13 October 2017
Modern AR and VR technologies have made their way into entertainment. Soon, they will become a part of our daily life and in time, they might blend into reality in a way that all realities will become difficult to tell apart. The biggest center in Poland that unites them all under one roof is being built near Cracow. This is Gremi Park, the most recent investment by Grzegorz Hajdarowicz.
Augmented and virtual realities have already become as common as daily access to the Internet, or maybe like the air. Aficionados of these new technologies – augmented and virtual realities – have no doubts, while skepticism usually makes them laugh. “Ten years ago, did anyone could imagine a whole family sitting around a table, each person looking into his or her own mobile phone?” Maciej Wolański, the head of the financial sector R&D at Comarch and big VR fan, asks a rhetorical question.
According to the most conservative scenarios, by 2020, the global market for such innovative solution will be valued at between slightly over USD 100 billion and even USD 0.5 trillion. Global giants, like Sony, Samsung, Microsoft, Facebook and recently Amazon, have already got involved in such projects. In the second quarter of 2017 alone, 2.1 million pieces of VR glasses were sold, including Oculus Rift, PlayStation or HoloLens. “The fact that since 2010 the value of investment into start-ups focusing on AR and VR solutions have exceeded USD 4 billion speaks for itself,” says Paweł Gepner, an engineer at Intel Poland.
AR and VR will influence many sectors. “These are technologies established several decades ago, but they experience their most dynamic growth only today. They could be used not only in movies and entertainment, but also – so far to bigger extent – in business, marketing, communications, culture, science, and medicine,” says Grzegorz Hajdarowicz who controls Gremi Group. “Suffice to say, Apple has just launched an augmented reality into its newest iOS 11 system.” Andrzej Woroch, chief executive officer at Workroom, who considers VR to be a great opportunity to extend smartphones’ career, agrees. “Without it, it could long ago evolve into a device with a size of a wrist-watch, a tattoo or a chip. Now, a multimedia watch can be used as ‘joystick’ guiding us into the VR world while co-operating with a phone that serves as virtual glasses,” Woroch forecasts.
And while the market of augmented and virtual reality is still in a nascent phase, its growth is extremely dynamic, says Andrzej Sowiński, the head of Lenovo Polish branch. Especially the VR sector. “According to some estimates, the global revenue generated by products and services using the virtual reality will increase from USD 1.8 billion in 2016 to USD 28.3 billion by 2020,” he adds. But experts are certain that at the end of the day it’s augmented reality that will become the dominant technology (during the period the value of AR market might jump to USD 120 billion). At the same time, VR will dominate the entertainment sector. According to Digi-Capital, in four years every fifth video game is going to apply virtual reality. On the other hand, AR will enter our daily life – offices, houses and stores (the use of the augmented reality in stores has already got dubbed as aCommerce). Today, the European Commission estimates that in next three years the number of vacancies in the European IT sector will amount to as many as one million. These make two-thirds of the new jobs in total. And a profession of virtual reality engineer is listed among the most sought-after jobs of the future.
“So, this is the best moment to invest in this growing and prospective area,” says Grzegorz Hajdarowicz while explaining his reasons behind taking over Alvernia Studios. This futuristic complex – now Gremi Park – is recognized at the largest and the most modern Polish movie studio where such productions as Burning Bush by Agnieszka Holland and Essential Killing by Jerzy Skolimowski have been made. The value of the Gremi Park is estimated at about EUR 100 million. Of that, EUR 50 million is a potential value of the investment. “We invest in technologies with enormous potential. At Gremi Park, there is high time for the next milestone,” summarizes Hajdarowicz.
The Gremi Park complex consists of over 12,5 ha of land and modern buildings with 17,425 sqm of space. It’s well connected to the A4 highway and located in one of the most populated centers in Europe – eight million inhabitants within a radius of 100 kilometers. Thanks to its location and investment possibilities planned by Grzegorz Hajdarowicz, Gremi Park has a potential to become the biggest AR and VR technologies research, development and education center in the world. And not only to attract talents from all around the world but also to stimulate economic growth in two regions: Lesser Poland and Upper Silesia.