David Cleverdon and Jennifer Lastra Discuss Virtual Reality (VR) Training at the West Coast Conference for Child Welfare Trainers
David Cleverdon: So, the first thing we’ll do is do a little bit of housekeeping. Number one, we’re not training professionals. We don’t do what you do. What we do, do is we’re experts in this new and emerging technology.
The other thing is, is when we talk about this technology and we talk about the – we talk about VR, and we talk about a lot of different things. None of this technology is designed to replace existing curriculum. It’s designed to supplement. It’s designed to do a better job. It’s designed to get people engaged. But it doesn’t replace anything that you’re doing now. It just adds to it.
Jennifer Lastra: Really what we’re trying to accomplish today is we love this quote that is from Benjamin Frankly. “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” This technology – and we’ve got other people who are going to talk about technology and learning and development today. This technology, virtual reality, is how we – what we’re really trying to emphasis and make really a very valid and poignant point is engagement, and getting people excited again about training.
How many of you actually, while you have a – the reason why you’re in your industry is because of your passion, and what you’re trying to accomplish with families, and have better outcomes. How many of you sometimes want and are desperate for a new tool, something that you can take out and share with your adult learners, and get them excited as well? That’s what this is all about. It’s really about engagement, and that’s what we’re going to talk about today.
So, as we get started, let’s talk a little bit about our company, and we’ll be very brief about this. Collectively, we have six staff members here. We’re headquartered here in Boise, Idaho. We have 50 years of experience, though.
My background is on the business development, sales, marketing, and program management. I’ve spent two decades in defense industry, and supporting our war fighters, whether it’s from ship building, nuclear ship building, all the way through night vision, and providing foreign military sales and equipment to ensure our nation’s security.
David Cleverdon: I’m a little longer in the tooth than Jen is. I have over 30 years of production marketing experience, creative – in fact, the company that we started 16 years ago, DTX Creative; they’re a hybrid company of creative services but also the production. So, what that did is it creates a good foundation of web development, app development, simulation work, and we serve training clients, and we serve marketing clients. And that actually evolved into –
Jennifer Lastra: Really, our passion is for science, technology, engineering, and math. So, this foundation that David had created over 16 years has really been able to allow us to develop this technology and find ways to integrate it. There’s no playbook that tells us how to use virtual reality technology, and we’re going to talk a lot about kind of the evolution of the technology and where we saw opportunities to take it, integrate it into, and create better outcomes. Really, that’s what this is all about.
In 2015, we saw the opportunity. Right? There was a lot of technological advancements.
David Cleverdon: In fact, I personally first experienced VR in the early ‘90s, and aviation, and medical, and the military has been using virtual reality for a long time. But the problem is that the benefits are well-known, but the problem is it’s expensive. You have huge rooms. In fact, down at the INL, they have this thing called the cave.
Jennifer Lastra: So, the Idaho National Lab for those of you.
David Cleverdon: Yeah. Sorry. So, what we got excited about is when this small company started up a Kickstarter, and it was called Oculus Rift. And you guys have probably all heard of the Oculus Rift. And then they started –
Jennifer Lastra: Or not. [Laughter] It’s a tethered virtual reality headset.
David Cleverdon: And if anybody – if you don’t know, raise your hand and say, “What the hell?” [Laughter]
So, Oculus Rift started out, and suddenly Facebook started getting interested. It started getting national and international attention. And then ultimately, Facebook purchased this company that started as a Kickstarter for $2.1 billion, and that’s with a B. So, that was exciting for us. We started to see the potential, so we started tracking what was going on.
Then Samsung came out in 2014, and they came out with a goggle. And guess what you could do with a goggle. You could take this phone right here, and you could marry this phone with this goggle, and suddenly you had a virtual reality tool or display device. So, no longer did we need a cave. We had it in the palm of our hands.
Suddenly we started thinking about what could we do with this technology? Because it’s brand-new. Nobody had done anything with it, and so we started –
Jennifer Lastra: Really, we made a commitment at that point. We saw all of the massive investments that were being made in the technology. We were already looking for something to differentiate ourselves, and we said, “We’re going to go after this VR thing.” We made the commitment so grand that we changed our company name and our mission from a digital marketing company called DTX Creative to a virtual company called 360 Immersive, so we saw the potential.
What you’ve got to love about small businesses is how agile we are, and that we have the ability to make those shifts. When we see trends coming, we took our leap of faith, and we know that it’s going to be successful. We’re going to talk about trends a little bit here further down the line.
But really what we were trying to do is now take all of our – all the things that make us extremely passionate about what we do – much like what you guys do. Take that leap of faith. Take all of that excitement, and push it into – okay, now we’ve got virtual reality. What are we going to do with it? We had this great baseline of legacy clients. We said, “What are all the multiple opportunities to use this technology? How do we integrate it?” Again, there’s no playbook to tell us what to do with this.
So, there were some trends, and there were some things that we wanted to pay attention to. And what we looked at were underserved industries and thought about, “Where can we apply this?” So, we started with one of our biggest clients, which here locally happens to be Boise State Football.
David Cleverdon: So, we approached the organization, and we said, “There is this new thing, and it will allow you to do a better job when it comes to recruiting, and ultimately training.” But we started with recruiting. And so, we’re able to actually give the recruiting coaches a goggle, and they can put their iPhone in it.
And suddenly, if they’re in Louisiana or they’re in Texas, and they’re across the living room from a parent and potential recruit that’s 16 to 18 years old, they can put them on the field at Boise State. They can put them on the blue. They can run out of the tunnel with the team. They can be in the huddle. They can be in the training room. They can be in all the things that we want people to understand why to come to Boise State – from Louisiana to Boise State.
And it’s all about talent, right? Football teams win because of talent. You guys look for talent every day when you’re hiring people, when you’re trying to bring people into your organization.
Then as we go through the process, we’re also looking at, “Gee, if we can make people feel like they’re right on the blue and they’re in Louisiana, maybe we can do this for quarterbacks. Maybe we can do it for other plyers.” So, we took a look at what we could do from a training aspect. We go, “Wow. Cool. If we can do it for football players, why can’t we do it for law enforcement, social workers, other folks?”
Jennifer Lastra: We did actually initially think of the sporting and entertainment industry, again, related to marketing. We didn’t want to go too far out of bounds, but there was another company that had already started working in that space for training for professional athletes, and we were like, “Dammit.” [Laughter] “Okay, so, where’s the next opportunity?” To David’s point, we saw a direct application for training.
Again, my passion comes from supporting, training, and giving our war fighters and securing basically our personnel, our US military forces, so the idea for training and giving back into those organizations was extremely a powerful and motivating aspect to get us to start really taking a look at using this as a training initiative and using it for the greater good of being able to get involved with organizations, and help personnel basically engage and retain more talent.
So, we did that. Again, we started with the customer base that we already had, and when we realized the potential at the local, state, and federal organizations, one of the beautiful things is where we’re located, we could just walk across the different government agencies. And so we got very, very involved with the Idaho State Police and our local law enforcement organizations.
What was really starting to prime up was active shooter training. How can we use this technology to really engage, especially when you have a multitude of – in an emergency situation, you have a multitude of different agencies coming together. They’re not able to train very often, maybe once a year if funding is available, or maybe even only two or three times, or every other two or three years they’re able to get together. So, can you use this technology to be able to share experiences and let people train when they don’t have the money, resources, or time to be able to do it? Can we find something to use it more frequently?
David Cleverdon: So, we have presented to law enforcement, fire, EMS, security folks. We have folks who are in the workplace safety industry. And fundamentally, if we can present to training professionals, and if they do one thing, they get it. And that’s actually just put a goggle on. Once they put a goggle on and they realize the difference between passively looking at a screen and actually being immersed in their content, they absolutely get it.
So, what we’ve done essentially is we’ve built a network of advocates, people that keep pushing this forward. You guys have to keep moving forward and make this happen. It’s new technology. We call it the grind because it’s not like you can walk into a room and immediately everybody – let’s say I’m selling a bar of soap. People immediately know what soap is. I go into virtual reality, and they think it’s science fiction. Well, it’s not science fiction.
So, this network of advocates has been hugely beneficial. We’ve done pilot projects. We’ve done demos. We’ve created apps based on everything from active shooter to home assessment to pediatric trauma.
Jennifer Lastra: And again, our why is really – we’re trying to help organizations that – where safety-related injuries or fatalities, or learning processes, procedures, and techniques are what keep people safe. These types of scenarios is our why and why we do what we do because we know this is a technology that is going to be able to be a game changer.
Specifically, everybody in this room is an emergency response personnel, whether or not the public understands that. When you guys go into homes and when you interact with families, you are helping in an emergency situation. You wouldn’t be there if everything was copacetic. Right? And so, how can we help make your jobs easier and more productive? We believe we have some of the solutions.
Before we get started, let’s talk a little bit about why we’re here today, and these are some of the topics that we’re going to discuss. We’re going to talk about very briefly the current state of the learning environment. We’re going to talk about some examples of the technology and technological advancements that are available now, and why aren’t we using them more in the learning and development arenas?
We’re going to talk about how to apply them directly into learning, and development and training scenarios. We’re going to talk about some of the feedback because what makes our business grow and our potential to be exponential is the ability to get feedback from different industry representatives because we have cast our net very far and very wide with this technology because of the impact that it can have. Then we’re going to talk about why is it important for you guys today? So, very, very brief.
Before we get really going into things, we’re going to go over some definitions. I didn’t want to irritate anybody by talking about learning, and development, and training, and education all individually. We’re going to kind of put them all together into one experience, if you will, so as not to irritate anybody with using them synonymously. You know what I’m saying? You guys are all trainers. I didn’t want to do that.
David Cleverdon: So, when we talk about, for instance, immersive, we can all kind of conceptualize what that means. It means to put somebody in the middle of something. So, you’ve all been in role-playing. You’ve been in exercises, live exercises, and simulations. Immersive technology essentially takes digital content and puts you in the middle of it by definition.
It can actually be, in the case of virtual reality, and that’s a little bit narrower focus. It can come in two flavors. So, we have the 360 live experience. Those are actually real people, as you’ll see in the app when you get the demo. They’re real things, and they’re real processes and real procedures, and there are some very distinct advantages regarding that.
Or, it could be computer simulation. Now, computer simulation has some advantages also. It may be a hazardous condition that you wouldn’t normally simulate. It could be something that you want to add a lot of interactivity. I want to be able to drive around. I want to be able to move around the scene to do a home assessment, or I want to be able to do something that I wouldn’t do in a live deal.
So, when you talk about virtual reality, we’re really talking about two separate technologies, but they fundamentally come back to what? I’m putting you in the middle of an exercise, and I’m making you, and you, and you feel it. You’re not passively watching. You are connected to that exercise. You can be apprehensive. You can feel trepidation. If you’re in a home assessment scenario, you may be looking through an egress point because you’re feeling afraid.
In the case of law enforcement, I can actually put somebody in a stressful situation. We haven’t implemented it yet, but biometrics can say, “This person may not be,” in a recruiting situation, “a great candidate for the instance of the Idaho State Police.” Those kind of things can be done with this technology. That’s virtual reality.
Jennifer Lastra: And really seeing is believing, and we’re going to get to that as well. It’s just the tip of the iceberg when we talk about technology, though.
So, we have talked a lot about ourselves, and we’re done with that. Now what we’re going to do is we’re going to have a little bit of fun. We’re going to do some interactive polling, if you will, and your feedback. What we want to do is we want to understand how you currently train, how that information is shared, and then we also want to understand your level of knowledge about virtual reality technology, periods. So, we’ve got some questions.
And here’s what I need everybody to do. On your tables, there is a piece of paper that has two QR codes on it. If you can take out your mobile devices and shoot the QR code that says Kahoot.it. That is the survey app that we’re using. Once you get that loaded –
David Cleverdon: Or, you can also just google Kahoot.it and pull it up on your phone.
Melissa: Hold on. It’s coming up. Game PIN’s coming up. Just a second here.
Melissa: They don’t want us to get bored.
David Cleverdon: Does anybody have a question about using a QR code? Has everybody shot a QR code?
Melissa: Yes. We are pros.
David Cleverdon: All right.
Melissa: All right. It kicked me off. Hold on, guys. Sorry about this. It’s not working.
David Cleverdon: So, the whole idea of this process is to have a little fun and get your feedback about the things that you guys deal with and some idea. And so it’s not just a one-way conversation here. We want it to be a conversation where you’re adding in.
Jennifer Lastra: [Inaudible 00:19:32].
Melissa: I know. Right? You have to do this, and then it does it.
David Cleverdon: We’re essentially just going to talk about the questions.
Melissa: Nope. We got it. It’s happening. I’m making this work. Wait. That’s not right. Yes. Spelling. Come on.
Jennifer Lastra: Nothing better than spelling on Wi-Fi.
Melissa: Right? Where’s my spellcheck? All right. Signing in. My Kahoot. Future. Playing.
Jennifer Lastra: Yeah. If the QR code isn’t working, just go into Google and www.Kahoot.it, and it’ll bring – it’ll bring you.
Melissa: It asks you for a PIN.
Jennifer Lastra: Yep. We just have to load it up, and then it’ll display the PIN here right short.
Melissa: You are in the right spot if it’s asking for a PIN. We just need to wait for that last 6 percent to load. There it is.
Jennifer Lastra: So, if everybody could enter that PIN.
Melissa: Yep. Come up with your own. Put your name or a nickname if you don’t want people to know it’s you, Rocky.
David Cleverdon: If you notice on the left-hand side, we can actually see how many people have made it, so congratulations to 10 of you. Twenty-one. Wow.
Melissa: You’re in. Yep. It should say “You’re in,” and then just wait a bit. It’ll queue. It’s interactive. So, this is a fun – if you’ve never played with this, this is a great alternative to Poll Everywhere.
Melissa: Now you all are just being funny. Yeah. My PIN number. All right. We’ve got 56. I think we should be about good.
Jennifer Lastra: So, raise your hand if you’re still trying to get in, get into the app. Should we progress then?
Melissa: We’re good.
Jennifer Lastra: Okay.
Melissa: All right. First question. Are you ready?
Female Speaker: Yep.
Melissa: Which delivery mechanisms are typically used to deliver training information in your area?
Female Speaker: All of the above?
Melissa: No, just one. The most common.
Jennifer Lastra: Yeah, the most common typically used.
Female Speaker 1: It told me the network is slow. You might experience delays. I was like, “Thanks.”
David Cleverdon: Assuming you all have heard death by PowerPoint.
Melissa: All right. There you go.
Female Speaker 2: One of them was muted because I accidentally tapped it.
Female Speaker 1: I want to know what else is out there.
Female Speaker 2: The first one is user error. That’s the kind of training we –
Melissa: How customizable is the training that is provided to your personnel?
Female Speaker 2: That depends on what it is.
Jennifer Lastra: This is about retention and trying to understand when you’re given presentations and training, how is it that you’re able to measure what the learners are actually retaining? How do you test that?
Melissa: I got 22, nine on the job. Oh, five Q&A. Six. Oh, we added one. And 15 other. All right. Got them. How would you rate your understanding of virtual reality?
Jennifer Lastra: So, this is just more feedback for us. On average, when we first started having conversations about virtual reality technology, about one in 10 people in the room had any clue what we were talking about, so we just try to monitor it over a period of time, so when we have the opportunity to, we like to ask people.
Female Speaker 1: So, does having a clue qualify as moderate?
Jennifer Lastra: It’s actually higher than what I expected, so that’s good.
Jennifer Lastra: So, now what we want to do really quickly is go over some of these results. Specifically when we have people who answered other, we’d like to hear from you guys what your responses are if you didn’t use some of these traditional methods.
So, for the first question, when we talked about the typical delivery mechanisms, and I heard a lot of people say, “Well, can we pick more than one?” and we talk about – okay. So, it’s that one, right? Okay. Delivery mechanisms are PowerPoint.
Melissa: Hands on.
Jennifer Lastra: Oh, there it is. Yep. Okay, so hands on, web-based, PowerPoint, and other.
David Cleverdon: Actually, wasn’t PowerPoint other?
Melissa: Oh, sorry. I did that wrong.
Jennifer Lastra: That’s okay. So, when we talk about other delivery mechanisms, anybody who answered to other, can you guys just shout out what other mechanisms you’ve used?
Female Speaker 3: I work at a university, so they write papers. Is that what you’re talking about?
Jennifer Lastra: Okay. And anybody else? Any other mechanisms that wasn’t mentioned up there that you’re using?
Female Speaker 4: More discussion on being in someone else’s shoes, so not necessarily the hands-on but more emotional.
Jennifer Lastra: Oh, I love it. We’re going to talk about that a little bit as well.
Female Speaker 5: What did she say?
Jennifer Lastra: Oh, I’m sorry. She’s talking about kind of role-playing and putting yourself in somebody else’s shoes. Absolutely.
So, the next question had to do with how customizable is the training that you’re either giving or you have received? Some people said individualized. Now, that is very, very expensive to give individualized training, so whoever has the capability and the financial wherewithal to be able to provide that to your students and your adult learners, I applaud you. Typically, we see that at zero, unfortunately. That some organizations have the ability to be able to do that, I think that’s phenomenal.
And then the next question was what methodology do you use to measure the retention and how people are engaging with the content and if they’re actually able to apply what they’re learning. How are you measuring that? So, when – a lot of people said other. What are other mechanisms that you guys are using? You can spread out a little bit. What other mechanisms are people using to –?
Female Speaker 6: It’s a mix.
Jennifer Lastra: Say again.
Female Speaker 6: It’s a mix.
Jennifer Lastra: It’s a mix of things. So, can we get some ideas of what other measurement tools are being used?
Female Speaker 6: Post-test. Survey.
Jennifer Lastra: Post-test. OJT. Survey.
Female Speaker 6: It’s not necessarily on paper. The pre- and post-test are evaluated on the computer.
Jennifer Lastra: Okay, so e-learning based?
Female Speaker 6: Okay. Beautiful. And then also the knowledge – this is actually really high, so I’m impressed to see the results on people’s, at least, exposure to virtual reality at this demographic as well, so that’s fabulous.
What we’re going to talk about now is kind of the current state of – and again, we caveat the fact that we’re not learning and development specialists, so this is kind of what we’ve heard at the local, state, and federal level of clients that we’ve worked with, some of the challenges they experience. What I would highly encourage is that people chime in here because there are other things that you guys are experiencing that we’d love to get feedback on as well.
David Cleverdon: So, do you realize that across the board last year, in the United States, we spent $70 billion on training? Now, this is workplace. It’s certainly you guys, but $70 billion. Now, we would promote the fact that that money perhaps isn’t as well spent as it could be. And the reason we say that is because we’re spending an extraordinary amount of money. In fact, the United States, amongst all the countries in the world, spends proportionately far more money than anybody else.
But the question is what result are we getting out of it? Because we’ve kind of become a society of just check the box. So, you go into an e-learning course. You’re online. We’ve all done it or seen people do it. They’re just clicking through, and looking at their phone, and click through, and they get to check the box. Or even in a live presentation, you’ve got four or eight hours of PowerPoint up here with a live presenter, and he’s talking about things that you should know or understand, but here again, we’re kind of looking on our phones, or we’re nodding off a little bit.
So, the ability to look at something that could potentially add engagement, and ultimately what everybody wants is higher retentions because if you took that $70 billion a year and increased it, the retention that you’re getting out of even a few percentage points, that is a major improvement.
The ultimate problem is that we’re actually dealing with old tools. I mean, PowerPoint came in, in 1990. That’s what the majority of you use. And there is the – yes, you do live role-playing, and those are awesome. The retention rates are really high on that. But we do presentations, and we just don’t keep people engaged.
And more importantly, we don’t keep the younger demographic engaged because they grew up with computers. They grew up with smartphones in their pocket. They grew up with a whole different perspective in how they engage than people my age. My age, my big deal when I was in the eighth grade is we saved all summer to buy a four-function calculator. It beat a slide rule.
So, that static passive experience that you’re all dealing with now ultimately has to change because what you need is you need more engagement. You need more interactivity. You need to put people in the middle of the content rather than just letting them sit there watching.
Jennifer Lastra: So, let’s talk really quickly about has anybody seen this code of experience? Has anybody seen this before? Okay. The goal of every single person that’s a trainer in this room is to get their adult learners and their staff into this 90 percentile, which is all about role play, simulation, hands-on experiences.
The challenge is it’s expensive. It doesn’t happen very often, and you’ve got to have people that can work together, come together to make it interactive and to make it meaningful. So, the goal is, is there a technology that can help drive us into that 90th percentile, and make it more scalable? So, that’s kind of the current state of the learning environment.
What we’re going to talk about now is emerging technologies that are here because up until now, we see training statistics. We see mortality rates, injury rates, all of these. They have maybe come down over the years using the training tools and methodologies that we have, but they’ve plateaued. And so how do you get rates to drive toward zero? Zero fatalities. Zero injuries. Zero incidences. That’s what we’re all trying to do with training, make things better and find improvements. The technology that we have today to make that happen isn’t getting us there.
So, some of the questions and some of the issues that we have – very much when we talk to local, state, and federal organizations – and please chime in here – budgetary constraints. There’s never enough money. There are never enough resources. There’s never enough time. This is a very common theme with everybody that we have conversations with.
One of the things that I know that you guys have issues with in your industry – is it a true fact, 30 to 40 percent of social workers, child welfare professionals, come out of the workforce within two years of being in this role?
So, can technology help us recruit and better train our social workers and our child welfare professionals to get them to get exposure to the roles and the responsibilities, and what their job is going to entail? Get that exposure to them ahead of time when they’re in the universities and going through their training. Give them real-life scenarios where they really understand what they’re getting themselves into because it’s very expensive to recruit, and to onboard students, and bring them into these professional fields, and there’s an opportunity here to cut down on that, and to make sure we have the right people in the right jobs doing the right roles, and that they really understand what they’re getting themselves into.
You guys all – when we were preparing for this presentation, I had the luxury of being able to reach out to some people that I know are in the same fields that you guys are in. and one of the things that was unanimous that they also mentioned is their workloads are excessive. If the standard is having 10 cases per worker, you guys know that’s not the reality of the situation. The statistics might be a little bit flawed there. Some, depending on where you’re located, are dealing with 20, maybe 25 different families they have to manage. For those of you who have lower than that, good for you.
Female Speaker 7: Sixty-four.
Jennifer Lastra: Okay.
Female Speaker 7: Okay.
Jennifer Lastra: Moving on –
Melissa: She’s like, “I can’t solve that problem.”
Jennifer Lastra: But I think what the point is, is can we find something that’s going to help streamline, is going to help out, make things better, reduce burnout, let people understand? And we talked about post-secondary stress disorder. How many of you are getting yourself into situations that you had to participate and you hadn’t prepared for? They didn’t understand what they were walking into. The result of that is having to take FMLA and maybe go out on stress leave. That’s what I call it. It’s a problem amongst multiple industries.
David Cleverdon: Public perception is something else that technology can help you with. We’ve talked to the ISP about – Idaho State Police – about we’d love to a day in the life of a police officer. People don’t understand. They see everything on the news. They get sometimes a negative impression, especially in the last few years, about what’s going on. Well, how would you like to put somebody in the shoes of a police officer so the average person can literally download an app and understand?
Well, think about that same principle for your industry, for social work. If you increase the perception of social work, about what you do, and the passion, and the joys, and everything that you get out of it, recruiting becomes so much easier. You’re able to retain that talent because people understand you, and they understand, yeah, there are some challenges with it, but there’s also joys, and things that bring you to work every day.
Jennifer Lastra: And when we talk about the population and how multicultural it is – and to your point about being able to place somebody in somebody else’s shoes that has a different religion, that has different norms than you may have been brought up with, and to be really able to connect with that person, and empathize, and understand maybe where they’re coming from, we have a technology. This technology will be able to help bridge some of those gaps where people don’t understand somebody else’s perception on something. So, it’s very, very powerful in that regard.
This new technology, what we want to talk about super briefly, is kind of where we are today. So, we know where we were in the ‘80s, ‘90s, and 2000s. Where we are today, technology is extremely disruptive. It is taking over. Some people would say over 10 years ago, “Why the hell would I have a camera on my phone? I have a camera at home. I have two cameras. Why would we use that?”
People are always asking the question, “Do you really think virtual reality’s going to be this big thing?” It is going to be this big thing because technology has continued to evolve. It has continued to improve our lives in the way that we communicate and collaborate. It’s going to continue to be disruptive, and virtual reality’s on the cutting edge of being able to be able to do that.
Again, this is not new technology. It’s been around since 1960. It’s the ability to have it in a mobile device and a mobile headset that’s affordable, and that is where this is really a game-changing technology.
Okay. We’re going to laugh. Ready to laugh?
Jennifer Lastra: Life without technology.
Melissa: Hold on.
Jennifer Lastra: Thank you.
Melissa: You’re welcome. Okay. Now you got it. There it goes.
Jennifer Lastra: So, a little bit of fun to talk about what our lives would be today without technology, right? So, these are some of the obstacles. We’ve already brushed over all of these things in order to be able to begin integrating technology into the learning and development. It’s one of the industries that is a bit of a lager when it comes to adoption of new things, and so these are some of the things, specifically when we talk about off-the-shelf content, though.
What’s interesting is the ability to have more customization. Virtual reality, because of the affordability and scalability of the technology, will be able to have – instead of having presentations of information that may be really great sounding, but when you go back into your daily lives, and you’re trying to apply it into your day, you’re not able to actually be able to do that because of maybe your regulations, or what your policies and procedures dictate.
So, while at a higher level, it might sound good and it might be something you want to engage with, it’s not actually able to be able to make that happen.
David Cleverdon: So, if you think about the affordability able to change things, Melissa, when did we start working on this app project?
Melissa: Oh, my goodness. I got a call – or a text – on Tuesday morning of last week, or – yeah. Last week. We shot the video. They worked all week. We shot the video on Friday, and it’s here to be presented to you today.
David Cleverdon: And it’s not only presented to you today. It’s available on the app store.
Melissa: Yeah. I’m on the Google Apps Store.
David Cleverdon: She is. So, the ability – if you’re efficient and organized – to customize content quickly and change it is one of the hallmarks of this technology. Now, it takes efficiency and organization, and all the things, but you don’t have to go through the process of weeks or months to do something to change your content.
Jennifer Lastra: So, these are some of the statistics thus far in 2017, and what’s the most important that I wanted to make mention here is almost 95 percent of 14 through 19-year-olds are very excited about virtual reality technology.
So, as we’re thinking of the next generations that are coming into the workforce, people need to be paying specific attention to the fact that these demographics are going to expect interactivity. They’re going to expect technology in their learning and development environments. They’re going to – they are really desperate to have that social connection and interaction with technology.
Not only that, it’s also – 171 million users. That’s by the end of the next year. The projection and growth rate is substantial. This is not if. It’s when this technology is going to become available and in mass adoption rates.
These are some more of the benefits of the technology. Empathy. It’s an empathy-making machine. Where else can you teach somebody empathy? What other tool is out there that allows that capability? There’s nothing out there that can do that right now.
We can take and show somebody what an experience is like from somebody who’s suffering from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder. We can put when you have the multiple voices going on in your head when you’re in a virtual reality environment. You can play with spatial audio. You can have the blurred vision. You can have the effects that people that are suffering from these conditions have, literally have.
We can recreate those, and then you can put that headset on and really understand what law enforcement or somebody that’s in a public service role is trying to have a conversation with somebody that’s suffering from these or having an episode. You can really understand how difficult it is to have a normal conversation. “Are you okay? Do you need help? Is something wrong?” That’s not what people who are suffering or having an episode are processing, so the ability to be able to put somebody in that situation is extremely powerful.
Again, when we talk about multicultural and norms, being able to understand how other people view the world and what’s customary to them, being able to experience that and feel that within yourself. There’s no other way to do that.
David Cleverdon: If you go on YouTube, there’s – speaking of schizophrenia, there’s a number of videos that try to replicate what somebody goes through, but it’s just like watching it up here on the screen. I’m just watching it. But if I put somebody in a VR headset and they experience virtual reality, they feel anxiety. They feel tension. They feel the things that a schizophrenia – person that suffers from it – feels.
And if then we can embrace law enforcement, and EMS, and even social workers and kind of create that empathy, they’re more likely to de-escalate versus do something else that may not be a good outcome. That type of basic scenario has huge applications.
Jennifer Lastra: The other thing specifically about virtual reality and how we have integrated it into the learning, and development, and education spectrum is we’re talking about two- to five-minute experiences, very specific learning objectives.
This is never going to replace traditional learning methods. It’s not supposed to do that. What it’s supposed to do is to highlight those very specific objectives that you want people to pay particular attention to or to give them an experience. When we talk about experiential learning, this is a way to be able to accomplish that. Very small, short, micro learning. That’s the trend that we are seeing and that we’re experiencing.
That’s why this technology is a really good fit. Nobody’s going to sit in a virtual reality headset for 30 or 40 minutes. It’s never intended – at this point, based off the hardware solutions that are available – to make that reality. People are wearing glasses in the room today. At some point, that will be the norm, but the way that the headsets are right now, it’s just not even – it’s not an option. So, focusing on those very specific two- to five-minute learning experiences is what makes it so powerful.
And we talked about using it for recruiting as well. If you are trying to get excited – the people to come into this industry – because you have shortages in your industry right now. That’s an issue at a lot of local, state, and federal agencies. How do you get people excited about recruiting and get them excited about your industry? Give them an experience. Let them know what’s a day in the life of a social worker? What’s the day in the life of law enforcement personnel? What does that really even look like? Let them experience those types of things.
We are trying to kind of cruise through this, so this is a quick video about how we’re using – whoops. Sorry – about how we’re using virtual reality right now.
David Cleverdon: [Inaudible 00:50:11].
Melissa: There’s volume.
Jennifer Lastra: Okay. Let’s skip the video. No worries.
Melissa: Are you sure?
David Cleverdon: We could do smoke and mirrors.
Jennifer Lastra: No. Let’s just keep going because I know we are short on time anyway.
So, here’s the future state. Has anybody heard about AR, MR, artificial intelligence, mixed reality? You can overlay – talk a little bit about mixed reality, David, augmented reality.
David Cleverdon: So, if you look at technologies, VR essentially replaces your experience with an alternative. You can be in this conference room. You can put on that headset, and I can put you in a home assessment. That’s a powerful thing.
AR takes this conference room, or your office, or your home, or your bedroom, or wherever you might be, and I can overlay an experience. So, for instance, I can put my calendar up there, and I can put my document that I’m working on over here, and I can put a YouTube video over here, and I can put all the things from an working environment. And as I move around the room, it understands where these tables are, and where the walls are, and it tracks it and pins it. So, my experience in a business environment is – I feel normal because it’s like I’m walking around the room, and I can watch that YouTube pinned up to the wall.
The bottom line is AR will affect us far more than VR. It doesn’t mean VR won’t be a huge impact, but every single person that walks into their office, and looks at a keyboard, and a mouse, and a display or multiple displays, that paradigm will change shortly. So, you’ll have a device, and your working environment will be wherever you are. You can pin it, move it, and drag it around.
MR is a mix of the two. In some cases, I want to change my experience. I want to be in a virtual environment, and then I want to flip back, and I want to do some work on my document, or my Excel, or whatever I might do. So, it all is immersive technology.
That’s one of the interesting things. If you notice, we didn’t call our company – when we rebranded and changed it, we didn’t call it 360 Virtual Reality, or 360 DR, or anything like that. What we did is we looked at the potential for immersive technology as a whole, knowing that we’re just sitting here at the tip of the iceberg. 360 Immersive was branded because it’s the technology of putting somebody in an experience, whether it’s MR, XR, VR, or any of that. It’s all the same. You’re inside of it, and it’ll change your world.
Jennifer Lastra: So, hopefully what we were able to do today is give you an overview of the technology and how it can be applied. It would be remiss of us to not talk about some of the concerns, whether it’s privacy concerns. This technology can gather a tremendous amount of data, of personal data, of the person that’s in an experience.
I was going to briefly talk about embedded assessments, being able to actually track what somebody is experiencing. Are they looking in the right places? Are they choosing the right selections? Without being influenced by a question, are they following a particular process that they’re supposed to know?
Embedded assessments is a huge tool that can be added into computer-generated simulations to manage whether or not somebody actually understands what they’re doing. You can’t fake what your eyes are telling you or where you’re looking.
There’s a bunch of different technology. What we’ll do is get into more details when people come in and do demos so that we can get into a little bit more details because we’ve run out of time, actually.
When we talk about mass adoption in that three to five years, everybody needs to understand something. When I talk about mass adoption, you’re talking about the majority of people in the adoption curve; the majority of people have embraced this technology and are using it.
So, three to five years from now, what are organizations supposed to be doing? If there’s a shortage of social workers and child welfare professionals, what are you going to do now to get them interested and get them engaged? Because in three to five years, the expectation is already set that virtual reality is being integrated into learning and development, into day-to-day life. So, that three to five years, in a blink of an eye – you guys know how fast time goes, especially after 30.
Jennifer Lastra: What we were going to do here is we were going to actually break out. We had hoped to have about 20 minutes to let you guys – we’re going to – we need to pass out the headsets real quick. There is an – is it eastern?
Melissa: Eastern Washington University, the Family Resource and Training Center.
Jennifer Lastra: Donated virtual reality headsets, so everybody can take one.
Melissa: Kim Fordham, are you in the room? Kim, stand up.
Jennifer Lastra: Thank you.
Melissa: Stand up.
David Cleverdon: These are actually an amazing little giveaway item. They come to you like this, but what you do is you literally pop it out like that, and then you slide your phone. You load an app. In fact, you can load our home assessment app, or you can load virtually any app off the iOS with VR. Put your phone in here, and suddenly you have a VR headset.
Female Speaker 8: What is the name of the app? Our QR code’s not working for that first app.
David Cleverdon: Are you on iOS or Android?
Female Speaker 8: IOS.
Jennifer Lastra: So, here’s what we’ll do. Hopefully, everybody will get a chance. Hopefully, everybody will get a chance to come and demo, and what we wanted to do is once we get you guys in a headset, we’ll show you how to use these headsets. We’ll show you how to get the app loaded. We have almost three hours at any given time to be able to share with you guys, so we’ll take that time. And really what we’re hoping to also achieve –
Female Speaker 7: Is it this one? Which way does it go?
Jennifer Lastra: What we were able to do is take in the whole process because time is of the essence, obviously, to take you from 911 dispatch through the ambulance.
Jennifer Lastra: Look for opportunities for improvement. Exactly.