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IFEMA MADRID breaks into the "Metaverse" with the HELIXA platform

This development makes it the first trade fair operator to explore the links between business models for different business sectors and the new post-Internet reality of virtual universes.

Over the next six months, observatory and collaborative knowledge ecosystem Helixa will address the challenges and opportunities to mentor businesses and contribute to democratising access to business innovation and digitalisation. HELIXA Experience Center is the technological and artistic installation in the heart of the Fair. It will be the first to offer visitors the chance to create their own avatar in real time. This avatar is a personalised, hyper-realistic, 3D, #seriezero digital twin that they can use to interact on digital platforms and in the metaverse.

12 Jan 2022

The race for positioning in the new virtual universes has prompted big tech corporations and companies to speed up the drive to work on new business models and opportunities in many other sectors. This shift will also open up a new space for small and medium-sized companies to access the new digital environments. This is a challenge in which IFEMA MADRID wanted to position itself by mentoring the whole business community on the road to this new technological, industrial, economic and social revolution and its commitment to encouraging and boosting digitalisation for SMEs.

As part of its IFEMA MADRID Lab innovation hub, IFEMA presents HELIXA, a collaborative platform for knowledge and innovation. We are launching it during FITUR, and it will continue over the first six months of 2022. In this way, we hope to inspire and mentor the business community in its transformation and change towards new business models that metaverses open up before us. The platform will also promote technological convergence, introduce the business and entrepreneurial community to all the platforms and mixed and virtual realities, and help them create value.

HELIXA has three main strategic themes: LIVEConnect will be a space for debate, research and networking for the HELIXA community in Spain and Latin America. The multifunctional and experiential space Experience Center and the Summit will culminate in the publication of a paper for dissemination among the business community.

The LIVEConnect space will be the digital platform for forums, conferences, master classes, open challenges, hackathons, presentations and news and more. This space is for all the professional and business sectors on which IFEMA MADRID’s activity has an impact, including health and healthcare, lifestyle, entertainment, fashion and aesthetics, tourism, art and culture, training and employment, urban planning and city, mobility and transport, industry and production, finance, logistics, technology, and cybersecurity.

HELIXA will be a multiverse networking space for the entire business and professional community of Spain and Latin America, around a multi-thematic, multi-sector and collaborative Content Programme. It will be a programme of debate and research on the multiple opportunities that metaverses open up to the business world: Initiatives and opportunities for brands; Avatars, twins and digital identity; Regulation, Privacy, Rights and Property; Digital economy and payment methods; New business opportunities in digital ecosystems; Technological solutions and platforms; Employment and resource management; Sustainability; Marketing, Branding and notoriety; Consumption and shopping; and more.

These disruptive dimensions will soon move from the commercial and social sphere to the economic and business environment as significant business opportunities.

This programme will conclude with the HELIXA Summit, a face-to-face event in early July. The Summit aims to share the main conclusions, proposals and vectors of opportunity. Its mission will be to disseminate information through the publication of the Summit paper. The paper’s purpose will be to present the results and research findings to the business community by thematic and sectoral areas.

In partnership with the Valencia Robotics Institute and Target 3D, IFEMA Madrid becomes the first trade fair operator to enter the new mixed reality dimension. The project will be complemented by HELIXA Experience Center. This is a technological-artistic installation conceptualised and designed by the artistic creator Esther Pizarro. Over six months, it will be a multifunctional and experiential space, equipped with the latest technology from around the world. Visitors will culminate their experience generating their first digital twin, using a real-time scanning system without peripherals. The result will be a personalised hyper-realistic, 3D, #seriezero avatar in real time delivered exclusively to the more than 15,000 forecast visitors, in different formats for use in digital platforms and metaverses.

The purpose of the HELIXA project on which IFEMA Madrid is working is to participate in the creation of a legacy, new models of relationships and value exchanges, and experiences in multiverses. HELIXA will allow IFEMA Madrid to mentor companies in identifying business opportunities in this new virtual and mixed reality ecosystem to lever innovation, growth, development and competitiveness.

About HELIXA Experience Center

The installation has been conceived by Ifema Madrid Lab. It incorporates a wide variety of technologies ranging from video mapping projections, motion capture with Optitrack, interactive lighting arrays with flexible LEDs, olfactory immersion systems, position control software through to ultra-high-definition screens with a new LED panel termination system using optical resin injection. This screen has been used, for example, in the Star Wars series and Mandalorian to generate, in a unique and innovative way, a hybrid space with no peripherals of any kind, such as virtual reality or augmented reality viewers. This will be a very ambitious technology deployment, considering that all these technologies are integrated into a single facility. The project leader will be IFEMA MADRID Lab, collaborating with Target 3D and the Robotics Institute of Valencia. These organisations are at the technological forefront of real-time motion capture and AR and VR simulation. They have a worldwide reputation and experience.