XR

2021: A Year of Growth and Change for The Wild

A 2021 end-of-year recap of some of the top developments at The Wild and IrisVR, as well as for the XR industry as a whole.
Clay Walsh
December 13, 2021
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5
MIN READ

2021 has been a massive year of growth, development, and change at the Wild—and for the extended reality (XR) industry as a whole.


Overall, it’s been a challenging road through the COVID-19 pandemic, but we all have a lot to celebrate this year. Here at The Wild, we’ve expanded our team significantly and pushed our product suite to the next level, while also going fully remote and acquiring one of the pioneers of VR for AEC, IrisVR


In this end-of-year recap we’ll walk through some of the top developments at The Wild and IrisVR, as well as for the XR industry as a whole.

Extended reality in 2021: a recap

According to Statista, the worldwide augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) market size is forecasted to grow up to $209 billion by 2022, with global AR and VR application downloads expected to hit 5.5 billion sometime next year.


The XR industry’s expansion has been fueled by growing interest in the technology among the world’s remote workforce. As the COVID-19 pandemic has continued, teams are increasingly choosing to stay remote, and discovering that VR/AR are among the many tools that can improve virtual collaboration and connection.


Meanwhile, Facebook recently changed its corporate name to Meta and launched their vision for the metaverse, a successor to the mobile internet that involves a strong focus on personal and professional XR. Given Facebook’s announcement, more people than ever are aware of XR, and looking to get in on the action.


In their new incarnation, Meta is also displaying a commitment to improving XR usage in the workplace with the launch of Quest for Business. This new program will enable employees to use the same headsets for personal and professional usage, offer a revamped mobile device management (MDM) platform, and more.


The Wild and IrisVR in 2021: a recap

The Wild and IrisVR have had a whirlwind year, full of growth and change. Here are some significant milestones we passed together:


Acquiring IrisVR

We acquired IrisVR, creators of Prospect by IrisVR, in February 2021. The Wild and IrisVR have both been pioneers in using VR to communicate and collaborate upon spatial design for the architecture, engineering, construction, and design industries. In acquiring IrisVR, we’re positioning ourselves to revolutionize immersive collaboration for AEC teams and beyond long into the future.


Transitioning to a fully remote work environment

Our team made the decision to go fully remote in 2021. 


As an organization, we believe that good ideas can come from anyone, anywhere; a team member’s time contribution is valuable, no matter where or when they may be logging in from. That’s why we chose to implement a work-from-anywhere policy this year. The expectation isn’t that everyone just works from their home, but rather that they work wherever they feel most comfortable and content. Every team member has a choice about the lifestyle they want to live, and that choice isn’t tied to their job title. 


Our new remote-first policy has enabled us to hire all over the United States. Depending on the role, some departments have started hiring internationally as well. We’re constantly working to explore the benefits of remote work using a variety of real-time and asynchronous communication tools, such as Asana, Slack, Miro, and Loom, not to mention The Wild itself.



Pushing our products to the next level

In the past year, The Wild and Prospect by IrisVR launched a variety of features that have made immersive collaboration more accessible than ever for AEC teams—with more diverse hardware support, intuitive navigation, documentation features, and integrations that plug into existing AEC workflows.


You can see each new feature The Wild launched in 2021 on our updates page. Here are some of the highlights:


  • Improved BIM 360 integration
  • Pico Neo 2 support
  • HP Reverb G2 support
  • Better navigational consistency in VR
  • Improvements to keyboard in VR
  • Updated People Menu
  • Additional language support for speech-to-text
  • Refined 2D sketch mode


Prospect by IrisVR also launched a number of new features in 2021, including:


Summing up 2021 as a whole

We asked a few of our employees to sum up how 2021 went at The Wild—and in general. Here’s what they had to say:



“We’ve experienced explosive changes for our entire product. We are making huge leaps in every area, with game-changing additions blueprinted out.”—Jeremy Reed, Lead Cloud Infrastructure Engineer


“Interest in VR is growing exponentially, with the focus shifting to the metaverse this year. The Wild is placed at the forefront of this growth, bringing playful productivity to the AEC industry. We've done foundational work these past few years that has ensured our placement as the frontrunner in this space. The next year looks exciting as we expand on partnerships and continue to deliver increased value to our customers.”—Rishi Jatkar, Senior Product Manager


“Aggressive transformation driven by a passionate and dedicated team has made The Wild the leader in delivering VR to the AEC space. What was a buzz in the AEC industry has changed to a loud roar. VR is the topic that is dominating this vertical and The Wild was instrumental in making that happen. Hold on tight in 2022!”—Matt Norton, Account Executive


“2021 has been a flagship, banner year. Having the pleasure to talk with firms all over the world, it is very clear that they are recognizing the positive impacts XR can have in supporting their workflows!”—AJ Lightheart, Senior Account Executive


“It’s been a year of understanding. As we continue to learn to adapt to this new work environment, patience and understanding has come to the forefront of our customer-facing endeavors. Empathy has always been big for us, but now, as we navigate the balance of mental health, home life, and projects at work, our role has evolved to move past just answering your typical support questions. We want to legitimately show that we care about our customers and their success in all parts of their day.”—Nick Lambert, Customer Success Manager

Looking onward to a strong 2022 

It’s been a big year at The Wild, but we’re not stopping here—there’s so much more coming in 2022.


We’re planning to grow our team and our customer base significantly in 2022. At the same time, we’re continuing to evolve our company culture with remote workspace benefits, quarterly off-sites (2x virtual, 2x IRL, with the next one taking place in Scottsdale, AZ), and other initiatives yet to be announced. 


We also have a number of exciting partnership announcements, features, and integrations on the horizon, including:


  • Navisworks for The Wild
  • Easier, simpler method to download and try The Wild for free
  • Full BIM issue-tracking for The Wild
  • Next-generation VR/AR headset support
  • Enhanced UX/UI improvements


In general, our development efforts are largely focused on creating the next generation of both products—a fully integrated XR collaboration platform that serves the entire AEC project lifecycle. 


The future of XR collaboration is bright for the AEC industry and beyond; at The Wild, we’re thrilled to create that future alongside all of you.


Want to help us bring our vision to life at The Wild? Our team is rapidly growing – check out our current remote career opportunities here.

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