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VivaTech, THE place for innovations! (with a little bit of XR)

For my first Vivatech show, a good impression: a human-sized show (it’s different from the CES!), many qualified visitors, services, and catering offers… And a slight aberration: outside the map on the application, no indication on the aisles, nor numbers on most of the stands…. I’ve spent most of my time getting lost!

As far as exhibitors and conferences are concerned, AI was absolutely everywhere, a real tidal wave in the sector!! From the many AI chatbots to the possibility of having his portrait drawn by a robotic arm supported by an AI, there was something for every need (identified or not)!

I found a few XR companies out of the 116 claimed on the official website, but also fromt he haptic category, the UI (with AI) and even a real «live» game in AR!

 So, a lot of AI, a lot of robots, and of course cars, that’s VivaTech 2024 tip of the iceberg.  I found robots rather fun like the one from Enchanted Tools, or the bartender robot from Ipsumtek, but also industrial robots with wheels or legs for automation or inspection services.  The propeller or wheeled vehicles were also present with notably the autonomous concept car of Peugeot, the presence of the Chinese BYD and its (super) affordable electric cars, and the amazing (imposing) Cybertruck of Tesla.  It was its first European appearance, and it created a buzz as its design is very disruptive – at 100,000 dollars, it can be!

Argo

In the field of XR , even if immersive technologies were not totally visible to a neophyte, all the the XR industry use cases were spread across the show, such

as: Argo  , with its magic mirror and its full web product configurator for commerce, Wixar, Uptale or iOasis for immersive learning;  Talkit from Vision Flow, an innovative application using generative AI to learn languages in virtual/augmented reality, for now in French to English, but the idea is promising.  Or Stonedrum, a brand-new company that focuses on AR glasses customized for their uses in the world of art and culture… challenging program!

 

The XR for Retail Luxury and Beauty was well represented with Oréal, LVMH, DressX, PerfectCorp and a few startups that promoted the “Virtual try-on” (clothing, jewellery, makeup) on mirror or mobile as well as sensory immersions (sight, smell, touch) in-store.

V-Labs

For the industrial XR, sector now mature, there were relatively few projects exhibited, as VivaTech is more a showcase of innovations.  SNCF, Bouygues, Publicis, Sanofi, Software République, La Poste or even the French Army were obviously exposing concrete cases of VR/ AR on their stands.  On national stands, companies like WeAR in Italy showcased Industry 4.0 solutions through their Marko platform, with AR content for training and opera

tions;  On the Swiss stand, V-Labs was demonstrating a pair of Trimble custom glasses with GPS and antennas to see in real time networks/pipes hidden in the ground. Toyota came to show its vision of simulation, presenting “ Toyota Woven City”, its new immersive platform designed to simulate and optimize all forms of mobility.

Smartglasses were generally under-represented; of course the well-known brands META and Rokid were present, and HTC shared the LS Group stand with their beautiful configurator of vehicles and private jets;  other stands were mainly featuring the Apple Vision Pro headset to attract visitors, although some are already developing a real strategy around the product like – in the high-end retail sector –  Wilkins Avenue.

The surprise came from an unexpected Chinese brand, Toall, which sells gesture control rings, and demonstrated on its stand secondary display type glasses, as well as an ultra slim VR glasses.  Still at a prototyping stage, at least not yet on their website, but definitely to follow.

On the haptic side, there are some gems like the V.RTU solution, the start-up from Marseille,  discovered at Laval Virtual in April, with its rings and bracelets capable of simulating resistance, illusion of weight and soon textures.  The Korean Vtouch, on the other hand, have progressed with their technology of “Natural Use Interface”, including an AI ring you can talk to and ask questions, or even control your home IoT remotely (all of this being obviously connected to an application on your phone …. and with network).

My favorite exhibitor  at Laval, Motion XP was also at VivaTech, with a fully booked demonstration schedule for the 3 days… from the first morning!

My favorites were Meleap a Japanese company that presented the HADO live game in augmented reality.  The principle is that each player is equipped with an AR mask and a bracelet.  He can, thanks to this, throw fireballs and deploy shields with simple arm movements.

And also Butterfly XR, a beautiful project dedicated to helping women in mental distress, and especially after a miscarriage, through a well-designed immersion in virtual reality. A platform dedicated to women and their health, which reminds us of the benefits of immersive technologies to support people in pain situations, or in rehabilition.

To conclude, it is difficult for me to compare this edition to the previous ones as it was my first, but Vivatech was a great discovery, and clearly attractive with its 165,000 confirmed visitors in 2024, beating all the predictions (and the 135,000 of the CES)!