Working on Extended Reality since 2017, it would be a shame to miss one of the best European event about XR.

The last time I participated in this event was in 2019 and it was held in a different place which was located in the center of Laval and was not very easily accessible. Since 2021, they have been using the pretty new Espace Mayenne which is really great for this kind of event.

I started my day with a quick tour to get a big picture of the whole place. My main expectation was to discover new devices as there is such a gap with my 2018’s headsets. It was really great to see how these VR devices were improved – more comfortable, very lightweight, without cable or PC connection. But the real improvement is the video passthrough capability and tracking that allow now to do impressive AR experience with opaque headset. Accurate tracking, a good image frame rate and a nice stability are what we expect from those.

I have been following for many months the development of the Lynx R1 which is a new French manufacturer. There was a lot of people waiting to try this new mixed reality headset, but I managed to test it. Even though it is very comfortable, I was a little disappointed about the video passthrough fluidity which was a little bit laggy. I know that this kind of event is not the best condition for this kind of experience and software development can be really optimized but compared to others devices that I had the chance to try, it still needs some work to improve and become a strong competitor.

I visited myxed booth to see some friends and had the opportunity to try the Varjo XR3 with a nice airplane configurator experience. The quality and hand tracking is so impressive, but as it is VR PC, it is hard to compare with standalone devices.

Trying the Varjo XR3 at another booth with a different experience confirmed that this headset can be very good on specific use cases.

Microsoft was hosting some of its Hololens 2 partners who were presenting their solutions for industry. I was familiar with these applications as I also developed a complete HL2 solution for one of our customers.

It’s very impressive that despite people criticizing HL for its weaknesses – such as the limited field of view – it is still very competitive with actual devices, even if HL2 has been released 3 years ago !

There was so many people trying to test the haptic gloves from Haptx which allow you to add pretty convincing feedback in the hands and forearms to the VR experience. Nevertheless, it requires a huge backpack equipment plus the gloves which can reduce the applications of this purpose.

Manus was presenting their high precision tracking gloves. The Quantum Metagloves rely on sensors rather than vision to perform hand tracking, resulting in a unique experience. But I think that the required time to put on and calibrate the gloves will limit applications.

Interactive model synchronized with the associated digital twin

I finished my day with the excellent RectoVerso exhibition, which combines art with XR technologies.

Attending the Laval Virtual was a great experience once again. It was exciting to see how much the XR industry has evolved since my last visit, and to try out the latest VR and AR devices. I enjoyed meeting customers and professionals from the XR community, and learning about their innovative projects and applications. The event provided valuable insights and inspiration for my own work in XR.

I am already looking forward to next year’s event, where I hope to see even more cutting-edge technologies and applications.