Lombard Odier steps up its role on the tech cutting edge

    Lombard Odier steps up its role on the tech cutting edge

    The world of virtual reality (VR) is seeping into the mainstream. And it's not only adolescent gamers who will reap the benefits.

    Lombard Odier was a Privilege Partner at the 2018 World VR Forum, as industry leaders, tech pioneers and investors convened at Crans-Montana in the Swiss mountains to take the temperature of one of the hottest sectors in town.

    When it launched in 2016, the forum was the first event entirely dedicated to VR and augmented reality (AR), and it remains the biggest in Europe. This was the second time that our bank has been involved.

    Over the past 25 years, Lombard Odier has developed cutting-edge banking infrastructure solutions. It is a fundamental part of our business and it helps explain our powerful affinity with the entrepreneurs who are driving digital innovation. Clearly, VR/AR is also a fascinating investment theme, at the sharp end of the technology sector and a rich source of interest for our clients.

    The latest developments in VR are always eye-catching. Director Steven Spielberg's latest film Ready Player One imagines a world where an utterly immersive virtual game is an escape from harsh realities. In truth though, probably the most intriguing advances right now are coming not in leisure and gaming, but in the more practical uses of VR in areas such as culture, education or industrial production.

    That was the theme of a seminar held by Lombard Odier: Ready Player Two? The industrial sectors ripe for a VR shake-up. More than 80 guests and bankers joined experts from VR companies to look at where the opportunities might lie, and to try out some of the technology available. Melodie Mousset's artistic VR experiment HanaHana was a highlight, as was the dance experience VR_1 created by choreographer Gilles Jobin and motion capture company Artanim.

    During the 7-10 June event, Lombard Odier also hosted a vibrant debate on the future of financing in the sector, and it is clear that the scale of the VR industry is poised for a dramatic change. According to estimates from analysts at the International Data Corporation, spending on VR and AR products and services could increase to more than 215 billion US dollars (USD) in 2021 from just USD 9.1 bn in 2017. That kind of outlook has prompted a furious pace of activity and international cooperation.

    New entrepreneurs are emerging everywhere, and some companies have already become “unicorns” – the nickname for privately owned start-ups valued at more than USD 1 bn. These include Switzerland's Mindmaze, which is developing neurorehabilitation services for hospitals, or Silicon-Valley-based AR specialist, Magic Leap.

    Our partnership with the World VR Forum enables us to bring clients into this melting pot of industry leaders, and to take part in the networking opportunities between innovators, business people and investors. Lombard Odier has a long history of innovation, and our contribution to this kind of milestone event is a demonstration that we intend to continue that into the future.

    Wichtige Hinweise.

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