‘There is still a whole world to conquer’

Frederike Manders is the community manager of Mixed Reality in the Brainport region in Eindhoven. She is one of the co-founders of the Hyper-Space Collective and will be mixing all kinds of reality with data at the Beyond Data Event in Eindhoven.

Can you tell more about the Hyper Space Collective?

The Hyperspace Collective is a network of independent entrepreneurs and companies who work with Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Realities. We often collaborate in different formations and aim to add value with VR and mixed reality to various sectors such as health, industry, architecture and history.
The Hyper-Space Collective is a network of companies, all active in the field of VR or AR. It was founded in 2014 and this resulted in an exposition at the Dutch Design Week in 2016 with 20,000 visitors. It was an enormous success. Now a few years later, most of the companies have become more mature, we are still frontrunners in the VR and mixed reality. While the world is still recovering from Pokémon Go, we are going further and beyond.

Can you give some examples?

For example, we are part of a consortium in the health sector. We connect neuro-feedback with VR. At the Dutch Design Week, we showed an application which was about fear of heights. It was developed with the GGZ (Dutch Association of Mental Health and Addiction Care). People stood on a wooden board, with a Samsung Gear. In VR they see the same board but they are standing on top of an empty apartment building. Again connected to an EEG device the VR reacts to the brain activity and the floor goes up or down, depending on the fear. After this we have developed a relaxation space, a real room at the GGZ (Dutch Association of Mental Health and Addiction Care) where people who are very tense and stressed can learn how to relax. We connect an EEG device to see the brain activity of the person, so they can really see and react to that information.
These examples show the possibilities. The industry is already further ahead. They are using VR to build machines, we call this virtual prototyping. There are so many exciting developments. Think of recreating history. For archaeologists as well, mixed reality is very interesting. You can rebuild old buildings, using historical data.

Are sectors opening up for these kind of innovations?

There is still a whole world to conquer. But the developments are going fast. If I look to my own sector – healthcare – there is so much going on. We are at a turning point. But personally I think VR will mostly be applied specifically in education or health care. Mixed and Augmented Reality will become widespread in daily life. The use of hologram glasses for example. Already in the cycle sport you see professional cyclist riding with augmented reality glasses, providing data about their performance and the road.

You are also the community manager for mixed reality. What does a community manager do?

I bring people together; I introduce these new technologies to companies. I connect a lot. The first weekend of March we are organising a hackathon with the municipality of Eindhoven and Madlab: HACK FOR HEALTH, HACK FOR HAPPINESS. This is very exciting; the hackers are going to try to find solutions for social problems.

You will be also joining the Beyond Data Event. How important is data for VR and mixed reality?

This is called digital reality. With the use of data, we can do so much more, also in VR and mixed reality. The nice part of being in Eindhoven is that we combine technical innovation with design and data. This is unique and we are combining and innovating at such a high pace. I will try to show the public of Beyond Data some of these possibilities.

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