HRD Tech FoundersTransform your behaviour with VR and AR: Tim Fleming, Founder, Future Visual

Transform your behaviour with VR and AR: Tim Fleming, Founder, Future Visual

In this installment of our HRD Tech Founders Q&A series, Future Visual founders Tim Fleming, Founder, Future Visual, take us through their visionary collaboration technology platform, VISIONxR™, and explore how VR and AR are set to completely transform our behaviours in the workplace.

What is the true potential of HR and how can technology help us to achieve it?

In this installment of our HRD Tech Founders Q&A series, Future Visual founders Tim Fleming, Founder, Future Visual, takes us through their visionary collaboration technology platform, VISIONxR™, and explore how VR and AR are set to completely transform our behaviours in the workplace.


What is Future Visual?

Tim Fleming, Founder, Future Visual

Future Visual is an immersive development company based in Brighton, UK. We focus on delivering immersive enterprise solutions to enable training and learning in high-risk, high value environments such as aviation and behaviour change. Building on customer demand, we have created our collaboration technology platform VISIONxR™ to enable distributed teams to work, train and learn together from any location using any device, either VR, AR desktop or mobile.

This means teams are no longer limited by access to equipment or the knowledge base to draw upon for expertise. The team at Future Visual are proud to be part of the new wave immersive technology and spatial computing development and our culture of collaboration exists not only in our products but in the support we give to our team members to do their best work.

Why was it necessary to create Future Visual?

The opportunity to be involved in such a fundamental development as immersive technology meant that creating Future Visual was not only necessary but essential! Our BAFTA-winning founders had been involved in real-time computing and high-end VFX production for their whole careers. Iestyn Lloyd (Co-Founder) actually wrote the manual for Unity on how to produce good looking work suitable for VR. Right from the beginning the focus for Future Visual had been on building experiences and environments for enterprise usage.

Our philosophy has been to provide access to environments and situations that are either physically impossible or prohibitively expensive to do so in real life and this guiding star has encouraged us to develop VISIONxR to offer the services that it does today. Joining remote teams to work together on solving hard problems that cannot be recreated in real life either because they are too expensive to build or the logistics of not being in the same local environment makes collaborating physically impossible. Once you can solve these problems the use cases and ROI of solving those use cases have an immediate tangible benefit to the bottom line and efficacy of our customers.

There are two types of benefit, the primary benefit is straightforward to calculate and is orientated around savings through travel costs and faster routes to competency by having access to equipment. The secondary benefit is more difficult to quantity but nevertheless also creates value and is to do with benefits such as employee sentiment and retention, preparedness for real life incidents of the training they have experienced.

Why is HR technology crucial to the success of a business?

For two main reasons 1) to make the best use of the training budgets and 2) to keep up with their competitors who are already implementing HR tech. Budgets are always under scrutiny, with VR/AR you can cost effectively train groups of people in multiple locations. The cost of equipment is falling, see the latest wireless headsets like Quest coming to the market, and the efficacy of training is increasing.

Whats more, people love learning using VR/AR, whilst at this stage it is anecdotal but when offered standard training courses or VR, VR appears to win the day. The experience is engaging and retention rates are high.

How can an organization most effectively implement new HR technology?

It is a case of identifying your pain points:

Are you spending lots of money sending trainers to multiple locations  / sending employees on training courses in various locations?  Do you need to train people on complex equipment that is hard to access, either because it is in constant use or in different locations ? Are there hazards and scenarios that employees need to be trained on that are hard, if not impossible, to recreate in the real world?

If you are experiencing any of the challenges then VR/AR can provide a solution, which is when implementing new HR technology would make sense.

What do you think is the biggest challenge affecting organisations today?

The key challenge we hear from learning and training professionals is the amount of time, and therefore money, that is spent on travel to deliver training to dispersed teams in large organisations. The logistics involved in getting people to be in the same place, at the same time, is onerous.

The second challenge is access to equipment. Often high value equipment is in use, it is in another location, or it is not appropriate to have a new recruit “practise” on live equipment. Therefore routes to competency are slow as traditional classroom training is delivered which does not provide the same level of engagement or retention.

The third biggest challenge, from our perspective, is the market understanding of the benefits of using VR/AR for training. In some areas VR has been seen as a gimic or a “cool’ add on. The reality is that studies have now proven training using VR increases retention and engagement rates, delivers a faster route to competency and can provide cost savings versus classroom training.

Which emerging technologies do you think will transform HR in the future?

We strongly believe immersive tech will transform HR. Not least because it will drive cost savings across learning and development. The future of work relies on digital collaboration; we can see how video calls, google docs and applications like Slack, are becoming far more common place. With our products training becomes collaborative, non location or device specific. You can have a subject matter expert in Glasgow simultaneously delivering training to people in the US, UK, Europe and Africa across multiple platforms (VR,AR, desktop and mobile). The savings in time and travel are phenomenal and the ability for teams to collaborate in an immersive space provides so many incredible opportunities for companies. We see the future as super exciting.

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