Xailabs (since 2006)

The company Xailabs, which Van-Gogh-TV-founder Salvatore Vanasco started and still runs today, “conducts research at the interface between humans and technology”, as it says on the company’s website. This includes the application of artificial intelligence in everyday life, the connection of digital and real spaces and the use of sensors. Its products include apps, enterprise portals, content management systems, exhibition design and games; among its customers are companies such as the Bundesbank, Telekom, McDonalds, Daimler, Nike and Charité. In the development of avatars, virtual reality environments and the live production studio Third Nature, the company continues to pursue approaches to the design of reactive, virtual spaces, a “telematic stage”, which can be traced back to the virtual studio at Hotel Pompino and the connection of virtual and physical space at Service area a. i.

From today’s perspective, it is striking how many similarities the company’s self-description has with that of Ponton European Media Lab. For example, Ponton stated: “The work of the Ponton European Media Art Lab is procedural: the prototypes developed are designed to constantly change and evolve through their use. This process generates experiential values that allow conclusions to be drawn about individual development possibilities in the information society. The technology merely functions as a means of transport for communication in an electronic public space that is created in the networks. In the foreground of the work is the human being.” The Xailabs website today says: “Xailabs researches at the interface between people and technology. This is how we discover needs, effects and market capabilities.” This orientation towards the user, known today as UX design, and towards the processuality of technical development also shapes the corporate concept at Xailabs and shows how the impulses from the work of Ponton and Van Gogh TV at Piazza virtuale continue to have an impact into the present.