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Companies are desperate for more sophisticated training with more focused courses and meaningful instructions, claims virtual reality (VR) specialist Immerse.
But there is a kink in the supply chain, so the firm has launched a series of initiatives including a software development kit (SDK), the Immerse SDK, in an attempt to build a channel and fill it with partners and revenue streams.
As a training course developer, Immerse created the SDK to solve three challenges common to every player in this new niche: to make it easier to create courses, standardise the format and make distribution more efficient.
“Our aim is to reduce the time and cost of enterprise virtual reality [VR] development – not just for us, but for everyone,” said Immerse COO Justin Parry
Big organisations want standardisation, both in user experience and data, he said. This SDK achieves that for partners for free and offers an upgrade option when they can see an obvious return on investment.
The Immerse SDK is built for Unity, the top gaming development system. This de facto standardisation puts everyone on the same page, which instantly solves most technical and production problems, said the company.
It works with every VR headset, has tools for making voice-overs, widens the range of use cases and gives the channel partners a predictable roadmap. In other words, it is easier to see the day when you make a return on all that investment.
Immerse has also launched a drive to recruit partners to help it cater to surging demand from enterprises for realistic and practical training, built using virtual and augmented reality. Although it is initially expensive to put together, once it has been refined, it can be endlessly resold with minimal running costs and superb margins.
The barrier to entry to this market is the huge investment of time and money needed for development. By shrinking that, Immerse wants to help everyone make money, said Parry.
As the foundation of its multi-layered programme, it has created an SDK that is intended to simplify the process of creating VR-based “immersive training courses”.
Immersive training is far more effective than traditional two-dimensional training schemes, said Parry. It places the trainee in the world of their work, and by creating a more sensual experience, the training becomes more meaningful and memorable. Whereas training in a class environment involves sight and sound, in immersive training, the participant feels as if they are at their desk, in their surgery or on their oil rig.
It appeals to both your business sense and your emotions, said Parry, adding that people learn more by practical experience because they can see the consequences of each action.
The effectiveness of experiential training is not its only advantage, he said. It has emerged as a practical and logistical solution to the problems of the lockdown economy. There aren’t enough tutors and the pandemic means delegates and trainers can rarely be gathered in the right place at the right time.
All these delivery problems are solved by the fact that immersive training can be automated, replicated and dispersed anywhere, said Parry. It is a mass market now and would be even bigger if the developers could keep up with demand and if distribution was more efficient, he added.