Insights: Case Studies

Virtualware: Innovating at the Forefront of Immersive Technology

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Aida Otaola | Global Communications Manager | Virtualware

13 May 2022 | 4 min read

Beyond the excitement that virtual reality generates, there are a lot of opportunities for immersive technologies to revolutionize industrial processes. It is with this in mind that Unai Extremo and Sergio Barrera founded Virtualware in 2004 in Bilbao, Spain. 

Virtualware has been disrupting industries across the globe using tailored immersive solutions for almost two decades.

These solutions impact complex processes across a broad range of sectors and have enabled our clients to streamline their operations.

This roster extends to more than 320 organizations. These include GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH), Alstom, Jaguar Land Rover, Iberdrola, Petronas, and more.

The industry has also taken notice. In 2021, Virtualware was recognized as the World’s Innovative VR Company at the VR Awards.

Virtualware has been laying the groundwork for nearly two decades to create the best immersive reality solutions on the market,” said Extremo, Virtualware’s CEO.

“Above all, those that can be used to solve problems in the real economy, train real people for real jobs.”

“And, in the process, improve the way we approach the physical world”. 

Since its launch, Virtualware has grown to a headcount of 45 people in Europe and North America and opened offices in Toronto, Canada. 

VIROO: Virtualware’s Cornerstone

At the heart of Virtualware’s efforts to disrupt the immersive reality industry is VIROO.

VIROO is a collaborative, scalable, VR solution that can be used for training, engineering, reviewing design processes, and customer engagement. 

It is an all-in-one VR solution that uses real scale VR rooms to reproduce training scenarios and enable complete freedom of movement.

“VIROO is the engine that drives us to reach our goals and move towards our purpose as a company,” said Extremo.

 

VIROO rooms have been used to simulate operations in nuclear, rail, defence, and health care facilities.

By supporting real sector stakeholders to build a digital, safer, and sustainable future, Virtualware’s industrial VR solutions can have positive and real impacts on the world,” said Barrera, the co-founder and CTO.

“Virtualware’s technology helps limit risks in a broad range of industries.”

“From working at extreme heights servicing windmills, to preventing exposure to dangerous chemical or biological agents.”

The potential benefits that Virtualware’s solutions can facilitate are evident in our work with GEH.

GEH builds and operates nuclear power plants as a joint venture between General Electric and Hitachi. GEH used VIROO to provide cost-effective and safe training for high-risk operations at their nuclear plants.

The results have been so impressive that GEH plans to expand the use of the VR training simulators from boiling water reactors to pressurized water reactors. This is in addition to its use for decommissioning and dismantling operations.

According to GEH, Virtualware’s VR training solutions have helped drive better outcomes while reducing costs and reducing risk.

A True Innovation in Immersive Spaces

The Spanish Military Health School have also used Virtualware’s solutions to create an immersive training installation for its Central Defense Academy in Madrid.

A multi-user immersive simulator has been installed in the 160-square-meter building. It is being used to train tactical teams and medical staff using large-scale, modelled scenarios.

Virtualware’s unique tracking system allows our rooms to run multiple training scenarios at the same time and enable multi-user experiences. 

“The system, called NMERSO, is an absolute tracking system that allows for several users to interact through immersive technology while standing physically in the same space,” explains Barrera.

“It allows us to train several high-skilled workers in complex processes at the same time.”

Virtualware VR training

Image Source: Virtualware.

But the potential of VR is not limited to high-risk situations or scenarios.

Technology such as VIROO is increasingly being used for sectors like healthcare. 

For instance, Virtualware has signed a collaboration agreement with the Valdecilla Virtual Hospital in Cantabria to use VR in medical training programs across the North of Spain.

“This alliance is the beginning of a long-term relationship to build a base of VR content and to create transformative experiences that provide clinical and scientific value”.

“The creation and validation of this content by world leaders in the medical simulation industry will facilitate the adoption of VR as an effective method for training and educating healthcare professionals,” said Julio Alvarez, health business manager at Virtualware.

“By focusing on these business-to-business spaces, we have joined the metaverse in a unique, practical, and innovative way,” explains Extremo.

“This level of innovation is important to the development of the metaverse because, like the real universe, the metaverse will not be one thing.”

“It will be many different things coming together under one umbrella.”

Sustainability: Virtualware’s Common Goal

Sustainability is a fundamental pillar of our strategic objectives moving forward.

We use the Sustainable Development Goals (UN 2030 Agenda) as a reference framework for achieving our goals.

 Achieving the SDGs is an important goal for Virtualware and its partners and clients as a result.

To achieve the SDGs we are committed to contributing to a more sustainable world through VR.

We see technological innovation as essential in creating a more sustainable world.

And VR is one of the best enabling technologies.

It is therefore central to our commitment to designing, developing, and driving innovative and responsible products and services.

We are committed to maintaining and generating new alliances with other institutions that will enable us to expand our sustainable impact.

 

 

About the author:

Global Communications Manager of Virtualware, one of the pioneering virtual reality companies based in Spain. Aida Otaola has been working for the company for the past 15 years, leading the digital strategy and global communications, contributing to the corporation's awareness

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