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].

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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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Lady with headset
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.

Talk to us

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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CPR
Snobal Midweek

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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A comparison for Snobal Cloud and Oculus for Business
Media release

Snobal’s virtual reality deployment platform provides a truly enterprise friendly alternative to tech giant’s solution

Today technology company Snobal announced that its cloud virtual reality and augmented reality (XR) enterprise deployment platform Snobal Cloud is available for businesses to deploy their virtual experiences.

Snobal Cloud is a proprietary cloud platform offering organisations globally of all sizes and across all industries a secure and reliable XR deployment solution backed up with enterprise-grade customer support.  The offering also includes:

  • Worldwide geographical availability and support.
  • Multiple device (headset) management
  • Content customisation via CMS
  • Headset agnostic i.e organisations do not have to use a specified headset
  • Client data ownership / data sovereignty

Below is a comparison of Snobal Cloud and Facebook’s Oculus for Business enterprise platform based on some key features and functionality currently available.

A comparison for Snobal Cloud and Oculus for Business

About Snobal

Snobal is a technology company that is on a mission to build the world’s #1 cloud business  virtual reality and augmented reality (XR) software company helping organisations of all sizes and industries better understand their data, knowledge or processes using the power of XR.

Snobal’s XR solutions  (XR review, XR engage, XR learn, XR manage) are being used by some of the world’s leading engineering design, construction, training and management consultancies in North America, Europe and Asia.  All XR solutions are based on our proprietary XR deployment platform – Snobal Cloud.

Snobal Cloud Device ManagementFounded in Melbourne, Australia in 2014 by Murray James and Ann Nolan , Snobal has been one of the worlds earliest technology companies working exclusively in VR and AR for business applications. 

In 2015 Snobal was awarded the 2015 iAward Victorian Merit Recipient for innovation. In 2017 Snobal was profiled as one of the leading Australian technology companies transforming the construction sector in an industry report produced by StartupAus in collaboration with Aconex, Lendlease, EY and the Victorian Government.

Media inquiries

Email: media@snobal.io or phone + 61 9514 1587

Media Resources
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A comparison for Snobal Cloud and Oculus for Business
Snobal Midweek

Why global companies and government organisations are choosing Snobal’s enterprise VR deployment platform over Oculus for Business

This week investment company, Square Peg Capital partner Paul Basset (founder of Seek) outlined why Australia needs to invest more in home grown technology companies rather than boosting overseas technology giants.

In the article Basset referred to the need for Australia to produce “our fair share of global winners”.

He highlighted example Australian home grown tech successes such as Airwallex (a Square Peg Capital portfolio company) and education startup A Cloud Guru.

We’d like to highlight another Australian tech success story not mentioned.

Snobal.

Here’s why.

Facebook’s enterprise platform for VR deployment (Oculus for Business )

Facebook is one of the most prominent global players in virtual reality.

To date Facebook has invested over $US2 + billion so far on virtual reality. It started off with the company acquiring Occulus in 2012 for US$2.3 billion.

Initially the focus for the company was consumer focussed VR. It’s logical as consumers were and still are Facebook’s key target market / product. But adoption of consumer VR has been slower taking off than expected. Facebook turned to enterprise with the launch of Oculus for Business.

Oculus for Business was described as:

an enterprise solution designed to streamline and expand virtual reality in the workplace. Launching this fall, the expanded Oculus for Business will add Oculus Quest to the hardware lineup and provide a suite of tools designed to help companies reshape the way they do business through the power of VR.

Snobal’s enterprise platform for VR deployment (Snobal Cloud)

Meanwhile, back in Australia Snobal has focussed on business and what the future of work looks like using VR and AR since founding in 2014.

Our focus from day one has always been on making it easy for business to use VR and AR.

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Today our enterprise platform for VR deployment is used by global companies and government organisations in Europe, North America and Asia.

We knew from over 5 yrs of working with business on their VR requirements, that organisations want four key things out of an enterprise platform for VR deployment:

  1. Control over data.
  2. Control over users.
  3. Control over privacy.
  4. Control over the headset and hardware used.

The result?

Snobal Cloud.

Snobal Cloud is the world’s first proprietary enterprise grade platform to enable the ease of delivery, analysis and managment of virtual reality and augmented reality (XR) experiences.

A comparison…

Let’s compare Snobal Cloud and Facebook’s Oculus for Business enterprise platform based on some key features and functionality currently available:

Note on:

—Worldwide geographical availability and support: Oculus for Business is for the following locations only at time of writing: The US, Canada, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan and the UK. If you are not in one of the countries listed above (eg Singapore), Oculus for Business is currently not able to support business at the present time.

— Available for external content providers: Oculus for Business content providers must join the Oculus Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) Program. The goal of the ISV program is “to accelerate customer adoption of VR solutions built for Oculus enterprise products”. Read more.

— Data sovereignty: The infrastructure for Snobal Cloud Australian clients is hosted in Amazon AWS in Sydney.
Oculus for Business is built on Facebook Workplace. Business will need to assess privacy and risk requirements around having their data stored on Facebook servers.

For a detailed comparison table visit here.

Building our future

But back to all things Australian ‘new companies’ and building our future.

At the launch of the report from Deloitte Access Economics, commissioned by Victoria’s startup agency LaunchVic, Basset echoed the reports findings that startups have the potential to play a major role in Victoria’s (and Australia’s) post-COVID-19 economic return.

In order for Australia to maintain the prosperity we have had for generations we need to produce our fair share of global winners…it is important for Australia to make investments and start businesses that are looking towards the future so that when things like this happen the growth is coming here and not going to overseas global businesses.

His comments reflect those of Dr Pradeep Philip Partner, Head of Deloitte Access Economics mentioned in the report that COVID-19 has seen a rapid transition of our physical world to a virtual world and is a key part of Australia’s future economy.

Snobal is a technology company that has created a world leading enterprise solution for VR deployment.

We’re a technology company that is Australian but we work with global companies and government organisations across the world.

We know we are punching well above our weight in the VR and AR development and landscape.

Like the report outlines and Ed Husic MP, Federal Member for Chifley outlined this morning on social, “If there was ever a sector that could help restart the economy it’s Australia’s tech sector.

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Snobal Midweek
Snobal Midweek

What we’ve noticed…

What we’ve noticed: How businesses impacted by COVID-19 are using virtual and augmented reality

With the global pandemic unfolding still and the increasing move to social distancing and remote working for many as a business working in virtual reality and augmented reality (XR) software development we thought it might be useful to share with you some of our observations on how some businesses are turning to XR to enable business continuity.

Property display & Staging

Increasing interest: Over the last few weeks we have seen an increase of interest from residential and commercial property developers from Australia and South East Asia in particular wanting to know how they can best leverage XR to support the sales process.

The principal pain point is this. Most have physical display homes but now customers can’t travel and visit the display homes.

Also while some developers may already offer “virtual tours” these are mainly through using 360 video (not VR) and lack the interactivity, immersiveness and data capture required to support the sales process to the level now needed.

We’re directing these businesses to our productXR engage, which was built specifically to enable developers to place end users (customers) in a rich, interactive immersive virtual experience of a built environment.

XR engage is also been used in infrastructure public and stakeholder engagement for communicating design intent and receiving feedback on design options.

Virtual training

Urgent need for virtual training solutions: Another area we have noticed a surge of interest is in the development and provison of virtual training experiences across soft skills and technical (hard) skills. This is across Australia but also Europe.

For many businesses who provide technical or soft skills training the current inability to provide training in a classroom or group based environment, as they may have done previously, means an urgent need to look for alternative – virtual – solutions.

We are directing these inquiries to our product XR learn which provides an enterprise grade solution to all these questions.


– What you need to know on virtual training

Learnings needed: However, we have also noticed that there is still some confusion among many learning and development professionals in organisations about what is XR and ‘virtual reality’ (no 360 video is not true “VR”); how best to deploy a virtual learning solution at scale across an organisation and how best to deploy virtual training in an environment with an increasingly remote and distributed workforce.

Get the whitepaper: If you would like a copy of our soon to be released whitepaper to help you be better informed on transforming technical and soft skills training using virtual reality you can submit your interest here.

Also in a few weeks organisations will be able to access the first of four innovative immersive virtual reality training modules for safety related training.

Training modules are provided by our industry partner JBHXR and are powered by Snobal and include CPR, First Aid in an ESI Environment, Pole Top Rescue and Low Voltage Rescue. Email to find out more.

Questions on scaling

Need for an enterprise grade XR solution: One of the key questions business ask is how they can best scale XR across their organisation whether it is for virtual learning or for enriching client and public engagement.We understand that few businesses wants a stand alone VR or AR environment or solution with limited access to updates and support. That’s why we’ve built all our XR products (including XR learn and XR engage) to be based off our cloud platform – Snobal Cloud.

Snobal Cloud makes it easy for organisations to create, deliver and analyse virtual experiences. It also makes it easy for business to scale any virtual environment or experience across the organisation and across diverse physical locations.

Finally one of the things we are all acutely aware of with COVID-19 is the scale of the impact on so many businesses – large and small – from so many sectors. If there is a way XR and other digital technologies can enable businesses across diverse sectors to survive and even thrive during these challenging and unprecedented times then that would be a good thing.

We hope this was helpful. If there is any questions you have on any of the above please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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