An open house at the Velocity Hub in Sterling Heights will launch a new expanded reality business at the Sterling Heights Hub this month. LivePicture, and its associates Mirari XR, STEAMBOX and Unity3D, will soon be operating out of the incubator and will be sharing their knowledge on how trending technologies, including virtual reality and artificial intelligence can be used in business, at an open day next week.
Stephen Couchman, president and CEO of LivePicture, says he first noticed the space at Velocity Hub when looking for a site to run software training, and he soon signed up for office space. LivePicture uses immersive technology in marketing (specializing in digital trade show displays
) and Couchman says expanded reality allows them to bring products and training to life in a way that offices or conference rooms cannot.
“Giving clients immersive experiences is a really powerful thing, not only in the marketing world but also across training, manufacturing and product development,” Couchman says.
The sales figures certainly seem to agree. LivePicture is experiencing growth at an approximate 200 percent per quarter, according to Couchman, so expanding will be a large part of the year ahead for the company.
“We are bringing on some more sales and support people to help in this growth,” says Couchman.
Couchmen says his business STEAMBOX is also on its way to becoming a 501-c3 non-profit, and has been created to fill a workforce need for 3D, augmented and virtual reality.
“We’re partnering with Unity, state and local governments, a couple of universities, and most importantly employers to create a complete competency-based skills training that will allow 11th and 12th graders to go through all the classes and experience needed to go get a real-world job in 3D, game development, or augmented and virtual reality,” he says.
STEAMBOX’s first online offering will launch at the opening on July 16, where students will be able to sign up to learn how to build a fully-functioning Fortnite
game of their own design. The skills taught in the process will include Photoshop, Blender, Unity, C# coding and game development workflows.
Having grown up in the area, Couchman says he is thrilled to be operating in Sterling Heights.
“It’s a great feeling giving back to the town you grew up in and live in,” he says.