Hi my name is Emily Olman and I’m the Chief Media Officer at Hopscotch Interactive, a media services agency I founded in the Bay Area in 2015. Let me share with you some of the things we’ve worked on recently to kick things off…
For the last 7 years we have been pioneering the use of 3D scanning and new media primarily for residential and commercial real estate. We have supported everyone from foundation engineers, helping them efficiently draft as-built plans, to creating extensive marketing campaigns for luxury real estate, and commercial office leasing. During the pandemic our team even used drone photogrammetry to help create a socially distanced Chinese New Year celebration in San Francisco’s Chinatown.
So how did this all happen? When I first started experimenting with reality capture in 2015, something clicked for me. I grew up in a construction family, and my father was a General Contractor and Architect, so being on job sites was a native environment for me, but it had laid dormant for a few decades. Reality capture brought a new way of seeing the world to my life and led me quickly to virtual and augmented reality.
As part of my own explorations on these topics, I have shared my learnings with others via the Hopscotch Interactive YouTube channel, and also as a frequent speaker at conferences such as AWE, Realcomm, and now GeoWeek. I’ve been evangelizing the use of XR now for some time, and have seen its application in many fields from medicine to entertainment, but it has always been the practical applications of XR that have resonated the most with me.
Having created digital twins since 2015, I have developed a sense of pride when I see colleagues producing best-in-class advances with their technologies. Their wins are my wins. Their wins are our wins. Their wins are your wins. And, one of my pet peeves is that whatever the current hype cycle is, it distracts everyone from the actual great work that is being done by the real folks building and grinding on their visionary applications every day.
This past weekend I attended Space Explorers: THE INFINITE, a free-roam VR space walk taking participants 250 miles above Earth onto the International Space Station. And while I was looking down at Earth experiencing something of my own “Overview Effect”, I was reminded that having the ability to see our world in a new way, and to gain a new perspective, such as seeing the earth as a whole planet, is one of the many reasons that XR continues to have such a profound impact on my life. XR is good for many things, but it’s extraordinary at creating immersive environments that can bring a new perspective to projects as a whole, or to illustrate critical elements in impactful ways.
So when you see the media presented to you today, keep an eye out for how many of your projects could be better understood by the ability to present both universal as well as precise mission-critical information with XR.
In a talk I gave this past November to an audience of Real Estate Media Professionals I reminded them all that the first scanned photograph of Russell Kirsch’s infant son Walden in 1957 brought us our first pixel by asking the question “What if Computers Could See the World as We do?”. So in barely a generation, we have seen the advancements of visualization go from a mere pixel, to fully spatial interactive content with 6-degrees of freedom and a semantic understanding of the world around us.
The practitioners of advanced visualizations you will hear from today are also pioneers. Just as the team that sent Apollo 13 to the moon achieved amazing things in the early days of computing, we can all look to what is possible today in the early days of XR as a roadmap towards what it will enable for us in the future. So as Bill talks to you about leveraging digital twin data with AR, or Mark shares how he and his team provide value by animating reality capture, or Sandor and Martin share with you their successes utilizing virtual field visits, and Nic illustrates how XR solutions align teams with remote collaboration, it will become apparent that creating real-world value using XR is something within the grasp of every single person in this room.
But the thing that excites me the most is that nobody here needs to add a marketing spin on it. We don’t need to sell the metaverse to anyone. That’s because enterprise XR applications illustrate that once deployed, all other visualization tools will appear antiquated vis-a-vis the power of utilizing XR to produce actionable results.