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A screen shot of Mozilla Hubs. A Santa Claus, robot and panda avatars are standing in front of a temple on a desert.

Next up on our mission of trying out different kinds of virtual reality collaboration tools was Mozilla Hubs, an immersive social experience, an online 3D platform, that runs in your browser. It is free and works literally on every platform: with virtual reality headsets, on desktop, tablet and even mobile phones. On top of this, Hubs is open source and very customizable. You can upload your own avatar, or even build your own spaces with their online 3D editor! 

But we, the Helsinki XR Center team, wanted to find out is it suitable for work purposes as well?

A screenshot of VRChat, social virtual reality application. Two avatars are standing in a room at a sky scraper. There are big windows in the background with a great view of the sunset. Some 3D doodles are floating in the air. There is a text: “HXRC TEAM: Testing VRChat, a community creation focused social VR application” written on top.

Next up on Helsinki XR Center’s test list of social VR and collaboration tools was VRChat, quite possibly the largest and definitely the wildest social VR platform available!

Our team certainly had a lot of fun with it: crazy avatars, games, karaoke … but can it be used for work as well?

A screen shot of Laval Virtual World 2020 conference's big event hall: VRtical. The space is yet empty, as the program of the day has not yet begun. There’s a text on the image: HXRC Team’s first virtual conference experience: Laval Virtual World 2020.”

We visited a big virtual conference for the first time, and decided to write some thoughts about! Due to the unfortunate event of Coronavirus pandemia, the Laval Virtual 2020 conference was moved to a virtual environment. How was the all in all experience? Did it feel the same as being in a real-life conference? Read now about our thoughts and experiences!

A screen shot of a western movie scenery in RecRoom virtual reality platform. There's a couple of horses and participants trying out the Maker Pen. On top of the picture there's a text: "HXRC Team: Testing Rec Room, a recreational VR platform."

Next on our “working remotely on different virtual reality platforms” tour was Rec Room, a free recreational virtual space, where people can socialize and do various activities, such as play paintball or meet in a park. We wanted to find out whether it is also suitable for working purposes, and wrote an article about our experiences with it.

A screenshot of BigscreenVR. Three participants are sitting on a white couch in front of a screen with a basketball game on. It's night time and they are outside on a rooftop balcony. There is a text "HXRC Team: testing Bigscreen VR for meeting purposes" written on top of the picture.

The third expedition in our “testing out virtual reality collaboration tools” series took us to Bigscreen VR. Can it be used for meeting purposes, or other work related events?

A screenshot selfie of AltspaceVR with one participant with a robot avatar in the middle. On top of the picture is a text "HXRC Team: Testing AltspaceVR, a social VR platform. Read more." In the background there is a big Helsinki XR Center logo.

Next up on our mission of trying out different kinds of virtual reality collaboration tools was AltspaceVR, one of the most prominent current social VR platforms in the world for hanging out with friends and enjoying virtual events. But is it also suitable for work?

A screenshot of Glue Platform with six participants in it. There is a whiteboard in the middle with writing on it "Greetings from HXRC". On top of the picture is a text "HXRC Team: Testing Glue, a virtual collaboration tool. Read more."

We realized that this situation is our chance to explore ways of working remotely, and we are now on a mission of trying out different kinds of virtual reality collaboration tools. First one in our exploration queue was Glue, a virtual collaboration platform created in Finland. Supporting Finnish companies is always a priority for Helsinki XR Center!

A city scenery screenshot of Half-Life: Alyx VR-game.

The next installment of Half-Life is finally here and it is simply groundbreaking. Could’ve we had expected anything less? Our XR Curator Santeri Suominen tested the game out and wrote an article about his experience. Read Santeri’s insights now!

A virtual reality headset, a laptop and a phone on a table in front of a window with a view to a playground surrounded with trees.

We will share the journey of how our Helsinki XR Center team, a group of eight persons with different technical backgrounds, will work together weekly in virtual reality using multiple platforms and extended reality equipment from home. Our team will give honest opinions and insights exploring different virtual conference rooms in cyberspace. Does it really work in VR or not? What did our XR experts and other team members think: can virtual meetings be just as good as face-to-face ones?

Helsinki XR Center logo with a dark and glitchy background image of waves.

While the situation with COVID-19 is as it stands out, it’s useless to ask whether we need software for remote collaboration. For XR industry the time to evolve is now. And to do this, we need to come together as an industry, not as competitors.

Until further notice, all of our events and gatherings are cancelled. Read more about our COVID-19 policy.

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, HXRC will cancel or postpone all events, visits and group meetings for the spring 2020. The health of our partners, guests, visitors, staff and team members is our highest priority.

New XR Hub teams listens to Santeri Suominen telling about Helsinki XR Center policies.

The results of our second open call are now official: seven new teams will be moving to Helsinki XR Center during the spring, and continue the development of their interesting projects.

A man with a virtual reality headset on his head is looking up.

The year 2019 was truly a busy one, but we couldn’t be happier of everything the year has given us and all the support we’ve got around the world. Now as Helsinki XR Center has turned one year old, we will take a moment to reminisce how the first year was like!

Helsinki XR Center crew member holding a HXRC sticker in the air.

Helsinki XR Center (HXRC) offers shared work space and equipment for teams, companies and individuals in their early phase of development of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality or Mixed Reality projects. Now we have our second open call for XR developer teams!

Two man standing in the middle of people looking happy

In Match Up – XR event hundreds of operators from extended reality came together in Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in Arabia Creative Campus on 20 November. The annual SLUSH pre-event offered international keynote speakers, dozens of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) demos and the possibility to have short 1-on-1 meetings between guests in Matchmaking session.

Urho Konttori, Founder & Chief Product Officer at Varjo Technologies, will have a Keynote about Varjo & Volvo Cooperation at Match Up 2019 event.

Urho Konttori, Founder and Chief Product Officer of Varjo Technologies, comes to Match Up 2019 to give a keynote speech about Varjo and Volvo Cooperation.

Steven M Lavalle, Keynote Speaker at Match Up 2019 the XR Event

Professor Steven M. Lavalle arrives to Helsinki Arabia District to give a keynote speech about the challenges in wireless XR at Match Up 2019, the biggest XR event in Finland on 20th November 2019.

Match Up 2019 – The XR Event

The biggest XR event in Finland – Match Up – XR Event 2019 is an annual SLUSH pre-event in Helsinki, focusing on AR/VR industry, technologies and solutions. The event is held now for the third time and it will host 500+ attendees from all over the world.

During the evening attendees will meet top VR/AR companies and startups. Forefront corporations tell how they have already utilised XR in their projects and keynote speakers will share their industry expertise and outlook of future XR development and technologies.

Olli Sinerma – Business Finland Startup Coach

At Helsinki XR Center, Olli Sinerma – a Senior Advisor of Business Finland – helps startups and companies in Arabia district to apply Tekes funding and coach them for international growth. 

Oki Tåg - Startup Coach

Startup Checklist is a service for idea stage startups. The startup team / individual meets a mentor 1-3 times during three months. The service helps the team to clarify their potential in creating scalable business and tackle challenges in three key areas: team, idea validation and market. The methods used are based on self-reflection supported by the coach. The process is guided by a self-reflection tool. At the end of the Startup Checklist service the team receives the mentor’s recommendations for next steps. The teams will be coached by Oki Tåg.

TELIA XR CHALLENGE 2019 innovation competition

Innovation competition for companies to create XR business together with Telia is now open for applications. The winner will be announced at Match Up 2019.

Two womans cutting the red Ribbon of XR Showroom

The center for extended reality (HXRC) in Helsinki held its Grand Opening on Thursday 5th September 2019.

We can’t even describe how amazing we feel after the great day we had at Helsinki XR Center. Our Grand Opening went super well and we want to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part in this big day. We appreciate your support so much.

Goup of people standing with dark clothes and smiling faces blue background

We have now introduced our XR team, people behind Helsinki XR Center. Our team is innovative, inspiring group of talented people of researchers, technology specialists, start-up experts, hub masters, ecosystem pundits, project lead professionals, event producers, social media pros and amazing Advisors.

HXRC LAUNHING PHASE

This summer we are developing two applications to assist teaching at Metropolia UAS. With funding from Ministry of Education and Culture, we hired eight trainees to work on these projects, one game designer, three artists and four programmers.

HXRC LAUNCHING PHASE

From January 2019, our XR team has been launching a new center; facilities, equipments, communications, start-up teams, events, development projects, international operations and collaboration and much more.

Metropolia  Business Finland FIVR  Helsinki