Exploring the Future of Metaverse and Quantum Computing: An Exclusive Interview with IBM’s Patricia Esteban

The rapid evolution of technology has brought us to the brink of a digital revolution, where concepts like the Metaverse and Quantum Computing are no longer confined to the realm of science fiction but are becoming integral parts of our digital reality. These technologies hold the promise of transforming the way we interact with the world, both digitally and physically, and one company that’s been at the forefront of these innovations is IBM.

Mrs. Patricia Esteban, IBM Consulting’s Spatial Computing and Metaverse Lead

On a recent occasion, Haptic R&D Consulting had the privilege of exchanging some views with Patricia Esteban, IBM Consulting’s Spatial Computing and Metaverse Lead, to delve into the exciting developments and strategies that IBM is bringing to the table. Patricia is a seasoned expert in her field, and her insights shed light on how IBM is positioning itself to shape the future of technology.

The stage for this insightful conversation was set due to the prestigious GoTech World Bucharest event, where leaders in technology and innovation gathered to share their visions for the future. Patricia’s presence at this event was a testament to IBM’s dedication to exploring the Metaverse and Quantum Computing, two areas that are poised to redefine our digital landscape.

In this exclusive interview, we will explore Patricia’s background, her take on the significance of Spatial Computing and the Metaverse, and the role of IBM in harnessing these technologies to create value across various industries. But it doesn’t stop there. We’ll also follow to touch upon recent events, such as the launch of Apple’s M3 processor, and how IBM plans to respond with its Quantum Computing capabilities.

The world of technology is continually evolving, and this conversation with Patricia Esteban is your opportunity to gain unique insights into the strategies and vision of a company that has been shaping the digital world for decades. Join us as we embark on a journey into the future, guided by the expertise of IBM’s Metaverse and Quantum Computing leader.

HAPTIC: Can you share a specific project or case study where spatial computing played a transformative role? What were the key takeaways from that experience?

Patricia Esteban: For example, developing in parallel in Microsoft Hololens 2 and testing with the Nreal glasses, we have carried out a solution to help the wiring technician on a construction site. Through the spatial positioning of the glasses and using the spatial anchors, the technician can scan or enter the cable number to be routed and the supports through which the cables must pass will be shown. In addition to this, you can access relevant information such as the construction plan at any time as well as update information about the work order directly from the Hololens.

The impact of this solution was not only seen in the paper reduction and time of the operation reduced, but of the precision we can achieve with this technologies. We achieved a 3D virtual model superposition precision over the real one of 10 mm, demonstrating how this technologies can be applied to critical industrial and construction operations.

HAPTIC: With the emergence of the metaverse, what are the most exciting opportunities and challenges you foresee for businesses looking to leverage this technology?
At IBM, we see the metaverse as a natural evolution of immersive experiences, real-time 3D, Cloud computing or AI among other technologies. And we have been designing extended and immersive experiences for years. It has been a natural evolution of our strategy and commitment to design within the company.

Patricia Esteban: The area I am in, IBM iX, within the IBM consulting area called IBM Consulting, we are at the intersection between strategy, design and technology when creating new experiences.

But precisely in terms of technology, this has direct synergies with key aspects of our strategy as IBM, such as:

  • the application of artificial intelligence for virtual avatars,
  • the use of new digital assets such as NFTs in our blockchain space,
  • the IBM cloud as an infrastructure that enhances these new realities.

and above all the creation of new products, new services and new experiences for our customers.
Now all these capabilities, from services, tools and infrastructure, converge now more than ever in the construction of the new virtual universe.
We are seeing challenges across all sectors. New banking use cases enhanced by 5G technology, the application of augmented reality in medical or industrial procedures or virtual reality in training. Office virtualization, customer service directly from an immersive space or company events in immersive spaces.
These are some of the examples of use cases that companies are implementing now, and I am sure that many more will emerge when the limitations of the devices such as battery life or the “comfort” of the glasses are reduced.

HAPTIC: In your view, what skills and qualities are essential for individuals aspiring to excel in the fields of spatial computing and immersive experiences?

Patricia Esteban: Right now, the 5 most important professional profiles in the sector and the most demanded are: Videogames engine developers, Programmers, 3D Artists, Project Managers and UX/UI Designers.
But I think that the most important quality is to be able to think outside the box. Spatial computing and immersive experiences are going to create new business models that will make companies pivot or completely change their strategy.

HAPTIC: What advice do you have for organizations that are just beginning to explore spatial computing and metaverse applications? How can they get started effectively?

Patricia Esteban: My recommendation would be to not try to reinvent the wheel. We have been working for some years on immersive experiences and it has been almost two years since the metaverse hype started. There are a lot of experiences to learn from and see where they have failed.
And the easiest way to get started is to use enterprise-ready platforms that has already been tested. This could speed up the development time of an experience from 6 months that it took before to 1 month.
And at IBM we have own platform oriented to the business world based on open technologies, being a flexible, adaptable platform that can grow according to needs.
Based on open and interoperable standards, this platform is designed for scalability and allows businesses to integrate their own services, APIs and applications.

HAPTIC: How do you see the future of remote work and collaboration evolving with the integration of spatial computing technologies? Are there any noteworthy use cases?

Patricia Esteban: With the appearance of new advance devices like the Apple Vision Pro, I believe we are taking a huge step forward on remote work and collaboration, jumping from 2D to 3D interactions and being able to make connections between data and people much faster. Also, having enterprise suites like Microsoft Office or Webex meetings already integrated on spatial computing devices will make the adoption curve much shorter. And it will also make sure that we can continue to collaborate with those who might not be able to afford these devices.
However, it is important to pay attention to ethics and privacy and build secure environments for
everyone. Solutions such as using Digital Sovereign Identity will help users to have control over the data and have it secured.

End of Interview

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Patricia Esteban for sharing her valuable insights and expertise with us during this illuminating interview. Her perspective on the Metaverse, Quantum Computing, and the technology landscape at large has been enlightening. We look forward to continuing to explore the exciting developments in these fields, and we thank Patricia Esteban for her time and dedication in making this conversation possible and she can be seen on the stage of GoTech World Bucharest event on date 08 November, 2023.

For more info and registration, please visit official website GoTech World | In-person Expo-Conference | Bucharest, Romexpo, Bulevardul Mărăști, Romania