for a translator or interpreter between the know-how and the businesses, and adds that TNS Gallup could have a role in this task. She thinks value proposition is something companies should really pay attention to and that the one who gets to the market first gains the most.

Stereoscape is specialised in VR and AR solutions for industrial R&D, production, and product training as well as for sales and marketing, providing highly professional modern content creation. Read more about our VR solutions here

For more information about VR and AR opportunities, please contact:
Juuso Pihamaa, juuso@stereoscape.com, +358 (0)40 750 5539

Markkinointi & Mainonta newspaper writes about the same topic. Click here to read the story in Finnish.


Muotikauppa digitalisoituu

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“Dress the Dancer – Stereoscapen muotikaupalle kehittämä interaktiivinen konsepti, jossa katsoja voi puhelimensa avulla vaihtaa näytöllä näkyvän tanssijan vaatteet, ja samalla vaikka tilata myös itselleen asuista mieluisimmat”

Digitalisaatio on muotikaupassa paljon muutakin kuin verkkokauppaa. Digitalisaatio tuo parhaimmillaan myymälään lisää tietoa, lisää palvelua, lisää valikoimaa ja ennen kaikkea lisää elämyksiä.

Steroscapen asiantuntijat kertovat uusimmassa Muotimaailma –lehdessä (3/2016) omia näkemyksiään siitä, mitä kaikkea digitalisaatio voi parhaimmillaan muotikaupalle mahdollistaa. Lehdessäkin mainittuja sekä muita keräämiämme esimerkkejä huikeista digitaalisista ratkaisuista muotikaupassa löytyy alla olevien linkkien takaa.

Digitaalinen myymälä on näyttöjä, digipeilejä, virtuaalisia sovituskoppeja jne. :

Myös ikkunat ovat interaktiivisia:

Virtuaalitodellisuus tuo muotinäytökset myymälään:

Wow –elämyksiä ja parempaa palvelua projisoinneilla:

Ammattiostajakin hyötyy digitalisaatiosta:

Kaikki yllä olevat esimerkit todistavat vahvasti sitä, että digitalisaatiolla on paljon annettavaa myös muotikaupalle. Kaikki esimerkit ovat myös ulkomaisia. Mielenkiintoista onkin nähdä kuka luo ensimmäisen todellisen puheenaiheen ja digitaalisen wow-elämyksen Suomessa –me Stereoscapessa olemme mielellämme auttamassa siinä.

Ready for VR – or will your children get there first?

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From April 15 to 16, the first Nordic 3D Expo took place in Vantaa, Finland. While the majority of the some 30 exhibitors were showing how digital can be transformed into physical via 3D printing, Stereoscape – together with it’s VR partner WorldViz – was demonstrating that you don’t necessarily need to make things physical in the first place. With WorldViz virtual reality solutions for professional applications, you can design, test, develop, and train complex mechanical and other structures even before they exist. Mr Keith Russell, WorldViz director for EMEA, was present at the Stereoscape stand and held a short presentation as one of the speakers of the fair. I had a chance to have a chat with Mr Russell during the event and get a glimpse into the development of VR in professional use.

VR becomes collaborative

2016 has been said to be the year when virtual reality really makes its breakthrough. The drive in entertainment and consumer markets is bringing better, faster, and cheaper VR also into research and industrial use. However, in professional applications, the next real big thing in VR is not the release of new headsets, although that is where all the hype is at the moment. No, the really exciting development that can take the advantages of VR into a whole new level is that you no longer have to be alone in your virtual world. VR is becoming collaborative.  Teams from different parts of the world can now collaborate with each other and be present in the same virtual reality without being in the same place physically.

Imagine a R&D team of engineers and designers – often located in different parts of the world – being able to jointly test and develop complex mechanics and designs, ignoring the physical restrictions of not being in the same place. Seeing the same, feeling the same, being able to test and discuss all at the same time and in the same, virtual, environment. Imagine the opportunities arising – not to mention the cost and other savings from not having to have your best and most expensive experts waste their time in travelling around the globe. Collaborative VR enables the experts to communicate their ideas to the depths by being able to show and test them together with colleagues. “For a while it felt a bit strange, but pretty soon it felt like Andy was standing right next to me although he was on the other side of the world,” Keith Russell described his own experiences of collaborative virtual reality with his colleagues.

True VR will feed all five senses

Alongside with the collaborative element, the next big thing to make ”true virtual reality” is that it will feed all the five senses. True VR is no longer show and tell but it will also be see, hear, taste, touch and smell. This will create a whole new world, for example, for training.

A good example of this, Mr Russell told, is a South African mining company using VR to train its mechanics to perform demanding maintenance and repair tasks inside the mines. Earlier, training was carried out in a traditional classroom setting. But too often that resulted in people (who in theory knew what to do) failing to perform in the difficult working conditions that they are faced with in the mines. The tough and highly stressful conditions inside a mine, some hundred meters down underground, with the heat, the noise, and the cramped space where the work needs to be done is often too much to the classroom trained mechanics. But with the help of VR, the company can simulate the real conditions during the training sessions, preparing the mechanics for the real situation in a way that no classroom can.

Thanks to CAD, the content is already there

The majority of companies in Finland still seem to wait for the right moment to start deploying VR. “The right moment is now – or in fact it was six months ago,” says Keith Russell. In Germany, Italy and France, for example, he sees VR already in common use in several industries: vehicles, cars, trucks, forklifts, architecture, construction, oil & gas etc. According to Mr Russell, there seems to be a, what he calls, “Nordic reserve” when it comes to adopting VR for professional use. The same reserve he recalls from his earlier work history selling CAD systems – the Nordic companies seemed to stick to the drawing desks longer than others. In today’s world, everybody uses CAD. And this paves the way to VR. “Content might have been a problem 10 years ago, but not anymore as everyone is using CAD models,” Mr Russell pointed out.

So thanks to CAD, it is not that big a step to start deploying VR. And thanks to the entertainment push with better, faster and cheaper VR equipment, it is not so expensive either. “An investment of ca. 10 000 euros will get you started,” says Mr Russell.

The consumer market will, for sure, help to spread also the professional use of VR. With new and better VR headsets coming to the consumer markets this year, Keith Russell predicts that especially the younger generation will soon be so familiar with VR that it is no big thing for them to adopt it at work as well. Therefore his message to the Finnish companies still wondering about the right time to jump aboard is clear: “Hurry up or your children are going to make you look ridiculous!“

– Mikko

Create more meaning, not just more information – marketers are turning to interactive video

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“Information is cheap but meaning is expensive,” said George Dyson, science historian and futurist, a few years ago. In recent years, video has been the answer for creating more meaning in marketing. According to Forrester Research, video has been the fastest growing online ad format.

In digital marketing, the benefits of video content over text are clear and undisputable. In fact, what could be a more compelling, effective, and entertaining way to make your company brand, or product known to your customers than a video? A video on your landing page keeps the visitors longer at your website and allows your brand message more time to sink in. Video is more memorable that written content. Websites with videos have reportedly double the conversion rates of websites with no videos. And to top it all, you can share your video content online not only on your own webpage, but in LinkedIn, Facebook, Vimeo, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter or any other channel you choose. You can take you online content and show it offline at tradeshows, customer meetings, big screens or small screen. The options are limitless and the costs are limited, if any, for sharing your content once it is created.

But are you really creating more value to your customers or just creating more information with little meaning? And how can you measure the value you create? As the amount of video content explodes the harder it is to capture and engage your audience. In fact, some studies report that less than half of the viewers watch online videos all the way through and one third of the drop-offs stop watching your video already during the first 30 seconds. How can you tell how much of you message went though?

Interactive video

Interactive video breaks the linear structure of traditional video by allowing the viewer to make choices to create a personalised experience. By allowing your viewers to interact with your video through touching or clicking, you allow them to take control over their experience, and by doing so, you create more value and more meaning to your audience. The viewers can watch content that is interesting and relevant to them; detailed data or technical information of your product for prospective buyers or a basic overview of the functionalities to the casual viewer. Or you can combine storytelling with e-commerce: Incorporate “shop now” buttons in your interactive video and drive revenue by converting viewers into shoppers.

An example is an an interactive video on optimizing contact center performance, where the viewer’s choices affect what is told in the video. An other example, an interactive video with incorporated “shop now” buttons directed to consumers can be found, comes from the UK liftestyle brand Ted Baker.

Interactivity turns engagement into results

Choice creates interaction, interaction creates data, data creates insight and insight creates ROI. By providing choice within your video you can create a two-way communication that is more valuable to the viewer and to you. The choice you give your viewers leads to increased engagement. The more your viewers engage with your content the more data you collect as every click can be tracked. This way interactive video is going to give you much deeper insight into how you message is received, what your viewers are interested in and what not, or what their understanding of your product is. The data can also tell you weather or not you actually are effectively communicating with your audience.

A recent study on interactive videos by Demand Metric Research Corporation in 500+ US companies shows that 66% of respondents reported more engagement, 44% longer viewing times, and 39% understanding audience behavior as the top benefits of interactive videos. The same study also shows that the greater the usage of interactive videos in a company was, the bigger the benefits experienced were; this in particular with benefits directly related to increased revenues and ROI.

Metrics from the interactive video platform Wirewax show that 67% of the audience will interact, 3 times each. Engagement times are 3.5 times longer than for non-interactive videos, while shoppable videos show a 16%–48% click-through rate. Indeed it looks like interactive videos not only generate more engagement, but manage to turn that engagement into results.

Blog image 2 - Helena 3, 02042016-2






Interactivity, visualisation and storytelling – an unbeatable trio

With interactivity you can deliver large amounts of information in a format that allows the viewers to make choices based on their preferences and interests. Add visualisation and good storytelling, and you can deliver your message in a compelling and immersive way that leaves a trace in the viewer’s mind. Interactive video doesn’t have to be all video; add 3D animations, slideshows, reports, data visualisations, or other interactive supplements to deliver your message and create meaning to you story.

Take a look at GE World in Motion, for example. General Electric, a traditional industrial company transformed into a leading digital industrial company, is using visual content to deliver their message on digital platforms. The amount of information in “GE world in motion” is massive: 12 regions, eight themes and five different formats. If all of that information were to be delivered in a single – very long – video, would you watch all of that information in one go (let alone read all of it if it was all in one text document)? But with interactivity, the content is yours to play around with. It’s interesting and it is fun, and you find yourself clicking more and more of the hotspots on that GE globe just to see what’s in there. Or, if you are looking for some specific information, you just go straight to where you want. No time wasted on irrelevant information that is meaningless to your needs.

One-way communication – the good old “sit back and watch” video – will for sure always exist, even online. However, interactivity is coming strong and it does have clear and measurable benefits over traditional video content. With interactivity, visualisation and good storytelling you can reach new heights in your digital communication. So why not give it a try?

Markkinointi on investointi – ei kustannuserä

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”Nyt hanaa suomalaisyritykset” totesivat Osuuspankin edustajat ja Aalto-yliopiston tutkijat tuoreen suuryritystutkimuksen julkistamisessa ja kehottivat yrityksiä investoimaan rohkeasti kasvuun. Investoinnit digitalisoitumiseen näyttäisivätkin tutkimuksen mukaan olevan suuryrityksissä voimakkaassa kasvussa. Huolettavalta kuitenkin näyttää se, että suuryritysten panostukset markkinointiin puolestaan jatkavat tutkimuksen mukaan laskuaan.

Vaikeina taloudellisina aikoina leikkaukset markkinointibudjettiin ovat usein näennäisen helppo säästökohde. Mutta jos yritys oikeasti – vaikeinakin aikoina – pitää fokuksensa tiukkana ja tavoittelee kasvua, ei asia enää olekaan niin yksinkertainen. Liika säästäminen syö kasvun mahdollisuuden. Markkinointiin pitäisi nimittäin myös uskaltaa panostaa. Paljon. Tai ainakin paljon enemmän kuin monet yritykset Suomessa nykyisin panostavat. Esimerkiksi kansainvälisissä konepajateollisuudessa markkinointi-investoinnit ovat noin 2-4 % liikevaihdosta. Suomalaiskonepajojen vastaava luku on usein jopa alle 0,5 % liikevaihdosta. Nämä luvut kertovat paljon ja ennen kaikkea siitä, että liian usein markkinointi nähdään vain kulueränä, josta säästetään aina kun voidaan.

Markkinointi tulisi uskaltaa nähdä investointina. Investointina tulevaisuuteen ja ennen kaikkea kasvuun. Investointina, jonka pitäisi kiinnostaa koko johtoryhmää. Näin toteaa mm. markkinointivaikuttaja Anne Korkiakoski sekä valmistumassa oleva Viestintäalan tutkimussäätiön ja Sanoma Media Finlandin tutkimus ”Markkinointi-investointien vaikutus Suomen kasvuun ja kansainvälistymiseen”. Korkiakoski haastaa yrityksiä fokusoimaan tuotteisiin, hinnoitteluun ja voimavaroihin, joilla vallataan markkinaosuuksia. Tämä haaste pitäisi suomalaisyrityksissä ottaa vakavasti.

Pieni haaste menee myös markkinointiväen suuntaan. Sen tulisi oppia nostamaan keskustelu markkinoinnin merkityksestä laajemmalle tasolle. Markkinointi on paljon muutakin kuin mediamainontaa ja kivoja kamppiksia. Se on tuotteistamista, kaupallistamista, myyntikanavia ja viestintää. Tämä on markkinointiväen osattava kertoa. Ja jos markkinointi halutaan nähdä investointina, tulee se pystyä perustelemaan samalla kielellä kuin muutkin investoinnit – analyysein ja numeroin.

Oman lisänsä markkinoinnin haasteisiin tuo se, että myös BtoB-ostajan polku on voimakkaassa muutoksessa. Useat tutkimukset ovat todenneet, että samoin kuin kuluttajat, myös yritysostajat hankkivat yhä enenevässä määrin itsenäisesti tietoa päätöstensä tueksi. Siinä missä ennen laitettiin myyntireiska matkaan hyvä brosyyri mukanaan, täytyy tämän päivän BtoB-markkinoijan kyetä vastaamaan asiakkaidensa tiedonjanoon informatiivisella, kiinnostavalla ja helposti löydettävällä tiedolla. Digitaalinen visualisointi tuo markkinoitiin ulottuvuuden, joka ainakin insinöörivetoisessa Suomessa antaa usein etulyöntiaseman muihin markkinointi-investointeihin nähden. Kun visualisointiin uskalletaan panostaa ja tehdä siitä kolmiulotteista ja interaktiivista, saadaan entistä paremmin ostajaa puhuttelevaa sisältöä ja investoinnin tehoakin on usein helpompi mitata.

Tietoa etsivän BtoB-asiakkaan aika on kuitenkin kortilla. Tietoa, jota yritys tuotteestaan ja palvelustaan tarjoaa ei asiakas kauaa silmäile, jollei se avaudu helposti, elämyksellisesti ja juuri hänen kysymyksiinsä ja kiinnostuksiinsa vastaten. Tarvitaan tarinaa, interaktiota ja elämyksellisyyttä. Virtuaalitodellisuus, 360-videot, interaktiiviset videot mahdollistavat asiakkaalle vapauden valita. Markkinoijalle ne antavat perinteistä videota enemmän asiakkaan katseluaikaa, lisäävät sitoutumista ja tuottavat tarkempaa analytiikkaa siitä mistä asiakas oikeasti on kiinnostunut.

Nyt siis hanaa suomalaisyritykset – investoidaan digitaalisuuteen, markkinointiin ja loikataan digitaalisen markkinoinnin uuteen aaltoon – interaktiivisuuteen!

– Helena

Interactivity in Contemporary Art

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By making the audience a collaborator they forget they are an audience at all, it is at this point that immersion is possible.

The space is bathed in colour, time seems slower, the twinkling of stars somehow rendered audible. A site-specific installation, PRECESSION (screensaver) is Josefina Nelimarkka’s second solo exhibition. It is a technically ambitious work combining film, sound and an interactive constellation. Stereoscape are delighted to have been involved in both the conception and installation process, with our engineers devising the interactivity solution. Iona Roisin stopped by to see how it was all put together.

Inviting the Audience Inside

The focal point of the exhibition space is a large angled screen, over which washes a continually shifting plane of colour and abstracted shapes. Revealed to be fragments of pigments, they have been magnified so as to make them visible on a molecular level – almost becoming astral surfaces themselves.

Here the audience is invited to enter into the work, to navigate their way around a constellation of sensors, indicated in the space by soft spotlights, determining through their presence the sequence and length of the images on screen. Even if one chooses to avoid triggering the sensors, the drifting and hypnotic ‘screensaver’ will still play, allowing the audience to adopt both a passive and active position whilst still being immersed in the piece. There is movement, but the overall feeling is one of stillness, coaxing the participants into a process of collaboration, selection and reflection.

Our Role

There has long been an overlap between contemporary art and technology, in PRECESSION we see interactivity utilised in an innovative way that entices the audience and forges a memorable experience – and Stereoscape are proud to have been involved. Our engineers devised the best solution for Nelimarkka’s design, allowing the content to dictate the technical set-up. With site-specific works many of the details are finalised during the installation, particularly with interactive works the responsiveness of the sensors need to be tested in the space. Fine-tuning the sensitivity allows us to establish how close audience members need to get to be registered. A delay on the sensor picks up small movements so people of all heights can influence it. The participants can choose whether to stay still or move around, the footage will play for as long as the sensor is engaged and then continue if uninterrupted after the person leaves. This allows the participant to move around the constellation, to engage a different sensor or move closer to inspect the detail of the film – creating a physical montage.

Stereoscape’s engineers programed the software to accommodate this looping and layering so that engaging with the work is possible alone or in a group. At the opening I was intrigued to watch people interact. Some are impatient, some move into the spotlight and wait for the work to sense their proximity and shift scenes. Mostly multiple people stand under the sensors, waiting to see what they have triggered. This aspect of exploration creates a feeling of discovery throughout the process.

Why Interactivity?

Much art hopes to influence participation and engage with its audience, and utilising an interactive solution is one way to achieve this. By inviting the audience inside, the thematic aspects of the work are accessible in a different way. There are parallels between what art and advertising hope to inspire in their audience, which make interactive solutions relevant to both promotion and contemporary art. Interactivity creates a space for close engagement between audience and situation. In inviting them to make decisions and engaging their spatial memory a more meaningful and memorable experience is generated. It can be employed on multiple levels, from physical to virtual – the key element is participation. By making the audience a collaborator they forget they are an audience at all, it is at this point that immersion is possible.

PRECESSION (screensaver) is on at Sinne in Helsinki until 28.2.16




– Iona Roisin

The new era of retail

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Are you ready for all that digital is bringing to retail (including better profits)?

From giant screens to virtual reality headsets – The retail space is changing

The opening of the new Burberry store in London’s Regent Street in 2012 placed the British luxury brand on the forefront of the digital transformation of the retail space. Since then, a lot of other retailers have also started to integrate online and offline. A German bicycle store Rose Bike Town being one of them. In its new store in Münich, it allows customers to design and tune their dream bikes using the in-store iPads. The results can be seen in 3D on large touch screens in the store. And all this while a video wall at the back of the store is showing content that communicates the brand values.

The TUI integrated concept store of the large European leisure travel group TUI Travel is another good example of integrating digital and physical sales channels. Large video screens on the storefront show high quality content to inspire and excite the customers (n.b. prices, offers or other uninspiring details are not shown on the screen). Inside the store, interactive maps and table sized touch screens are offered for searching the perfect holiday destination.

At Tommy Hilfiger store in New York shoppers were provided with virtual reality headsets. With the headsets, the customers were given a three-dimensional, front-row view of the Hilfiger fall fashion show. For Christmas last year, Burberry launched a 3D campaign on the screens of Piccadilly Circus allowing the visitors to interact with their mobile phones with the famous curved screens. The results – personalised scarves beamed on the giant screens – could naturally also be purchased, online or from the store in Regent Street.

From transaction to interaction – digital means better business

All of the above are examples of the new engagement, entertainment, enrichment, and interaction that retailers are attempting to create with digital in-store strategy. Burberry, TUI and others are integrating online and offline for a seamless shopping experience; consistent and integrated no matter what the point of contact – digital or physical – is. And while some of the examples might be more testing and identifying new platforms of interaction and engagement, there is a lot to it in pure business as well. For example, the TUI concept store showed such a clear increase in sales as well as the average spend in the store that the company soon decided to roll out the same concept and technology to it’s other stores.

TUI is not alone with better performance from the digital transformation of its retail space. A recent study made by the Boston Consulting Group showed that the digital leaders in retail are outperforming their peers that have not yet implemented a digital strategy. In the BCG survey, the 25 fashion retailers in Europe and North America with advanced digital strategies and implementing digital technologies in stores were showing a clearly stronger EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) growth than companies not implementing a digital strategy.

Start-up co-operation or third-party developers – digital innovation is accessible for everybody

The opening of Burberry’s flagship store created a big buzz in the retail industry in 2012. What then seemed possible and available only for a large luxury brand is now available for everybody. The BCG study shows that even smaller investments can deliver good results. Affordable solutions are available for every size of business to use. In many of the examples of successful digital strategy, the solutions were made together with third-party developers – often innovative start-ups. With this kind of co-operation it is possible for even smaller retailers to launch an in-store digital strategy. In-store digital doesn’t necessarily need to mean in-house. In fact, today even the bigger companies often work together with start-ups to keep up with the latest technologies and innovations.

Independent agents like we at Stereoscape have the possibility to speed up the development. Not bound to established ways of working, but instead quick to embrace new technologies, we have the possibility to work as technology accelerators for our clients. Because the truth is that a web page or Facebook or twitter account won’t count for a digital presence anymore.

The new era of retail is already here; it’s technically possible, accessible, affordable, and it is good for your business. What are you waiting for?

– Helena Pekkarinen, freelance writer


3D visualisation, virtual reality

Vuosi 2016 – vauhdilla kohti virtuaali­todelli­suutta

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Vuosi 2016 tulee olemaan virtuaalitodellisuuden kannalta jännittävä. Muun muassa Oculus, Sony ja HTC tuovat vihdoin markkinoille kuluttajille suunnatut virtuaalitodellisuuslasit. Lasien kehitystä seuranneelle odotus on tuntunut välillä tuskallisen pitkälle, mutta vihdoin se on päättymässä. Odotus palkitaan kehittyneempinä kuluttajatuotteina, joilla pääsee nauttimaan parempaa VR-sisältöä. Erilaiset virtuaalitodellisuusdemot, joita tähän saakka on ollut saatavilla, ovat toki olleet erittäin mielenkiintoisia, mutta laitteiden yleistymiseen vaaditaan laadukkaampaa sisältöä. Virtuaalilasien julkaisujen viivästykset ovat antaneet lisäaikaa myös sisällönkehittäjille. Uudenlaisen sisällön tekeminen vaatii täysin uudenlaisia lähestymisiä esimerkiksi käyttäjäkokemuksen suunnitteluun, mikä vie aikaa.

Nyt julkaistavat virtuaalilasit maksanevat joitain satoja euroja. Lisäksi tarvitaan tehokkaat tietokoneet sisältöjen esittämiseen. Vaikka uppouttavin VR-elämys syntyy tietokoneeseen kytkettävillä laseilla, suurin osa ihmisistä pääsee nauttimaan alkuvaiheen VR-kokemuksista edullisemmin katselemalla mobiililaitteita hyödyntäen 360-videoita ja sovellussisältöjä, kuten vaikkapa matkakohde-esittelyjä. Pienempi osa kuluttajista on valmiita maksamaan VR-elämyksistä useita satoja euroja, mutta pienemmän ja sitä innokkaamman ryhmän harrastuneisuus ja innostus ovat kantava voima myös VR-kehityksen takana.

Vaikka virtuaalilasien kehitysaalto onkin nyt keskittynyt kuluttajatuotteisiin, on selvää, että yritykset voivat hyödyntää samoja teknologioita liiketoiminnassaan. Virtuaalitodellisuuden mittavat mahdollisuudet on helppo nähdä markkinoinnin ja myynnin lisäksi esimerkiksi koulutuksessa, suunnittelussa ja muissa yritysten sisäisissä prosesseissa. 360-videot ovat jo yritysten markkinointikäytössä. Mm. General Electric kertoo osaamisestaan vaikuttavasti VR-elämyksin – edistyksellinen markkinointiteknologia vahvistaa teknologiayhtiön yrityskuvaa. GE uskoo, että virtuaalitodellisuudella on mahdollisuus mullistaa markkinointi. VR:n tuottama läsnäolon tunne on vaikutuksiltaan dramaattinen sekä brändille että käyttäjille.

Edullisemmat, kehittyneemmät ja helpommin käyttöön otettavat laitteet pienentävät myös yritysten kynnystä VR-potentiaalin hyödyntämiseen. On helpompi lähteä kokeilemaan pienemmin. Suurin arvo ensimmäisten kuluttajalaitteiden hyödyntämisessä saattaakin syntyä juuri yrityksille, jotka lähtevät nopeasti soveltamaan edullisempaa ja parempaa teknologiaa.

Oma kiinnostukseni virtuaalitodellisuuteen on lähtenyt peleistä ja harrastajan innosta. Työssäni seuraan yritysten VR-projekteja. Olen vakuuttunut, että Suomen digiloikka jää vajaaksi ilman virtuaalitodellisuuden hyödyntämistä. Monet suomalaisyritykset ovat jo käyneet koeajamassa VR-ratkaisuja Stereoscapen näyttelytiloissa. Aito innostus ja kiinnostus virtuaalitodellisuuden tarjoamiin mahdollisuuksiin näkyy toivottavasti pian vaikuttavampina asiakaskokemuksina, parempina koulutustuloksina ja ajan ja kustannusten säästönä esim. suunnittelutyössä.

Yli puolet tänä vuonna Slushiin osallistuneista startupeista uskoo hyödyntävänsä VR-tekniikkaa oman yrityksensä markkinoinnissa lähitulevaisuudessa. Virtuaalisuuden hyödyt ovat todellisia, ja uudet VR-lasit tuovat hyödyt kaikkien yritysten ulottuville. Teknologian ja insinööritaidon esittelyssä virtuaalitodellisuus on työkaluna vertaansa vailla. Ensi vuonna yhä useammat tuotteet, rakennukset ja prosessit heräävät eloon virtuaalimaailmassa – asiakkaiden ja myyjien iloksi.


– Mikko

An outsider on the holodeck: My first time in Virtual Reality

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It’s not everyday you get the opportunity to strap into the Oculus Rift and be immediately transported to an art gallery, or a forest, or Mars – so naturally when offered I jumped at the chance. The first thing that struck me was just how quickly your brain accepts that you have moved into this hypothetical space and swiftly reorients itself. After starting out a little wobbly I was (virtually) walking into other rooms and picking up objects with relative ease, though to anyone watching from the outside I was probably a little less graceful than I assumed. In one demonstration you watch the floor drop out from underneath you to form a narrow bridge, which you are then asked to walk across and dared to step out into the void. After a short while this becomes so immersive that it’s difficult not to inch your way across the bridge, or hesitate when asked to step out, despite knowing perfectly well that the floor is still there. I cheated a little by gradually shuffling off the edge until my fears caught up with my rational mind and I realised I was safe.

Aside from the obviously entertaining nature of all this, Stereoscape’s Virtual Reality solutions are primarily intended for industrial, training and retail purposes; catering in particular to engineers, architects and designers. Traditional Virtual Reality required you to be sitting whilst the action moved around you (think roller-coaster simulators), however the handheld control, which feels somewhat like a TV remote, frees both users and designers from these static constraints. Which means it is possible for designers to create multiple environments enabling users to decide themselves where to go, thus immediately creating a more memorable experience.

Environments are created through processes like 3D scanning, 360 degree photography and digital designs with CAD files; so there is the potential to process existing material into new training situations, not only through complete immersion like the Oculus Rift but also across platforms by utilising touch-screen and hologram technology, depending on what is required. For example you are able to get right inside complex machinery and strip away the layers of things, like engines, in order to view the movements and regard the separate components of the equipment. Of course this works equally well for design and promotional purposes as well as for training. Apparently, it is through methods like this that many people who have been producing these parts get to see them operating for the first time.

By working partially in a virtual environment there’s a heightened chance of trainees absorbing information more effectively and the opportunity to experience technologies in training that would never be possible in a physical situation. Likewise this training and promotion is possible before even manufacturing the parts. In our increasingly digital world this method of knowledge acquisition is much more in tune with how we learn and interact on a daily basis. It doesn’t rely on out-dated and dry forms that can be a challenge to focus on; even I can go into Virtual Reality and learn which screws to remove from the motor of a helicopter, which is of course fun but also prioritises communication by making knowledge and technology accessible and understandable on multiple levels.


Stereoscape are bringing modern (if not futuristic) solutions to long established companies, and nurturing growth in new ones. Much of this technology is still in its infancy, but the swift innovations that are being made clearly indicate that the future of many industries lies in Virtual Reality, and indeed it’s becoming closer and closer to being a regular and consistent fixture in our own lives. It’s rare for effective educational tools and fun to converge into one point but it seems here this is happening, and who doesn’t want to believe in a little magic?

– Iona Roisin

The author is a British artist living in Helsinki.

Myyjän perustavanlaatuisin ongelma – miten saada asiakas ymmärtämään

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Myyntityylejä ja -tapoja on monenlaisia. On korkeapainemyyntiä, jota suorittaessa tukka vesikampauksella taakse vedettynä ja hiki pulisongeissa toitotetaan asiakkaalle oman tuotteen ja ratkaisun erinomaisuutta; on tarpeita luovaa myyntiä, jossa annetaan asiakkaan ymmärtää, että liiketoiminnan jatkuvuudessa on aukko ja se pitäisi paikata; on projektimyyntiä ja on asiakkuuden hoitoa ja on vaikka mitä. Sen enempää menemättä syvemmälle (ainakaan tällä kertaa) mihinkään näistä tyyleistä ja tavoista, on jokaisella myyjällä vain yksi tavoite – saada asiakas ymmärtämään. Myyjän täytyy saada asiakas ymmärtämään miksi juuri hänelle ja juuri nyt esitetty tuote tai ratkaisu on ostamisen väärti. Valuutan vaihdettua omistajaa on asiakkaalle jäätävä käteen rahalle vastinetta – sen tietää asiakas ja se täytyy myyjän pystyä todistamaan ennen kaupan lukkoon lyömistä.

Ihmismieli tuppaa toimimaan siten, että se kaipaa seurauksille syyn. Syyn piirtäminen ihmisen mieleen visuaalisin keinoin vähentää riskiä joutua eri pallokentille heti puheen alussa. Keskitytään tässä nyt tästä eteenpäin vain B2B puolen suurempiin hankintoihin. Suuremmissa hankinnoissa on nykypäivänä usein ryhmä ihmisiä päättämässä hankinnan toteutuksesta. Päätöksiä tehdään ryhmässä pääasiassa siksi, että saadaan laajempi näkökulma päätöksentekoon mukaan, jotta kaikki mahdolliset asiat, joihin hankinta vaikuttaa (eli seuraukset), tulisivat huomioiduiksi. Tämän vuoksi seurauksia yhdellä syyllä (eli hankinnalla) on useita. Yksinkertaistettuja esimerkkejä: Talousjohtajan seuraus on hankinnan taloudelliset vaikutukset.  Yritysvastuujohtajan seuraus on hankinnan eettisyys ja hiilijalanjälki. Loppukäyttäjän seuraus on hankinnan ominaisuudet ja varsinainen käyttö. Näille kaikille ja usein vielä monelle muulle pitää myyjän pystyä perustelemaan ratkaisunsa tarpeellisuus sekä ylivoimaisuus kilpailijoihin nähden.

Oletetaan, että myyjän tarjoama ratkaisu todella on ainakin joltain ominaisuudeltaan parempi kuin kilpailijoiden vastaavat sekä ihan tarpeellinenkin. Näitä ylivertaisia ominaisuuksia kannattaa siis korostaa ja selittää asiakkaalle. Selittelyssä on se huono puoli, että se monesti jää – noh – selittelyn tasolle.  Tästä syystä asiakkaan kuuloaistin hyödyntämisen lisäksi on järkevää esittää asioita myös nähtävissä olevassa muodossa, jotta asiakkaalle jäisi mahdollisimman vähän arvailuiden varaan. Asioiden ja esineiden visualisointi antaa myyjälle tarvittavaa vipuvartta, joka estää tehokkaasti väärien mielikuvien syntymistä sekä tutkitusti vahvistaa myös esityksestä jäävää muistijälkeä.

Liian monta kertaa olen kuullut ihmisten jääneen ymmälleen heille esitetyn tuotteen tärkeydestä. Vastavuoroisesti myyjille tuntuu usein jäävän takaraivoon jyskyttämään, että miksei se osta kun tästä olisi käytännössä selkeää hyötyä tuonkin asiakkaan liiketoiminnalle – miksei se ymmärrä?


Miten luoda CAD-malleista mukaansatempaavia 3D-tuote-elämyksiä?

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Useiden yritysten tuotteista on olemassa iso kirjasto insinöörien tekemiä CAD-malleja, joita ei ole vielä hyödynnetty markkinoinnillisesta näkökulmasta tuotteiden toimintojen ja prosessien visualisoinnissa. Suuret ja monimutkaiset laitteistot on hankala kuljettaa paikasta toiseen, eikä niitä useinkaan voida näyttää tositoimessa ilman ympäröivää puitteistoa, jolloin tuotteen toiminnallisuuksien ymmärtäminen saattaa jäädä puheen ja esitteiden varaan. Tällöin realistisen tuote-elämyksen luomiseksi voidaan käyttää 3D -visualisointia, joka tuo näkymättömät prosessit näkyviin, ja luo tarinankerronnasta interaktiivista, helppoa ja visuaalisesti kiinnostavaa ja saa yrityksen erottumaan kilpailijoista immersiivisen teknologian avulla.

Kuinka lähteä liikkeelle sisällöntuotannon prosessissa ja luoda CAD-malleista interaktiivisia 3D-tuote-elämyksiä?


Paras tapa aloittaa 3D-visualisointiprojektin suunnittelu on istuttaa samaan pöytään projektin tuottajat, suunnittelijat, tekniset osaajat, sekä asiakasyrityksestä ne henkilöt, jotka eniten työkalua työssään käyttävät. Workshopin aikana tutkitaan perinteisiä käytäntöjä, törmäytetään asiakas uusiin teknologioihin, ideoidaan, luodaan paperille prototyyppejä sekä lopulta luodaan kattava raportti projektin stepeistä, kustannuksista ja aikataulusta.

Visualisointiratkaisun workflow

Konkreettinen sisällöntuotannon prosessi alkaa usein oikeiden CAD-mallien metsästämisestä, jonka jälkeen 3D-malli tuodaan 3D-ohjelmistoon, jossa poistetaan osat joita ei haluta nähdä, sekä luodaan visualisointi ja animaatiot niille osille, jotka halutaan näyttää.

Työ on aktiivista tuottajien ja insinöörien vuoropuhelua. 3D-mallin osille määritetään materiaalit, tekstuurit, keskipisteet, pinnan suunnat sekä liikeradat, jotka luodaan realistisiksi todellisuutta vastaaviksi toiminnoiksi. Ohjelmistossa myös luodaan näkymättömät prosessit, kuten ilman liike, kaasu ja nestevirtaukset putkien sisällä.

Valmis aineisto viedään haluttuun tiedostomuotoon, jonka jälkeen se on avattavissa visualisointisovelluksessa.

Miten löytää omaan tarkoitukseen sopiva visualisointiratkaisu?

Visualisointiratkaisuita on useita, joista esiteltyinä alla muutamia:

  1. Onu One – Interaktiivinen 3D-myyntityökalu on erityisen hyvä myynnin ja markkinoinnin tukena
  2. WorldViz – Virtuaalitodellisuussovellus markkinointi-, koulutus ja suunnittelutarkoituksiin
    • Sitting VR – katsoja voi istua tuoliin ja sukeltaa tuotekierroksen kyytiin hop on hop off -tyyliin
    • Projection VR – tuotenäkymä voidaan taustaprojisoida kankaalle
    • Walking VR – näkymän tai tuotteen sisällä voidaan kävellä
  3. Pelimoottorilla toimivat interaktiiviset 3D-visualisointityökalut
    • Näkymän ohjaus mobiililaitteella – zoomaa sisään, näytä eri tuotetoiminnot, räjäytyskuvat, valmiit tuoteanimaatiot
    • VR-näkymä Oculus Rift tai Google Cardboard

Mitä hyötyjä 3D-visualisointi tuo eri liiketoiminnan osa-alueilla?

Kun alusta on kerran tehty, voidaan sitä helposti muokata muihin markkinoinnin ja myynnin tarpeisiin ja hyödyntää esimerkiksi messuilla, muissa markkinointitapahtumissa, myynnin työkaluna, tuotekoulutuksessa tai vaikkapa muotoilijan tai insinöörien tuotesuunnittelun tukena. Ohessa esimerkki kuinka 3D-visualisointia voidaan hyödyntää myynnin tarpeisiin:

– Laura

Physical products tell digital stories in the Supermarket of the Future

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Coop Italia has been exploring scenarios for future retail at its Supermarket of the Future created for Expo Milano 2015. The experimental project demonstrates how digital stories can make the physical shopping experience more informative, convenient and enjoyable. The future supermarket is a fully functional store with products exhibited on large interactive tables. A wave of the hand over the desired product is enough to activate digital mirror displays to show information about the product’s origin, ingredients, nutritional data, possible allergens, carbon footprint and even related recipes.

Digital stories

Photo Courtesy of Coop Italia


Over 80% of consumers rank ingredient transparency among top purchase drivers for food, beauty and household products. Yet, only 57% regularly check the list of ingredients before purchasing. Making it easier to get relevant product info provides genuine value added to consumers. The innovative digital “product labels” in Coop’s future supermarket offer transparency and traceability in a highly engaging way and add an element of discovery in the shopping experience.

Not only a thing of the future

Solutions for informative digital stories and interactions with real-world products are already commercially available. Stereoscape’s iScape – an interactive shelf based on RFID technology – enables physical products to trigger product information and other digital content on a mirror display or another digital screen. Consumers have learnt to expect rich, in-depth product content when browsing and shopping online. iScape brings that content into the physical store, augmenting the real-world experience. Every product has a story to tell, and interactive digital touchpoints in physical retail give you exciting new opportunities to tell those stories to your customers.

Digital stories

Stereoscape’s iScape in action: a Suunto sports watch activates iFace digital mirror to display brand video content

Kivijalkakaupan monikanavaistuminen

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Vähittäiskaupan murros sekä kivijalkakaupan monikanavaistuminen ovat olleet keskeisiä puheenaiheita viimeisen parin vuoden aikana. Paljon on puhuttu siitä, häviääkö kivijalka ja asiakkaat siirtyvät tekemään ostoksensa verkkoon halvemman hinnan perässä. Verkkokauppa on nähty uhkana kivijalalle kun todellisuudessa se on kivijalkaa tukeva toiminto, joka tarjoaa mahdollisuuden rakentaa asiakkaita palvelevan monikanavaisen kokemuksen.

Kivijalka ei ole kuitenkaan häviämässä minnekään. Ihmiset edelleenkin haluavat kosketella, tuntea ja olla läsnä oikeassa kauppaympäristössä muiden ihmisten ympäröimänä. Tämä ei kuitenkaan tarkoita sitä, että kivijalka säilyisi ennallaan ja samanlaisena kuin tänä päivänä. Päinvastoin, tulevaisuudessa kivijalka on yhdistelmä kokemuksia ja teknologiaa, jossa fyysinen ja digitaalinen maailma yhdistyvät toisiinsa.


Kuluttajat risteilevät kanavissa: Kuluttajat risteilevät kivijalan ja verkon välillä. Puhutaan showroomingista ja webroomingista:

  • Showrooming: Kuluttaja käy katsomassa ja tutkimassa tuotetta kivijalassa, mutta menee kotiin ja ostaa tuotteen verkkokaupasta. Näin käy siksi, että monet kuluttajat haluavat edelleen nähdä, koskea ja kokeilla tuotetta, mutta menevät halvemman hinnan perässä verkkoon.
  • Webrooming: Kuluttaja etsii tuotetta verkosta, mutta ostaa varsinaisen tuotteen kivijalasta. Kuluttaja siis vertailee tuotetta ensin verkossa, mutta haluaa kuitenkin olla varma päätöksestään ja marssii kivijalkaan näkemään ja kokemaan tuotteen.

Elämysten luominen: Kuluttajat janoavat kokemuksia. Kivijalan etu verkkoon on, että kuluttajat voivat tuntea, nähdä, haistaa, koskea ja kokea erilaisia elämyksiä. Kivijaloista on tullut kuin näyttämöitä, joiden on pystyttävä luomaan kuluttajille odottamattomia sekä mieleenpainuvia kokemuksia, jotka saavat kuluttajat palaamaan yhä uudelleen ja uudelleen.

Diginatiivien nousukausi: Vähittäiskaupan on sopeuduttava kuluttajien muuttuneeseen ostoskäyttäytymiseen. Nuoret ovat tottuneita mobiilikäyttäjiä ja heille kännykkä on tärkeä ostosväline. Erityisesti he etsivät tarjouksia, tuotearvosteluita, tuotteen saatavuutta sekä vertailevat hintoja. Täten mobiililaite toimii ostosta tukevana välineenä. Pohjoismaissa tehdyn tutkimuksen tulokset näyttävät, että Suomessa vain 15% vähittäiskaupan alalla toimivista on integroinut mobiilin osaksi asiakaskokemustaan.

Muutos on siis varmaa. Kivijalka säilyy keskiössä, mutta kivijalan tulee ottaa digitalisaatio kiinteäksi osaksi toimintaa, jotta on mahdollista luoda monikanavaisia, nykyajan kuluttajien tarpeita vastaavia asiakaskokemuksia. Keskeistä on, että kuluttajille on pystyttävä luomaan unohtumattomia asiakaskokemuksia, kanavasta riippumatta.

– Saana

Use of Virtual Reality in today’s business

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Sandra Bergmeir, Solutions Architect, WorldViz
Interviewed by Saana Häkkinen on behalf of Stereoscape

WorldViz is the industry leader in turnkey interactive visualisation and simulation solutions and provides world leading Virtual Reality expertise and unparalleled immersive visualisation experiences.  Stereoscape is part of the WorldViz reseller network and we had the pleasure of talking with Sandra Bergmeir, Solutions Architect from Worldviz about the future of Virtual Reality (VR).

How do you see Virtual Reality can be used in business sector?

This depends highly on the type of business. But basically anything that can be supported or improved by a visual representation or simulation can benefit from VR. Product development and design reviews, maintenance and safety training, customer presentations, sales events and so on and so forth.

What kind of use cases do you have in business sector?

I think I mentioned the general ones above. Training I believe is one of the biggest parts. Also, a lot of construction and architecture as well as hospital design.

How much Virtual Reality is used at the moment in business sector?

The business sector is slowly starting to pick up on it. So far companies often don’t realize the business value of VR. That’s where we have to come in and help them understand.

What are the best ways to utilise Virtual Reality in companies? 

I think the huge advantage of VR over all other types of visualisation is the immersion and full-scale models. Using VR in the design and development process can greatly improve and therefore shorten processes. It can help teams consisting of different people (like designers, engineers, executives and other stakeholders) can now communicate on the same level. This will save time and money!

What kind of cases are the most common for you in general?

We still are mainly working in the academic sector mainly psychology, vision science and neuroscience. These sectors have been using VR for a long time now. They’ve helped improve the technology tremendously which the enterprise can profit from greatly.

How do you see the future will be for Virtual Reality and how it will be used?

I think VR can potentially improve many parts of our lives. I believe that mainly businesses will use VR in the future and potentially the entertainment sector. The next 5 years will hold great technological jumps and I’m excited to see what’s to come.

What Virtual Reality enables that other interactive solutions don’t provide?

The sense of presence and the ability to physically experience a computer generated environment in a fairly natural way is VRs great advantage. It’s different to watch a movie or interact with a 2d or even 3d screen compared to actually being somewhere else.

Virtuaalitodellisuus markkinoinnissa

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Nykyisessä hektisessä maailmassa visuaalisen viestinnän merkitys korostuu jatkuvasti. Jaksamme paneutua yhteen asiaan todella lyhyen aikaa kerralla, joten markkinoijan on onnistuttava kertomaan tuotteensa tarina nopeasti ja muistettavalla tavalla.

Suomalaista digitalisaatiokeskustelua leimaa keskittyminen verkossa tapahtuviin asioihin ja some-konsultit julistavat perinteisen myynnin kuolemaa. Markkinoinnin automaatiosta odotetaan messiasta, joka vapauttaa suomalaisen insinöörikansan myynnin pahasta ikeestä. Allekirjoitan sen tosiasian, että uudet teknologiat muuttavat (ja toivottavasti myös tehostavat) myynnin tekemistä. Uskallan kuitenkin olla eri mieltä siitä, että perinteinen myynti olisi kuolemassa. Myynti on ihmisten kohtaamista, jonka merkitys korostuu, kun kyseessä on yhtään matkapuhelinta monimutkaisempi kokonaisuus. Näissä ”oikeissa” kohtaamisissa tullaan tulevaisuudessakin ratkaisemaan suomalaisten yritysten menestyminen.

Digitalisaatio tuo aivan uudenlaisia, interaktiivisia keinoja tarinan kerrontaan asiakaskohtaamisissa. Näistä keinoista kaikkein interaktiivisin on virtuaalitodellisuus, jossa passiivinen näkijä muuttuu aktiiviseksi kokijaksi. Alla muutamia näkemyksiä ja ajatuksia virtuaalitodellisuuteen.

VirtuaalitodellisuusMitä virtuaalitodellisuus on?

Virtuaalitodellisuus rinnastetaan usein päähän puettaviin näyttölaitteisiin. Keskustelu mediassa keskittyy uusien laitteiden kehittymiseen ja julkistuksiin. Laitteistot kehittyvät huimaa vauhtia ja nyt jo on mahdollista niin kutsuttujen haptisten laitteiden avulla lisätä elämykseen tuntoaisti. Todellisuudessa arvo markkinoijalle perustuu sisällön laatuun. Virtuaalitodellisuuden on sanottu voimaannuttavan sisällön ja antavan kokijalle vallan.  Sisältöä suunniteltaessa on varmistuttava siitä, että palvelun tai tuotteen lisäarvo saadaan esille optimaalisella tavalla.

Virtuaalitodellisuuden yleistyminen

Jo mainittu laitteiden kehitys on johtanut siihen, että laitteistojen hinnat ovat muutamassa vuodessa pudonneet murto-osaan entisestä. Ohjelmistojen ja alustojen kehittyminen on myös ollut huimaa. Vielä hetki sitten virtuaalitodellisuusratkaisut tehtiin pelien tekemiseen suunniteltujen alustojen päälle, mikä teki sovellusten tekemisestä työlästä, koska näitä alustoja ei yksinkertaisesti ole suunniteltu siihen. Nykyään käytössämme on alustoja, jotka on suunniteltu nimenomaan virtuaalitodellisuuksien rakentamiseen. Kolmas yleistymiseen vaikuttava tekijä on ymmärryksen lisääntyminen ja soveltamisen oppiminen. Nyt ollaan jo pidemmällä kuin muutama vuosi sitten, mutta väitän, että olemme ymmärtäneet vasta murto-osan mahdollisuuksista.

Virtuaalitodellisuuden hyödyt

Kuten mainittu jo aikaisemmin mahdollistaa virtuaalitodellisuus markkinoijalle erittäin interaktiivisen tarinan kerronnan. Olemme jokainen nähneet loputtoman määrän erilaisia palvelukuvauksia tai teknisiä piirustuksia. Mitä jos kohderyhmäsi voisikin kokea palvelusi tai tutkia tuotettasi todellisen tuntuisessa ympäristössä jo ennen hankintaa? Kasvattaisiko lisääntynyt elämyksellisyys myyntiäsi tai olisiko innovatiivinen mielikuva pahaksi brändillesi? Perinteisen markkinoinnin termein suurin etu virtuaalitodellisuudesta markkinoijalle on muistettavuuden parantuminen ja erottautuminen asiakaskohtaamisissa.

Virtuaalitodellisuuden on ennustettu yleistyvän huomattavasti vuonna 2016. Itse olen tästä innoissani ja niin tulisi olla jokaisen markkinoijankin, sillä teknologia antaa oivan keinon lisätä elämyksiä ja vakuuttaa kohderyhmä.

– Jukka

Vuorovaikutteinen visualisointi vahvistaa tuotemarkkinointia

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Kun mikä tahansa yritys kehittää hienon ja kilpailukykyisen tuotteen, mietitään samaan aikaan, miten tuo mainio tuote markkinoidaan ja myydään ja miten siinä hyödynnetään visualisointia. Varsin usein turvaudutaan esitenippuihin, joihin painetaan laadukkaita valokuvia. Entistä enemmän visualisoinnissa käytetään liikkuvaa kuvaa, videona tai animaationa, joka havainnollistaa ja opastaa tuotteen erinomaisuuteen niin omaa henkilöstöä kuin asiakkaita. Käsikirjoituksessa pohditaan, mitä tuotteen ominaisuuksia ja hyötyjä halutaan korostaa ja miten monikäyttöisesti videota voidaan hyödyntää koko tuotteen elinkaaren ajan.

Yhä useammin fokuksessa on tuotteen tarina. Sosiaalisina olentoina meidät on ohjelmoitu muistamaan paremmin tarinoita kuin kuivaa dataa ja numeroita, ja tarinankerronta tehoaa myös tuotemarkkinoinnissa. Mutta tärkeistä ominaisuuksista ja kilpailjoista erottavista yksityiskohdista pitäisi myös kertoa kiehtovasti. Miten yhdistää tarinat ja kovat faktat?

Tämä onnistuu, kun visualisointiin liitetään vuorovaikutus. Vuorovaikutteinen visualisointi ja interaktiiviset tuoteanimaatiot mahdollistavat monipuoliset tuote-esittelyt, joissa tuotteen tarina ja tuotetieto yhdistyvät kiinnostavasti ja elämyksellisesti. Powerpoint-esitysten sijaan rikastetaan asiakastapaamisia vuorovaikutteisella visualisoinnilla, jonka avulla läpivalaistaan tuote yksityiskohtia myöten: tutkitaan pyörittämällä kolmiulotteista tuotetta eri vinkkeleistä, zoomataan niihin yksityiskohtiin, jotka kiinnostavat, räjäytetään tuote osikseen ja sukelletaan tuotteen tai prosessin sisään. Kerrontaa voi jatkaa infotekstien kautta, jolloin kuvien takaa löytyvät välittömästi asiatiedot, numeroarvot, käyttöohjeet ja esitteet.

Tutkimukset todistavat, että vuorovaikutteinen visualisointi herättää huomion ja lisää elämyksellisyyttä. Vuorovaikutteinen visualisointi kiinnostaa, on mieleenpainuvaa ja uskottavaa sekä antaa asiakkaille positiivisen kuvan yrityksen tavasta toimia. Substanssiosaaminen välittyy asiakkaalle osana tuotteen tarinaa. Myyntipuskun tilalle syntyy vuoropuhelua, jolla autetaan asiakasta ymmärtämään päätöksentekoon vaikuttavat yksityiskohdat. Monimutkainen muuttuu selkeäksi. Ja kun tuotteita ei vaikkapa kokonsa takia voi kuljettaa mukana, on virtuaalisesta tuote-esittelystä saatava irti kaikki mahdollinen. Asiakkaan aika on laatuaikaa myyjälle.

Kaiken takana on tietysti digitalisaatio. Uudet digitaaliset työkalut mahdollistavat uudet tavat toimia. Suomi kaipaa digitaalista hyppyä, ja tämä loikka olisi nyt markkinoinnissa ja myynnissä tarjolla vuorovaikutuksella vahvistetun visualisoinnin avulla.


  • Tekstit
  • Valokuvat
  • Virallinen
  • Staattinen
  • Monologi
  • Faktat
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  • Dynaaminen
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Tavoitteena on nostaa kovassa kilpailussa huomioarvoa, parantaa muistettavuutta, erottua eduksemme ja tuoda vaativaan kansainväliseen myyntityöhön uusia keinoja. Tässä myynti-insinöörien vakavasti otettava viesti samasta asiasta:

– Juuso

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