The wonder by Immersion As a tech leader, why did I want to make a film focused on emotion?

Today, in the film “The Wonder by Immersion” I invite you to wonder and rediscover the world under another angle, without ever forgetting the child in you.

Christophe Chartier
CEO and co-founder, Immersion

“No one cares about the technology!”

The story could have started there on that day. The day when I told a journalist, “Don’t repeat this and don’t quote me but between you and me, no one cares about the technology !” And why not? Why not say it, write it, own it and even make a film, our film? Although at first glance this statement appears strange and even paradoxical coming from a tech leader, to me, it is completely in line with my values and those of Immersion. Background: I co-founded Immersion in 1994. From the outset the company was specialised in Virtual Reality. Almost twenty-five years later there was a technology boom. Our business changed but our approach remained the same. For us, people are the key. This people-centred approach which we did not put into words at the time was already what drove us. Today we are finally allowing ourselves to fully own this position and we are showing our true colours by sharing this film with you.

“That transition towards a new era”

In reality, the story began well before that day. I had already shared my vision here and there, and for a number of years with the people I met. I stand by what I said. After the era of technology, then the era of consumption, it is now the era of people: people are at the heart of decision-making. Nothing new, you say? It’s true. Isn’t it utopian? It is indeed. Nevertheless, I believe in this vision and it is what drives me every day. It is inspired by my reading and [1] , as always, by the interaction with our clients and our partners. This vision, indeed this conviction [2] , reflects the issues facing their businesses which are operating in an ever more complex environment. We are at the dawn of a new era, in a period of transition towards that new era. We are witnessing a real awakening. Businesses and the people who work for them need to get back to basics: people and the search for meaning.

“Rediscovering the world under another angle”

Then, it turns out that this story has a particular resonance in the current context. The digital transformation, the smart factory, virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, big data blockchain, deep learning, telemedicine… This is where we are…technology is omnipresent. The scope of what is possible has never been so huge. Whilst this indisputable technical progress is so exciting, it raises real concerns, that are more or less well founded, that are whipped up by the fear-mongering headlines that we see in our news feeds: “Telemedicine: will digital technology replace doctors? “, “Should we be scared of artificial intelligence? “, “Are robots going to steal your jobs? “. At the same time it’s a two-speed [3] machine which leaves behind those without the keys to access these technologies and who have no understanding of the conventions [4]. In a world marked by hyperconnectivity and omnipresent, even invasive technology, I believe the time is right to put people at the centre. I see here an amazing opportunity: to prevent the excesses of digital technology. If we value people again, if we put them at the centre of the business, at the heart of decision-making, then they will ensure these technologies are used. Decisions must not be made by machines but by people. Acting as a safeguard they will thus ensure they are used properly [5].

“Immersing yourself in a dimension yet to explore”

Then, this story requires imagination. At the start of the year I asked you to talk about collaboration and even emotion. I asked you to come together to imagine an environment where people would be at the heart of decision-making, where ROE (Return On Emotion) would have its place alongside ROI (Return On Investment), where collective and emotional [6] intelligence would be valued. This brand film is another invitation. We are operating in an increasingly complex environment which requires us to be agile. Our decision-making must be better and faster in a world of platforms [7], working in multidisciplinary and remote teams. The challenge is to break up silos in order to create enjoyable experiences by making technology more user-friendly and transparent. For this we need to trust in our designers [8] who must fill us with wonder by designing and dreaming up this world of the future.

“The magical moment occurs. The one when everything enlightens”

But most of all, this story, or more specifically that moment of enlightenment, we are more aware of it at times of difficulty. Let’s go back a few years. Immersion was having a difficult year. We were losing money and had just been gone public. We didn’t see it coming.  It was a tough blow. “A combination of external factors” as they say. My team and myself were hit head on by these “external factors”. We were coming undone but we weren’t done for. It wasn’t over. I believed and they believed. During that year we pulled our sleeves up and got on with it[9]. What saved us? Coming together around our shared values with a collective approach [10]. I am surrounded by enthusiastic, brilliant men and women, who are sometimes geeky, diverse, complementary, imperfect and therefore totally inspirational. Every day this multidisciplinary team meets my requirements and those of our clients. I made this film first and foremost for them. Putting our values into pictures was for me important as a way of moving them, inspiring them and [11], above all, thanking them. 

“Be filled with wonder, never forgetting the child in you”

This story is the story of a poetic and inspirational brand film. Focussed on wonder, this film conveys our ability to meet challenges and invites all of us to see the world under another angle [12]. And what if we rediscovered the world under another angle? What if we were different, even if it meant not pleasing everyone? Innovation is in our DNA. People are at the heart of our decision-making, they are our purpose. Emotion and wonder are what drive us.

What about you?

Christophe Chartier
CEO and co-founder, Immersion
Eternal child