Virtual events and remote presence platform rooom has been around for a while now. Despite working with some major organizations in Europe, they’ve largely existed under the radar of many Americans watching the space.
However, in a press event held this Tuesday, September 14, in advance of today’s official launch, the company dropped some major news including expansion to the US, enabling virtual events for this year’s hybrid Augmented World Expo, and a new integrated platform called “experienceCloud.”
“rooom is a global startup of ninety employees headquartered in Jena, Germany,” rooom’s Global CEO Hans Elstner said in a keynote address during the event on Tuesday. “Our mission is simple: to help people easily create, manage, and produce digital environments that amaze, impress, and facilitate attendance as the world moves to hybrid or even fully virtual alternatives.”
Elstner echoed the sentiments of many executives in his position, saying with “mixed emotions” that the pandemic both spurred rooom’s development and increased its adoption. Clients include Deutsche Telekom and the International Franchise Association. rooom has also been working with established partners in the space including Matterport and Amazon.
“What was previously considered ‘normal’ has been redefined by the ongoing pandemic across countless aspects of our lives,” said Elstner. “Today, everything is about virtual and hybrid experiences.”
In the keynote, Deutsche Telekom’s Vice President of Brand Experience Antje Hundhausen described rooom as being “intuitive, playful, and interactive.”
Building Beyond Virtual Events
One of the goals of rooom, according to Elstner, is to make the production of hybrid and completely virtual events easier for non-XR specialists.
“The sad truth is that hardly anyone has the skills to create engaging digital experiences,” said Elstner. “We believe that anyone should be able to create, produce, and share digital experiences with anyone at any time.”
The platform that launched today is the “experienceCloud” which consists of four separate component products:
- eventCloud for hosting virtual events;
- spaceCloud for recreating spaces for real estate, education, etc.;
- productCloud for configurators, digital twins, and other replication and mapping;
- immerseCloud for marketing-based XR.
The experienceCloud brings together affordances of all of these tools and also introduces persistent spaces.
“The eventCloud can host events for at least a year as a standard practice. Our vision is beyond a digital platform for episodic events,” said Elstner. “We see a sustainable community and an ecosystem formed around our always-on content platform.”
rooom is supported on XR headsets as well as a 2D mode accessible on computers and even most mobile devices.
“We are betting on technology to deliver the everywhere endpoint itself,” said Andrew Nash. “Not everyone has a virtual reality headset, so rather than bring-your-own device, you can enable your everywhere experience on the device of your choice.”
The Expansion to the US and AWE Partnership
Andrew J. Nash is rooom’s newly-announced “CEO Americas.” His appointment and the opening of offices in the States are part of a market expansion that was also announced at Tuesday’s virtual event.
“Our vision for the future is exciting. Powered by a global ecosystem of passionate and talented individuals, it is an engaging future,” said Nash. “More exciting, however, is the depth and breadth of technology delivered in a single platform.”
Also speaking at the virtual event was Neil Trevett, President of the Khronos Group of which rooom is a member and contributor.
“We are delighted to welcome rooom to the Khronos family because we share a vision of the power of 3D online experiences,” said Trevett. “With rooom as a Khronos member, we look forward to working with Hans [Elstner] and the team as they bring their insight to help build the future of immersive 3D open standards.”
The real showcase for rooom will be in November. Also announced for the first time at Tuesday’s press event, rooom is partnering with the Augmented World Expo for their hybrid event this year. Event organizer Ori Inbar told ARPost in a May interview that AWE would be a hybrid physical/virtual event this year, but he was careful with details.
“I’m so excited [about experienceCloud] that we decided to join forces for the upcoming AWE experience. rooom will be featuring a special experience for virtual attendees of the event this November,” Inbar said at the experienceCloud launch event. “I can’t wait to see the reactions of our attendees to the spectacle.”
Specifically, rooom will create a welcome hall and main stage, a reimagined expo hall, an Auggie Awards stage and ceremony, and an “AWE playground” to showcase other immersive experiences.
Toward the Nuverse
The final attraction showcased in the launch event is a future concept that has yet to fully materialize. This is the “Nuverse” a digital community of creators “reshaping the digital experience of the future.”
“We see an opportunity to unify experiences and channels that currently require multiple tools across multiple siloes,” said Elstner. We look forward to following rooom as it approaches the vision of the Nuverse and enables virtual events and presence along the way.