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eXtended Reality – Technology at people service in everyday life

Innovation and digitization are for Poste Italiane the source from which to draw for the change promotion and represent the key tool for facilitating accessibility of the digital transformation process to its customers, in line with the values and mission of the Group to support development, inclusion and sustainability.

eXtended Reality, the sum of experiences deriving from augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality, is an immersive technology that offers users a new experience in the way they interact with the digital world.

Current XR systems (Avatars, robots, cobots, web-based augmented reality solutions, etc.) are unable to capture people's attention and/or guarantee their full technological acceptance. In fact, these systems mostly provide experiences similar to a web application one with limited interaction capabilities and, in the case of current robotic virtual assistants, offer poor dynamic performance and limited interaction capabilities.

The revolutionary opportunities offered by XR technologies can be exploited only when will be identified models and tools with which users can interact in different social contexts, without feeling uncomfortable or out of place in the interaction, but on the contrary, perceiving it as pleasant, useful and comprehensible.

The SERMAS Project (Socially Acceptable Extended Reality Models and Systems) fits into this context, financed with funds from the European Commission's HORIZON EUROPE Research and Development programme, in which Poste Italiane participates together with 6 other partners - including research institutions, industry and technology experts - from 4 European countries.

The project, which will end in 2025, has the objective of developing "disruptive" methodologies and tools, to simplify the design, development, implementation and management of eXtended Reality systems, while paying attention to the fundamental aspects for making these systems socially acceptable for end users, who will feel comfortable interacting with them.

The new models for XR systems will have the ability to adapt to a large variety of forms of expression, interaction, languages, domains, styles and intents and will allow the development of solutions capable of achieve an authentic human-like interaction able to overcome the distrust and limits in the interactions between human beings and machines.

Poste Italiane will contribute to the project with two use cases aimed at testing XR solutions in the assistance services field:

Receptionist Agent  – XR system which, combining gestures and voice, will welcome visitors at the Poste Italiane headquarters with the aim of providing physical access to the company's offices, general information, services, information on conferences, meeting rooms, etc.

Post Office Agent - XR system which, by combining gestures and voice, will assist customers in Post Offices, with a user-friendly approach, adapting its behaviour and the services and/or information offer according to the customer's characteristics.
It will also provide its technical skills for the methodologies’ development, coordinate the case studies implementation and participate in the implemented solutions experimentation and validation.

This project was funded by the Horizon Europe program under the Grant Agreement 101070351.
However, the views and opinions expressed are those of the authors only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission.
Neither the European Union nor the European Commission can be held responsible for them.