Monday, June 24, 2024

LaVitre Reinvents Remote Working with Its Immersive Screen Technology – DirectIndustry e-Magazine

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French company LaVitre is pioneering a new immersive screen technology that aims to revolutionize remote communication. This innovative solution has promising applications in various sectors, including healthcare. Currently, the system is widely utilized by banks, fashion companies, and industrial firms for training purposes.

The COVID-19 pandemic popularized long-distance communication tools such as Zoom, Teams, and Google Meet. These have become integral to our daily lives, especially for remote work. While these tools have made significant strides in bringing people closer together, they lack immersive qualities. LaVitre aims to fill this gap by offering technology that creates the illusion of life-sized, real-world communication.

Bridging the Gap in Remote Communication

LaVitre’s solution features impressive 86-inch, 2-meter-tall screens that promise to bring a real sense of presence to remote interactions. Unlike traditional video conferencing tools, LaVitre’s technology allows users to feel as if they are in the same room, enhancing the overall communication experience.

By integrating this immersive screen technology, LaVitre is set to transform how we perceive and engage in remote work and communication, offering a more natural and interactive experience, Anthony Vannier, co-founder of LaVitre explains:

 “The idea is to work remotely in a more immersive way, using a full-size screen. While communication is simple and everyone can communicate remotely, we aim to bring presence into this communication. Seeing the person from head to toe significantly changes the way we communicate, making it a reciprocal experience. What happens on one screen happens on the other, enhancing both visual and non-verbal communication.”

The technology includes a human-sized portrait-mode screen, standing 2 meters tall and 86 inches wide. It is equipped with a camera, a microphone, and a speaker. The entire setup is mounted on a mobile stand to be easily moved where needed. Each stakeholder needs to be equipped with this technology.

The screens are always on and do not require scheduling appointments like traditional tools such as Zoom or Teams. The goal is to truly create the illusion of reality, explains Anthony:

“If someone needs to connect, they just knock by tapping on the screen. When the connection isn’t active, the screen appears blurred, like frosted glass. To start a conversation, you simply knock—just like knocking on a door. We even added the sound effect to enhance the immersive experience. This mimics the natural behavior as if both parties are in the same office. This ensures a realistic and respectful interaction, just like in real life where you can’t enter a locked room without permission.”

The training for using the tool is very quick, taking only 30 minutes.

IT Infrastructure

On the IT side, LaVitre is connected via Wi-Fi or Ethernet. The infrastructure is hosted on Microsoft Azure in Paris, Anthony details:

“Our server architecture manages the licensing and connection of the screens. For example, screen 1 connects, then screen 2 connects, they go to the server, and we verify they have the right to connect with each other. Once they are authorized, all data exchanges, video, documents, and sharing happen directly from screen to screen.” 

According to Anthony, no data passes through LaVitre’s servers.

“This is very important because we work with clients, especially in the banking sector, who need this level of confidentiality and security. We have passed penetration tests to ensure this confidentiality and security. We have a point-to-point connection between the two screens, encrypted end-to-end, using the WebRTC protocol.”

Nothing is stored on the screen. Once the exchange is over, all data shared during the conversation is automatically deleted from the screen.

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The Origins

Everything began in 2010. At that time, Anthony Vannier had founded a digital agency a few years earlier, which developed custom applications. He recalls:

“We had teams in Nantes and Paris. In 2010, the teams needed more communication, and more fluidity in their exchanges. We started with a camera and a screen. That was the beginning of LaVitre. We initially developed the technology for our own needs.”

They shared the concept with their network and received positive feedback. From 2015 to 2018, they industrialized the technology to create a demonstrable product. In 2019, LaVitre was officially launched.

Applications

Today, the company has 80 clients, including banks like Crédit Agricole, Natixis, and Banque Populaire, as well as ADP, Renault, and Orange.

350 LaVitre screens are installed worldwide, including at Renault. The car manufacturer has installed screens in its tech centers in Paris and Romania for team training.

The fashion industry is also a significant market for LaVitre. Anthony explains:

“Maison Chanel, for example, uses LaVitre screens for remote fittings between their offices in Paris and manufacturers in Italy or other parts of the world, like India.”

Like Renault, Chanel also uses LaVitre’s system for training seamstresses between Paris and other global locations, ensuring that dress alterations are done consistently everywhere.

One of their partners, Orange, is also a client. The company uses about twenty LaVitre screens to connect their various labs. However, Anthony clarifies:

“The goal is not to have 150 screens connected all together. It’s about having screens that make sense to be connected. For example, a financial service won’t exchange with a design service; it wouldn’t make sense.”

LaVitre isn’t technically designed to connect dozens of screens.

“If a client says they want to connect 150 people, we say, ‘Great, you have Teams, Zoom, or Meet for that.’ At LaVitre, we connect up to five locations. The difference is that we bring locations—and thus the people in those locations—closer together, whereas videoconferencing tools primarily connect individuals.”

The idea is to complement existing videoconferencing tools already widely used in businesses.

LaVitre holds significant potential for the medical sector. (Courtesy of LaVitre)

Modular

LaVitre holds significant potential for the medical sector, particularly in addressing medical deserts. We have detailed this in an article published in our affiliated publication, MedicalExpo e-magazine.

In this regard, LaVitre can even be modular, as explained by Damien, Sales Manager for France and Europe:

“We can imagine installing a LaVitre screen in a town hall for immersive medical consultations in the morning, where it feels like there is a real doctor in front of you. In the afternoon, LaVitre can be used for other purposes, such as administrative services, taxes, or banking services.”

This modularity allows LaVitre to adapt to various needs throughout the day, making it a versatile solution for different sectors.

Pricing 

LaVitre provides a leasing option. Clients receive the complete package for just €500 per month over 36 months: hardware, support, software, and maintenance services.

After three years, clients can opt for a subscription and receive new hardware.

For those preferring to buy the equipment outright, LaVitre offers a purchase option. The initial cost is €10,000 for the first year, followed by an annual fee of €2,500 for licensing.

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