Building the Big Forest

I would love to share a very inspirational and personal conversation with Yoshi Garnica, from Impact Revolution.

Disreality is a fantasy journey into the human psyche that takes you on a ride through the twists and turns of that blurred line between what is real and what isn’t. Along the past recent years, let´s defined it as a hybrid experience, I have been walking around the universe of senses, emotions, arts, and social interaction in virtual worlds, as a real opportunity to build a free, democratic, and more sustainable world.

Nowadays, I am truly convinced that we need to act NOW. Tomorrow is too late.

All these reflections come to my mind during the several interviews, sessions, and talks with very good friends of the XR Community. I must say, thanks to all of you, for allowing me to walk along with you and learn together on these «long and winding road of immersive technologies».

You can watch the complete interview here:

Key insights from the interview:

✳ He is living now in a privileged place: Guadarrama Natural Park – https://bit.ly/3dDukjB

✳ Happiest moment in Life: When he becomes a dad – holding his kids.

✳Last Impact Message to the world: “Build a big forest” – Metaphor to build a “big community” as a base for sustainability growth.

✳ The Education system is hard to Change.

✳Blade Runner 2049 (https://bit.ly/3A1Z5WQ is an example that VR did not change that much since 2017.

✳Experience with building Smart Education Labs with VR

✳Important to increase Accessibility of Technology to poorer countries – Reminded me to our last interview with Alfredo Serrano 🙏

✳Favorite professional project: “Music with 5 senses” – Virtual Concerts to CONNECT:

Arts 🔗 Creativity 🔗 Values 🔗 Nature🔗 Citizens

✳VR could help the Coaching Industry facilitate Engagement, Empathy, and Connection. Important the Environment, Story, and Technology used (for interaction). OpenBCI uses Neuroscience with VR.

✳Last Impactful message to Startups and Entrepreneurs ❤: Unique vision, Build Trust, Work a lot, Value Time, Strong Team, Good mentors, Create a Business Plan (importance of performing a Market Analysis, know your competitors!)

Was a great interview Carlos – Many thanks for sharing your valuable time with us. It’s much appreciated.

Best of luck in Revolutionizing the Education System!

All your thoughts and comments are very welcome.

Have a great time.

Carlos J. Ochoa Fernandez

Las Claves para implantar las Tecnologías Inmersivas en la Educación.

Education is a system; teaching is an action; learning is a process. Terry Heick

Regulación y ética para máquinas, un desafío para los humanos
Analizamos el paradigma tecnológico al que se enfrenta el ser humano desde el punto de vista de los profesionales.

Educar, Educar y Educar…

¿Cómo vamos a formar en realidad virtual? La clave está en “educar, educar y educar”. De esta premisa parte Carlos J. Ochoa Fernández , fundador y CEO de ONE Digital Consulting y Co-Chair VRARA Metaverse on Dec 17 Education Committee, quien visitó nuestro auditorio en una de las sesiones del XR Fest.

Educar de forma transversal en nuevas tecnologías y crear documentos dirigidos a los centros educativos que aporten valor y formen al profesorado, es una tarea ardua pero necesaria. El primer paso es analizar el perfil de los profesores. En ocasiones, –comenta Ochoa– “queremos formar a gente o profesionales que son reacios o que no tienen la formación adecuada para luego impartir a los alumnos”.

Desde su organización, proponen un escrito de buenas prácticas donde reflexionan sobre la ayuda que necesitan los colegios, los docentes y los decisores para comprender la tecnología y ver el sentido de su aplicación en los métodos de enseñanza.

Marjorie NETANGE, directora de Desarrollo y Comunicación de la Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía, coincide en que “el docente tiene que trabajar su metodología en términos de cómo integrar la tecnología puntualmente”, pero sostiene que parte de su programa debe seguir una línea tradicional.

Según Angeles Heras Caballero, secretaria de Estado de Universidades de Ciencia, Investigación, Desarrollo e Innovación, es necesario orientar a los alumnos de universidades y posgrados hacia un futuro tecnológico. En España, ya se ha puesto en marcha la construcción de un Comité Científico de Ética, pero es imprescindible que estas normas coexistan con el resto de los actores empresariales, asociaciones e incluso, con otros Estados.

Una sesión, presentada y dirigida por Elena González de la Fuente, responsable del Espacio Fundación Telefónica.

Y con la participación de Ian Forrester, responsable del departamento de I+D de la BBC, el R&D Future Experiences, Pedro Lozano Alcolea, fundador y COO de Imascono, Marjorie NETANGE, directora de Desarrollo y Comunicación de la Escuela Superior de Música Reina SofíaCarlos J. Ochoa Fernández, fundador y CEO de ONE Digital Consulting y presidente de la Asociación VRARA Madrid y co-presidente global del Comité de VR Education de VRARA Metaverse on Dec 17, y Gonzalo Ruipérez García, CTO en EstudioFuture.

XRFEST , Fundación Telefónica Junio 2019.

Humanos Virtuales en el #Metaverso. ¿Y ahora que?

Fija tu rumbo a una estrella y podrás navegar a través de cualquier tormenta. Leonardo Da Vinci.

Humanos Virtuales en el #Metaverse. Congreso Digital Enterprise Show en #Madrid. Parece que, en los últimos meses, y en particular, desde que Mark Zuckerberg lanzó su proclama sobre Meta, ya todo se ha vuelto Meta-Verso. Y algo más que una metáfora, es una nueva dimensión a un mundo paralelo y finito, y que aún hoy, tiene muchos laberintos por desentramar…¿Estamos listos para ello?

El pasado mes de mayo tuve el inmenso placer de presentar estas reflexiones previas en torno a los Meta-humanos, en el Panel de VRARA del Congreso DES celebrado en Madrid y aquí os dejo el video de la presentación.

https://youtu.be/1QGRvcQiWqE

Desde ONE Digital Consulting, llevamos años desarrollando e implantando plataformas virtuales inmersivas para la educación: Talleres, Masterclasses, Formación de Profesores, Proyectos Colaborativos…en donde miles de estudiantes y profesores han participado de esta experiencia, viviéndola de una manera muy innovadora, inspiradora y positiva.

Estas experiencias nos han permitido desarrollar actividades On-Line, en modo síncrono y asíncrono en varios centros y países del mundo. Desde Estados Unidos, a la India, Rusia, Latino América, Europa, España…y contando con los mejores y mas experimentados colaboradores a nivel internacional. Algo inimaginable hace algunos años, hoy marca un punto de inflexión hacia el nuevo paradigma de una Educación Digital, más inclusiva, participativa, colaborativa, inspiradora, igualitaria, limpia y sostenible.

Cualquier comentario, es siempre bienvenido

Carlos J. Ochoa Fernández ©

Reimagining Business Performance with Industry XTR

Industry XTR, are we facing the new paradigm?

Never give up on your dreams. John Ford

It is true that Covid has been a serious blow in the advance towards Industry 4.0 in those companies in transition. Being seriously affected the processes of digital transformation, production, logistics, dependence on raw materials, etc., increased by the lockdown of a large number of organizations. Accepting that 4 key pillars of Industry 4.0 are digitization processes, including standardization, development of new skills and workforce, disruptive innovation processes and investments, it is clear that COVID has paralyzed industrial activity worldwide. And we continue to suffer from its impact today …

After participating in the first face-to-face events and conferences during the last weeks, we meet again and discuss the «state of the art» of our companies, markets and new challenges that we will face in this new scenario.

And it is true, that even today, many are not able to assimilate, that nothing is going to be as before. Although the changes do not occur at the speed that some want us to see, it is true that many activation and acceleration mechanisms have already been put in place in some organizations. Strengthening them in leadership positions and others are being left behind, hopelessly.

If we analyze some of the pillars of Industry 4.0, it is in investments, standardization, skills development and disruptive innovation where the greatest imbalances have occurred. Clearly marking a before and after among some companies, which have been able to adapt to the new situation quickly and activate very solid innovation mechanisms. While others continue to try to compose themselves and return to a pre-pandemic scenario, as a valid point of reference.

Reimagining Business Performance with Industry XTR, are we facing the new paradigm?

Perhaps it is time to take a step further, seeking «exponential acceleration» and trying to find solutions to new problems that we would never have thought before would intercept our society in this way. So, continuing with the transition to Industry 4.0 again, today, no longer makes sense.

From my perspective, today, it is absolutely necessary to rethink the industry model, without trying to return to pre-pandemic scenarios, which would be a long delay and would take us back to 2019.

Rethinking Industry 4.0, facing a new Business Performance process, accelerating the digitization processes, through the integration of disruptive technologies, with the training of new skills, incorporating new forms of more efficient and remote collaborative work, developing assessment platforms, empowerment and loyalty of high-performance teams and decentralizing networks of supply and manufacturing in several poles and suppliers, seeking value in competition in efficiency and innovation, and not only in price, not so dependent on a single country.

Anticipate foreseeable future crisis situations, minimizing the risks and impacts of technological threats, lack of talent to lead change, cybersecurity and virtual transactions, new pandemics, energy crises, climate change, shortage of raw materials and logistics. Just to list a small series of them.

Those who have the new vision of Industry XTR, will be able to lead the transformation of society to a safer and more sustainable planet.

These are some reflections, while I have my cup of coffee and listening my jazz session. Today with Kenny Burrel, enjoy.

Thoughts and ideas are always welcome. Good afternoon and good luck from the RealVerse.

Carlos J. Ochoa Fernández ©

Chronicles from the #RealVerse. Chapter II

Don’t run too fast Metaverse. The great trap of the Meta Boomers.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning. Albert Einstein.

We live in an increasingly ephemeral and unequal society. Where the truth hides behind thick layers of images, headlines, screens, and where the speed of things is unreal. I do not know if this unjustified rush is accelerated by the need to flee or escape from ourselves.

So little do we like each other? Do we want to be immortal? Do we want to be other? We do not accept reality? … what is the real question to this paradigm. Maybe there is another answer to that question.

In the real World, nothing moves so fast, nor does society demand such ephemeral generosity, rather democracy, justice, equality, transparency. Searching for the ubiquity of the human being, ethics, transparency, honesty, goodness,life, still exist and are all around us, despite the Meta Boomers.

After more than 30 years involved in engineering, advanced technologies and working on real world projects believe me if I tell you, I have never lived a similar time before. Where everyone is a futurist, visionary, town crier, spokesperson, without adding the slightest ounce of value to society, or to its real problems. Showing once again, that ignorance is very daring.

One of the great barriers to acceptance of advanced technologies is that they are credible, convey truthfulness, solve real problems, and the majority of society accepts and employs them for their mutual benefit.

Yesterday, without going any further, I saw a TV program about advanced robotics, the complexity of programming. The design of processes to teach robots to learn, to program tasks that are very easy for a human, but highly complex for a robot, until the final test is performed. This is a space for little fantasy and a lot of hard work. Today, robotics, 3D, AI, is taught in schools since childhood, it is understood, its contribution, benefits, risks, it is accepted and it lives with us a little more every day.

But this has required a long period of training, development, successful implementation in production processes, at home, in industry, etc, and this is not easy, nor is it free.

However, the futuristic Meta Boomers, the newcomers to this futuristic world, discovered by them of the «Edge-Science», find a context, where everything seems simple and they give free rein to the verb, without the slightest training and with a wide and generous ignorance of the fundamentals, technologies, risks and benefits that these paradises of the future hide. Oops, how scary

It seems that, if today you do not talk about the Metaverse, you are not «cool» beings, or you simply are not and you are not even experts in Creative, Educational, Communicative, Digital, and blablative Metaverse, who go even under the stones, even to dare to prophesy that «The Future is in the Metaverse». Oops how scary

The news of the day, which sweeps the networks, is that Bermuda is in the Metaverse, everyone retweets, and hallucinates, without knowing the vast majority, not even where Bermuda is in short, “breaking news”.

Barriers to entry? Here is one that spreads like weeds in a natural forest: the Meta Boomers, who are going to leave the field depleted before we wake up from our first dream.

Almost 20 years ago, I was extremely lucky to participate in the development of a virtual educational platform. It included customizable avatars, virtual tutors, virtual tours of natural landscapes, interactive games, spaces for teachers, students and parents. In short, an entire educational community based on client-server architecture with hundreds of value-added services: «Edutopia«. Thousands of children from hundreds of schools in Spain were online users of this platform, now obsolete and lost in the cloud. I have to honestly say, that this was available to the entire educational community for free and was beyond many goals to be drawn in the short-lived near future.

We will see how this continues in the next chapter of «Chronicles from RealVerse», enjoying a cup of Colombian coffee listening to John Coltrane, by the way, something real and extraordinary.

Carlos J. Ochoa Fernández ©

Re-innovate or die. And now What else?

Innovate, change or alter something, introducing new features. This is how the dictionary of the real academy defines this word so repeated and with such insistence in these times. There is no doubt that innovation can be redefined in many ways and in fact, it is done and interpreted that way, but if we want to simplify the definitions and make them understand in a simple way, we could say that it is the process of redoing, reinventing something in a different, efficient way that adds value. Think different, act different, reinvent yourself, anticipate, imagine, dream and carry it out with all the passion you are capable of showing.

These have been the keys to the success of some visionaries of the 20th. century, but also that of man throughout the development of its history, however only a select few are on the list of geniuses. Innovation is permanently linked to the evolution of man and it is enough to look around us in an instant of our life, on a street or in an office and look at the elements that surround us and that just a few years ago did not exist and even were unimaginable to think of its single existence in the near future like today.

And it is the “imagination” that allows us to dream of a new world and innovation that materializes it and turns it into reality. These being the key pieces for the beginning of a new cycle, where integrity, intuition, responsibility and creative thinking will be a benchmark for the new visionary companies of the 21st century.

In this minimal corner of the cyber-space, we are going to unravel the keys to Innovation, the barriers we encounter on a daily basis, the potential solutions and the escape routes, in order to come up with a mini guide for entrepreneurs who have decided to reinvent themselves or reinvent their business, promoting innovation at critical points in the value chain of their businesses.

However, over the last few years, it has become clear that beyond innovation there is entrepreneurship. And it is vitally important to understand that “Innovation” has no value until you are able to create a business model around this idea and turn it into a product or service ready to be sold. If you are not able to turn an “Idea” into something that creates customers, this does not work.

And that is when the figure of the entrepreneur makes sense. And that is why it is important to clearly identify and differentiate between innovators and entrepreneurs.

An “Innovator” is fundamentally a creator, a person capable of solving or solving problems in a creative and differential way, with great passion for constant improvement. Innovators are fundamentally thinkers. But an “Entrepreneur” is oriented to action, to the construction or materialization of things. This includes the development of a business around an innovative idea, for its subsequent materialization.

Therefore, when an “innovator” approaches us, with that special sparkle in his eyes and says: !!! I have a great idea!!!.

The entrepreneur’s response is immediate: Can we materialize and monetize it? Who is your target customer? What is the business model? Why will customers go crazy with your product?

Investing in Innovation without a developed entrepreneurship model is like throwing flowers into the sea, they will never grow.

Carlos J. Ochoa Fernández ©

Lead or follow the leader?. This is the question.

From the most remote origins of humanity, the need to know and discover things has been a struggle for subsistence and the development of life itself on the planet. With its evolution, scientific discoveries and technological evolution and innovation, it became a fundamental lever of human activity. But it has been from the last centuries and especially in this last decade, when this role has grown exponentially, almost in parallel with the same growth of the world population. The world’s population reached 7.7 billion in mid-2019, having added one billion people since 2007 and two billion since 1994 and with strong and accentuated tensions between rich and poor countries. In which the main viability engine up to now was development and growth, and which from now on must reconsider at a global level a new sustainability model that allows a fair redistribution of raw materials and finite wealth, to do so viable in the medium term.

Faced with this situation, the need for adaptation has always been an exceptional quality of the human being and therefore, the need to seek ways of evolution and sustainable growth necessarily goes through the impulse of research, development and innovation in search of a coherent and sustainable progress in convergent areas of knowledge and at a different time in different spaces. That is, in a global environment, although “knowledge” is accessible to everyone in almost real time, its application in different parts of the planet is affected by the variable time and this must be adapted to the reality of each space in each moment. With this, the potential benefits obtained in a certain place are not always replicable in the same way in other spaces / different territories.

To go beyond space and time in search of common patterns and homogeneous development denominators, or what is the same, geopolitical borders and time, MegaTrends are defined. Definition that comes from the world of research and that aims to redefine a framework of global trends in the evolution of society applied to all its agents (state, society and market). Or put another way, it is the knowledge and prediction of our possible future, where convergent sciences and technologies must deepen the path of sustainability.

After reviewing and reading in depth different works and documents of experts and reference organizations, everything seems to indicate that over the next few years, we are going to find an exaggerated and uncontrolled population growth, especially in countries of the so-called third world, a growth of the countries of the western world close to 2%, while in so-called emerging countries this will be higher than 7%. An aging population in developed countries with a clear inversion of the population pyramid, with all that this entails, is very considerable. If we add to this, that to guarantee this model of average growth of 5%, we have scarce natural resources to supply the planet and finite energy resources to guarantee growth and development, it is necessary to review the model urgently or this process is simply not feasible.

In any case, Megatrends have a different meaning for different agents, states, companies or individuals. The prediction or definition of potential future scenarios does not guarantee in any way that this is the true future to occur, since the development of society and its interrelationships is happening temporarily and the parameters are permanently affected by different situations that affect the total of the formula. That is, the evolution and development over time and the impact on society and its agents, is affecting day by day in the new future or immediate future that is presented to us and therefore the scenario that we draw from our knowledge in Today may not be anything like the one we will achieve tomorrow. But thanks to these models, we will have been able to adapt and theoretically, thanks to the knowledge and application of science and technological innovation, improve it.

In our particular case, we are going to consider “Megatrends” as a methodology for the future strategic and innovative development of society and, in particular, of companies. This methodology, combined with others, can help us to elaborate the development and innovation framework of our company. But this is not a guarantee of success or failure, since the way of applying these methodologies, for some visionaries, is based on the definition of scenarios in which multiple variables interact and therefore, they must be constantly reviewed and updated, to control and evaluate the interferences between all of them and see how it affects the evolution of our prediction model.

The methodology proposed here is a compendium resulting from the study of the analysis of the most prestigious consulting firms, organizations, universities and international magazines in the new technologies and innovation sector.

Imagining a global world in 2030, how we will live and develop our vital activity, we have grouped into five large blocks the Megatrends that will guide the world throughout this period and in particular, what will be their impact on society, on business and how they will affect current companies and how they must position themselves today to achieve success in the immediate future. Development opportunities in the markets, their size and main stakeholders.

Once these Megatrends have been defined, we identify possible ways of development and innovation, as well as possible actions to take into account in different scenarios. Each of these Mega Trends is broken down into trends, moving from an initial global perspective to a more local perspective and its potential geopolitical and temporal impact.

And finally, once all these possible trends have been analyzed, we identify potential actions to consider in each case, by the different agents involved in the process. Development of potential business opportunities, key and strategic businesses, as well as ways and keys for Innovation in them, identifying the value generated in a special way in the value chain of each business.

References: Fundación de la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Fundación Telefónica, Fundación Acciona, European Commission, Onu, FAO, Unesco, Frost and Sullivan, e_Consultancy, TrendWatching, IDC, Gartner Group, Siemens, e_Consulting, Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies, Bertelsmann Future Challenges, MIT, IESE, Babson College Community, Harvard Business Review, LinkedIn Groups …

Carlos J. Ochoa Fernández ©

Chronicles from the #RealVerse. The New Age of Technology.

The world as we have created, it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking. Albert Einstein.

In just 12 months, the world has been turned upside down. And all predictive models, analyzes and future scenarios have become obsolete without being able to identify a single true and predictable answer about the immediate future.

Phrases such as transformation, adaptation to change, permanently reinventing oneself, sustainable and safe models, have become a thing of the past. All these definitions require a new mentality, attitude and mental strength far superior to what we were used to living together to face the day to day and think about a future, to some extent, stable.

And for this, we must be able to quickly change our way of thinking, acting and conceiving the world as we have done until now, or we will not be able to survive these new, unpredictable and uncertain scenarios.

Living in a permanent state of alert requires great mental strength, but above all honesty, ethics, networking and handling of truthful information in real time. In order to be able to anticipate unwanted scenarios, with some success.

And unfortunately, all this is what we are missing right now, as a society and as individuals.

It is enough to go outside and take a walk through our cities, fields, hospitals, schools, offices and homes and see how in just a few months, everything has radically changed.

While it is true that technology has invaded every corner and space of our lives. Changing our habits and ways of doing things, of working, of communicating … this change must accelerate and find a new temporary space, where we can significantly improve our quality of life. From communications, to transport, through health and health, science, energy, food, in short, each and every one of the activities that human beings develop in their day-to-day life must be reimagined in some way. way, allowing us to benefit from the efficient use of technologies.

Despite what we think, the planet earth has been inhabited in its greatest historical period by dinosaurs. And in the timeline, the human being has barely lived a hundredth part of it. The stone age lasted 200,000 years, the agricultural age 10,000 years, the industrial age 200 years and barely 60 years the era of high technology.

And it has been in this short period of time that the greatest technological developments have taken place, accompanied by the greatest industrial development on the planet, accompanied by the greatest environmental impact in known history.

The main technological drivers are all exponential, the development of broadband, the greater storage and data processing capacity, the increase in clean power generation plants, development in the world of medicine and telemedicine, have democratized access and benefit of technologies by facilitating and simplifying access and management of them to citizens.

The interrelationships that occur between major trends “Megatrends”and “Innovation” is a fertile field for scientists and developers in which new business models and opportunities must be modeled for the new society of the Post-Covid Era.

But in this new scenario, society has new expectations and demands that it is willing to lead, to guarantee a model of sustainability and well-being sponsored by this technological revolution. Transparency, honesty, veracity, ethics, environmental impact, sociability, sustainability, are some of the values ​​that emerge from the new society.

The British Alan Turin, considered by some the father of artificial intelligence, laid the foundations of what we know today as the “Information Society”, back in the 1930s and 1940s. One of the founders of modern computing, he was capable of programming everything that could be specified by an algorithm. And on the other hand, the American Claude Elwood Shannon, elaborated the bases and the essence of the communication mechanism, defining the concept of “information”, as the foundation and ability to store and transfer data. Almost seventy years later, those basic foundations and incipient beginnings of information and communication technologies have become fundamental elements of our current society and future evolution and development.

We are facing a unique opportunity, albeit in a very complex scenario. Which leads us to take on new challenges with courage, seek creative and innovative solutions, focusing primarily on those aspects that provide the greatest value and in which the capacity for green and sustainable leadership makes a difference to us to continue betting on life in the blue Planet.

Carlos J. Ochoa Fernández ©

Future Jobs Opportunities around VR/AR

Versatilist with Carlos Ochoa Fernandez Podcast.

New technologies are an emerging industry creating employment opportunities and entrepreneurial possibilities. Virtual reality and augmented reality represent incredible areas of opportunity. VR failed to live up to the wildest promises when the new VR systems launched in 2015. But the number of job postings for VR and AR have risen 93% since 2015, with 17% of that growth happening in the past year.

According to projections set out by the European Commission, market demands for qualified information and communications technology (ICT) specialists will not be met, seeing a shortfall of up to 500,000 ICT professionals in 2020. Virtual and Augmented Reality solutions are amongst those with some of the highest market demand in the ICT sector.

Education is the driver to sustainability of our economy and functionality of humanity. Every day we seek to learn new information and and the way we take the lessons and apply to our every day lives, is the core of how we explore we grow and we build futures for ourselves.

Through virtual and augmented realities, the technology allows the user to immerse themselves into a virtual experience or location and the immersive lesson is retained at a much quicker time frame with a more impactful lasting memory. VR & Learning, by the National Training Laboratory, advised retention rates for lecture style learning were at 5%, with reading rates at 10%. Meanwhile, the teaching method of VR scored a retention rate of 75%.

Understanding we are moving into a world with exponential growth, there is a necessary requirement to update our education system to support innovative technologies to understand how it will be applied to job creation and support digital support systems and processes.



It is in this context where Patrick O’Shea and myself, both from ILRN (Immersive Learning Research Network) and ICICLE ( X-Reality for Learning and Performance Augmentation, IEEE IC Industry Consortium on Learning Engineering) talk about Immersive Education around Cup of Coffee.

Thanks Patrick, for this amazing conversation.

Join the podcast here

Carlos J. Ochoa Fernádez ©

Impact and ROI of VR/AR in Training II

You asked the questions, and here are the answers.

Our Training Committee held a very successful webinar on “The Impact and ROI of VR/AR in Training” on 16th January 2019.

You can watch the Webinar recording here

You can also watch the solution demos here

It proved a popular event, with over 300 people registering to watch four enlightening presentations on very different Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality training applications. During the lively question-and-answer session it became clear that the number of great questions was larger than the time available to answer them all! This post allows the presenters to respond the questions that couldn’t be answered during the webinar.

Presenter 1 : David Trainor, Sentireal

Presentation Theme

David presented the “AppUccino” software, which delivers AR experiences for special-needs trainees to learn how to be a barista and work successfully in a commercial coffee shop. AppUccino directs trainees through the process of making americano, espresso, latte and cappuccino drinks. It generates AR overlays on the physical coffee-making equipment, including the industrial coffee machine itself, the separate coffee bean grinder and the separate water heater. A short video of part of the AppUccino AR experience can be seen here. Trainee performance measurements are taken as they prepare the drink using AppUccino and these measurements are uploaded to a cloud application, which analyzes them and presents training progress information to authorized training managers. An initial pilot with AppUccino indicated that trainees retained twice the amount of information and developed their skills 50% faster using AppUccino.

Webinar Questions for David Trainor

You said it took ~9 months of definition and dev, how many people were working on your team in which roles in order to accomplish this?

We used one media/content creator and one software developer. The work was carried out over the course of 9 months, but neither the content creation nor the software development role was full-time.

How were the analyses done? Observation? Performance against criteria on task?

The analyses were done based on (i) time taken for the trainee to perform certain tasks (ii) measurements of how accurately the trainee performed certain tasks and (iii) estimates of where the trainee’s attention and focus was at specific points in the procedure.

How many users has Appuccino had? What has been the impact? In how many months after development did you achieve that impact?

We’ve just completed an initial evaluation/pilot involving 15-20 trainees within a coffee shop managed by a partner training organization. At some point in February 2019 we intend to expand this to all barista trainees within that training organization.

How long did it take to create AR content for training?

The 3D models for the AR overlays were completed in approximately 1 week. The media is actually quite simple. Strong, simple content proved to be the best way to present the required information to special needs trainees who are affected by autism, Downs Syndrome or general learning difficulties. However we needed to spend much more time – about 4 months – on the instructional design and the directions, animations and transitions within the AR scenarios.

How did you already go about gathering data on ROI prior to the development (and also launch) of the app?

The data was gathered from a pilot study at one location. This was after the app was developed but before it was publicly released.

Very exciting project! Curious why you selected that small, unique demographic to start? Unique requirements? Expect to scale up to other populations?

We picked barista training as it’s an area where there is expected to be a lack of qualified employees in the future. In the UK, where I’m from, it is estimated that there is a shortfall of 40000 trained baristas. We selected special-needs barista trainees because there is a high degree of underemployment in that group and if we can create a good intuitive solution for special-needs trainees then it should scale up well to other groups and other types of catering or hospitality training applications.

Are these analytics published somewhere?

Not yet – the small pilot study that we’ve carried out gave us some indications on the training improvements and return on investment from AppUccino but we’re starting a larger evaluation in February 2019, when more trainees start to use the app at our partner training organization. We plan to publish the detailed outputs from this larger study.

Presenter 2 : Jeff Meador, Portico

Presentation Theme

Jeff presented Portico’s Diversity and Inclusion VR Seminar, which provides learners the opportunity to practice and master their skills with inclusive language. This program was designed to complement traditional classroom learning by preparing learners with practical applications of the skills discussed during classroom sessions. With Portico’s software, learners speak directly to AI-powered digital avatars and engage in simulated conversations that put their skills to test. Learners also get real-time feedback on their performance through a virtual trainer, who uses AI to guide users towards better language choices.

Webinar Questions for Jeff Meador

How did you factor in orientation to the VR experience to overcome novelty or unfamiliarity with the technology to get straight to the experience?
We didn’t want to rely on the learner having any previous experience with VR. We give users time to look around and explore prior to beginning the scenario. This gives them a chance to understand the parameters and boundaries of the exercise. We also engage in some light chit-chat (“how’s the weather” sort of stuff) to let the learner know that they are expected to talk and that the AI is listening and will respond.

Do you need a quiet room?

A quiet room certainly helps. Current speech-to-text technology is very strong, but having a quiet place for the training is very helpful. It also helps the learner concentrate on the task at hand.

Is Portico looking at including body language (proximity to client gestures, etc.)?

Yes; we’ve done some preliminary work with this and have set some behaviors that change based on the learner’s position and/ or focal point during the training.

How is the real time interaction happening? is it a sort of multiplayer training and a mentor is interacting with you? or the AI is giving you feedback?

Everything within our scenarios is driven by AI, including the feedback. Our goal is to have these role playing experiences run without the need for actors or facilitators.

Presenter 3 : Marlo Brooke, AVATAR Partners

Marlo presented a Mixed Reality Training System for aircraft and aircraft subsystem maintenance. Primarily an Augmented Reality / Mixed Reality solution, this high-fidelity, industrial-grade maintenance training system scales from a tabletop model design, to a full-sized aircraft, allowing the maintainer to train on the job, hands free, at the point of need, without any jitter or drift. The system utilizes object tracking (as opposed to stickers or markers) to ensure highly accurate lock on target, even as the user moves around the aircraft. It also  integrates to any backend system to both retrieve and record/send information about the maintenance task. It supports collaborative tasks and remote assistance.

Webinar Questions for Marlo Brooke

How did you come up with your pricing for your offerings?

Pricing is based on the specific requirement of the customer. AVATAR Partners can develop the application in its entirety, and/or the customer can purchase SimplifyXR to build/extend all or some of the functionality. Furthermore, because we use open source products such as Unity, the customer does not need to purchase SimplifyXR to extend any AVATAR Partners built XR solutions.

Is SimplifyXR proprietary to you or is it 3rd party?

SimplifyXR is is developed by AVATAR Partners using open source development tools, and can integrate to any backend system through APIs. It is licensed and sold through AVATAR Partners and its certified resellers. SimplifyXR is not required to extend any AVATAR Partner XR applications.

Could you please clarify how 97% reduction was calculated? Does it mean that instead of 100 hours of training without glasses only 3 hours with glasses are required?

You are correct. The training task was calculated based on the current training method for that particular wire failure, which involved an experienced maintainer gathering information from 3 different source materials (ETM, Wire Illuminator, and 2D schematics) to trace and identify the wire failure. The current training method is documented as taking 4 hours on average. The AR training experience is 7 minutes in duration, which is a 97% reduction in time to train.

Marlo, you said you have offices around the country.  I didn’t hear if Portico has the same, but do either of your companies look to establish satellite offices in more remote locations? If so, what type of environments do you look for? Developed workforce, local colleges, etc?

AVATAR Partners has regional offices in Huntington Beach CA, Arlington (Crystal City) VA, Virginia Beach VA, and Patuxent River MD, with personnel working in 8 different states within the USA. AVATAR has teaming partners with offices in Atlanta GA, Orlando FL, San DIego CA, Dayton OH, and Fort Worth, TX. We are expanding based on a variety of factors including the locations of teaming partners, certified resellers, and universities both within the USA and Allied Nations.

Marlo, how did you measure those analytics?

The performance metrics were derived from test results by AVATAR Partners based on the comparison of the current methodology versus the use of XR. These tests included accuracy,  time to train, and time to complete the task. Cost savings were derived based on an assumed reduction of errors based on increased accuracy, and will vary depending on the application and cost of parts. We also discussed other studies such as the Boeing/Iowa State Study on wing assembly (Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) 2014).

I’m not familiar with SimplifyXR — can you describe what that is and whether that is proprietary to AVATAR?

SimplifyXR is a software product developed by AVATAR Partners that allows non-programmers to develop their own Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, and Virtual Reality experiences. It also speeds development time by tenfold by using a user-friendly interface. The product also evaluates the user’s desired XR application and notifies the user whether or not the application is well suited for XR, or if a different training media (e.g. video training) would be more effective. SimplifyXR is owned and licensed by AVATAR Partners, and is developed using open-source tools and industry standards, and also integrates to any backend system using APIs. The product is available directly through AVATAR Partners or certified resellers.

Was there a problem using AR on an object as large as an aircraft?

We overcame several challenges to make the solution commercially usable. Using the basic development tools and markers didn’t work – it caused significant drift, jitter and an inability to accurately track the object as the maintainer walked around the aircraft. AVATAR Partners was able to overcome all of these issues by developing algorithms to lock on target without any drift or jitter to the user. Our solution being hardware agnostic, we found the Microsoft Hololens and android tablet supported higher fidelity. Also, we used Mantis Vision 3D scanners to scan the aircraft, gaining an accurate 3D model so that we could use object tracking (instead of markers). This along with our programming algorithms provides the maintainer with absolute precision as they walk around the aircraft, regardless of the unit’s size (from 1:6 the model size, to full aircraft).

Presenter 4 : Carlos Ochoa, ONE digital consulting

Presentation Theme

Carlos presented XR platform for immersive training, operation and maintenance of industry plant services, eolic farms, which includes advanced reality technologies in 3d interactive environments (extended reality, 360º video and digital data integration), methodologies in a modular architecture (on/off line). Innvestion deploy an intelligent XR ecosystem with the specialized know-how to turn unstructured data into value-adding information, for specific subject when providing services such as preventive maintenance, security management or operational management. Simulation-based training, prefaced with traditional training methods on process fundamentals, is the most efficient and fastest way to train new employees and prepare them for their daily work providing huge added value and benefits.

ONE digital consulting has been working for more than 20 years in the eLearning and Training arena, and with our selected partners network in Europe, Saudi, India, Africa and Latam.

Webinar Questions for Carlos Ochoa

What hardware configurations are everyone on the panel currently using for their XR applications?

For a full INNVESTION experience, the user only needs a mobile device and VR glasses that fit the device. The training centre will need an internet connection to download different modules.

INNVESTION can be used in a single “low cost” VR environment based on Samsung Gear Mobile VR, through the most advanced VR Oculus Rift, HTC Vive configuration. The key issue of INNVESTION is data integration in one device. From reality to virtual reality or vice versa.

INNVESTION can be used in a multi window spheric environment, for multiuser training environments.

What are KPI’s?

The acronym KPI sounds for Key Performance Indicator. This is a general business term referring to any metric used in understanding how an organization is doing. While the term can be tossed around the business world ostentatiously or irrelevantly, the fundamental rationale derives from the simple concept that if you don’t know how you did in the past, you don’t know if you have improved in the future. Because every business has its own economic niche, customer acquisition models, geographic localities, production methods, etc., each business must define for themselves what makes them successful. Therefore, the “key” in KPI, should be a metric key to your enterprise. These indicators are as varied as your imagination, but a number of familiar indicators include monthly recurring revenue (MRR), cost to acquire a customer (CAC) and the term used in this webinar’s title, Return on Investment (ROI).

When you are looking to improve your ROI in your training strategy, you need to understand clearly the training savings metrics, saved commute hours, lifelong expense of your LMS solution, overall productivity and revenue increase, other factors specific to your business and training model.

In conclusion, we can see selected companies  transforming their business opportunities for the XR technology and adopt it regardless of cost and ‘clunkiness.’ Today we see leader enterprises utilizing XR for training, maintenance, engineering, and marketing purposes. These companies eventually pull everyone else in their direction as the industry caters to their operational needs and chases enterprise benefits.