Make Real – 2021 End of Year Review

2022 is nearly upon us and so it’s time to look back at the year that was 2021, as far as studio news and output is concerned. After 2020, it continued to be a challenging set of scenarios for everyone across the globe, ending as it began, with many of our clients facing ongoing changes and new ways of working and learning to adopt.

News

Achievements

Being nearly two years since March 2020, when the world went into lockdown with COVID-19, the studio and team are well versed now at working from home, adapting studio spaces and following all the guidelines to keep us all as safe and healthy as we can do. We’ve been holding regular check-ins with the individual team members about working conditions, enabling them to have whatever is necessary to be efficient in their setups but most importantly, being mindful of everyones mental health and work//life balance. Where possible we have accommodated everyone’s wishes in regards to whether they work from home or remote full time, or opt for a more flexible approach as required.

We’ve made best use of our new studio hub space at Plus X Innovation Hub in Brighton however, using the open rooftop bar & garden to host our summer staff party and the modern meeting rooms for creative sessions, board meetings and even a few filming sessions for clients.

Online we’ve been busy as ever, posting a number of blog posts looking at validate use cases of immersive technologies across construction, finance and a multitude of other sectors. We’ve had another year of sending out our monthly ‘Reality Check‘ newsletter to our growing subscriber base – be sure to sign-up here not to miss out in 2022.

The studio was selected for entry within a number of industry lists and reports, including:

Awards

With a mix of virtual and in-person gala ceremonies occurring this year, we were nominated as finalists for a number of award categories. This continues to reflect the quality of the studio team’s output of meaningful immersive learning experiences for clients and our own fledgling range of training products and tools, including:

AIXR – VR Awards 2021

  • Best Use of VR for Healthcare – NHS BT : Aseptic Technique
  • Best Use of VR for Training & Education – Severn Trent : Coaching
  • Best Use of VR for Enterprise – Make Real Ltd & Keltbray Group : Skill Shield

Learning Technology Awards 2021

  • Best Mobile Learning Solution – Vodafone : Drive Safe
  • Best Learning Game – Vodafone : Drive Safe
  • Most Innovative New Learning Technologies Product – Make Real Ltd & Keltbray Group : Skill Shield

The Learning Awards 2022

  • Learning Technology Award – Make Real Ltd & Keltbray Group : Skill Shield

We were very proud to have taken home the Learning Technologies Awards 2021 – Best Mobile Learning Solution (bronze) for Vodafone Drive Safe. These add to the long list that is growing every year, which we’re now keeping track of on our ‘Studio > About‘ page.

Events

After some middling success in 2020 with virtual events, we decided to wait it out until proper face-to-face physical events returned mid-2021, with the easing of lockdown measures. We are able to attend Learning Live from The LPI in the summer, where it was great to meet new and catch-up with old faces in the L&D sector. Towards the end of the year we attended DCW’21 (Digital Construction Week) at ExCeL London, where with our construction JV partner Keltbray Group, we were able to reveal our new scheduling, planning and rehearsal tool ‘Presentive’.

Whilst we reduced our attendance of virtual events, we took part in a number of online talks, webinars, panels and podcasts – you can listen to some of these with People Unplugged, Heroes of Reality and <RYANS>

With the recent rise of infections and rapid spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, we are currently awaiting to hear what will happen to planned events in early 2022. Keep up to date with the latest news on our socials.

Partnerships & Memberships

Our biggest partnership, officially announced at least, of the year is the formation of the JV with Keltbray Group, to collaboratively design, develop and sell our own immersive learning experiences and tools, such as SkillShield and Presentive and the range of VR training applications that support these. Whilst we had been working together for a number of years under the radar, 2021 was the year to go public, as part of their wider plans to be leaders in immersive construction innovators. You can read the full original announcement here. Similarly we were pleased to enter a partnership with Immerse to enable the range of our immersive learning experience products within their newly launched XR App Library.

We believe in partnerships with membership bodies where collaboration and engagement are beneficial both ways, after all with all these things, generally the more you put in, the more you get out. We renewed our AIXR membership and our Immersive Partnerships Director become chair of the Enterprise XR Advisory Group. We renewed our membership with eLN to continue support and positioning within the L&D sector and wider events. As we were launching Loco Dojo Unleashed this year, our 2nd VR game now available for Oculus/Facebook/Meta Quest & Quest 2 devices, and with their support in 2020, we renewed our membership with Ukie and restarted our involvement with their Mixed Reality Working Group.

Recruitment

The studio team continued to grow as we expanded our reach around the UK having switched to remote working and not being reliant upon people moving to or being able to easily commute to a physical location in Brighton. As soon as we returned in the new year, Zoe joined us to provide needed additional Senior Project Management support. On the design team, we welcomed Laurence, Jane and Tim, bringing a wealth of learning design knowledge and experience with them. On the coding side, Stuart has joined us full time and we continued to work with a number of our awesome freelance contractors. Ellie is stepping up from Production Assistant to Artist more and more so watch this space in early 2022 for a new vacancy there. We’ve made a couple of other hires right at the end of this year and whilst they were able to join us at our Christmas party, until they join-join in early 2022, they will remain named Clint for now.

The growth continues and we’ll be posting more new vacancies on our careers page once back in the new year but you can already check out the vacancies for Administration Assistant and Business Development Manager if you are looking for a fresh start in 2022!

Tools & Tech

Our biggest launch of the year was announcing Presentive, the scheduling, planning and rehearsal tool for construction. Developed in partnership with KeltBray Group, the multi-user app allows users across Oculus Quest, Microsoft HoloLens & HoloLens 2 and Android tablet to import, view and interact with their 3D and BIM assets. Furthermore, assessment and compatibility with Skill Shield starts to see our construction toolset really rounding out. Expect more in 2022.

Products & Deployment

It has been another busy year for the studio working with many repeat and new clients on expanding existing or creating entirely new immersive learning experiences (that will no doubt be expanded upon in 2022…)

Client Projects

BAM Nuttall – VR Site Induction : Updated VR versions for Oculus Quest and Go to add subtitles to the 360º video content plus a brand new browser-based WebXR version for desktops and tablets.

Dapper Labs – Chaparone : Design, consultancy and development support for a new mobile AR platform experience.

EDF Energy – Inclusive Leadership VR : Oculus Quest VR training around DE&I for leadership teams within the organisation.

EDF Energy – HPC Visitor Centre, Cannington Court : Complex physical installation including a suite of safe, hygienic contactless exhibits and interactive gamified experiences.

Ents Inc – Chaos Karts : Complex physical installation mixing electric go-karts, networked projector arrays, spatially-tracked devices and a bombastic racing game experience.

Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) – CityZen : Serious game designed around town planning, rolled out across UK nationwide schools network as part of a schools competition.

Lloyds Banking Group – Data City : Immersive and interactive browser-based experience blending animation and video to provide compelling learning content.

Lloyds Banking Group – Descape : Browser-based 3D 360º serious learning game based upon an escape room concept, requiring learners to combine knowledge about how the organisation Data teams manage customer information with logical puzzles to solve a comprehension conundrum.

Lloyds Banking Group – Groupwide Induction : Immersive and interactive browser-based experience blending animation and video to provide compelling learning content.

Lloyds Banking Group – HARMS : Desktop browser-based training content around identifying and better supporting customers at risk of experiencing financial harm.

Lloyds Banking Group – Hear to Listen : Immersive and interactive browser-based experience blending animation and video to provide compelling learning content.

Lloyds Banking Group – Introducing the Cloud : Immersive and interactive browser-based experience blending animation and video to provide compelling learning content.

Lloyds Banking Group – Race Education : Immersive and interactive browser-based experience enabling wider Diversity, Equality & Inclusion understanding within the organisation.

Lloyds Banking Group – TEXAS : Organisation-wide flexible framework and browser-based training around internally-recognised models of communication, enabling customer-facing employees to have confidence to display the art of conversation, providing fairer outcomes for customers and the wider financial group of all teams.

Lloyds Banking Group – Accessibility Content Consultancy : Following on from the numerous immersive learning experiences deployed over the years for LBG, the studio has been working closely with their L&D teams, running focus and end-user group sessions to investigate, advise and implement greater accessible content guidelines and support.

Network Rail – COSS OLE : PC VR experience for familiarisation and fault finding with the Overhead Line Equipment. A brand new scenario addition for the Learning Technologies Awards 2020 ‘Best Virtual Environment and Simulations for Learning’ category gold winning experience.

Network Rail – Plant 28 : Facilitated VR learning experience designed to be used in classes alongside traditional learning. The goal is to familiarise engineers with processes relating to Principal Supply Points.

Network Rail – Substations :  PC VR training solution to enhance the learning experience and increase the underpinning knowledge/awareness when undertaking Access & Egress to Power Distribution locations. Distribution Level C training for Identification of hazards across 2 different substations at varying stages of dilapidation’s, different times of days and weather conditions.

NHS Blood & Transplant – Aseptic Technique : Oculus Quest VR training experience around the processes of Aseptic Technique measures, designed to improve knowledge and safe practice in the virtual cleanroom whilst reducing waste and costs associated with materials usage.

NHS Blood & Transplant – Blood Donor Screening : Oculus Quest VR/Desktop/Tablet training experience around the processes of guiding patients through the blood donation process and raising awareness of the negative consequences that can result if the screening process is conducted unsuccessfully.

NHS Blood & Transplant – Blood Identification VR : Oculus Quest VR Expanded experience built upon the demonstrator deployed in 2020 enabling more depth and impactful outcomes of learner’s decisions made.

NHS Blood & Transplant – Clean Room : Oculus Quest VR training experience around the processes of operating within the Clean Room, designed to train NHSBT staff how to gown correct and act in the way when working in the clean room, keeping the area and all products in it free of contamination, before they work in the real environment.

NHS Blood & Transplant – Tile Blood Grouping VR : Renamed and polished Oculus Quest VR prototype deployed originally in 2020.

Porsche – Origins : Following on from the VR experience we created in 2019, we followed up with a browser-based WebXR version that could then be made accessible to a wider audience of employees during lockdown limitations upon workplace presence.

Roto VR – Ident : Following on from the web portal and associated SDK work we carried out in 2020, we finalised and delivered the animated ident sting for Roto VR apps.

St. James Place Wealth Management – Immersive Role Play : Oculus Quest VR training around DE&I for financial leadership teams within the organisation.

University of Sussex – Crowds and Identities: Stampedes : VR-based crowd behaviour simulation as part of a wider research piece into individual behaviour and collective fear responses, in times of unexpected events and perceived threats, using HTC Vive Pro Eye.

Vodafone – DriVe Safe : Major content and data tracking update for the wider launch of the serious mobile learning game across multiple territories within the organisation.

Make Real Products

Make Real – D&I: Perspectives VR : Whilst the main development occurred in 2020, we released the Oculus Quest App Lab Store and desktop versions this year.

Make Real – Loco Dojo Unleashed : Madcap social VR multiplayer party game for Oculus Quest & Quest 2 available now on the Oculus Quest Store.

Make Real & Keltbray Group – Presentive : Multi-user multi-platform construction tool for scheduling, planning and rehearsals using Microsoft HoloLens, HoloLens 2, Oculus Quest, Quest 2 and Android tablet devices.

Looking Ahead

Like many, we are planning the best we can for 2022 with the recent rise in numbers and uncertainty around Omicron COVID-19 variant. We’ve just seen Learning Technologies 2022 event moved from Feb to May; we have big plans for our favourite event of the year with our biggest and bestest booth yet, stuffed to the gills with hands-on demos of all our latest project works and immersive learning experiences. We’ll be running a seminar in the theatre attached to our booth where we’ll be talking about validating and measuring the success of some of our client work. More details will be available nearer the time.

As the team are now all mostly wrapped up for the year, having some very well deserved rest & relaxation until early January 2022, it leaves us to wish all our clients and partners a very merry Christmas or holidays and happy new year – thank you for being great this year, we’ve enjoyed working with you all and look forward to what we get to collaborate on next! Of course, if you’re just reading this out of interest in the studio or the industry, our wishes extend to you too! See you all in 2022, hopefully in person.

Get in touch

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.