Immersive Technologies: Transforming Training and Learning

With a global market predicted to be worth in excess of £100 billion, immersive technologies are set to impact  every area of our lives; transforming how we live, learn and play.

Immersive Tech Summit 2018

The scope to improve human lives is limitless; and businesses, public sector bodies and other organisations are progressively examining how this technology could be tuned to their needs.

We joined Immersive Tech Summit 2018, hosted by NorthInvest in Leeds, where we exhibited our Near-Life™ learning platform. The need for engaging training tools was apparent as we were approached by several attendees looking for solutions.

The event highlighted individuals and businesses in the North that are innovating immersive tech in the region. Topics included how tech is solving business challenges, changing customers interactions with brands and most notably, how tech is helping to transform lives.

Here are a few evolving projects in the training and learning space worth a look:

The Centre for Immersive Technologies: Driving Road Safety in London

Taking on board a human-centred design approach, the University of Leeds Driving Simulator (UoLDS) claims the most advanced driving simulator for scientific research in the UK and the largest ‘CAVE-based’ pedestrian simulation environment in the world.

Using the driving simulator, behaviours are measured against a wide variety of road environments. A 360 degree real time scene simulates complex traffic scenarios using a 4 metre projection dome and large motion base. It helps car manufacturers with their product testing and most recently the University worked with Transport for London to investigate whether increasing the size of HGV windscreens and  lowering driver eye height could improve safety for pedestrians.

They identified solutions that could improve driver reaction times by half a second.  Even this small increase could have a big effect on road safety.

Near-Life™ and HostileWorld

Robust decision making processes can be time consuming, expensive and sometimes hazardous. Our online Near-Life™ learning approach supports interactive video that encourages learners to make decisions under time pressures in a completely safe space.

We are taking training into the gamification space and simulating real-life scenarios with branching narratives. Our HostileWorld platform is just one example of how gamification in online learning works. Journalists, aid workers and others stationed overseas are given access to crucial skills and knowledge that will save lives.

We worked closely with UKISAR to ensure the material is as relevant as possible to those going on mission.

Interactive video seems to be the less expensive and most suitable tech trend of the moment.

The Virtual Engineering Centre and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital: A Virtual Heart

The Virtual Engineering Centre, a University of Liverpool School of Engineering initiative, has developed a new surgical planning technique using virtual reality (VR) tools developed for the automotive sector to assist in the preparation of complex operations.

Using emerging VR technology, the children’s hospital developed a prototype system that allowed surgeons to better plan for complicated interventions. The hope was to increase the likelihood of successful first-time outcomes.

Using MRI and CT scan data, they produced a virtual heart that could be manipulated through either voice recognition or gesture control.

Mr Iain Hennessey, Clinical Director of Innovations at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, is excited to see the prototype develop into a product which could be used within the hospital’s new Innovation Hub.

“The ability to accurately assess the miniature detail of a sick child’s heart, using advanced 3D visuals is a technology that we will continue to pursue in partnership with the VEC.”

Immersive technologies have been embraced by numerous industries, such as: brand advertising, engineering, education, medicine, car manufacturing and retail. Gartner predicts that by 2019, AR, VR and mixed reality (MR) solutions will be evaluated and adopted in 20% of large-enterprise businesses. This prediction for rapid uptake is based on the increasing range of applications with the enterprise.