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Virtual Forest was highlighted as finalist at Auggie Awards 2018

02 November 2018

Virtual Forest is the premiere example, in all of Scandinavia, of early adaptation of VR in business. This year the project got recognised in Auggie Awards, being shortlisted among the 20 finalists out of 114 nominations from around the globe.

Organized and presented by AWE, IEEE and VR First at Augmented World Expo EU 2018, the Breakthrough Auggie Awards honor academic-industry collaborations using AR, VR and MR (XR) that showcase innovation with the greatest potential to spark mass adoption and industrial use of these immersive technologies.

Virtual Forest service is created by five ecosystem partners including Metsä Group, CTRL Reality, Simosol Oy, Tieto and University of Helsinki. A virtual forest created from the actual forest resource data of a forest holding and meetings held in such a virtual environment are really useful tools especially to forest owners living at a distance from their forest holding and to new forest owners getting to know their forests. The services can simulate various alternatives which allows landowners to make the best decision for their tree crops and for the forest company to have better insights into the raw materials available, allowing better planning which has a positive impact on environment.

”We develop our services to forest owners continuously together with our owner-members. Our goal is to incorporate virtual forest as a tool in actual wood trade between us and forest owners. In the future, a forest owner and our forest expert can meet virtually in the owner’s forest and thus compare the effect different felling and forest management options have on the scenery and income before any actions have taken place in the real forest holding”, explains Juha Jumppanen, Senior Vice President, Member Services, at Finnish forest industry company Metsä Group.

Virtual Forest is designed to support new and experienced forest owners. Virtual reality proved to raise the efficiency of business operations and uncover the next level of customer experience, especially when it comes to visualizing complex data and scenarios. The service provides innovative, yet intuitive approach to making decisions about forest operations to get the best value - immediately and with a long-term perspective”, says Ksenia Avetisova, Head of Enhanced Reality Lab at Tieto.

”Virtual Forest shows the beauty of the Finnish forests in a virtual form. In addition to the immersive experience, it provides the users real added value by combining the knowledge of leading forest experts into easy-to-use application”, states Teijo Lehtonen, CEO of CTRL Reality Ltd.

“We have been building digital twins of forests for a decade. Virtual Forest allows us for the first time to illustrate the current state of the forest and its multiple possible futures in an almost tangible way for the forest owners, says Jussi Rasinmäki, CEO of Simosol Oy.  

“Among the general benefits of Virtual Reality technologies can be presenting complicated and abstract things that cannot be presented in any other media, such as a walk in a future forest after decades of growth. The system itself can be designed to enable do-it-yourself activities and better interactions with other forest owners, family members and forestry professionals. The multiple sensory effects provided by the technology can be utilized to build mutual understanding, strong engrams and engagement to nurture forests”, notes Jani Holopainen, Mixed Reality Hub Lead, at University of Helsinki.

About Breakthrough Auggie Awards

New this year, AWE, IEEE and VR First have joined forces to honour excellence in collaborative projects which have helped us to get one step closer to mass adoption of the technology and gain a deeper understanding of topics relevant to many industries. Three Breakthrough awards have been added to this year's program honouring "Most Innovative Breakthrough", "Most Impactful Breakthrough" and an outstanding "Women XR Laureate".


About companies

Metsä Group is a forerunner in sustainable bioeconomy utilising renewable wood from sustainably managed northern forests. Metsä Group focuses on wood supply and forest services, wood products, pulp, fresh fibre paperboards and tissue and cooking papers.

Tieto is the largest Nordic IT company, driving the adoption of virtual reality and creating impact across multiple sectors and industries. We combine software and services capabilities with drive for co-innovation and ecosystems. Tieto XR Lab, Tieto Forest, Tieto Data Driven Business units worked on the concept of the service, partnerships, data models and delivering service on multiple

CTRL Reality provides leading mixed reality engineering. Our mission is to improve our customers’ performance with tailored mixed reality solutions and the CTRL Elements platform. The company is creating the visualisation and interaction layer for the virtual forest

Simosol is the leading provider of services for forest, crop & carbon mapping and monitoring, supply chain optimisation and forest & biomass project valuation. Our solutions support more than 15 million hectares valued in 40 billion EUR with active projects in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia. Simosol’s algorithms are used for generating individual trees out of the standard forest data, estimating their properties, like value, now and in the future, and placing them into the virtual

University of Helsinki Mixed Reality Hub is a research laboratory for service concepts that utilize virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality in sales, customer service, training and education. The team concentrates on digitally supported cases where interpersonal interaction is a focal element of the service design. Mixed Reality Hub has initiated the Virtual Forest project and since then been responsible for the user and system design research. Each service iteration is completed following the Design Science Research Methodology optimizing the utility, usability, and service flow.


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