Engage XR unveils virtual employee in its metaverse platform

23 Jan 2023

Image: Engage XR

The Waterford-based company has created ‘Athena’, a virtual avatar that will take voice commands and complete tasks.

Engage XR has developed and demonstrated the integration of AI into its metaverse platform in the form of a virtual employee named Athena.

The Irish company, formerly called VR Education, officially launched its enterprise-focused metaverse platform, Engage Link, last year.

Ahead of the platform’s launch, the Waterford-based company teamed up with big names including Lenovo, HTC and Stanford University to help create its platform. Now, the unveiling of Athena marks another milestone for the company.

According to Engage XR, the avatar is a fully interactive virtual employee that will take voice commands and complete tasks. It can also provide advice, answer questions, source media for playback, create AI imagery, find 3D objects, create sticky notes, and interact with key functions of the platform.

The avatar is powered by AI tools such as ChatGPT and DALL-E and engineers will add more functionality and connectivity with different AI programmes.

Engage XR CEO David Whelan said the launch of Athena is the beginning of “an extensive development roadmap” for using AI applications in the platform, which will give the company’s clients “superpowers”.

“Even at this very early stage of development, you can hold full conversations with Athena inside Engage,” he said.

“For example, you can ask her to create unique art installations, which are built in real time. She can complete tasks such as fetching 3D models, videos based on your prompts and provide full tutorials and information on almost any topic you ask her. Athena is impressive and only gets better the more we interact with her.”

In the future, Engage XR plans to provide custom AI employees for its enterprise clients at a premium, with each one tailored with a unique personality.

The avatars will be able to take on a host of client-facing tasks which include tech support, training, education, and moderation.

Engage XR, which was featured as a SiliconRepublic.com Start-up of the Week in 2015, provides users with a platform for creating, sharing and delivering VR content for education, training and online events through its virtual campus, office and events products.

The company has been pivoting its offering in recent years, and raised €9m in a share placing in 2021 to build its ‘metaverse for business’.

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Jenny Darmody is the editor of Silicon Republic