Minister Kaag attends virtual reconnaissance at XRBase10 December 2020
Marineterrein Amsterdam hosted a distinguished visitor today. In the virtual space, at least. Sigrid Kaag, the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, explored the XRBase in building 027E together with XRBase’s founder Daniël Doornink. This all took place in VR.
With Marloes Pomp of the Dutch AI coalition and Liesbeth Jansen – the director of Director of Bureau Marineterrein Amsterdam – in attendance, Daniël and minister Kaag explored a virtual (digital twin) version of Daniël’s office. All the while, they discussed the opportunities presented by conducting meetings in VR.
Part of real life
Why take this approach? ‘Because it feels like real life, and it’s good fun,’ explains Daniël. Naturally, there’s more to it than that:
in the future, virtual worlds may replace a portion of in-person meetings. ‘As we are increasingly working and meeting up remotely due to the pandemic, VR is slowly but surely entering into our workplaces and social lives. Additionally, high-quality VR headsets are now more affordable and therefore more accessible for everyone. All of that contributed to people meeting one another increasingly often in a virtual world and that development will continue in the future.’
Virtual trade mission
In collaboration with Pomp, Daniël is working on a virtual trade mission between the Netherlands and France. ‘During this virtual meeting, both countries will be able to show each other the respective wonderful things they have to offer one another,’ explains Daniël. ‘Additionally, we created a digital twin of the large hall of Felix Meritis as a location where representatives of both countries can meet.’
As the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Kaag naturally wanted to know more. For example, on a future trade mission to France, will the minister be able to virtually walk through the lavender fields in Provence? Daniël says that it can be done.
‘Our platform is being used by the Dutch national government, firstly as a pilot, to assess the potential of an immersive platform for trade missions. For each new trade mission, a custom virtual world could be developed and tailored to the participating countries to ensure that the platform continues to grow and that it becomes more relevant for each subsequent trade mission. Next year, when people can hopefully physically attend events once more, our platform will be a mix of the physical and virtual world. This will be our way of using VR to add something to the real world.’