And Zurich is increasingly the international hub of the Metaverse...

Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Disney and Magic Leap have opened companies and laboratories on the banks of the Limmat to take advantage of Swiss know-how

Magic Leap, the Florida company that partially acquired the shares of the Swiss start-up Dacuda, is creating a powerful augmented reality platform for companies
Magic Leap, the Florida company that partially acquired the shares of the Swiss start-up Dacuda, is creating a powerful augmented reality platform for companies

Switzerland plays a central role in building the Metaverse, the next dimension of the Internet.
Thanks to the influence of the ETH Zurich, known worldwide by the abbreviation ETH, companies such as Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Disney Research and Magic Leap have opened offices or research laboratories in the economic capital of Switzerland.
Why shop in crowded stores, squeeze into crowded public transport, or desperately look for a parking space?
Soon it will be enough to put on the special glasses to see your Avatar and that of your friends as they stroll through the shopping streets.
It will be possible to enter a shop or commercial establishment, try on virtual trousers, buy them to please your virtual self and have them delivered to your home.
This sci-fi scenario is becoming less and less fictional.
All the tech giants are investing stratospheric sums in the so-called Metaverse, the digital replica of the physical world accessible on the Internet.

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Microsoft has created the Mixed Reality & AI Zurich Lab, a laboratory made up of 25 people dedicated to fundamental and applied research in the field of artificial vision: the company is directed by Marc Pollefeys, professor at the Polytechnic
Microsoft has created the Mixed Reality & AI Zurich Lab, a laboratory made up of 25 people dedicated to fundamental and applied research in the field of artificial vision: the company is directed by Marc Pollefeys, professor at the Polytechnic

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Switzerland is at the forefront of this kind of innovation and is becoming a global leader in this emerging sector.
The giants of Silicon Valley and beyond have opened offices or research laboratories in the big city on the banks of the Limmat.
“Zurich has become a world-class hub”, enthuses Marc Pollefeys, director of the Mixed Reality & AI Zurich Lab.
“Technological giants attract a good part of the brains that have trained at the ETH Zurich, but also in the similar institution in Lausanne”, confirms Ronan Boulic, lecturer and researcher at EPFL and expert in virtual reality.
“The imaging center of the ETH Lausanne, which stimulates collaboration between different laboratories, has also built an international reputation”.

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Mark Zuckerberg's Meta company presented the Community City Guide of Zurich, a "manual" for using the city created in collaboration with five Facebook groups, the first in Switzerland
Mark Zuckerberg's Meta company presented the Community City Guide of Zurich, a "manual" for using the city created in collaboration with five Facebook groups, the first in Switzerland

Job creation in innovation parks, and more

Meta (ie former Facebook) plans to welcome 150 new employees to Zurich, who will work on creating these immersive worlds.
A large proportion of Google's 4000 employees in Zurich also focus on the Metaverse, and augmented reality company Magic Leap is continuously expanding its research and development team there, despite having given up its hub in Switzerland Innovation Park Zurich in Dübendorf.
Disney Research Zurich is one of two research laboratories of The Walt Disney Company and the only one linked to a European university.
Research within the DRZ focuses on the modeling of the human face.
The US company has developed a camera capable of capturing high-quality facial expressions to create digital avatars.
It also announced the development of a virtual reality application that offers a range of sensory sensations and effects, such as feeling the rain in a virtual environment.

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The Zurich headquarters of Disney Research Studios in Stampfenbachstrasse
The Zurich headquarters of Disney Research Studios in Stampfenbachstrasse

New generation augmented reality thanks to the team of Marc Pollefeys

Microsoft, for its part, has created the Mixed Reality & AI Zurich Lab, a laboratory made up of 25 people dedicated to fundamental and applied research in the field of artificial vision, all at the service of virtual reality and augmented reality.
Professor Marc Pollefeys heads the center and in parallel continues to teach computer science at the ETH.
Study the various applications of the Microsoft HoloLens augmented reality helmet and work to develop the device's ability to map the 3D environment and recognize objects.
“We synchronize virtual objects and digital information with the real world. At the moment, the applications are mainly intended for industry and the world of work”, he explains.
For example, a technician could carry out maintenance work on a device without instructions for use, following the indications that appear on his mixed reality viewer and thanks to the intervention of experts.
“Part of our team also works on telepresence via avatar”.

In Lausanne, the EPFL Innovation Park gives an encore

Magic Leap is developing an innovative viewer for superimposing computer-generated 3D images on real-world objects, by projecting a digital light field into the user's eyes: in particular, the technology used is known as a "light field photonic chip". and was developed by Dacuda, a Zurich start-up whose shares were partially taken over by the Americans based in Plantation, a very innovative company in the state of Florida
Magic Leap is developing an innovative viewer for superimposing computer-generated 3D images on real-world objects, by projecting a digital light field into the user's eyes: in particular, the technology used is known as a "light field photonic chip". and was developed by Dacuda, a Zurich start-up whose shares were partially taken over by the Americans based in Plantation, a very innovative company in the state of Florida

Dacuda, MindMaze and Imverse the Swiss start-ups that paved the way

Metaverse is the word of the moment. For several years, many researchers and companies have in fact been developing platforms that will allow for the construction of this kind of world, in which people meet virtually.
“Virtual reality is part of it, if it allows you to connect different people in a virtual world”, explains Marc Pollefeys.
Some Swiss companies are developing technologies that could improve hardware components to miniaturize future glasses or make them more comfortable and easier to use.
Other companies are involved in building the various platforms that allow you to manage your social contacts without having to move, whether it's to organize a business meeting, attend a class or stroll through a shop.
Swiss startups have developed a certain know-how in the field of virtual reality.
These include Dacuda, which was partly acquired by the American company Magic Leap, and MindMaze, one of the few Swiss "unicorn" companies.
Tej Tadi, his boss, worked in the Cognitive Neuroscience laboratory of EPFL's Campus Biotech in Lausanne, as well as the two directors of Imverse, a startup capable of simultaneously capturing people in real time and in three dimensions.

Source: the original article by Ghislaine Bloch is taken, in French, from the magazine "Bilan"
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Disney Research Studios, based in Zurich at Stampfenbachstrasse, have developed a system for realistic gaze in human-robot interactions for entertainment, using an animated humanoid torso
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