With the rise of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology and solutions, we are already seeing great use cases in the corporate training and learning world. Just think, you don't have to leave your office for training; and by merely putting on a headset, you are transported to any location in the world in a realistic environment where you feel like you are literally in the room. I was at a medical device conference recently, tried on a headset, and was able to conduct a simulated knee surgery on a virtual patient sitting on a operating table all in a virtual environment that felt real. Technologies like this will save companies money, while providing a full or complimentary training environment.
I had the privilege of interviewing a leader and pioneer in virtual and augmented reality recently when I sat down with Alan Smithson, CEO of MetaVRse, which is a premier VR and AR consulting and product development company..
LS: Hi Alan, welcome, please tell me about MetaVRse.
AS: MetaVRse is North America's leading consulting and product development company focused on Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality solutions in marketing, retail and e-Commerce.
LS: Can you give me an example of work in the corporate learning space that you've helped with Metavrse?
AS: MetaVRse has recently been deployed in the healthcare industry, specifically in the area of prescribing Cannabis. We've provided Virtual Reality for doctors who use it for teaching patients about the medical benefits of cannabis.
LS: That's very interesting; who would have thought about VR in that space, but it makes sense. What do you see the future of VR looking like in the corporate learning space?
AS: We have a really cool application called the VR Photobooth™. Recently, Samsung used it as a photobooth at their partners' conference. It includes a green screen, and we used proprietary cloud-based software solution to transport people into a 360° environment. It is a low-cost way to get people into the VR world without having to leave their office. For example, we created a Travel Portal with a window and door, where you can walk through into another world i.e. step into Rome, or anywhere with VR 360.
AS: We also created the world's first commercial Web-AR project for Canada's largest pharmacy chain converting 14 products into 3D. We recently developed our Web3D Player™ that allows brands to show their products in a new way for e-Commerce. Our goal is to democratize the conversion of physical products to Hyper-Realistic™ 3D images for use on Web, VR/AR and e-Commerce platforms.
LS: Wow, that sounds like something that the online photo or image providers do with 2D images.
AS: Yes, this is a niche right now, but as the world starts to understand the full potential of 3D, 360 and VR/AR, this will be a vital part of the retail sector. The goal is for corporate training and learning to be able to take people, places and things in 3D assets to be used for VR training i.e. surgeons or surgical suites. MetaVRse want to be the service provider for creating 3D assets with our end-to-end e-Commerce solution.
LS: What's next?
AS: In the next 5 years, for training, there will be 360° cameras along with overlaid AR instructions. Currently, the costs to produce this content are still prohibitive to most smaller companies. The benefits of VR training are so vast, and the technology is moving so fast that the price will drop dramatically in the next two years. Major benefits to VR training is that you cannot be on your phone when you are in VR, and all future headsets will have eye tracking. So as a training manager, you will know exactly where trainees are looking which gives a whole new level of feedback for trainers. Training will also move to a more gamified model to keep people's attention and make learning exciting which increases retention and decreases training times.
LS: This has been an extraordinary conversation. I can't wait to see how MetaVRse evolves, and thank you very much for an excellent and eye opening talk
AS: Glad to do it - my purpose in life is to inspire and educate the next generation of young entrepreneurs to think and act in an economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable way. We will be introducing a blockchain-based education platform that will pay kids to learn soon. So keep watching us!