As we tip over into the second half of 2020, it’s time to take a look back at what the Make Real studio and team has been up to these past three months.
This is the first full quarter of operations and development being carried out entirely remotely, following the studio opting to shift location to individual homes just before the UK government put the whole country into lockdown at the end of March, to ensure health, safety and well-being of the team.
Like many digital companies that have been fortunate to continue to be able to operate during these challenging times, there has been a period of adjustment but overall, the nature of our work has enabled projects and products to continue apace remotely. We’ve been using a combination of Slack and Zoom (& email and the telephone of course) for comms, all of our project development happens in the cloud with storage, source control and distribution and when we need some presence, we hop into a variety of social VR applications to hang out together.
We carried out a large study of work and research in and around metrics and the measurement of the benefits of using VR for learning & development, training and simulation. The output of this was culminated in our published report “Measuring the Success of VR – The Art of the Possible“, which you can download and read for free.
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“, for April, May and June, full of interesting articles related to and around the worlds of learning design, technologies and other discussion points we have found each month. Maybe you are reading this linked from the July newsletter. If not, be sure to sign up here to receive our carefully curated content in your email inbox each month.
With the new website proving popular, we also added new case studies and updating many existing ones with additional video content where relevant. Go check them out from Work > Projects menu above.
We also received our own Cleanbox UVC sanitiser as part of our improved, ongoing VR headset hygiene routine, for use in the studio VRLab and for when events resume. A number of our clients have been using them so it was great to get our own unit too.
Whilst real-world, physical events are still on-hold and postponed for the foreseeable future, we have been busy with various virtual events taking place.
Sophie our Head of Learning Design and Matt, one of our Senior Designers, joined eLN for the webinar ‘Make a Connection: Serious Games for Remote Learning Experiences‘, to discuss how you can use serious games to create memorable learning experiences that bring people together, with classroom training off the table for the near future.
Our clients Lloyds Banking Group were back once again, with Mark and Craig following up on their Learning Technologies 2020 appearance, doing a talk and follow-up Q&A panel on their VR training journey and outcomes at the ‘Reuters Events – XR Intelligence : XR Immersive Enterprise Online‘ event.
Sam our Immersive Partnerships Director took to the online airwaves twice, first up with the ‘Virti Human Performance Podcast‘ talking about learnings in immersive enterprise deployments and then with ‘The Immersive Wire‘, covering a range of topics from consumer to enterprise to development and deployment over the last seven years.
A number of our client projects came to fruition this quarter, however many final deployments have been placed on hold until post-COVID-19 training regimes have been solidified and/or resumed within organisations, something we are working with our clients and partners on as well to enable. (Don’t forget to read our guide to headset hygiene when considering how to resume your training sessions.) That hasn’t stopped the team delivering on planned milestones or wrapping up a number of other projects though.
BAM Nuttall – Site Induction: An onboarding 360º video experience delivered via Oculus Go and Quest enterprise hardware, allowing new construction workers to see some of the major development projects around the UK before setting foot onsite.
JPMorgan Chase & Co – Branch Explorer: An onboarding 360º video experience delivered via Oculus Go and Quest enterprise hardware, allowing employees to learn about layout and customer-facing departments of Chase banks in the USofA and meet some of their team of colleagues.
Legal & General – Retirement Planning: A branching narrative 360º video experience delivered via Oculus Go and Quest enterprise hardware, allowing employees to take a journey through a visual story of their retirement plans and potential outcomes.
Orsted – VR Inspector: Based upon initial testing and feedback, the experience saw a phase 0.2 rolled out for further user testing and review, bringing changes to the interactions and overall usability of the experience. Further work now continues to create a deeper learning experience now that the simulation and validity of using VR for training has been quantified.
Severn Trent – Chemical Delivery Investigation: An asymmetrical group learning / serious game where employees must work together to determine what factors led up to a chemical delivery incident onsite. Remote group-based collaborative VR reviews and testing have been taking place with the training room replaced with Zoom video calls and local devices to each learner.
Severn Trent – Lifting: Complex VR simulation to teach correct posture and lifting manoeuvre procedures for lid lifters. Remote VR reviews and testing have been taking place, allowing SMEs to validate the posture simulation and scoring within the training experience, comparing visible real-world posture replicated in Virtual Reality and contrasting scores by eye with scores by the digital system.
TfL – Every Journey Matters:
Vodafone – DriVeSafe: After a successful internal soft-launch, our design and development team have been busy added new mini-games and features to the mobile-based serious game ahead of the wider organisational rollout coming up.
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That pretty much wraps up Q2 of 2020 as we move forwards into the 2nd half of the year. We hope that as important clients and partners of ours you have been satisfied with our continued development and approach to your projects; we’ve been working hard to minimise impact and knock-on effects to deliveries and timelines. We have a number of new projects signed and commencing development, which we are excited about and can’t wait to share details in the next quarterly review.
We wish all our clients, partners and you who are reading this a continued 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 emerging technologies like VR, AR, or AI, send us a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.