The British firm received venture capital from key sources as it experiments with Meta’s mixed reality capabilities
British extended reality (XR) firm Luminous has begun expanding its operations following a generous £1 million fundraising round, Mercia Asset Management announced on Thursday.
The Newcastle, England-based company will use the capital to build ten additional jobs and expand its technological solutions globally.
The company received investments from the North East Venture Fund, which the European Regional Development Fund supports. Mercia Ventures will also contribute to the series round of investments.
The cash comes from the North East Venture Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Mercia Ventures.
Some of its targeted markets include the Middle East, namely amid growing interest in virtual, augmented, and mixed reality news in the region.
Luminous also aims to brand its immersive solution as a “self-service” platform with a global marketing campaign.
Mercia, a major investment firm, began shoring up capital for Luminous in 2017, with total funding topping more than £1.9 million. The news comes after the British firm scored a contract with a Middle Eastern energy company and launched a regional office in Bahrain.
Luminous recently won a major contract from an unnamed Middle East energy company and recently opened an international office in Bahrain.
Luminous XR Platform and Meta Quest 3
The news comes as Luminous improves and expands its Luminous XR Platform with Meta Quest 3 passthrough capabilities.
The company has demoed the new passthrough capabilities for mixed reality (MR) training on the Meta Quest 3 in a recent YouTube video, leading to a new era of immersive training and worker upskilling.
With the immersive tool, instructors can train their students with several key objectives.
Firstly the platform’s Orientation tool allows learners to become familiar with controlling their avatars in the immersive space. It also provides instructions on interacting with others, completing training modules, and learning targeted goals for curricula.
1-1 mentoring also allows students to learn their training modules in a sequential manner, complete with visual cues, audible instructions, and other tools.
Student can then apply their training by recalling instructions they have received in their respective modules, where the LMS flags errors in student performance.
Furthermore, the company also operates 3D scanning technologies for the seamless integration and procurement of digital twins. These are instrumental to the development of industrial metaverse solutions as 3D assets help companies monitor, analyse, and populate their virtual industrial XR spaces.
For creating virtual and mixed reality experiences, Luminous has incorporated its developer tool, Luminous Flow, to author creative content for immersive training scenarios.
Luminous XR: Out of the Box Functionality
The complementary tool also provides its graphing systems for its users, directly out of the box, leading to faster upskilling and training capabilities with real-time insights.
Currently, Luminous has developed its immersive tools for the industrial metaverse, which allows enterprises to leverage XR solutions to improve processes at facilities, work sites, and others.
The new technological platform allows users to create immersive training programmes for XR learners. Additional features include progress tracking via a central learner management system (LMS).
For Luminous, it relies on clients such as energy companies, manufacturers, and other large industrial users. The innovative XR training platform allows users to experience lifelike situations in VR to tackle challenges on the job like hazardous or dangerous environments.
Comments on Investment Growth
Speaking on the new investment capital, Ben Bennett, Chief Executive, Luminous, said in a recent statement,
“While it is still early days for the ‘metaverse’, VR and XR technologies have matured significantly and the launch of Apple’s first mixed-reality headset next year is expected to boost awareness and drive global demand.”
Also, Chris McCourt, Investment Director, Mercia Ventures, added that current training techniques for many of the world’s industries were “expensive and outdated.”
“Immersive training in a virtual environment could significantly improve performance but creating such programmes has been challenging until now. The Luminous XR platform is enabling much wider adoption. This latest investment will enable the company to scale its business and become a global leader in XR training”
Luminous and Industry 4.0
The company has branded its solution for the Industrial Metaverse and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. For the company, it hopes to prepare companies and enterprises for the coming changes associated with the rise of the Industrial Metaverse.
On its website, it recognises the “ongoing automation of traditional manufacturing and industrial practices” that will use “modern smart technology and seamless interconnection of real and digital worlds.”
Furthermore, emerging technologies like the cloud, intelligent edge computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence will allow businesses to move “away from the constraints of existing 2D interactions.”
Businesses will also move from their screens to immersive extended reality experiences and the industrial metaverse, it added.
To achieve this, the Luminous Group designed and rolled out its “suite of complementary solutions” in a bid to help large manufacturing organisations in energy and other verticals “harness the power of these new technologies.”
Doing so would allow enterprises to access “unparalleled efficiency,” key cost savings, enhanced knowledge retention, and greater knowledge transfer. Additionally, it can save money by reducing travel costs and the solution’s impact on the global environment, it concluded.
This comes as numerous firms like Virtualware, Siemens, NVIDIA, Meta, and others work to develop industrial metaverse solutions.
Telecoms like Nokia, Ericsson, T-Mobile, and Huawei have pivoted to the industrial metaverse to boost global network capacity, bandwidth, and functionality while reducing latency and environmental impacts.