XR Bavaria e.V. is a professional association for virtual reality, augmented reality, and 360-degree videos, which was founded in Bavaria in early 2019. What does this association stand for? What are its goals? And what kind of potential does Bavaria have in the domain of XR? We discussed these questions with the board and founding members Clarence Dadson, Petra Dahm, and Martin Rieger in an interview with MedienNetzwerk Bayern.
Where the Bavarian XR Community Meets
XR stands for Extended Reality and generally covers all immersive technologies. This currently includes Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality in addition to 360-degree videos. In the future, they could all merge into a single XR-technology. The members of the association are convinced that many more innovations will be launched in this market. "This is an incredible technology with enormous potential," says Clarence Dadson. "We must be a part of this development; simply observing it is not an option." Early on, Dadson knew that the importance of XR would grow. Today, he wants to help shape this growth.
Photo: XR Bavaria e.V.
Bavarian VR Professionals With a Mission
Dadson is Senior Art Director and partner of the company Design4real GmbH, where he is responsible for XR brand staging. Together with Flame GmbH’s managing director Petra Dahm and VRTonung’s sound engineer Martin Rieger, XR Bavaria e.V board was formed. Moreover, Petra Dahm works for the start-up Stell Dir V(o)R, which promotes education and sustainability through immersive technologies. She also advises companies on virtual and augmented reality. Martin Rieger is an expert in sound design of 360-degree and VR productions. The board members possess a professional knowledge base and passion for everything that is VR related.
Early on, the VR enthusiasts met in Munich to exchange ideas on a voluntary basis. As the number of like-minded people coming to the meet-ups increased, the organizers took the next step: they wanted to bring XR-Experiences to people with no experience in the subject. They additionally sought to strengthen their network and the industry as a whole. The association was founded in order to provide a plattform where all these topics can be discussed.
Clarence Dadson, Petra Dahm and Martin Rieger - XR Bavaria e.V. Executive Board (from left to right) (Photo: XR Bavaria e.V.)
More Visibility for Bavarian XR Creators
XR Bavaria wants to make the Bavarian XR industry more visible. "Bavaria is very attractive in terms of players such as media institutions, top-ranking universities, or industrial and technological companies," explains Dahm. "We want to connect those players and consequently promote Bavaria as a media location." Furthermore, the founding members intend to provide consulting services to the industrial sector, politics, and society and look to partake in the implementation of XR in professional education and further training.
The meet-ups are organized by the association, but they are open to all interested parties. They cover a broad spectrum of topics such as education, industry, medicine, architecture, politics, tourism, culture, gaming, sports, etc. "We give our members a chance to demonstrate their abilities," says Dadson. "We also cooperate with people from other sectors in order to see how things are developing there."
Experience the Future of XR
The board members predict that education in particular will revolutionize XR technology. People can already study via virtual reality, which is a big advantage. Practical experiences as well as trial and error are more memorable than mere theory, and XR simulations allow people to practice independent of where they are and without risk. Future surgeons can rehearse heart surgery in VR without endangering patients or leaving the lecture hall.
XR technologies will still offer many opportunities in the future (Photo: XR Bavaria e.V.)
XR technologies are still new and developing constantly. "We have a blank canvas and now we need creative people to project their visions onto it," says Dadson. "At the moment, the technology is still very much tied to hardware. But soon we will just have one device that can do everything." The association is also there to explore the direction XR is taking and its members undoubtedly want to be among the first when it comes to recognizing future trends.
Dahm describes the benefits of taking part in his association: "We offer workshops to our members. There is something for everyone–from beginners' workshops for newcomers who want to exchange ideas or get to know the technology, to workshops for professionals and true enthusiasts. Members also get access to the association's partners and supporters. In the future, the topics of the meetings will be more varied, and there will be more workshops and trade fair appearances–everything to help shape the future of XR."