What It’s Like To Be Part of the Michigan Technology Scene

virtual reality in michigan technology detroit

There’s a lot of talk lately about Detroit being a comeback city. Travel + Leisure and Bon Appétit are recognizing Motor City as a major travel and food destination. But what about technology? We’re right in the center of the Midwest, an area set to outpace the famed Silicon Valley for startups. And the exponential growth is happening in part because of another Midwest staple: hospitality.

Partnerships are forged between nonprofits, government agencies, startups and established businesses, because we believe in Michigan and what we can do. Metro Detroit’s economy today is made up of more than just automotive. From embracing autonomous vehicles to groundbreaking augmented reality museum tours, we’re proud to be part of this technological renaissance.

PIXO Group’s Marketing Strategist Kristin recently spoke on augmented reality (AR) as a tool for storytelling at the Michigan Recreation & Park Association’s annual conference. Sound like a strange fit? When you think about it, not really: parks benefited from an influx of visitors thanks to Pokémon Go. By combining existing geolocations, like historical landmarks, with the beloved cartoon, Pokémon Go proved AR is here to stay (even though it’s not technically AR – shh!). There’s a handful of AR developers in the state, and PIXO Group is excited to be among them.

This week, Michigan business association Automation Alley held their annual Technology Industry Outlook at the perfect location: the DIA. The Detroit Institute of Arts became the first museum in the world to have an AR tour, so filling their space with drones, robots and virtual reality was a natural fit. Companies exhibited their technology, and after networking and demos, participants listened to Automation Alley’s talk on Industry 4.0 and how it’s changing Michigan business. See key takeaways and read the full report here.

Michigan State University is, perhaps not surprisingly, a strong supporter of the tech scene. PIXO Group was at their gaming conference Meaningful Play last year, where our Creative Director Ben spoke on a panel about how the local industry is evolving. And at the end of this month, we’ll be sharing a table with our good friends at the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan for CS First. This is an opportunity to engage primary school students with technology, so we’re packing up all the Google Cardboards we can find!

So what else is on the radar? May will be another big month for the Michigan tech scene, continuing the momentum from last year’s record-breaking Startup Week and innovative Self Conference. We’re hoping to speak on virtual reality and education with our friends at STEM.org. Keep up to date with our social accounts to find out who we’re developing tech with next (or just follow us to watch the robots).


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