The first calendar quarter of the year has come to a close, on what has turned out to be turbulent time globally for everyone. Whilst the coronavirus pandemic creates the most news and coverage in the real world and we have had to shift the studio operations to remote working like many other organisations lucky enough to be able to do so, we’ve still been busy with day-to-day work, deployments and events, even if many of these have become virtual too.
We started the year not with a resolution but a new look, with the launch of our updated website design, which if you’re reading this, have likely noticed by now. Filled with lots of new case studies for our projects, products and consultancy, clarity around our key pillars of services and focus (learning and development, training and simulation and experiences and games) and brimming with more blog posts than ever before, which we hope you will find insightful to read. From purchasing enterprise hardware to other use cases for VR for mental health, fitness and well-being or remote work to good guidance around headset hygiene, there’s plenty more to come over the coming months.
In relation to our ethos around educating clients and partners about immersive learning experiences and technologies, we published three more of our monthly newsletters “Reality Check“, full of interesting articles related to and around the worlds of learning design, technologies and other discussion points we have found each month. Be sure to sign up here to receive our carefully curated content in your email inbox each month.
Following on from our work with Digital Catapult as part of the 5G Testbed Accelerator Programme last year, there’s now a series of videos you can watch online about how 5G will benefit local councils and creative communities and companies, as well as a full length studio profile piece about our work with emerging technologies.
After our annual review from the Learning Performance Institute, we were delighted to have had our membership and accreditation continued for another year as an LPI learning provider. Similarly, after meetings last year, we were honoured to be accepted as enterprise partners with the IET. Having been a registered member for many years, we decided to become a premium member of ImmerseUK as well, to continue our wider connections to the immersive technology sectors within the UK.
More locally, continuing our work with the digital talent manifesto and advisory group steering committee, combined with our growth and recruitment plans, we renewed our Wired Sussex membership for the next three years, to enable us to have support from and for the digital sector within the Greater Brighton area.
We managed one real world physical event before lockdown, that being the annual Learning Technologies UK 2020 event, held at London ExCeL before it was turned into the Nightingale Hospital for COVID-19 patients. Whilst perhaps the event itself seemed a little muted this year in comparison to previous years, we had a bigger and better booth than ever before and were super busy for both days. Helped by our clients Lloyds Banking Group doing a talk about VR training and encouraging attendees to come to our booth, it was great to see so many people interested in and asking the right questions about the validation of use cases for immersive learning experiences.
The rest of our events became virtual, including speaking at the inaugural Educators in VR International Summit, hosting hundreds of speakers on a range of topics over 6 days online. We also spoke at the Immersive Brighton Meetup – Social Good about our work with Stay Up Late and Blind Veterans UK charities.
Following on from our VRAwards win last year with Vodafone – Working at Height in the VR for Education and Training category, we took part in an AMA hosted in AltspaceVR by AIXR. Similarly, related to the win, we took part in the AIXR VRAwards 2020 Nominations webinar alongside ILMxLabs too. As part of our involvement with the AIXR Enterprise XR Steering Group, we took part in another webinar looking at the use cases for immersive technologies and soft skills training.
Our final webinar of the quarter saw us returning to the discussion table with John Helmer, The Learning Hack, to talk about Extreme Learning Design, with our Head of Learning Design Sophie fighting the corner of immersive learning experiences.
A number of our client projects came to fruition this quarter and were successfully deployed alongside train-the-trainer days with key stakeholders and instructors.
CITB – Highways Site Induction: Following on from our deployment of the tablet-based content towards the end of last year alongside the cabinet full of technology, we delivered the final part of the programme of works, in the form of the Oculus Quest VR-based collaborative asymmetrical serious game, “Bridge Team VR”. This is designed to allow one trainee to work in VR whilst the rest of the team must use the information cue cards provided to supply information and details to work together towards planning, building and reviewing a virtual bridge building project. [Oculus Quest, VR]
Lloyds Banking Group – Intervention Training: Our 3rd learning experience deployment for Lloyds, again building upon previous soft-skills training mechanisms in VR provided previously to the group, this particular experience is about conflict resolution and helping empower managers to be able to facilitate difficult conversations. [Oculus Go, VR]
NHS – Blood Identification: A technology demonstrator to showcase the tactile motion-tracked input possible around small, delicate movements and motions, in this case the care needed when handling chemicals and blood samples via pipettes, and the gentle tilting motion necessary to induce reactions ready for identification purposes. [Oculus Quest, VR]
Severn Trent – Coaching: A soft-skills training experience based upon the TGROW coaching model, using virtual avatar embodiment and our enhanced VO actor facial & motion capture pipeline to create a series of learning objectives around team management skills and enabling team members to increase confidence in their own performance. [Oculus Quest, VR]
UK Power Networks – LV Jointing: An updated technology demonstration around cable maintenance to showcase the capabilities of motion-tracked input combined with a highly complex haptics simulation of physical tools and materials, to enable faster training and onboarding of employees to reduce real world materials wastage. [Oculus Rift, VR]
That’s about it for this quarter – we have a number of projects close to completion ready for the next. We continue to work closely with our clients during these alternative times to ensure minimal disruption to developments and scheduled work. Our team is on hand to help with any queries to operations and the status of their projects, proposals and more. Many of our planned events have been cancelled or postponed until further notice.
We wish all our clients, partners and you who are reading this a safe and healthy next quarter and hope to be able to emerge from this period of lockdown with gusto soon.
We’re always happy to talk to you about how immersive technologies can engage your employees and customers. If you have a learning objective in mind, or simply want to know more about VR, send us a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.