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 ©

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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.

VR/AR Education Committe Highlights 2018

With 2018 almost coming to a close, we’d love to highlight some facts and figures from the year and share all the different activities released from Education Committee.

This is the story of one year team work, reflections, sharing, experiences, meetings, failures, celebrating little wins and, for sure, growth.

We have just complete our first guides, case studies, life webinars and best practices white paper.

Sometimes I feel we made a heroic effort and starting reaching out to more and more people from all over the VR/AR Educational Community. We probably sent hundreds of emails, made the social media accounts, and talked with hundreds of people in last 12 months.

Last but not least, millions of people will use VR/AR technology in Education in the next coming years. I believe we are in a good starting point, demonstrating that VR/AR Edu Committee can be a powerful platform for teachers, students and professionals to speak out and bring light to the Future of Education.

We hope this roundup inspires you to engage into the VR/AR Edu Community.

With a little “big” help from my friends !!! Julie, Kris, Molly, Pradeep, Mfon, Kevin, Josue, Mike…and many more !!!

You can dowload the complete document here:

Carlos J. Ochoa Fernández ©

VR/AR Platform for Industry Base Training Simulation. Digital Transformation 4.0

Introduction

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

New technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence are rapidly changing people’s jobs and lives. Technology will likely change many of the existing jobs, requiring workers and companies to adjust. While maybe only one in seven jobs may be lost to automation, many others will change significantly. OECD suggests in their study (2018), that around 14% of all jobs across 32 countries analyzed have a high risk of automation, 32% of existing jobs may experiment significant changes to how they are carried out.

In the other hand, and according the OECD study, It is now essential to ensure that schools prepare students for a world in which they will constantly be adjusting to new technologies, new business models, and new ways of working. People, including young people, need to be equipped with the type of skills that will allow on average 25 job changes throughout their lives.

Therefore, learning systems will need to adapt to the changes brought about by automation and teach students that allow them to take full advantage of the current wave of technology adoption. This includes skills such as cognitive and social intelligence but also extends to the skills needed to work effectively in a digital context, both as specialists and users of digital technologies.

The Problem

New technologies are an emerging industry creating employment opportunities and entrepreneurial possibilities. 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.

Skills, and skills development, are an essential component of all efforts in this challenging society. Too many workers are simply unprepared to meet the needs of firms, particularly in more competitive economic environments.

DY5Ph1DWAAAg879.jpg large

New skills development for more complex jobs. Technicians need to be proficient and continue to change rapidly as tasks become more complex. Find the right info at the right moment. Technicians need fast access to all info to take fast and complex decisions.

  • High Training cost. Time, resources, maintaining and quality standards.
  • High Digitalization cost (paper, no automatization processes, decision taking.
  • Data integration and maintenance. Manuals, documents, files…
  • Data visualization. Format, devices, availability, usability
  • Risk and performance. New complex and unpredictable situations. Actions based training methodology.
  • Quality, standards and sustainability
  • Expensive or difficult hand on practice (no experimental, no real world scenarios…)
  • Difficult assessment process.
  • Most of existing solutions are isolated, expensive and not VRAR designed. Also have a gap about learning processes, methodology and instructional approach.

Industry 4.0 Demands

Industry 4.0 is the of automation information and data exchange in manufacturing technologies.

  • Enhanced productivity through optimization and automation
  • Provide real-time data and information for real-time decision makers
  • Business continuity through advanced maintenance and monitoring possibilities
  • Higher quality products as a result of real-time monitoring and technology convergence
  • Better working conditions and superior sustainability

The Solution

Engineers with the right skills, with excellent experience and experimental training, are the demands in the industry worldwide has become acute.

The need for efficient and effective workforce training and operation in the industry worldwide has become acute. VR/AR technology is the most efficient and fastest way to educate new employees and prepare them for their daily work. In the other hand, thanks to VR/AR and digital information, technicians can focus in operation & maintenance task enables them to cut down on time spent on administrative tasks, significantly increasing productivity.

VR/AR and Simulation-based training also helps increase professionals confidence because they can practice procedures until they master them. Further, trainees become more aware of safety procedures because they have to follow them in the simulations.

  • Reducing Training cost. Experiential training based on VRAR give real-time feedback and improve the efficiency of skills transfer, increased knowledge retention.
  • Reducing delays & mistakes. Using collaborative VR/AR and digital documentation, we can integrate “all in one”. Minimizing time to action in decision taking providing technicians the complete background on an asset, detailing all historical data and repairs to quickly perform the task in hand.
  • Improving Safety. Dangerous or difficult to replicate scenarios can be safely simulated with VRAR. This allows monitors to repeatedly practice critical or unpredictable scenarios while preventing damage to equipment and persons.
  • Improving quality, and standards. Experiential Training through VRAR actively participation in the activities obtaining higher retention rates. VRAR training allows employees to receive hands on training, in a virtual environment. This prevents expensive down time and disruptions in normal operations
  • Improving assessment process. Monitors can create specific complex situations to be resolved, where Technicians will deal with different task according their role or responsibility. They will be evaluated based on their performance on the relevant work items. This information can be integrated with the company’s internal record keeping systems for certification and/or administrative action.
  • Improving preventive maintenance. Integrating applications such as electronic job sheets and work orders, on-site workers are now able to focus on the task in hand while using VRAR with tablets or smartphones. This enables them to cut down on time spent at the end of each day on administrative tasks, significantly increasing productive-time.
  • Faster and better decisions. Decision-making processes are shortened and problems, as well as defects, can be resolved quickly and efficiently

Imagine a solution, that deploy an intelligent VR/AR ecosystem with the specialized know-how to turn unstructured data into value-adding information, e.g. when providing services such as preventive maintenance, security management or operational management.

Investion Grafico

INNVESTION is an innovative platform for training, operation and maintenance of plant services, which includes advanced reality technologies in immersive environments (extened reality, 360º video), methodologies in a modular architecture (on/off line).

A cloud platform will allow users to download the different modules. 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 modules, and these can be accessed offline, only needing a connection to update new content.

INNVESTION can be used from a single “low cost” VR device based on Samsung Gear Mobile VR, through the most advanced VR Oculus Rift, HTC Vive configuration.

The Results

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:

  • Faster project execution, commissioning and ”time to market“ through improved collaboration
  • Cost savings through consistent plant information available at all times
  • Higher plant availability, integrating real time data and 3d visualization
  • Safe and efficient plant operations

Carlos J. Ochoa Fernández ©

More information:

www.carlosjochoa.com

www.onedigitalconsulting.com

¿Real o Virtual?. El nuevo paradigma en la Educación 4.0.

La Realidad Virtual se ha convertido en el nuevo “Big Bang” de la innovación tecnológica y lleva rumbo de convertirse en otra “Nube Explosiva“, si no lo remediamos a tiempo. Cuando el “mundo” de las nuevas generaciones descubre algo novedoso, “lo último” lanzado por el “mundo” de la industria, epata y se deja llevar por imágenes, experiencias virtuales, anuncios…y olvidan filtrar y analizar toda esa información, procesarla convenientemente y ponerla a la disposición de su cerebro, para que de una manera inteligente aporte valor a su vida.

Si, desgraciadamente nos hemos convertido en una sociedad que se mueve a modo de impulsos, titulares y tweets y todo lo demás es información que sobra. Nuestro buffer sólo es capaz de procesar 140 caracteres y los 10 primeros segundos de un video en YouTube.

Aquel que dijo “que la información no ocupa lugar”, era un auténtico ignorante. Ya que el gran reto de la sociedad tecnológicamente avanzada, es almacenar, procesar, analizar y operar las grandes bases de información y convertirlas en datos de valor. E insisto, “VALOR”; no toda la información tiene valor, ni todo dato es susceptible de convertirse en información para crear valor.

Y con la innovación y las nuevas tecnologías y su aplicación en el día a día, ocurre algo muy parecido. Inteligencia artificial, digitalización, fotogrametría digital, robótica, realidad virtual…son conceptos del siglo pasado, en los que algunos hemos estado investigando y desarrollando durante años. Aplicando nuestros conocimientos y experiencias en distintos sectores y ámbitos de nuestra vida.

Y sin embargo aparecen hoy en día ante nosotros como los estandartes de la nueva revolución tecnológica. Reivindico la “memoria histórica”, la necesidad de estudiar en las escuelas y centros educativos, la evolución de la sociedad y en paralelo el impacto de las tecnologías en ella, aprender del pasado y afrontar los retos del futuro con imaginación y creatividad.

En particular, en el sector de la Realidad Virtual, algo que parece que está de moda total, el gran avance en los últimos años, ha venido de la mano del desarrollo de los dispositivos móviles. La oportunidad de poder disponer de soluciones complejas en un entorno móvil, sencillo, de fácil manejo y precios razonables. Esto es, innovación disruptiva en los terminales y democratización del acceso a aplicaciones, hasta ahora sólo accesibles a través de sofisticados dispositivos de hardware y software avanzado.

Pero lo que sin duda se convierte en una oportunidad, puede revertir en un gran fracaso si no se comprende y adapta convenientemente la tecnología a los entornos de uso o aplicación.

A lo largo de estos dos últimos años, hemos estado desarrollando aplicaciones para el sector educativo, turístico y artístico, basándonos en nuestros más de 15 años de experiencia aplicada y participación en proyectos de I+D europeos. Y vamos realizando nuestra labor de “misioneros avanzados”, explicando la tecnología, formando a usuarios en el manejo eficiente de la misma y presentando los beneficios y valores que aporta en los distintos ámbitos de aplicación.

La respuesta que encontramos habitualmente es de asombro, sorpresa…y en muchos casos de incredulidad ante lo que ven y pueden trasladar a su mente con un poco de imaginación y creatividad.

Por otro lado nos encontramos con otro grupo de usuarios, teóricamente algo experimentados, que cuando observan nuestras experiencias y proyectos, se sorprenden de una manera singular y particular…Se quitan lentamente el dispositivo de la cabeza, nos miran…y nos dicen con asombro…·esto es otra cosa”…y yo les pregunto, ¿ qué es otra cosa?…¿qué es lo que habías experimentado hasta ahora?…pero, esto será muy caro?, insisten, no?…

RV Cardboard

Y descubres, con cierta preocupación, que no sorpresa, que han experimentado algo, que realmente no sabría cómo calificar…” malas experiencia o malas prácticas”, a través de un “dispositivo” por llamarlo de alguna manera. Caja de cartón, con lentes de plástico y con un móvil sin “giróscopo” ni “acelerómetro” …sin resolución suficiente para el fin que pretende…etc. En definitiva, algo parecido a las gafas de diapositivas que nos vendían el siglo pasado en las puertas de las iglesias y monumentos de las ciudades, para pasar fotos con el dedo.

Esto no es tecnología avanzada, es más, no es tan siquiera tecnología, no es Realidad Virtual, no es SERIO. Y desde grandes multinacionales, se fomenta el uso de dispositivos muy dañinos para niños de corta edad, que además de no cumplir con unas mínimas normas de sanidad, no cumplen con la misión, ni objetivos que pretenden cumplir, según su publicidad. Internet está lleno de videos y fotos de niños menores, sentados en sus pupitres, mirando fijamente una pantalla de cartón, tras la cual, nadie sabe lo que pasa…o quizás si…eso no parece divertido, más bien un castigo ¡!!

Según algunas encuestas realizadas en centros escolares de EEUU, se dice que una de las barreras de entrada de la tecnología VR en la educación, es el precio de las gafas de Realidad Virtual. Hablamos de Gafas VR, y sinceramente, creo que no se está diciendo la verdad (por desconocimiento o falta de información). Ya que la diferencia entre unos dispositivos económicos y otros profesionales apenas varían en unos 30 euros, sin embargo, la calidad de los mismos en cuanto a óptica, funcionalidad, prestaciones y usabilidad, no tienen nada que ver. Por otro lado, ambos dispositivos requieren del mismo nivel de calidad y características del terminal móvil o Smartphone, hablando en el entorno Samsung, S6 mínimo. O dicho de otra forma, no se puede confundir un patinete con una moto GT.

Y la pregunta es…qué sentido tiene adquirir unas gafas VR por 10/20 euros vs un dispositivo profesional de 35/50, si el terminal móvil mínimo que necesito será el mismo en ambos casos y el coste final estará entre 300/500 euros?…O estamos hablando de otra cosa?.

No hay atajos a la tecnología, al igual que no hay atajos en la educación. Pero si hay métodos, formas y tecnologías que facilitan el acceso, la comprensión y la práctica de casos y experiencias reales a partir de entornos simulados o virtuales. Al igual que los ordenadores y las tablets entraron en las aulas, la Realidad Virtual y los dispositivos móviles entrarán, pero de otra manera.

No con el afán de sustituir a los terminales antiguos, que ya intentaron sustituir a su vez a los libros, no. Será para definir un nuevo entorno de aprendizaje disruptivo, en donde profesores y alumnos descubrirán experiencias conjuntamente, desarrollaran actividades siguiendo procesos aleatorios e interactuando con distintas tecnologías que facilitaran el acceso a soluciones reales y la compresión global de las actuaciones que se planteen, desde la concepción hasta el desarrollo final o solución. El desarrollo de experiencias, los métodos de trabajo orientados a acciones, la colaboración de equipos multidisciplinares, el manejo de distintas tecnologías para afrontar problemáticas diversas, acercan a los estudiantes a la realidad, pudiendo comprender la relación entre la teoría y su aplicación práctica de una manera más cercana y real.

VR Education Picture

La realidad virtual en la educación puede aplicarse de innumerables maneras, pero yo las simplificaría en dos: Bien y mal.

Una tecnología que permite desarrollar la creatividad de profesores y alumnos para aportar valor al conocimiento, facilitar el acceso a situaciones de la vida real, que de otra manera seria imposible y muy costoso, comprender las materias en su contexto, interactuar con situaciones reales en entornos virtuales. En fin, afrontar y resolver problemas del mundo real desde un entorno virtual, tan complejos como sean y tan sencillo y divertido como interactuar con un video juego.

Desde SmartEducationLabs, apostamos por la tecnología avanzada, aportando valor real a la comunidad educativa, a partir de buenas prácticas, soluciones avanzadas y metodologías contrastadas, al servicio de la comunidad, contribuyendo así al desarrollo de una sociedad más sostenible, justa e igualitaria.

SmartEducationLabs, es la primera plataforma de Educación, diseñada y desarrollada en España, por un equipo multidisciplinar con más de 20 años de experiencia en las tecnologías avanzadas y su aplicación a la Educación.

Carlos J. Ochoa Fernández ©

Building artificial realities from Virtual experiences.

Disruptive Innovation for Smart Life Experiences

The image is use to deceive the senses and the intelligence by means of the illusion (Platón)

Let us imagining for a while we were “teleported” into the “Year 2050” …close your eyes and try to “imagine “how it looks like. Think about it for a minute. We can imagine a futuristic picture of the world, but all our pictures looks different. Our imagination is restrict by our education, knowledge, background, and social environment. However, our creativity has no limits.

Now, try to reimagine the past as it was many centuries ago…but with the knowledge from today…it could be something like a: “Virtual Ancient ” scenario. Think about the ancient society’s needs and demands, the citizen’s skills, without internet, smartphones, tablets, social media… This could be a script for a science fiction film…or a new storytelling for a Virtual reality immersive experience.

We are living in a new digital century, where immersion and technological dependence condition our lives and the society´s development. A “Smart society” in which the power of the image and the recreated illusion predominate. Through television, movies, mobile devices, smartphones, gadgets, video games and now the immersive reality, we are the permanent object and destination of messages through millions of images and subliminal sensations that ends in one way or another, setting guidelines, and trends. In short, a different way of understanding present, past and future reality and of interacting with it.

Throughout history, human has used the image as an element of communication. The creation of maps, communication routes, recreation of inventions and illusions … have served man as a tool for development and technological evolution “Leonardo Davinci”

The human condition can almost be summed up in the observation of things, whereas all experiences are from the past, all decisions are about the future. It is the great task of human knowledge to bridge this gap and to find those patterns in the past, which can be project it into the future as realistic images. Reimagining the future, therefore, is the key to all choice-oriented behavior.

Nowadays, Immersive technologies allow us to bring human to unimagined paradises, to reconstruct ancient spaces, worlds and invented realities. Allowing us to experiment and interact with them as if we were living in a figuratively imagined reality.

The development of communications infrastructures, smartphones and RV and AV devices at affordable prices are dramatically revolutionizing application sectors and user environments. Related to the world of culture, tourism and education, the opportunities for massive use of these technologies, is nowadays a reality. What contributes with high value to the society, developing accessible applications and contends that are available to global community.

 The opportunities that open up around us, for the promotion of cultural tourism or high benefit, and its dissemination and approach of knowledge at the global level are enormous:

To put in value the cultural heritage of the humanity through its recreation, recovery and conservation

  • Incorporation of RV and AR as tools for study, analysis, evaluation, reconstruction and visualization, bringing knowledge to the community in a simple and intuitive way
  • Create promotion centers, with tools that are easy to interpret, manage and accessible, accessing content of high value and in a fun way, where different communities and groups of knowledge can interact and contribute value and experiences in network. Edutainment
  • Promoting and disseminating tourism through the recreation of spaces and unique and spectacular environments, immersive and interactive spaces, combining past, present and future, as if we are in a time machine, as a call to on-site visits.

From its earliest origins, humanity has always sought to augment the story-telling experience, whether with arts expressions, music, theatrical performance, machinery or technological innovation. Virtual and Augmented Reality are simply the next step on this curve: a means of authentically bringing ideas to life and creating a realistic narrative that others are not only able to imagine, but can truly experience for themselves.

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I have been working with Virtual Technologies for many years in different areas of knowledge and application, but specially focus on education, cultural heritage preservation and tourism promotion. It was fun, but tough to share nonacademic communities, because the cost of technology, infrastructures and broadband availability. Now everything is changing very fast due the smartphone ecosystem and the high-speed broadband infrastructures development.

Virtual Reality has long been moot as an educational tool. From SmartEducationLabs we are promoting different initiatives like: My Smart Destinations (Tourism Promotion & Education), My Smart Classroom (Education)…and many other. We already used the technology to create immersive learning ‘experiences’ for citizens, learning and knowledge communities, and we are exploring many life experiences about the possibilities of creating virtual disruptive ecosystems.

In addition to many others projects to come along this exciting year.

Carlos J. Ochoa Fernández ©

Virtual and Augmented Reality at School. Disruptive Innovation in Education?. Is it the Educational Community ready to redefine a new Educational Ecosystem?

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination. “Albert Einstein”

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The future framework for smart digital education, leave permanently redefined from the continue impact of new technologies, communications and infrastructures development, experiences and case studies and last but not least international experiences from a more global perspective.

Virtual reality is not a passing fad, is not only a question around nice 3d pictures, disruptive words or video games…we are talking about the “Future of the Society”. Imagination, Innovation, Inspiration, Interaction, Interconnection and Improvement, a new paradigm pushing from the pillars of education “that needs to be agreed and adapted to the reality of each environment, preventing breaks and digital divides in access to knowledge and technologies that impoverish citizens and therefore to society.

Let’s talk about “Imagination”.

The convergence of digital forces such as social media, mobility, analytics, and cloud computing is driving transformation across industries as well as in our personal lives. Disruptive Innovation is making headway in this complex interconnected world, where the contribution and converge of creativity, imagination, knowledge, technologies, procedures and methodologies, is revolutionizing the world of smart education though a more global and qualified professionals scenario. It is not a question about technology, is all about a new way of learning: We need to reimagine the Education from a new perspective in a new complex context.

Let’s imagining for a while the “Year 2025”…close your eyes and think about how it looks like. Your thoughts are sorted and limited by your background, education, knowledge and social issues. But try once again with an open mind, and try to reimaging the world in 2025. Think about the new society needs and demands, the new citizen’s skills, the Environmental challenges, the new Smart Ecosystems, the Internet of things implications, the eHealth and Well-Being ecosystem…And try to find the best answer to your imagination. Do you really think we are on the right track?

What about “Innovation”.

If we wish to prepare a generation of citizens as entrepreneurs and leaders for the 21th. century who can face real-world problems, we must give them real-world problems to solve.

From my personal years of experience, I nurtured an interest in cultural heritage, topography, photogrametry, imagering and geography and learned a lot about ancient civilizations recreating Virtual Worlds of old cities, places and cultures. Similarly, millions of students have played with games and learned about the hazards of world culture. When we talk about the potential effect of virtual reality on education, we are talking about 4 main new concepts in education: 1) the ability for students to learn within immersive and transportive digital environments, 2) the gamification experiences of the learning process, 3) the process of learning by doing based in real experiences, and 4) the new paradigm where the student is in the center, not the teacher.

Some studies and early experiences have shown that VR is indeed a potentially transformative educational platform, where educators, teachers and students need to reimagine their new roles. Meanwhile, educators will have to learn how to best incorporate VR into their curriculum and class activities, while managers must create the flexibility for their teachers to learn and experiment. ¡¡¡This is the greatest challenge!!!.

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 Talking about “Inspiration”.

I have been involved in this technology for many years. In the early beginning it was focus on professional environment and technical applications. Very expensive, sophisticated and complex technology for common use. Now, thanks to the “Mobile Revolution” schools, universities and private training providers are using VR & AR in a smartphone environment, having an amazing impact on students’ learning experience. Examples of practice in video-game industry and higher education tend still very much to be centered on Engineering and eHealth. But I don’t think it will be long before we see more VR experiences being used across other industries and in a larger proportion of educational environments.

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VR and AR technologies offer new possibilities in the educational and professional training environment, allowing a greater involvement of students in their own learning context and a continue evolution of digital content and tools.

The teacher / tutor-student relationship is enhanced by the facilities that offer VR & AR technology when creating virtual communities and tools for use in the classroom in an effective, simple and friendly community. The efficient implementation of new technologies in old organizations needs to adapt methods and procedures in a new paradigm and changing the teacher/student role.

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Think about “Interaction”.

VR based on Actions Based Learning, is a new technology based training approach. Depending on the organization and training project to address, creates a matrix that meets the requirements for every action: which user profile addresses each action, which type of learning program, capacitive or training, the exchange of information and documentation to be used, the format and method to deliver information, the method to archive results based on Kpi´s and the best technology to be used in every action.

Nobody can realize how VR will looks like in 10 years, but one thing is for sure, VR is one of the big challenges for the next years. Almost all big players are making significant announcement every day, like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Sony, Samsung, Huawei… The mobile virtual reality market is predicted to reach US$150 billion by 2020, and this will pit companies against each other as they seek to grow into these new rich and contextual environments. What’s next? It will be interesting to see how new players will respond to this new big challenge, how will interact with internet of things in smart environments, and what kind of Educational Ecosystems will be developed…we will see as main actors.

Making real impact on education “Interconnection”

Maybe there is a big pressure from big companies pushing the VR sector based on hardware platforms, new devices and gadgets. But what about apps and availability of contents?. Perhaps most relevant issue for next years is investment in “educational digital content”: games and experiences with educational value. In this new VR environment, storytelling plays a new roll and must be redefined according the new focus: “the student”. Contents must be well designed and ideally, including collaborative and social components. Here, there is much to learn from recent research into gamification of learning, fueled by the increasing availability of computers and devices in classrooms.

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Immersive Virtual Reality Education must be placed into a new context. For students of all ages and abilities who wish to learn through experience rather than memory testing. Using Immersive AR & VR Environments we can place students in any real world or virtual situation with an active role in proceedings through various tasks they will need to complete. Situations and outcomes will dynamically change depending on the students input and this will keep the student active and engaged throughout the lesson.

According some research and studies, students of all ages typically retain between 10% and 30% of that they read and see. Traditional educational materials fail to inspire and engage further learning with most students as it forces them into a form of memory testing rather than retaining knowledge through practice and experience. Traditional lessons are also taught through ridged structures that don’t change if repeated. This causes fatigue and boredom with less student retention. Interactive 3D solutions have been shown to increase student’s attention levels by 92% and increase test scores by 35% – while at the same time creating a new level of engagement for students and staff.

As an ITC & Smart Education Consultor with 25+ years’ experience integrating technology, it is exciting for me to see a technology that so quickly captures the attention of the students, motivates them to make the effort to learn the procedures, and then opens them up to the relevant content.

Surfing the Web
New Educational Open Spaces

Virtual and augmented reality is going to be a disruptive technology in education and we need to learn from experiences and permanently reimaging the context to make an impact on education. On one hand, virtual reality is already being tested and discussed all over the world through applications as diverse as training advanced medical students, in K-12 classrooms, and exhibits in cultural institutions and museums– virtual reality’s attraction is the immersive environment that it creates, and it seems intuitive that students are a perfect test case. But still there are a lot of issues that must be resolved: Standardization on devices, apps, internet access, availability of specific educational content, prices, stability of versions…

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Bring VR & AR experience to your school “Improvement”

So what are we doing about Virtual and Augmented reality in education?. Well you might be confused by the VR & AR related headline, and wondering why the classroom needs that. Six months ago, we launched an innovative project “Smart Education Labs” embedded into 6 Learning Resource Center. This was our pilot experience with the Ministry of Education of United Arab Emirates, and a lot of changes and improvements were applied in the meantime. Now, we are working on a brand new platform that will be soon available with a whole range of affordable and new services and accessible materials for different devices and platforms (Oculus, Samsung VR and Cardboard).

But I know this is not enough, we need to improve a lot. We are creating Workshops to train teachers as a key success factor to implement new technologies in the better scenario and learning from the best practices. And we need to share experiences with the educational global community, in a continue learning process to adapt technology and process to the learning programs and users demands.

We are working hard on developing specific educational environments, contents and experiences based on our previous experiences, and implementing all these case studies in our new platform.

Our focus is to implement Smart Education Labs as an Innovative VR&AR space for the Global Educational Community. This is just the very first step to the future.

Carlos J. Ochoa Fernández (c)