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Construction Safety Training, News, Virtual Reality, VR Training

In 2016, there were 370 fatal falls out of 991 construction fatalities, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Construction safety and fall protection training, in particular, is a severe problem that needs a better solution. Consider this true story…

Bill enters the job trailer, after a little small talk, he grabs his harness. Giving it a quick once-over he puts it on along with the rest of his safety equipment, like every other day for months.

On his short walk over to the construction elevator, his mind wanders off. He wonders if his daughter remembered the appropriate bow to accent her cheer uniform for this afternoon’s football game. Otherwise, he’s going to get a panicked text message on his way home to track it down and get it to her before kick-off — just like last week.

A quick and sudden jerk brings him back to reality as the elevator abruptly stops and opens to a scaffolding catwalk, three stories up. After a little over a month on this job site, this view is pretty standard stuff. He hooks up his safety line and walks out to where he’s working this morning and gets to it.

A little over thirty minutes into the job, he reaches down for a tool. Suddenly Bill feels uneasy. Then he realizes the platform is giving way under him. Just as what’s happening fully hits him, he tries to grab for something, anything to stop his fall. He feels himself helplessly flailing.

Just as he begins to panic, he lurches to a stop. He thinks, “My harness!” Thank goodness for my…

Something snaps and Bill falls three stories to his death.

Luckily, today Bill is doing fall protection training in a safe, but shockingly realistic, virtual reality training environment. But, the missed fracture in the D-ring on his harness is an oversight that is not likely to ever go missed again.

Our ability to identify and assess risk is acquired through training and experience. In the case of construction workers, this training can be just as dangerous and unforgiving as the actual day-to-day, on-the-job experience. Which is precisely why the benefits of virtual reality training for construction safety is so compelling.

Let’s review just a few of the most important benefits of using VR training in your construction training program.

1. Virtual Reality Provides a Safer Training Environment

Construction is inherently dangerous.

Not only are the skilled construction activities dicey — moving tons of lumber, drywall, steel, and other building materials, pouring thousands of pounds of concrete, running and connecting electricity, and on and on — but we also put these men and women in tiny buckets and on narrow scaffolding at dizzying heights.

Then, we ask them to stay safe.

Keeping these workers safe is its own dangerous game. Putting these folks into realistic training scenarios is essential. To be effective, this training must recreate not only realistic scenarios, but also the emotions, sensations, and distractions that haunt these hazardous work environments.

Historically, attempts to achieve quality construction safety training has required building large, expensive, and roughly equivalent construction environments. Of course, in recreating these simulated construction sites, you necessarily recreate, to some extent, all of the same danger zones and risks of injury and even death.

Virtual Reality Training solves many of the safety issues inherent in the traditional safety training that many construction companies continue to use. The VR training environment is 100% safe and gives an arguably more accurate construction environment in which to train.

2. Ability to Create Riskier, More Realistic Training

Creating physical construction simulations has so many limitations. Try finding a training facility that can accommodate a fifteen story superstructure, swinging tons of steel with an enormous crane, or pouring thousands of pounds of cement footing.

It’s impossible. So, what do we do?

We build structures to reasonable heights, we swing simulated loads, and we role play or inject equivalent distractions. The limitation of the physical world, training budgets, and rational risk tolerances force us to train in environments that can only simulate a tiny fraction of the real risks and hazards of a real job site.

Virtual reality training allows us to push training exercises to the very edge of realism, up to and including deadly hazards and actions.

Simulating the actual hazards and results of following (or not following) safety procedures is one powerful advantage. We can practice most, if not all, of the hazardous activities that a worker will be expected to perform in accordance with the project plan. Also, they can practice these assignments under the same working conditions they will experience on the job site.

With VR training you can also introduce the realistic sensations of heights, distractions, stress, and environmental hazards. These mental and emotional hazards are often missed in training because we simply can’t push the risk envelope.

3. Virtual Reality Training Allows for Endless Repetition

Repetition is the secret to mastery.

Malcolm Gladwell, in his best selling book Outliers: The Story of Success, introduces the idea that mastery in a well-defined discipline can be achieved with approximately 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. In construction, that kind of repetition is prohibitively expensive, and consequently, the majority of that deliberate practice necessarily takes place on-the-job.

Virtual reality training has the power to make this level of deliberate practice much more, well, practical. The incremental cost of running a VR training scenario is de minimus, unlike more traditional training in the physical world.

With VR training, workers get to strap on the VR headset and go at it again and again until they can accomplish the task flawlessly — and safely.

4. Real Life is Random. Virtual Reality Software Can Generate That Randomness

We all know that the world is full of random moments. However, when most training is being designed, that kind of unpredictable randomness — interruptions, distractions, weather, changes of all kinds — is marginalized or removed in order to maintain focus on the teaching of core concepts. Unfortunately, when this is done, realism is reduced and training becomes less contextual and relevant to the real world.

We often think we’re basically “stuck” with this less-than-optimal training for a variety of reasons. The two most common challenges in randomizing training are cost and trainee evaluation. In the physical world, it is simply too expensive to build the requisite number of training scenarios. In this same constraining physical world, it’s difficult or impossible for trainers to effectively evaluate trainee performance when there are too many extraneous secondary scenarios and variables.

Once again, virtual reality software removes those barriers. The best VR training modules are just now introducing randomization of the kind you might experience in a high-quality video game. Randomization ensures you never “teach to the test”, or allow trainees to temporarily memorize “the hard parts” of certain lessons — things they might quickly forget after the completion of their training.

What’s more, this randomization comes at no increase in cost and leverages one of the most significant advantages of premium virtual reality training: much of the trainee evaluation is baked into the software itself.

5. Virtual Reality Provides a Safe Environment to Test and Evaluate Procedures

When we think about administering training, we often forget about the testing and evaluation that has to go into validating the actual training. In construction safety training, this is particularly important.

Too often, we rely on assumptions, or even worse, accident reports to develop and assess our safety procedures. This approach is made even more ineffective by the fact that construction safety is often dynamic, based on the current project plan, available equipment, and working conditions/environment — all factors that probably should require refinements in on-site safety procedures.

With virtual reality training software, we can construct scenarios that are specific to the job site or project planning scenarios and then realistically and safely test and evaluate those procedures. You can also test project plans to ensure that you are creating project plans that are realistic and can be safely executed.

6. Immersive VR Training Can Increase Trainee Focus

How many times have you been in a training room and your attention wanders? Thinking about lunch, returning a text message, wondering why you’re covering this again, just waiting for it to end, or simply daydreaming are only a few examples of all-too-human mental distractions that can degrade the training process.

Sitting in a classroom or even waiting in line for your turn on the platform are all limitations of the physical training environment; restrictions that allow for trainees to lose focus and miss critical points of instruction.

Virtual reality has the advantage of being fully immersive. Because VR training strives to fully replicate the physical world and all of the disparate elements in that real-world, you have to stay on your toes at all times. And while, depending on the supply of hardware, some trainees may have to wait to get into a VR headset, others can follow along, watching their journey and lesson unfold from a first-person perspective on a nearby HD screen, turning passive waiting into active learning.

This realistic and immersive training environment helps trainees maintain their attention and concentration on each training task posed to them.

7. Virtual Reality Training Gives Trainers Better Evaluation Tools

We previously mentioned the challenges of evaluating trainees and even the training itself. These challenges are particularly acute in construction training.

In many of the construction safety training programs used today, trainers are struggling to evaluate trainees under less than ideal circumstances. Trainers are either assessing from a safe, but obscured vantage point, or struggling to evaluate from the same precarious positions as the student – extreme heights, narrow spaces, unstable platforms.

In contrast, a training environment constructed with virtual reality software can put trainers in the best possible position to observe and evaluate their trainees. Besides, the software can also capture data points that help analyze why trainees are experiencing success and failure – view and movement tracking as well as biometrics.

Another benefit to evaluating training in virtual reality is the simplicity of collecting and analyzing data – no more clipboards and tally sheets.

8. Training Can Be Customized for Specific Sites, Scenarios, and Standards

Every company and job site is unique. And no matter how consistent we try to be with construction safety, the real-world will always throw some curveballs our way.

Each project will likely have its own special challenges and problems because of location, unique requirements, weather, or just the complexity of the project itself. General construction safety training can leave workers exposed to or unfamiliar with local job hazards.

Virtual reality software provides a huge advantage in the flexibility and costs to offer site- and company-specific construction training.

Physical training facilities rarely can be reconfigured to approximate any particular job site realistically. And most construction projects can’t absorb the lost time and additional cost of shutting down portions of a job site for training.Necessarily, with increased customization comes increased cost, but these costs will almost certainly pale in comparison to those of closing a real-world job site for one or more days for training purposes, or the inherent risks of O.J.T., (on-the-job training) for the same purpose.Further, different companies often have slightly different ways of doing things; specific protocols and standards that help define how a company operates. Premium VR training can accommodate these variations for a more tailored training experience.

9. Virtual Reality Can Make Training More Efficient

Many of the benefits that we have reviewed so far point to the overall efficiency and effectiveness of virtual reality over traditional, physical training environments.

Virtual reality training allows for your construction training safety programs to be far more relevant, site-specific, frequent, and repeatable without significantly increasing cost or time. In fact, studies and real-world applications of VR Training show it drives down the time needed to learn the same information usually taught with more traditional training methods. This Deloitte Insights article points out that in 2017, KFC employed a VR Training simulation to help teach their trainees their world-famous “secret recipe” for preparing chicken. According to KFC, with VR, trainees mastered the five steps needed to make the brand’s namesake fried chicken in just 10 minutes — as compared to the 25 minutes needed to the learn the same thing using conventional training.

10. Virtual Reality Training Research Indicates Higher Retention

All the training in the world is worthless unless it sticks.

While VR Training is still relatively new, there is a lot of research around what helps trainees to retain their training. Many of these factors are inherent characteristics of virtual reality training.

Here are just a few VR training characteristics that increase retention:

  • Consistency – By using software, even with randomization, every training scenario can be reliably delivered in a precise and controlled way.

  • Frequency – VR training can be run over and over again with no additional incremental cost or trainee risk.

  • Relevance – Software allows us to reconfigure and customize the training environment cheaply.

  • Immersion – Virtual reality gives us the luxury of dropping a trainee into a fully immersive and realistic training environment that can be pushed to extremes.

The research continues to reaffirm the overall effectiveness of virtual reality training, especially in studies targeted explicitly at the challenges of delivering construction safety training.

Bonus: Virtual Reality Training Lowers Training Costs

By this point, you’ve probably already picked up on the thread of cost savings throughout this list of benefits. Using software and some relatively inexpensive hardware can slash the cost of realistically simulating a broad spectrum of construction hazards and evaluate the proper execution of safety procedures.

Cost-savings permeate all facets of a comprehensive safety training program. But, probably some of the biggest savings are realized in reducing the need to either physically create or travel to an adequate training facility or temporarily shutting down an actual job site to provide a viable training environment.

The bottom line is construction safety training is a non-negotiable expense. However, if you can do it at a fraction of the cost and time, and it’s more effective than the alternative, then the business case for VR training becomes overwhelming.

How PIXO VR Can Help Your Construction Safety Training

PIXO VR is currently developing a ‘Focus Fourpack’, providing Virtual Reality Training experiences concerned with construction’s “Fatal Four,” four of the leading workplace killers, responsible for more than half of the industry’s worker deaths in 2016. The first of these, PIXO VR Fall Protection, is now available, with the remaining three slated for completion by early 2019. The Fatal Four include:

  1. Falls – (38.7% of total construction deaths in 2016)

  2. Struck by Object – (9.4%)

  3. Electrocutions – (8.3%)

  4. Caught-in/between – (7.3%)

As the economy drives increased construction activity and our construction sites become increasingly complex and technological, these sad statistics will only decline if and when we improve and innovate our current training to make it more effective.

PIXO VR is aggressively working towards a VR Training solution that protects your workers with the most realistic and effective training environment available.

But, talk is cheap, we want the opportunity to show you.

Contact us to experience the cutting edge of construction safety training.

 
Photo by Tuan Minh on Unsplash
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Expert Insights, Virtual Reality, VR Training

A recent article published on Futurism.com declared, essentially, that virtual reality has finally become reality-reality: it’s here to stay. But the article was quick to point out that, despite the progress VR technology has made in recent years — better, more cost-effective hardware, streamlined user experience, radical advances in animation, etc. — one key problem has annoyingly persisted: nausea.

Motion sickness. Vertigo. Sea-sickness. Car-sickness. Butterflies. Queasiness — whatever you call it, we all hate it, and as a Virtual Reality Training company, it’s one of the most common questions we’re asked at conferences and expos: “will it make me sick?” While our answer to that question is a confident “No”, (more on that in a minute), not all VR companies can say the same, despite the evolution of our industry. 

The simple fact is: not all virtual reality is created equal.

So we thought it made some sense to briefly explore why some virtual reality experiences can cause motion sickness and why, in the three years we’ve been designing and engineering VR Training modules for enterprise, we’ve never seen or heard anyone complain of getting that awful, upset feeling.

How and Why Does Motion Sickness Happen?

Let’s start by understanding the phenomenon of motion sickness and nausea a little better from a scientific perspective.

Reason One: Battle Of The Senses

In a nutshell, the primary reason we feel motion sickness comes down to our ‘perception of reality’, so to speak.

Most of us are born with a central nervous system that helpfully provides us with five essential senses that allow us to move through physical reality with at least a basic idea of what the heck’s going on around us, (not counting what we experience while driving on the freeway, which is anyone’s guess). Those senses are: sight (vision), hearing (audition), taste (gustation), smell (olfaction), and touch (somatosensation).

When there’s “argument” between these five senses, our brain gets confused.

For instance, think of the sensation in the pit of your stomach one gets on an elevator. Though your body is in rapid motion on an elevator car, you, yourself, are not really moving. The effect it produces is typically slight, but definitely noticeable. (The same thing goes with car sickness while riding, or reading, in an automobile.)

Essentially, you’re experiencing a sensory mismatch and your brain — always gamely trying to make sense of the world it’s in — doesn’t like it.

There’s more complex science behind all this, of course, but at root, what we feel is a tug-of-war between groups of senses to determine “who’s right”: the vestibular inputs (concerned with balance and located in your inner ear), the visual inputs (associated with your eyes), or the kinaesthetic inputs (which assist in movement).

Reason Two: When Seeing Isn’t Believing

Beyond the issue of multiple senses battling it out to determine what’s real, there’s also a problem specific to our sense of vision, (and by extension, the brain’s ability to process images).

You see, in the real world, as the name suggests, things are more or less real. (We could nerd-out here about probability clouds and whatnot, or make the argument that our brains are the ultimate virtual reality machines, but for now let’s keep things simple and say boldly, Things Exist.)

When we walk to the store, or take a shower, or do anything at all, the things we’re seeing are really there, in what we consider physical reality. Our eyes may play tricks on us from time to time, but the persons, places, and things they observe occupy time and space and are mostly static and unchanging. They obey the laws of physics.

Not so in virtual reality.

In VR, the images we see have to be dynamically generated and refresh to reflect new simulated realities — constantly and incredibly rapidly.

Think of a flip-book: to create the illusion of motion, a large number of static images must rapidly pass by our eyes and convince our brain that the figures we see are moving and doing things. “Good” flipbooks have many more images, more precisely drawn, and thus appear more fluid and natural when flipped-through than “bad” flipbooks that have fewer images and produce hiccupy jumps — what we call ‘lag’ — in their attempts at motion.  

“Good” and “bad” virtual reality operates in a similar way.

How We Overcome VR Motion Sickness

PIXO VR has successfully fought motion sickness and greatly reduced any chance of it happening using two important methods.

Method One: A Frame Rate ‘Faster Than The Eye Can Think’

To combat the issue of lag, our Virtual Reality Training simulations have a refresh frame rate of 90 FPS (frames per second). That means every time you turn left or right, or look up or down, these individual, static images of the virtual world around you — the people, machines, birds, cars, etc. —are zooming by your eyes (and brain) at an almost entirely unnoticeable rate of 90 images per second, just like an ultra-fast, photo-realistic, digital flipbook.

By offering a superior, industry-best 90 FPS frame rate, we help put the brain at ease that the things it observes through the eyes are, (to the best of its ability to tell), really there.

Not all virtual reality runs and refreshes at this amazing pace, which is why some VR (not ours, but some), can make people feel physically ill.

Method Two: ‘Going Nowhere…Fast’

The second way we’ve conquered motion sickness is by addressing what we discussed earlier: the cognitive dissonance created in the brain when groups of senses compete to “explain” what’s happening to our physical bodies. While some amount of actual bodily motion is helpful and, indeed, necessary to explore and train in a fully immersive and interactive VR environment, too much motion can produce that feeling of nausea, as we’ve mentioned.

To avoid the jostling, brain-flummoxing disconnect between what our eyes see happening, and what our bodies feel happening, we use a technique we call “teleporting”.

Teleporting is a simple, elegant solution to the problem of moving — physically and virtually — through a simulated, photo-realistic world. Using your thumb to depress a button on our hand-held controllers, you simply point to your intended destination, your pathway is illuminated, and by the time you release the button — you’re there. No extra motion necessary; it can be done while sitting in a comfortable chair.

Teleporting helps in a couple of ways: first, by limiting the degree to which your brain and body feel differing sensations, and thus, greatly reducing the chances of motion sickness. Second, teleporting makes navigating a to-scale VR environment far simpler, easier, and quicker.

After all, if one were to attempt to physically explore a 20,000 square-foot photo-realistic VR workspace, it would, of course, require 20,000 square feet of empty space in the physical world, to say nothing of the requisite time needed to travel by foot from one end to the other, and so forth. If this were how VR worked, the time and space-saving advantages of Virtual Reality Training would be completely lost.

So, anyway, that’s how virtual reality can induce motion sickness — and two big reasons why PIXO VR experiences never have in the three years we’ve been pioneering Virtual Reality Training for enterprise clients.

Have you ever suffered motion sickness after using VR? We invite you to try ours and experience the difference.

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News, Virtual Reality, VR Training

The results are in – and the winner is virtual reality training.

According to a recent study by the University of Maryland, virtual reality training is more effective in recall accuracy than traditional desktop CBT (computer-based training). With a median recall accuracy percentage of 90.48 percent for immersive HMDs – head-mounted (virtual reality) displays – compared to desktop display’s 78.57 percent, the long-awaited study has further validated the efficacy of virtual reality training as a learning tool over traditional e-learning methods.

As the study’s abstract reads:

“Virtual reality displays, such as head-mounted displays (HMD), afford us a superior spatial awareness by leveraging our vestibular and proprioceptive senses, as compared to traditional desktop displays.”

The study’s findings are particularly important for employers in high-stakes verticals, where skills and safety training for workers represents a critical aspect of how those businesses function.

Put in the context of a standard grade scale, at 90+ percent recall, VR training would score in the A-range, while desktop computer training, at a shade below 79 percent, would be stuck back in the C’s.

When managing operations at a construction site, manufacturing plant, oil and gas pipeline, or other heavy industrial environment, a workforce recalling their training and performing their tasks consistently at an “A-level” would mean substantial gains in productivity, efficiency and, perhaps most critically, fewer mistakes that eat away at the bottom line or in worst-case scenarios, could even open the door for potential fines and litigation.

When talking about the ability of trainees and users to retain important information, it’s easy to see how these kind of numbers – an almost 12 percent improvement in median recall and an 8.8 percent improvement in overall recall accuracy – can make a sizable positive impact for enterprise users of VR training technology.

“This data is exciting in that it suggests that immersive environments could offer new pathways for improved outcomes in education and high-proficiency training”, said Amitabh Varshney, professor of computer science at the University of Maryland (UMD) and co-author of the study.

Beyond the findings, the UMD study itself is notable as data on the effectiveness of virtual reality training has been somewhat hard to come by, due to the newness of VR training, the number of variables involved in testing, and the difficulty in arranging for true “apples-to-apples” comparisons of the two learning methodologies, VR and CBT. But the research is finally catching up with the technology and the story it’s telling is a compelling one.

“By showing that virtual reality can help improve recall, it opens the door to further studies that look at the impact of VR-based training modules at all levels – from elementary school children learning astronomy to trauma residents acquiring the latest knowledge in lifesaving procedures,” Professor Varshney continued. “We believe the future of education and innovation will greatly benefit from the use of these new visual technologies.”

It won’t surprise you to learn that we at PIXO VR agree.

Thinking about how Virtual Reality Training could transform your business’ workforce? Reach out to us for a Free Consultation.

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Virtual Reality, VR Training

Training workers in the utility industry can be especially difficult.  Real-world training conditions are complex, dangerous, expensive and hard to simulate.


PIXO has responded to these challenges by developing industry-specific virtual reality modules that provide highly effective approaches for skill and safety training.  


Chicago-based Peoples Gas, for example, employs PIXO’s Gas Meter Safety Inspection VR training module to train field technicians and its 1,600 employees on the myriad range of meter types, installation configurations, and defects.  Trainees are quickly exposed to numerous different scenarios drawn from the millions of possibilities, without having to travel to separate locations and shadow more experienced workers for extended periods of time.


Trainees embark on a virtual route where they locate and report common and uncommon defects, in a lifelike 3D environment. The randomized scenarios provide a unique experience for each user, every time they train. Trainers gain unparalleled visibility of the training process, with access to user management, reporting, and analytics to monitor and measure trainees’ performance and progress over time.





The VR environment provides virtual on-the-job training as workers repeatedly practice responding to varying scenarios.  They use realistic diagnostic tools to check for mechanical defects and gas leaks, and they learn to file accurate and complete reports. The VR modules also train workers on emergency response, meter locating, corrosion activities and safety inspections.


The immersive and highly engaging VR environment can be as fun as a game, while at the same time provide a highly effective way to train workers to reliably perform their critically-important job of ensuring the safety of natural gas installations.

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Virtual Reality, VR Training


















Members of the PIXO VR team visited Concordia University’s Portland, Oregon campus recently to participate in the Emerging Technologies Symposium for Emergency Solutions. Ben Mazza and Erica Schaffel from PIXO VR were invited to join professionals from academia, technology, government, and emergency preparedness to learn and discuss the benefits of integrating virtual reality simulations into their training programs. Representatives from FEMA, the Office of Homeland Security, police and fire departments, and emergency medical teams participated in the event and many took part in the VR training demo.


Intel Corporation’s Mike Premi and Grant Tietje from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory were the keynote speakers at the event, which combined presentations, panel discussions, and interactive demonstrations.

PIXO VR’s demonstration allowed emergency professionals to work in teams to contain a virtual fire caused by an overturned oil truck. The firefighters coordinated their efforts, reacting to the oil spill and ensuing blaze in real time. Since the platform allows emergency personnel to follow established protocols as they work to control crises, responders were able to react realistically to fire, heat, and smoke. The fire also reacted as it would when doused with foam or water, creating a lifelike situation.

Trainers and emergency managers attending the symposium quickly realized the value of virtual reality’s realistic, immersive experience as a low-risk teaching method for firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and other first responders. The dangerous nature of those professions makes it difficult to teach new skills in the field. Virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality simulate crisis conditions without placing emergency responders in jeopardy.

Reactions to the VR training demo were overwhelmingly positive. Emergency personnel were impressed with how real it felt and looked. They praised the attention to detail and visual fidelity. Many noted the importance of realism, especially in exercises trainees would have to perform seventeen or eighteen times to get exactly right.

Firefighters and fire chiefs from all over the country participated in PIXO’s three-minute immersive simulation. Tony Fletcher, Division Chief of Training of the Vancouver, WA fire department said, “While invaluable, traditional hands-on training exposes participants to injury, and is often too expensive to repeat. The value of virtual reality training like PIXO’s is that it exposes participants to realistic experiences without putting them in danger, and it’s extremely easy and cost effective to repeat.”


PIXO VR’s Erica Schaffel preps a first responder for the VR training demo. (Photo courtesy PIXO VR)

 

The challenge, danger, and cost in recreating realistic emergency situations in the field make virtual reality training even more valuable. First responders are constantly learning new skills and striving to maintain their current ones to certify or recertify in their positions. The ability to practice newly-learned procedures without danger and expense will maintain proficiency and build muscle memory. That means when a firefighter faces a real burning building or overturned oil truck, their response will be second nature.

Concordia University’s symposium brought together representatives from different emergency management agencies to discover new technologies that will ultimately make their jobs safer and easier.

It was a great opportunity to meet the people who perform these dangerous, life-saving jobs and show them a safer way to train.


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Virtual Reality, VR Training

 

 

 













If you’ve ever seen Ron Howard’s 1995 film, Apollo 13, you’ll recognize the phrase “failure is not an option.” In the film, Ed Harris plays NASA flight director, Gene Kranz, and the quote refers to the accident in the 1970 Apollo 13 lunar mission and NASA’s efforts to get the men home safely. Taken in context, the statement makes sense. Of course, Kranz does not want to fail. What flight director wants to lose his men?


Taken in the context of training personnel for dangerous situations; however, the phrase should be, “failure IS an option.” Mistakes, misjudgment, and failure are teaching tools. Getting things wrong while practicing helps people get things right when real problems arise. It’s the reason troops drill over and over before heading out to the field. It’s also the reason schools conduct fire drills. When kids know the procedure ahead of time, they don’t panic when faced with an actual emergency.


Training is positive and making errors while training is natural, but people are still injured and killed in training accidents. What if there were a way to train for dangerous situations without risking injury or death? Many consider virtual reality solely as a platform for gaming. It is used in games, but virtual reality training is also a risk-free way for firefighters to practice their approach to a wildfire. It’s also a safe method for nuclear engineers to perform emergency or even everyday procedures without entering the reactor.

PIXO VR has devised safe, multi-platform virtual reality software that enables people in dangerous jobs to train safely. Our AAA gaming quality visuals place each user IN the appropriate environment. This immersion training allows the trainee to be there—in the fire, the gas leak, or the battle—without leaving headquarters. Trainees in these lifelike scenarios act and react in real time, learning what works and what doesn’t. Squads drill together, often performing different tasks, to practice working as a team. Preparation like this builds muscle memory and confidence without danger.  

 

 

What does PIXO’s virtual reality software mean for first responders? It means they get the training they need to deal with life-threatening conditions and they get to go home at the end of the day.

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Virtual Reality, VR Training

Essential Insights on AR in a Transforming World

 

Artificial Reality could be the one device to disrupt the world of technology. It is opening new opportunities that will transform business, lifestyle and reality itself. Our AR research can help you understand this power, and explore the impact to almost every industry.

 

A Robust AR Market is Already Taking Shape

 

Investments in the AR market are growing. Consumers are showing interest in AR, and industry leaders recognize their enthusiasm as a potential opportunity for growth.

VC Investments in AR

Target Audiences

 

Growth is Expected to Be Outsized

 

As millions of projected users embrace AR, products and services will need to adapt. But as with most transformative technologies, adoption will be a curved line, not straight.

Size of Global VR Market by 2022
VR Users count
 

The Impact on Industries is Far Reaching

 

Across industries, AR will change how products are created and delivered, which could translate into increased productivity and operational efficiencies.

 
Retail

Retail

8 OUT OF 10 CONSUMERS ARE INTERESTED IN USING VR SERVICES5

Healthcare

Healthcare

VIRTUAL REALITY SIMULATIONS CAN REDUCE SURGICAL PLANNING TIME BY 40%6

Manufacturing

Manufacturing

AR PLATFORMS CAN PROVIDE 25% IN COST SAVINGS IN INSTALLATION OF EQUIPMENT7

 

Understand the Differences of Artificial Reality

 

Virtual reality (VR)

Users enter fully immersive digital reality

Blocks out the user’s natural surroundings

Augmented reality (AR)

Text, sound, graphics or video is superimposed atop the physical world

Users see synthetic light bouncing off real objects

Mixed reality (MR)

Real and virtual objects are integrated into real space

Virtual objects are meant to look believable

 

Read Our Research on AR

 
For More Insights, Read the report

For a deeper look into this emerging trend, read Future Reality: VR, AR & MR Primer, part of our Transforming World series.


This article was originally posted by Bank of America. You can find the original article here: https://www.bofaml.com/ar/augmented-and-virtual-reality-market.html?cm_mmc=GCB-Integrated-_-Google-PS-_-vr-_-Non%20Brand%20Virtual%20Reality%20Phrase%20-%20VR%20Phrase&gclid=CMDQwcecvtQCFcWZMgodezkHMw&gclsrc=ds

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Virtual Reality, VR Training

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have the potential to become the next big computing platform, according to Goldman Sachs Research.

In the first report from a new Profiles in Innovation series, Goldman Sachs Research examines how VR—which immerses the user in a virtual world—and AR—which overlays digital information onto the physical world—can reshape existing ways of doing things, from buying a new home to interacting with a doctor or watching a concert.

Download an excerpt [30 pages] of the report below. You can also watch a video preview of the research featuring lead author Heather Bellini.


This article was originally posted by Goldman Sachs. You can find the original article here: http://www.goldmansachs.com/our-thinking/pages/virtual-and-augmented-reality-report.html


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Virtual Reality

Mobile AR to drive $108 billion VR/AR market by 2021

“VR will be big, AR will be bigger and take longer.” What sounded revolutionary when we first said it 2 years ago has become accepted wisdom. But now the market has actually launched, we’ve got 12 months of real world performance and major tech players’ strategies emerging. And that’s changed our views on VR/AR growth. A lot. Our new Augmented/Virtual Reality Report 2017 base case is that Mobile AR could become the primary driver of a $108 billion VR/AR market by 2021 (underperform $94 billion, outperform $122 billion) with AR taking the lion’s share of $83 billion and VR $25 billion.

What went right (and wrong) last year

Let’s start with less than happy times. Facebook (Oculus Rift) and HTC (Vive) had growing pains at launch, whether slower than expected shipping or order cancellations. Oculus launched without Touch controllers, which eventually cost $199 instead of being bundled (i.e. non-PC full system costs hit $798 – same as HTC Vive). Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 saw part of its mobile VR ambitions literally go up in smoke, as the new Gear VR was designed to be compatible with that flagship device. Magic Leap also received a boatload of speculation about the tech it used to raise $1.4 billion.

Thankfully Nintendo/The Pokémon Company/Niantic had a breakout success that even they didn’t anticipate. Pokémon Go delivered $600 million mobile AR revenue in its first three months alone, making more money through the year than the entire VR games software market in 2016. While this came from a very specific set of circumstances, there have been direct knock-on effects for major tech companies’ mobile AR strategies.

As well as Sony’s solid launch of Playstation VR, the quiet achiever last year was Google. It launched its Daydream View mobile VR headset/controller and the first Tango mobile AR phone. What helped even more was Snap’s genius launch of Spectacles, which made wearing goofy future glasses cool again (no more Glassholes) even though it isn’t really AR.


All out, all change

The absolute performance of VR/AR in 2016 was not as important as how it changed the trajectory of the market. Where at the start of the year we thought 2016 could deliver $4.4 billion VR/AR revenue ($3.8 billion VR, $0.6 billion AR), the launch year’s issues resulted in only $2.7 billion VR revenue. This was counterbalanced by Pokémon Go’s outperformance helping AR to an unexpected $1.2 billion revenue, for a total $3.9 billion VR/AR market in 2016 (we were 11% optimistic).

But the last 12 months have fundamentally reshaped how the market could grow going forward.


Virtually the same, but different

Mobile VR will still produce the dominant “Explorer” (free up to $100) installed base for VR, with Google Daydream View moving things on from Cardboard days. However Samsung’s troubles last year meant that mobile VR didn’t get off to the flying start it could have. A smaller installed base than expected in 2016 reduces the network effects that platforms need to scale, which could slow things by 6 to 12 months. Mobile VR is still going to be big, but it might take a little longer to get there.

Sony’s Playstation VR launch and Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 10 VR headsets are the boosters VR needs, with consumer price points and performance that work for an “Enthusiast” (less than $400) market. Microsoft’s offering with inside-out tracking (inherited from HoloLens) is a game changer at a $299 price point. Plus it doesn’t need a brand new PC to run it, which makes it a genuine consumer product.

Facebook and HTC’s higher priced offerings and platform requirements are at risk of being squeezed into a low volume “Specialist” (less than $1,500 total system cost including platform) market by Sony and Microsoft. A deep niche populated by whales, but one that could become a narrow trench unless something can be done about price.


Augmented by name

In response to Pokémon Go, Apple’s Tim Cook said that Apple is “high on AR in the long run…continue to invest a lot in this…AR can be huge.” Google’s Sundar Pichai, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella also hailed Pokémon Go as a major early win for AR.

But there are 5 big challenges AR needs to conquer for mass consumers: (1) hero device (i.e. an Apple quality device, whether made by Apple or someone else), (2) all-day battery life (3) mobile connectivity, (4) app ecosystem, and (5) telco cross-subsidization. While most attention is paid to what that hero device will look like and when it will get here, two of the other challenges are particularly hard to solve.

Until a major breakthrough in battery technology, a lightweight pair of AR smartglasses doing heavy duty AR is hard to power all day without a battery pack or hot swappable batteries (which are fine for enterprise customers, but a harder sell for consumers). This is a non-trivial problem. Plus it’s a major risk for the developer ecosystem to invest heavily in building apps for new platforms until the installed base reaches scale. It’s the perennial chicken and egg problem that all new tech platforms face.

So where does this leave titans like Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft, and all the high-growth AR smartglasses startups?


Augmented by nature

Mobile AR could conquer the five major challenges for AR to go mass consumer in the short term. Mark Zuckerberg thinks so, “the phone is probably going to be the mainstream consumer platform [where] a lot of these AR features become mainstream, rather than a glasses form factor that people will wear on their face.”

Smartphones solve four of the major challenges for mass consumer AR already: all day battery life, mobile connectivity, app ecosystem and telco cross-subsidization. Plus you’re probably reading this on a hero device (iPhone, Samsung or other great Android phone) – it just doesn’t have the sensors and software to be a full AR phone. Yet.

Pokémon Go is a thin lens into the potential of mobile AR (even if industry insiders don’t like to call it that). The first step to true mobile AR was taken when Google launched its Tango AR phone with Lenovo. While that doesn’t look like the hero device mobile AR needs to take off yet, it points in the direction of the tech that Apple, Samsung and others could use to revitalize innovation and growth in the slowing smartphone market.

And this is where mobile AR’s secret weapon comes into play – replacement cycles.


It’s free after you’ve paid for it




Most developed mobile markets have hit saturation, with sales coming from consumers replacing their phones regularly despite not really needing to. It’s just something that we do. But that replacement cycle has been edging up from under two years towards three years, which is a major headache for Apple, Samsung and others. After nearly a decade of outperformance, Apple saw declining iPhone sales and revenue last year. Samsung’s Kim Gae-youn said it could “secure a baseline profit even if the market stagnates, so long as we don’t make a bad mistake.” And that was before the Galaxy Note 7. Smartphones are a mature market, crying out for innovation to rekindle growth.

So it’s no accident that Apple bought Metaio, with speculation in the industry of the core team working in secret deep inside the company. Similarly Samsung’s Sung-Hoon Hong has talked about its “light field engine” that can produce “really, really realistic” holograms that look “really touchable”, and how augmented reality has “much better business development” potential than virtual reality. Qualcomm’s Seshu Madhavapeddy said that its flagship processors could enable phone based AR with significant battery savings and smaller form factors.

Neither Apple nor Samsung has said anything specific about their mobile AR plans, but our base assumption is that they could launch AR enabled phones in 2018 (outperform 2017, underperform 2019). Other major phone makers might join them. While there is a chance this could happen in 2017, if an iPhone 7S and Galaxy S8 turn out to be standard phones this year, then next year the iPhone 8 and Galaxy S9 could become the dawn of mass mobile AR. The beauty of this approach is that it doesn’t require consumers to do anything they don’t already do – just replace their iPhones and Samsung phones as usual. If they get everything right, AR phones could become the new hotness to drive mobile growth again. Who wants an old smartphone when you can have a magic window on the world?


I want my smartglasses

But where (or rather when) are the “true” augmented reality smartglasses we’ve been promised?

While you’ll be able to buy your smartglasses from ODG, Meta and others this year, AR smartglasses’ 5 big challenges might not all be resolved before 2019. Smartglasses leaders could remain focused on “Enterprise” (>$1,500 total system costs) and consumer Specialist (<$1,500) markets, until they are able to completely replace your smartphone without a battery pack and also offer a full app ecosystem. For the next few years standalone smartglasses could build a deep high-end market as discretionary purchases independent of the phone you’re going to buy anyway. Smartglasses’ inflection point could come when they begin to cannibalize smartphone sales outright.

Apple, Samsung and others could become smartglasses players later (unless Robert Scoble was well informed) as a natural progression from mobile AR, potentially launching them as phone peripherals like smartwatches (only this time cool and disruptive). Google, Facebook, Snap and China’s BAT (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent) could also have big roles to play.



So what next?


While the market could play out in many ways, let’s look at what major players’ strategies might be. Things could turn out differently, so we’ll revisit as we learn what is (and isn’t) happening.

Facebook is the largest single investor in VR/AR after buying Oculus for $2 billion and investing at least $500 million more. The company began telegraphing what might come next by splitting Oculus into PC and mobile divisions and showcasing two different VR social platforms. Oculus’ PC VR division looks set to remain in VR Specialist and Enthusiast markets because of price, so increasingly doesn’t look like a Facebook-sized (i.e. 100s of millions to billions of users) asset. Facebook could keep the Oculus PC VR division as a high-end test bed to support mobile VR/AR efforts, or spin it out (like Niantic from Google), merge it (potentially consolidating the high-end PC VR market) or sell it outright.

Oculus’ mobile VR division is in a prime position to continue running Samsung’s Gear VR appstore and drive Gear VR innovation. Mark Zuckerberg has already said he believes in mobile AR, but as a non-phone maker Facebook could stick to its roots as a software player in that market. Given its track record as a Snap fast follower, we might end up wearing Facebook “Spectacles” too.

Apple is the best placed of all major tech companies to potentially drive mobile AR, with its end-to-end ecosystem of hardware, software, app store, developers and retail. The company has been characteristically enigmatic despite Tim Cook’s stated enthusiasm for AR, but all it needs are a few additional sensors, integrated Metaio software and some serious intent. As above, our base case sees this happening next year (outperform 2017, underperform 2019). For Apple customers, there would be no marginal cost to buying an AR enabled iPhone – they’re going to buy one anyway.

Nurturing a growing ecosystem of apps and developers is second nature for Apple, so in the long run smartglasses as an iPhone peripheral might be a logical next step from Apple’s mobile AR efforts. It doesn’t look like Apple will disrupt itself with standalone smartglasses to replace your iPhone just yet (again unless Robert Scoble was well informed. If so, our outperform case comes into play).

Samsung is likely to remain a major player in mobile VR, despite what happened with the Galaxy Note 7. But it’s not a full ecosystem play for mobile VR because Facebook runs its Gear VR appstore. Samsung could stick to its hardware roots with mobile AR using similar timing to Apple, with others driving appstores and software in that market too. Also like Apple, AR smartglasses as a Samsung phone peripheral could become a logical progression from mobile AR long-term.

Microsoft’s Satya Nadella focused HoloLens AR/mixed reality on the Enterprise market because of its high spec and price, and going mass consumer doesn’t look likely in coming years. So while you could play Minecraft on HoloLens, you’ll only do so as part of “research” at work. Microsoft’s Windows 10 VR is a game changer for the PC/console VR market with its inside-out tracking, low price and basic platform requirements, and the company is staying true to its Windows playbook with partners HP, Dell, Lenovo, Acer and Asus making the hardware. There’s also a good chance Xbox One Scorpio will see a Windows VR headset bundle at launch to drive console VR growth.

Yet despite all its assets, Microsoft doesn’t have a focused mobile VR/AR play apart from Minecraft (a big game, but not a platform). Until a clear strategy emerges, Satya Nadella’s Microsoft risks missing the mobile VR/AR platform shift in the same way Steve Ballmer’s Microsoft did with phones.

After its misadventures with Glass, Google is doing the Googliest thing possible for VR/AR – everything. For VR Explorers, Cardboard is a low risk entry point for VR and Daydream View could become the mobile VR leader (whether made by Google or others). Google’s approach with Tango (both inhouse and with hardware partners) is at the forefront of the impending mobile AR revolution. However, Apple vs Google in mobile VR/AR could end up looking like iOS vs Android: Apple with a hugely profitable end-to-end mobile AR ecosystem, Google enabling a larger open mobile VR/AR ecosystem to drive its core search advertising and Google Play revenues. A good result either way. Speculation about a merged Tango/Daydream standard using Tango sensors for VR might require a new form factor to the current closed back Daydream View, and it’s still too early to make a call on a potential Google Glass 2.

The console/PC VR market should also see Sony continue to drive core games revenues with PSVR, while HTC’s Cher Wang could consider how to make the HTC Vive more accessible to a mass consumer audience in terms of price. HTC might also adopt a Facebook-style dual PC/mobile VR strategy and enter mobile AR, but would need to grow its core phone market share to scale. Intel’s Project Alloy all-in-one VR headsets look set to shake up the VR Specialist market when they launch later in the year.





The original source of this content was provided by Digi-Capital. The article can be viewed here: http://www.digi-capital.com/news/2017/01/after-mixed-year-mobile-ar-to-drive-108-billion-vrar-market-by-2021/#.WUlCchMrKV6
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