Snobal VR collaboration
Snobal Midweek

Snobal Wrap for 2020

Welcome to Snobal Midweek. This is where we share our update of what we’re hearing, sharing and thinking about this week. As always if you find Snobal Midweek of value, please comment, forward or share.

Today is our last working day before the Snobal ‘office’ closes for 2020 and our team take a well deserved break to recharge and refresh over the holiday season. 2020. What a year it has been for us all. Before we head off we wanted to take this opportunity to pause, reflect and share a little about how Snobal has travelled this year and what our plans are for the year ahead.

2020

As we all know COVID19 hit in earnest for many of us in March and over the coming months we saw key themes emerge on the technology front from our conversations with customers and partners spanning the US, Europe, Australia and Singapore. We’ve shared this in depth in an earlier post but elements were:

Innovation using digital technologies became critical in a remote working world and XR moved from ‘nice to’ to a ‘need to’ to keep work moving forward. Only today an article appeared in McKinsey & Co outlining how ‘the virus has broken through cultural and technological barriers that prevented remote work in the past, setting in motion a structural shift in where work takes place’. This shift it still playing out and the repercussions will impact how technogies such as XR are leveraged.

Our themes for 2020

Going into 2020 Snobal’s key themes were growth and expansion but like many companies when COVID19 hit in March we paused and re-focussed our themes to preparing for the now through resilence and business continuity planning and preparing for the future.

Preparing for the now

Our focus on ‘preparing for the now’ looked to how best to make Snobal resilent to weather the COVID19 storm.

In terms of protecting our team, partners and customers we made the call for all team members across our offices in Melbourne and Singapore to go remote in one day in mid March. Since that time the whole team has been working remotely and plan to continue doing so for 2021.

Preparing for the now also involved keeping even closer to our team, customers and partners and listening to where they were at in their professional – and personal – resilence journeys during this time.

Preparing for the future

As we quickly started to notice a surge of interest from companies in applying XR to business in particular to workplace learning and assessment, customer engagement and education we sought to look at how best we could help our customers respond to pain pts they were experiencing.

Key pain pts were either how to best scale XR solutions across a remote working workforce and how to continue business as usual such as essential workplace training (technical and soft skills not to mention education) when classroom instruction was out or at least restricted and workers were scattered in geographically dispersed locations.

Solving the problem of scale in XR for business

Our platform, Snobal Cloud was built from the ground to be enterprise friendly and we knew it solved the problem for organisations of how to best scale, manage and analyse XR solutions remotely. As such we accelerated ‘decoupling’ of our platform, Snobal Cloud from our XR solutions enabling Snobal Cloud to be made available to organisations and third party VR/AR enterprise content creators. Reach out if you’d like to know more.

And to better enable and support the XR for business ecosystem we signed a partnership with the worlds second largest enterprise focussed VR hardware manufacturer, Pico Interactive.

Get started

Helping solve organisations mission critical problems and knowledge gaps using XR

We always knew XR could be harnessed for organisations mission critical work. 2020 only illustrated this. For example:

In collaboration with our partner, registered training organisation, JB Hunter Technology we launched an innovative Virtual CPR course providing a direct solution to organisations needing workers and contractors to keep up to date with their CPR training despite working remotely. The training combines virtual learning, followed by a practical assessment session in the virtual environment and can be undertaken from a workers or contractors home or remote location. It’s currently been used by some of Australia’s largest telcommunication provider.

In collaboration with JB Hunter Technology we also brought to market virtual training and assessment modules developed for the telecommunications and safety related industry.

In September, Snobal and JB Hunter Technology took out the LearnX Live! Virtual Summit & Awards Show Platinium Award for “Best Virtual Reality (VR) Hard Skills Training Project” and a Gold Award for “Best use of Technology in Learning” for our work on development of innovative virtual reality training.

  • https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/Ync3jcLeK7k?rel=0&autoplay=0&showinfo=0

Our themes for 2021

Our key themes for 2021 will be sustainable growth across our business and platform development, along with staying close to our customers and partners and doing all this an eye to agility and adapatability.

In terms of team growth in Q1 2021 alone we will be increasing the team by nearly 30% with new team members onboarding in January.

As we said team Snobal are downing tools today to take a well earned break. We will be back on board mid Jan. In the meantime thank you for your continued support and encouragement this year. From our team to yours we wish you and yours a safe, happy and healthy festive season. Until 2021.

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How a crisis like COVID19 is an opportunity for women wanting to work in virtual reality and augmented reality
Snobal Midweek

How a crisis like COVID19 is an opportunity for women wanting to work in virtual reality and augmented reality

The pandemic is hitting women and their jobs hardest. But the growth in digital technologies including VR and AR is surging and with it job opportunities.

It’s been a massive year for us all regardless of where you live or work. The word ‘uncertain’ springs to mind.

Last week Melbourne was released from lockdown after one of the world’s harshest and strictest lockdowns. It looks like the rest of Australia will open up to the state of Victoria by Christmas but then again who knows. Upcoming Christmas and New Year plans for many of us look uncertain. And right now counting has begun in the widely anticipated, volatile and yet still unknown US Presidential elections.

Like we said uncertain.

And then there is the jobs front. For so many it is the great unknown – especially for women.

Image source:

‘Shecession’

You’ve heard it on the news. The pandemic is hitting women and their jobs hardest. Economists have even dubbed the impact of COVID-19 as a ‘shecession’.

McKinsey & Co back this up reporting that women’s jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable to the pandemic than men’s jobs and women make up 39% of global employment but account for 54% of overall job losses. 

Reason for the effect according to McKinsey? The virus is increasing the burden of unpaid care which women predominantly carry.

To add to the unfair landscape according to the World Economic Forum mothers are “more than twice as likely as fathers to worry that they’ll be judged more harshly at work because of their caregiving responsibilities.”

What about women in tech?

While there had been some advances pre-COVID19 in increasing representation of women in technology, research is shown that women in tech are likely to feel the devastating effects of COVID19 on employment and recruitment more than men. 

According to research from from TrustRadius in the US, women in tech are more likely to be laid off than their male colleagues and are 1.5 times more likely than male peers to be struggling managing childcare commitments.

And in Australia a report by the Rapid Research Information Forum found that gains by women in STEM are now at risk. Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering CEO Kylie Walker, who helped coordinate the report, said without urgent attention to address the issue gains for women in STEM will be lost.

Women are a minority in STEM professions. Based on disparities in the distribution of domestic workloads and reduced career opportunities compared to men, this pandemic is expected to disproportionately hinder women’s STEM careers.

But isn’t the world more virtual than every before? And what does that mean for women wanting to work in XR?

Short answer is yes.

The pandemic has led to a surge in the use of digital technologies including newer technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality (XR) due to social distancing and physical lockdowns.

Companies like Snobal working in XR for business have experienced a surge of interest and customer demand. And with that surge of customer demand comes opportunity. Including job opportunities.

On the homefront just yesterday Snobal posted two job openings for folk who love to work in a highly iterative, agile and collaborative way and have a passion and interest in developing a career in XR.

XR – too important to be left to men?

There are movements out there encouraging women’s involvement in XR. At an investment, founder, leadership and entry level.

Why?

Because not having womens participation in the development of transformative technologies such as VR and AR risks losing womens unique perspective, needs and requirements. It also means companies are at risk of building XR products and software that caters for only 50% of users i.e men.

We’ve written about this issue before. You can read it here.

So while the economic outlook and job market may look uncertain at this time for many industries, what we do know is for those interested in working in newer technologies such as VR and AR job opportunities and career pathways are evolving and that can only be a good thing.

In case you missed it

B2B buyers and sellers prefer digital reality
McKinsey & Co research on decision makers’ behavior globally across diverse industries since the pandemic began reveals there has been a big shift to digital. Sound like you? Read more.

No brillant jerks please
Speaking of all things job opportunities and career openings, we rather like this interview from Daniel Ek, Founder and CEO of Spotify. We especially like his comment on how Spotify choose team members – “we needed someone who was team-first and not individual-first” . Read more.

Bill Gates’s 1993 vision for the future

This 1993 New Yorker article paints a prophetic picture especially in light of the current times. Makes you realise how quickly as humans we take things for granted. In this case email.
“In the future, people will send each other sound and pictures as well as text, and do it in real time, and improved technology will make it possible to have rich, human electronic exchanges, but at present E-mail is the closest thing we have to that.” ‘Read more.

Nov 5 2020

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Snobal Midweek

Be More Collaborative: Enhancing and enriching workforce collaboration in a ‘work for anywhere’ world

According to Slack CEO & Co-Founder Stewart Butterfield “the world is in the very early stages of a 100-yr shift in how people communicate.” Next step? How XR will reimagine workforce collaboration.

Salesforce has acquired the collaboration platform Slack in a eye popping $27.7bn deal which is reportedly aimed at competing with Microsoft and its collaboration platform, Teams.

While some analysts are reported as saying Salesforce is overpaying for Slack and that Salesforce is drifting too far from its core business (CRM), the deal does say a lot about how enterprise software ‘tech giants’ are thinking right now and where enterprise software is headed.

It’s all about enchancing (remote) workforce collaboration.

Cloud desktop workforce collaboration

As Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives is reported to have said about the transaction:

“I think the pandemic’s played a massive role” in paving the way for the deal…the Zooms, the Slacks, the Microsoft Teams, that’s going to be a new part of the workforce.”

And as the press release on Salesforce conveys:

The events of this year have greatly accelerated the move by companies and governments to an all-digital world, where work happens wherever people are—whether they’re in the office, at home or somewhere in between. They need to deliver connected experiences for their customers across every touchpoint and enable their employees to work seamlessly wherever they are.

While this focus by enterprise software on enhancing remote collaboration seems to be a bold vision, it’s not an entirely unique one.

Enterprise virtual reality and augmented reality (XR) companies like Snobal are working on this very issue – albeit through the lens of leveraging virtual reality and augmented reality (XR).

Cloud XR workforce collaboration

Cloud XR workforce collaboration is the new kid on the block but like the Salesforce press release conveys the events of this year have also greatly accelerated the move by companies, educational bodies and governments to using XR for design collaboration and testing, customer engagement, education, workforce training and workforce collaboration.

And of course providing and easy to use solution to remotely deploy and manage XR experiences / solutions becomes key here.

Find out more about Snobal Cloud

Back in 2015 in an interview on the history of Slack CEO and Co-Founder Stewart Butterfield shared what led to the evolution of Slack and why he felt it had achieved such growth:

“The world is in the very early stages of a 100-year shift in how people communicate, and we’re determined to push the boundaries”

XR in workforce collaboration and communication is increasingly playing a key role in this ‘ 100-year shift’ but whetherXR will push the boundaries or go even further by reimaginging how workforce collaboration and communication is done in the first place, well only time will tell.

In case you missed it

Bankers look to VR for future of banking: 90% of employees at some of the world’s biggest financial firms are working from home leading companies, such as Fidelity International and UBS, to experiment with VR. Currently some of the worlds largest management consultancies including PwC UK are looking to VR to aid the finance sector estimating that “advances in immersive technology could save banks as much as $1.5 trillion by 2030 with nearly $500 billion coming from virtual reality applications alone”. Read more.

2021 elearning trends look to VR: Education experienced major disruption this year due to the pandemic but eLearning is now at the forefront of innovation. Major trends to expect in 2021 include mobile learning, social learning and immersive technology. Read more.

Book a demo

Crisper’ & ‘cheaper’ XR headset: Finnish virtual reality company Varjo has just released new VR and augmented reality (AR) headsets for enterprise, medical, design, and engineering applications, which promise higher resolution, wider field of view and AR with advanced depth mapping. The “XR/VR” headsets are called the XR-3 and VR-3, combining VR and AR in the same headset. Shipping early 2021 with a cheaper pricetag. Read more.

VR stress test: Scientists have developed a test that measures how vulnerable people are to stress. In the study, behavioral scientists tested 135 participants who were immersed in three different VR scenarios. This is one of the first such tools that doesn’t rely on a subjective evaluation . Apparently this paves the way for “identifying potential workers at risk…from cardiovascular to mental problems in high-stress jobs. Read more.

Snobal is hiring! – We’re at an exciting time of growth and are looking for curious minded and collaborative people (QA Software Engineer & Frontend Software Engineer) with a ‘can do’ attitude to join the journey. Learn more.

Posted: 3 Dec 2020

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In a world of change how technology (including VR & AR) is shouldering burden of business continuity & recovery
Snobal Midweek

In a world of change how technology (including VR & AR) is shouldering burden of business continuity & recovery

Australia’s Budget 2020 was handed down last night and seeks to stimulate confidence and looks to business in particular infrastructure development and manufacturing to stimulate recovery. While technology (and tech businesses) may not have been named as the leading actor in Australia’s economic recovery story, it is (and will continue to) take up a considerable amt of ‘screen time’ as reflected in a recent research report from consulting firm AlphaBeta.

According to AlphaBeta, Australian businesses have implemented as much new technology in one year as they did in the previous 10yrs. The report found that without technology uptake and use around remote collaboration and communication, 3.2 million Australians employed would otherwise have been unable to continue working during COVID19. The research which was commissioned by Microsoft looked at how technology strengthened Australian business during COVID19.

This reflects research findings by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, which found that the majority of business leaders say “the quality of remote work has been at least as good as the work done in the physical workplace”.

While the AlphaBeta research did not specifically mention the role of newer technologies such as virtual reality or augmented reality (XR) in this Australian business continuity role we would like to share our perspective from working with some of the worlds leading companies in the US, EU and Singapore providing mission critical solutions leveraging VR/AR across collaboration, communication and training.

Education programs are increasingly leveraging VR:

For example in the US researchers and educators at UW–Madison and Southern Methodist University are already using augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to help students improve mathematical acumen through movement, spatial reasoning, and imaginative thinking. With the challenges of face to face interaction in the face of COVID19, not to mention travel restrictions limiting movement it’s not difficult to see the value VR offers here.

Work place learning and training are increasingly happening via VR:

Look no further than required training such as Virtual CPR training. When a company needs to provide health and safety training and due to diverse remote working locations and travel restrictions can’t do face to face training then the value proposition from applying VR in training becomes obvious. Particularily when you marry this with the convenience offered (training can be undertaken from a workers remote working location) and the ability to track and capture all learner interactions in the virtual learning and assessment environment.

Customer & sales meetings are increasingly happening using VR:

Undertaking a sales or project management meeting with a customer via video conferencing is tiring. [BTW if you want to read more about why you’re experiencing that Zoom fatigure check out this interesting HBR article].

Register early access

We are increasingly seeing major companies turn to virtual collaborative workspaces to conduct customer presentations and meetings. If you’re presenting a new built environment design or perhaps selling large equipment or even are an organisation providing education programs you can now deliver content immersively in a rich multiplayer environment, instead of holding a 2D Zoom meeting.

Finally, VR Headsets for employees will increasingly happen:

It is only a matter of time before all major Australian employers will be supplying employees with wireless headsets as part of their employee (work from home) package much like a new employee gets a laptop. Using the headset employees will be able to access their company immersive collaborative workspace for workshops, team meetings, to undertake workplace learning and training and to provide customer presentations.

In case you missed it

HP unveilds its ‘user-centric’ VR headset

Recently HP launched the HP Reverb G2 Omnicept Edition VR system and software development kit. The company aims to use biometric sensors to create “more human centered VR experiences” but report they will ensure a “highly secure pipeline for protecting end-user privacy”. The system includes a heart rate sensor and facial tracking camera system with a plan for release mid 2021. Read.

Learn more

Other news catching our attention (and ears)

Is it time for Huang’s Law to overtake Moores Law

If you’re into podcasts here’s one you might find of interest – WSJ Tech News Briefing. Moore’s Law hold that the number of transistors on a microchip doubles every 18mths. Tech columnist Christopher Mims argues Moores Law is outdated (due to physics) and a new law has arisen, which he’s calling ‘Huang’s Law’. The law is named for Jensen Huang, C.E.O. and cofounder of Nvidia. Listen.

NVIDIA and the age of fake you?

Speaking of Nvidia, a key player in visual computing, this week the company outlined its vision for the “age of AI,” at the GPU Technology Conference. Announcements touched on healthcare, robotics and videoconferencing. Regarding video conferencing the company revealed the NVIDIA Maxine, a cloud-native video streaming AI SDK which reportedly makes it possible to re-animate faces for meetings all while decreasing bandwidth. Watch.

Humans (and businesses?) as works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished

And we came across this oldie but a goodie which seems timely to finish this weeks post on as we talk all things business continuinty and recovery. It’s from Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert at his March 2014 TedX talk. As Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness shares, humans lifelong pursuit of happiness shows most of us have it wrong in trying to imagine our personal futures. Humans are “works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished. The person you are right now is as transient, as fleeting and as temporary as all the people you’ve ever been. The one constant in our life is change.” Watch.

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DATE:
7 Oct 2020

 

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Beyond the pilot: Top four things to consider when scaling VR and AR across the business
Snobal Midweek

Beyond the pilot: Top four things to consider when scaling VR and AR across the business

If the current pandemic has done one thing it has been as an accelerant to all things ‘virtual’. Virtual communication, meetings, healthcare, collaboration and training. And of course virtual reality.

For the last few years organisations piloting virtual reality and augmented reality (XR) solutions and experiences may typically have engaged a technology company to develop a “one off” stand-alone XR solution or experience.

Our latest release of Snobal Cloud enables customers to use video streaming within a virtual environment. Customers can also now enable access by multiple simultaneous users from diverse geographic locations to one virtual environment. Read

Little attention may have been given to broader strategic business issues raised by the use of XR such as change management or the role of XR in an organisations broader digital transformation as well as its potential to develop new business channels.

Now the pandemic coupled with rapid advancements in XR hardware and value capture obtained from XR solutions has changed this dynamic.

There is now a greater acceptance of the value of XR solutions across diverse business applications including collaboration, education, customer engagement, design and development and training, which is motivating organisations to focus not just on using XR to solve business problems but on looking at how best to scale and manage solutions effectively.

So what do organisations need to consider when implementing and scaling XR?

We suggest focussing attention on four core areas.

In case you missed it

XR Healthcare industry report
This week the VRARA turned their attention to XR in healthcare with the release of their “2020 Healthcare Industry Sector Report” and a profile of the top 50  VR and AR  businesses & startups operating in the space. You can find Snobal on p.39 . Read.

Blast from the past – VR and museums
In 2015 we wrote about how museums and art galleries could leverage VR to digitize their collections and increase access to a larger audience not constrained by physical locations.

With the pandemic and the resultant closure of museums for the last few months, the blog post resonates even more so we thought we would share.

The Smithsonian Institution — the world’s largest museum and research complex which has 19 museums and galleries has apparently 137 million artifacts, works of art and specimens in its collection with an estimated 2 percent on display at any one time. Museum Victoria in Melbourne, Australia holds 16 million items in “high-quality storage facilities”. The British Museum is reported to have 99 per cent of its collection in storage. 99 percent! Imagine if these museums made all their collections available through building online virtual museums? A museum would be able to exponentially grow its audience share and offer to a global audience 24/7 364 days of the year access to all their collections currently in storage. Not to mention providing these museums with a channel for additional revenue generation through purchase of products from the virtual museum.

Other news catching our attention

Universities in Singapore ramp up use of VR
The pandemic has caused Singapore universities to accelerate their use of digital technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality in the face of the pandemic. Read.

Asia Pacific expected to register significant growth for VR and AR

Due to high economic growth, countries such as China and India are expected to witness considerable adoption of VR and AR solutions over coming years. Read.

Trends and technologies defining the future of healthcare

The pandemic has cast a spotlight on healthcare and healthtech. What impact will technologies like AI, 5G and XR have on healthcare? Read.

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DATE:
24 September 2020

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LearnX Live
Snobal Midweek

Snobal and industry partner JB Hunter take out Platinium & Gold Awards at global LearnX Live! 2020 Awards

We know it’s the ‘end of the week’ (not midweek) but we just had to share our news.

Snobal and industry partner JB Hunter yesterday took out the LearnX Live! Virtual Summit & Awards Show Platinium Award for “Best Virtual Reality (VR) Hard Skills Training Project” and a Gold Award for “Best use of Technology in Learning” for our work on development of innovative virtual reality training.

Sponsored by Totara and Androgogic, LearnX Live! 2020 Virtual Summit and Awards Show, recognises those leading the way in the future of learning, covering everything from learning technology to e-learning design.

The international awards recognises multiple fields within learning, development and talent management across the corporate, education and public-service sectors worldwide.

Current and past award recipients include a ‘who’s who’ of global and Australian brands including: AFL, Alfred Health, ANZ, Cotton On Group, BUPA, Coles, FortyWinks, McDonalds, Sydney Water, Volkswagen, Westpac, PepsiCo, Specsavers, NBN and Monash University.

In case you missed it

In the early hours of yesterday Facebook Connect happened. The annual event is positioned as the “biggest AR/VR conversation of the year” and articulates Facebook’s focus and vision for Facebook Reality Labs as well as their work in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) for the coming year.

Our key takeaways:

Facebook partners with eyewear manufacturer, EssilorLuxottica for next generation of smart glasses

Mark Zuckerberg spoke about Facebook’s vision to develop “normal size” glasses that you can “wear all day” or even not “have to carry your phone around at all”.

We are especially proud of our collaboration with Facebook, which projects an iconic brand like Ray-Ban into an increasingly digital and social future.
 Rocco Basilico, Chief Wearables Officer at Luxottica

Zuckerberg then went onto share details on ‘Project Aria’, which is about building Faceboook’s first consumer AR glasses.

There was acknowledgement that there is no product details to share at the moment just news that Facebook and eyewear EssilorLuxottica (owner of Ray Ban brand) have formed a “multi-year partnership” with glasses scheduled to released “next year”.

“VR is going to change work”

Zuckerberg also set Facebook’s vision for VR and the company’s focus in the space for the year ahead.

The Quest headset was conveyed as the best “VR gaming platform”.

Zuckerberg spoke about their new wireless headset, Quest 2 conveying it as the headset that “is going to be the “form factor to introduce people to VR” and with a vision of making it available to “as many people as possible”. Part of making the hardware more available is a price reduction from the original Quest.

Zuckerberg also touched on “how VR is going to change work” that current virtual collaboration tools allowed “no shared sense of space” as everything looks “flat”.

Other news catching our attention

Apparently some bosses are determined to people into the “physical office”

A Wired article this week shares how companies like financial technology, media, and data company Bloomberg are offering incentives such as a daily allowance, in Bloomberg’s case reportedly $75 (£55) to cover out-of-pocket transportation costs when commuting. The aim? To get employees back into the ‘physical’ office. This leads us to ask what role will ‘virtual offices’ and immersive collaborative workspace solutions like Snobal Spaces play in all this?

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DATE:
18 September 2020

 

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Virtual CPR training by JBHXR powered by Snobal
Snobal Midweek

Reimagining CPR training using virtual reality (and why its got us excited)

Recent research shows CPR training rates have not changed over the past few decades in Australia & that new initiatives are needed. We looked at how VR could add value.

Welcome to Snobal Midweek. This is where we share our update of what we’re hearing, sharing and thinking about this week. As always if you find Snobal Midweek of value, please comment, forward or share.

Why CPR training using VR?

Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating. If not treated properly and quickly, it can cause sudden death within 10 minutes. Each year in Australia aprox 25,000 people have a cardiac arrest out of hospital and as few as 5% survive to leave hospital and go home.

In 2017 Australian researchers did a retrospective analysis of a national cross-sectional survey using data from the Heart Foundation of Australia’s ‘HeartWatch’ Survey. The analysis looked at Australia’s awareness of cardiac arrest and rates of CPR training and found worrying results.

While 56% of respondents reported previous CPR training, only 22% were currently trained (within 1 year) and that lack of CPR training was the most common reason why respondents would not provide CPR to a stranger.

In short as the analysis reports:

 

There is a need to improve the community’s understanding of cardiac arrest, and to increase awareness and training in CPR. CPR training rates have not changed over the past decades—new initiatives are needed.

 

The technical challenge in Virtual CPR and why it got us excited

Speaking of new initatives in CPR, Virtual CPR is a training solution developed by registered training organisation, JB Hunter Technology and powered by Snobal.

The training combines virtual learning, followed by a practical assessment session in the virtual environment.

So what excites us about Virtual CPR?

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/jZsnofq6dpo?rel=0&autoplay=0&showinfo=0

Aside from the fact of using a newer technology (VR) to increase awareness and training levels of CPR, what initially excited our development team about Virtual CPR was the technical challenge presented and innovation possible.

We knew we wanted to provide immediate feedback to learners in a CPR environment if they were doing chest compressions correctly.

Were they doing the chest compressions at the correct pace and with the correct depth?

In the chest compression component of the CPR assessment, the learner needs to align a physical mannequin (which will be supplied) with the virtual manniquin and commence chest compressions.

Using the VR hand controllers the system will measure the depth and rate of the learner chest compressions and display this information in the virtual environment.

If chest compressions are too fast or too slow the learner will get immediate feedback so they can adjust the pace and depth of their compressions accordingly.

 

The value of this feedback to a learner is obvious.

In a classroom based environment a level of trainer subjectivity can be involved as it maybe difficult for a trainer to assess exactly if a learner is doing compessions at the correct depth for example. But with Virtual CPR this ‘standization’ of training becomes achievable.

Added to that the other benefits of Virtual CPR is convenience. Virtual CPR can be undertaken be a worker in their remote working location. All they need is a wifi connection. The results from their CPR assessment will be relayed over the cloud to the dashboard on Snobal Cloud giving insight on learners.

 

 

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In case you missed it

 

Snobal and Pico Interactive partnership set sights on helping grow global VR for business ecosystem


This week Snobal and Pico Interactive announced their partnership to increase accessibility for VR enterprise content creators and expand business solution offerings.With operations in the United States, Europe, China and Japan, Pico develops VR solutions.

Other news catching our attention

Elon Musk brain implant startup, Neuralink demos tech & what this might mean for VR/AR

Neuralink gaves progress on its first major update in more than a year with a live demonstration of its working Neuralink device inserted in a pigs head. It raises important questions not leaast about the ethical implication of technological innovation in this instance brain computer interface (BCI).

Just because you can does it mean you should?

In a webinar produced by The Australian Society for Computers & Law, Dr Michelle Sharpe (Victorian Barrister) and Dr Allan McCay, a Sydney University Law School lecturer with particular interest in behavioural genetics, neuroscience, neurotechnology explore this complicated issue and the ethics around brain technology interfaces.

BCI becomes all the more interesting when it converges with AR/VR. This is where users’ brain activity enables real-time control of connected devices including VR/AR content and headsets.

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DATE:
3 September 2020

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Pico Interactive headset
Media release

Pico Interactive and Snobal Partner to Increase Accessibility for VR Enterprise Content Creators and Expand Business Solution Offerings

Utilizing Pico’s line of 3DoF and 6DoF headsets and Snobal’s enterprise virtual reality (VR) deployment solution, content developers can now easily deliver, manage and scale VR enterprise experiences and solutions

SAN FRANCISCO – August 27, 2020 – Pico Interactive, a global tech company that develops innovative virtual reality (VR) and enterprise solutions, today announces its partnership with Snobal, a technology company developing enterprise VR and augmented reality (AR) cloud solutions, including Snobal Cloud – a VR deployment solution. Combining Pico’s powerful VR headsets and Snobal’s enterprise-friendly VR deployment solution, this partnership grows the VR for business ecosystem and helps business content creators deliver, manage and scale their VR enterprise experiences and solutions.

No two businesses have the same needs, which is why Pico recently released both 3 Degrees of Freedom (3DoF) and 6DoF headsets in 2020. With the discontinuation of the Oculus Go, Pico continues to serve the business community as the only global company to offer a wireless 3DoF solution with its G2 4K S and G2 4K enterprise headsets, while still offering its 6DoF headsets as well – Neo 2 and Neo 2 Eye with eye tracking capabilities. Pico’s partnership with Snobal is another step forward in expanding its portfolio of business solutions, while also aiding in the development of enterprise VR applications.

This partnership also fosters a more streamlined experience for customers and users of VR in the workplace. By using Snobal’s VR deployment platform, Snobal Cloud, businesses can easily manage multiple headsets, users, permissions, sessions, visitors and experiences on Pico’s headsets right out of the box. Snobal works with customers spanning a variety of industries, including training, healthcare, education, telecommunications, infrastructure and VR enterprise content creators.

“With Pico’s headsets and Snobal’s deployment solution both created with the enterprise in mind, our partnership helps bolster our offerings to existing and new customers,” said Leland Hedges, General Manager for Pico Interactive Europe. “When forming partnerships, we look for companies that bring value to our customers, align with our mission and prioritize the privacy of our users. Snobal fit the bill perfectly, and we’re looking forward to seeing more solutions and experiences built for enterprise that are easy for businesses to deploy through Snobal Cloud.”

“From working with businesses, government and educational organizations on their VR content requirements, we know they require some key enterprise features from their VR solutions and experiences: control over data and where it resides; control over users; control over privacy, headset and hardware used; and ease of updates,” said Murray James, co-founder and CEO for Snobal. “As none of the existing deployment platforms delivered on these needs, we built Snobal Cloud from the ground up with business users in mind. We have a bold vision to make it easier for businesses to solve real world challenges using VR and AR, which requires an openness to collaborate with partners such as Pico in new and exciting ways.”

Both Pico and Snobal believe the privacy of its users is of the utmost importance, which is why no social media profiles are required for use – all the way from setting up the headset to utilizing the platform.

For more information on Pico Interactive, visit www.pico-interactive.com.
For more information on Snobal, visit https://snobal.io/

About Pico Interactive

Pico Interactive focuses on innovative VR and AR solutions which enable businesses to create and experience the best in VR and Interactive Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI). With operations in the United States, Europe, China and Japan, Pico Interactive focuses on creating amazing VR platforms for any application and is built around the principle of “user first design.” To learn more, visit www.pico-interactive.com.

About Snobal

Snobal is a technology company that is a market leader in the development of virtual reality and augmented reality (XR) solutions. Our XR software solutions help organizations of all sizes and industries better train, communicate and collaborate. All XR solutions are based on the enterprise friendly XR deployment platform – Snobal Cloud. For more information on Snobal visit https://snobal.io/.

Media Contact
Uproar PR for Pico Interactive
+ 1 321-236-0102  x233
eanschuetz@uproarpr.com

Media Contact  (Australia & Singapore)
Ann Nolan
+ 61 3 6145 0103
media@snobal.io

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Snobal Midweek

Educational innovation decades in the making

Universities will need to look to digital innovation and new forms of student experience capable of attracting domestic and international mkt share. Immersive learning can play a role here.

Education transformation looks to new forms of student experience and engagement

Education is in the midst of a turbulent transformation globally. COVID-19 has forced more than 1 billion students out of the traditional face to face “industrialisation era format” of delivery to an online delivery.

As this US focussed podcast with Connie Chan, general partner at a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) explores with education there is so much potential for further innovation.

At its core, online is a mode of delivery for education that has tremendous potential to reach people that couldn’t be reached with in-person education models.

Focus on Australia

In Australia, universities are grappling with the downturn in international student revenue in 2020 due to COVID19. Recent University Of Melbourne research modelled the impact and reilence of universities with the loss of international student fees. It included an outline of seven strategies universities needed to undertake including investing in digital education,

universities will need to continue investing in digital education and new forms of student experience capable of attracting and retaining both domestic and international market share in a post-COVID-19 era.

Tech giants eye education

And muscling in for a greater share of the educational pie are tech giants like Google.

Portrayed as a “digital jobs program to help America’s economic recovery” Google recently announced its “Google Career Certificates” courses. The courses are conveyed as helping participants get qualifications in “high-paying, high-growth job fields” without needing to attend university.

College degrees are out of reach for many Americans, and you shouldn’t need a college diploma to have economic security. We need new, accessible job-training solutions—from enhanced vocational programs to online education—to help America recover and rebuild.

Rethink needed

All of this reflects the World Economic Forum call for education to have a rethink as COVID19 is causing a widening gap in education.

“The old model of our education system where everyone sits in a classroom is not going to work in the new normal.”

Which brings us to a world where newer technologies such as virtual reality become part and parcel of a blended learning program in our schools, collegies, universities not to mention workplaces.

Reimagining student experiences

It is not hard to envision a very near future where every student gets a wireless VR headset as part of their enrollment at school or university much like they have a laptop or notebook.

The student simply turns on the headset, connects to a wifi network and can easily access the shared immersive learning experiences specified for their year level or studies across diverse subject or content areas.

Assessments on soft skills or technical skills that need to be acquired can be practised over and over in a safe virtual environment. All student interactions in the virtual environment can be tracked and reported back providing the student with enhanced insight on proficiency and understanding.

Students can also access immersive collaborative meeting experiences and spaces for seminars, workshops, plenary sessions and meetings.

As Ishwar K. Puri, Dean of Engineering and Professor, McMaster University (Canada) recently wrote in a Conversation article there are five ways education can be reimagined in response to COVID19 including “create virtual content for the future and “engage students through virtual experiences”.

Oculus for Business users will soon require a Facebook account

Facebook last week announced that starting in October 2020, everyone using an Oculus virtual reality device (eg Quest) for the first time will need to log in with a Facebook account. There will be a period of grace for anyone with separate Oculus and Facebook accounts which will end January 2023.

Concerns for VR business content creators

The news raises questions for VR business content creators, educational bodies and government authorities using Oculus products around their desire to connect their business profile to their personal social profile when using the Oculus for Business virtual reality deployment platform.

The news has met with resistance from existing business product users and led last week to colourful social activity and articles on tech media.

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Vodafone set out to discover which businesses are best prepared for the future. This is what they found.


Late last year Vodafone looked at how COVID19 has affected the emerging challenges they identified, and what this means for the future of work.

Surveying 1,813 businesses in November and 800 in May in follow up research they found “future ready businesses” (FRB) had six key characteristic in common. And the six characteristic are not all what you might expect.

Digital directions

As outlined in this Forbes article business models are evolving in the wake of COVID19 and it is in the direction of digital.

“Businesses that have thrived through the pandemic may not solely be operating in a digital business model, but what all successful business have in common is a strong digital culture…moving forward, we need to face that the future will be more digitally-focused than ever before, and businesses need to start thinking about how to create and implement a digital business model.”

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Sliding doors: As physical doors close digital ones open

Globally we all know the current health and economic crisis has changed how we live and work. Businesses are wondering how to provide their existing services in a virtual environment while at the same time focussing on what the impact will be on their business in the weeks, months and years ahead.

Many organisations are looking to rapidly accelerate the use of digital technologies knowing this may mean cannibalising existing bread and butter business.

And all of this is not going away any time soon. As Wired reports we best get used to a “long lingering epdemic that is only just getting started”.


What we’re hearing

As a company with virtual in our DNA below are the top three things we’re hearing from our conversations with businesses spanning education, healthcare, telecommunications, urban development and training in Australia, Singapore, the US and Europe.

01.Jumped 10 yrs: – “Because of COVID” has become a powerful stimulant to commence acceleration of an organisations VR/AR roadmap and use. It is a phrase we hear frequently.

Because of COVID our staff can’t do the essential training they need to do. We need a solution.

Because of COVID we can’t provide our executive education content face to face. We need a solution.

Because of COVID we can’t get our customers into our display home and showroom. We need a solution.

Because of COVID we need to find a way to quickly and easily collaborate on design with our customers. We need a solution.


Many businesses who had commenced their digital transformation journeys now find themselves having to turbo speed their development while also looking at way to easily scale these VR/AR solutions across diverse geographic locations.

As McKinsey & Co reports in just the last 90 days we have “jumped ten years”.

And according to research by Twilio, COVID-19 has sped up digital transformation for Australian business “by an average of six years”. Surveying 2500 enterprise decision-makers Twilio reported that 97% claimed COVID-19 has “accelerated their digital transformation” and 79% had increased their budget for doing so.

The report also found that previous inhibitors to innovation have been broken down since the onset of the pandemic. Barriers such as lack of clear strategy, executive approval and reluctance to replace legacy software are now less of an issue for more than one-third of respondents.

02.Extraordinary partnerships – we’re seeing businesses and educational bodies rethinking who they partner with. They are looking, at what McKinsey & Co call the cultivation of “extraordinary partnerships” and they’re doing this at speed.

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Future focussed business are looking to how their teams work, collaborate and communicate with each other and their customers.

Their seeking richer, measured and virtual ways of doing existing business. They’re looking with razor focus at partnerships with technology companies that can leverage and that can best position them in this new market.

03. Long game vs short game: There is no playbook or MBA module for business leaders on handling a crisis like COVID-19. Some business leaders are falling back on their existing way of working and thinking about the future. Some are adapting a ‘shelter in place’ mindset.

But many are not. They are focussed on the near game and the long game seeking to ensure continuity and growth at the other end.

CEOs working urgently to balance dozens of critical priorities each day are starting to focus on two leading questions: “How can we ride out the crisis to emerge stronger than others in our industry?” and “How can the organization learn through this experience to win in a new world?” [ Source; Bain & Company, Covid-19: Protect, Recover and Retool, 2020].

What do you think? What are you hearing and experiencing in the market?

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What’s catching our attention

Montenegro to invest 25.5 mln euro in VR innovation centre – Montenegro’s government plans to establish a virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) ​innovation centre. This is part of a series of measures to support the country’s economic recovery following COVID-19. Is this something other governments could learn from?

Deloitte’s new report looks at the future of virtual production and content creation stating that as the pandemic introduces further complications, “virtual production capabilities may become a competitive advantage for content creators.” What role will VR content play here?

Reconstructing journalistic scenes in 3D. Check out The New York Times embedding 3D scans of physical environments into a web browser. What might the impact of this be for museums and art galleries?

5G Revolution: Unlocking the Digital Age – the start of a new era? And what will the impact be on cloud VR/AR?

What is the truth about 5G? 
How COVID19 was the perfect environment for 5G conspiracy theories to spread.

Pandemic reveals opportunities for 5G connectivity 5G cellular technology is starting to take shape but the pandemic has shown it is still missing a few stitches.

Preparing for 2030 and what the future potentially holds.

Thanks for reading if you’ve any question on any of the above or would like to know more about our deployment platform, Snobal Cloud or our XR solutions reach out.

This post first appeared in Snobal Midweek on Substack.

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