Meet Bertrand Wolff & Emilie Gobin

Le Pavillon, the first Parisian venue dedicated to the use of immersive technologies for companies and professionals, opened its doors in March 2018 in the heart of Paris.

Acting as a showroom, a lab, an event venue, and training center, Le Pavillon allows people to experiment with VR, to be inspired by use cases, to build their own, to meet creators and to use the power of VR for training. They are working, among others, with many Directors of Innovation, Strategy, or Human Resources from large companies, who wish to discover and develop immersive content to help train and upskill their employees. Le Pavillon offers a unique catalogue of several hundred BtoB Virtual Reality applications.

Le Pavillon supports many major clients in the deployment of Virtual Reality applications within their organizations, taking care of the curation and distribution of appropriate content, the selection and maintenance of hardware, and the training of key people in the company.

We spoke with Emilie Gobin and Bertrand Wolff, co-founders of Le Pavillon.

1. How did you get your idea or concept for the business? 

Emilie and I were producers in the VR sector, and we realized that in order to sell VR services and products, there was a very hefty work to do with the help of evangelization. Immersive technologies are experiential by design, if you don’t try them yourself, it is quite difficult to really understand what it feels like to wear a mask – with Le Pavillon, we wanted to help both potential users and the ecosystem a way to evangelize VR.

2. What’s your company’s vision?

AR, VR, MR, XR, … and all immersive technologies are a new, powerful and unparalleled media which can contribute drastically to the development of individuals in a professional context. Our mission is to enable the greatest number of people in the business sector to discover the benefits they can achieve by embracing VR.

3. What is unique about your business?

We are positioned at the very heart of the AR/VR ecosystem, by bridging the gap between large, corporate HR departments and small AR/VR creators. This gives us a unique, 360° view of the VR market and how it is growing.

4. What is your biggest achievement so far?

In 2019, we helped SNCF, France’s leading railway company, with the deployment of a tailored VR training catalogue, containing on-the-shelve VR applications, aimed at raising employee awareness of two main themes:

  • soft skills
  • Health & security

5. How do you see your company in 10 years?

We aim at becoming a major player in the service industry related to spacial computing, especially XR usages

6. What are you like as an employer?

Since we are dealing with very recent, young technologies, for which most use cases have not been explored or discovered yet, we are by obligation (and not only by preference) searching for passionate collaborators. We also believe that we have a duty to make mistakes: we need to constantly experiment new things (and sometimes fail) in such a precursory field. 

7. What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the XR industry? How do you deal with them?

The biggest challenge facing the XR industry is the lack of knowledge about the potential use cases of immersive technologies. We chose to deal with it through evangelization. 

8. How do you handle adversity and doubt? 

I strongly believe you need to embrace these: there’s nothing better than being surrounded by people who have doubts. They are the ones who will help you grow your reflection, defend your ideas and strengthen your arguments.

9. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out in VR/AR, what would it be?

Think out of the mask! Don’t limit yourself because of today’s technical constraints – they are bound to be pushed back continuously as the technology improves.

10. What is one habit you wish you could break? 

Getting older every day (chuckles). Also, procrastination.

11. What does creativity mean to you?

To me, creativity is a muscle that needs training, practice and to be fed with constant challenges.

12. What book has inspired you the most? 

Hyperion, by Dan Simmons. This 1991 science-fiction novel, set in the 28th century, depicts the journey of 7 pilgrims who travel to a remote planet to fight against a strange phenomenon: the tides of time. 

13. What do you do when you’re not at work?

I like gazing at the horizon by the seashore.

14. Who do you see as an inspiration in the industry?

Jeremy Bailenson, the founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction.