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James Watson Podcasts

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35 of The Best Podcast Episodes for James Watson. A collection of podcasts episodes with or about James Watson, often where they are interviewed.

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35 of The Best Podcast Episodes for James Watson. A collection of podcasts episodes with or about James Watson, often where they are interviewed.

Updated daily with the latest episodes

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Episode 27 : James Watson / Part 2 (The Heartland, Cloacal Kiss, Dead Will Rise, Go Analog)

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Olleh!

And now here is the second part to one of the best interviews I have had! I hope you all enjoy and thank you again to James! 

It was too much fun!



I love you.

--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/drivesafetextwhenhome/support
Oct 19 2020 · 1hr
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Episode 26 : James Watson (The Heartland, Cloacal Kiss, Dead Will Rise, Go Analog)

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What? Hello?

This episode was insane! I was so happy to hear that Riley was able to get this dude to talk to! Seriously we talked about so many cool things that he has done! The amount of bands he was/still is in is insane! I had so much fun! And I just love hearing about old tour stories, it's the best!

And also to talk to another drummer is always a good time! So thank you James for coming on! I had such a good time!


I love you.

--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/drivesafetextwhenhome/support
Oct 12 2020 · 2hr 6mins

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Serious Angler Podcast: Episode #121 JAMES WATSON | Major League Fishing Pro Angler

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In today's podcast, we have on MLF Pro Angler, James Watson, for a few minutes to talk about his route into fishing and a few questions about his bait selection! Enjoy.


James' Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/therealjameswatson/


Thanks for watching! Comment, Like, SUBSCRIBE!


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Sep 09 2020 · 23mins
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Gerald Swindle! James Watson! SC_S05E21 7/8/20

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This is the full interview with Gerald Swindle and James Watson, as heard live on the July 8, 2020 episode of Stray Casts Outdoor Cartoon Television. Please subscribe and leave a review- we'll love you for it!

Jul 09 2020 · 1hr 33mins

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How to market enterprise VR, with James Watson

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James started his career in digital marketing and innovation over 20 years ago, he has spent the last 5 years developing enterprise VR solutions for companies including Major League Baseball, Shell, GE and DHL. Currently as Chief Marketing Officer at Immerse he is working across industry sectors to help drive the adoption of enterprise VR training.

In this episode, we explore how to market VR enterprise solutions among many other topics. 

Jun 29 2020 · 31mins
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James Watson And Quinton Beckham On “Real Talk” On The I Love CVille Network!

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Bro in law and client James Watson and Quinton Beckham, Owner of Keller Williams Alliance, joined Keith Smith and me on “Real Talk: An Insider’s Guide To Real Estate In Central Virginia” powered by The YES Team Realtors and Yonna Smith!

“Real Talk” airs every Friday from 10:15 am – 11 am on The I Love CVille Network!
Jun 09 2020 · 1hr 8mins
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Story of The American Dream with James Watson

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Change your mind and change your life. Listen as James Watson shares his personal life story on how he came from nothing to become a top Personal Investment Advisor. This story will inspire you to get out of your current situation and obtain more. Anything is possible through hard work, integrity, and consistency.

Mar 30 2020 · 36mins
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VR for Training & Assessment: The top 7 things you need to know with James Watson

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Dec 09 2019 · 56mins
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VR Creates the Trainer That Never Retires, with Immerse’s James Watson & Justin Parry

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Imagine being able to learn, hands-on, exactly how to operate a deep-sea submarine — without needing the submarine! That’s the kind of training opportunities VR training platforms like Immerse are able to offer with the technology at their disposal. James Watson and Justin Parry drop in to talk about all the other opportunities the tech presents businesses.

Alan: You’re listening to the XR for Business Podcast with your host, Alan Smithson. Today, we have two amazing guests, James Watson and Justin Parry from Immerse. Justin is the co-founder and chief operating officer and leads product strategy for Immerse. As a founder, he designed and led product development of the Immerse platform from scratch. He now oversees the delivery of all technology and VR content across the organization. Justin has 20 years experience creating and growing B2C and B2B products from startups to global organizations. He’s developed and launched online platforms, websites, mobile products across the world, and joined Immerse from his role as global director of the Internet Yellow Pages for Yell Group. Immerse Virtual Enterprise Platform enables enterprises to create scale and measure virtual reality training content and programs. The platform enables enterprises to look at training and assessment in a completely different way, providing the tools to help maximize human performance, resulting in a more engaged, better equipped and safer workforce. If you want to learn more, you can visit immerse.io.

Guys, welcome to the show.

Justin: Hello.

James: Thanks, Alan.

Alan: [laughs] Hey. So you guys
are in beautiful, sunny, warm UK. How’s it going over there?

Justin: Well, it was very sunny
until last week, actually, with the sort of slightly freakish weather
that we’ve been having, but today is cold.

James: It’s British grey.

Justin: Yeah.

Alan: British grey. Oh, well,
we’ll just assume it’s beautiful and sunny. So let’s get digging in
here. I’ve had a chance to try out the Immerse platform. It’s really
amazing. You’re completely immersed, and the demo that you guys did
for us: We were inside of a submarine. We not only go into it, but
interact with all the bits of the submarine and start to learn parts
of, “how do I make some things work?” And the great thing about
it is you guys were there every step of the way. But one of you was
in VR, and the other one was on a tablet or a computer. Talk to us,
just to how did Immerse come to be?

Justin: Well, we’ve been in the
training space quite a long time. We weren’t initially in VR. We
actually delivered our training applications via desktop, but they
were always multi-user. So we would be tying together people from
somewhere — maybe even Kazakhstan, some oil and gas training that we
did — with trainers that may be in Iraq, or in the UK, or wherever
that might be. And that was all done in a sort of virtual world. So
it’s a little bit like the old Second Life, if people remember that.
So it’s a powerful proposition, but it’s still a little bit difficult
to sell. So with the advent of the headsets — or the latest
generation of headsets, at least — we made the move into VR and a
lot of services that we built there just kind of immediately made
sense, and we got traction very quickly. We effectively then pivoted
the whole company to be a full-on VR training platform. We rebuilt a
lot of those services, especially for VR, because there was obviously
some small itemization that we need to make. And so we find ourselves
where we are today.

And just in terms what you said there,
Alan, obviously that multi-user piece and being able to have people
in the space together and in VR, but also in the browser, is still a
big part of what we do. But we’ve broadened out from there as well,
because obviously not all training requirements are going to be
satisfied by that. So we target single player, we look at data, we
look at the creation of that content, we look at integrating that
with enterprise systems.

Alan: What are some of the
examples? So obviously there’s a submarine one. Is that– was that a
military client?

Justin: Yeah, that’s for a
company called Kinetic. So basically in the UK, they’re a defense
technology company, that work very closely with the armed services in
the UK. And yeah, that’s working with them to create — as you
experienced — an interactive submarine. There we’ve modeled a few
parts of the submarine, actually, because the focus was on team-based
training. So the idea is that you can have– obviously, a submarine
isn’t run by a single person. So if you’re going to run those
team-based training exercises, you need to account for a number of
different roles. Some of those people will be using consoles with
lots of buttons and joysticks and all those sorts of things. Others
will be more communication based, so they’ll be telling other people
what to do. There’ll be more manual tasks around operating equipment
and machinery. And in order to run through the emergency operating
procedures that you need to on a submarine scenario, you’ve got to
join those things together. And so working with Kinetic, we brought
that to life in across a few of those different procedures.

James: What we find, I guess, is
from a different industry sectors where any sector that has some sort
of procedural training, sort of health and safety, risk mitigation
element to it, our technology is relevant and VR as a training tool
is relevant. That’s an example in defence. And then we also are
working within healthcare with GE Healthcare. So that’s looking at
the ability to train radiologists on CT scanners. We’ve created a
complete CT scanner in virtual reality, and the whole process can
take up to an hour for a radiologist to go through in VR, which is an
incredible level of detail. And so that has relevance because you
can’t get access to CT scanners. So you can look at that in a– when
the equipment is too hard to get access to, you don’t want to take
that equipment offline, it’s relevant. And then we also work within
the energy sector with Shell, where that’s looking at health and
safety and risk mitigation. So any industry where there’s risk, if
you can put someone in a virtual reality training environment, well,
you’re re-creating that risk. But actually there is no risk to that
individual. So sector wise, we go across any number of sectors. It’s
really more the need of that sector that defines where virtual
reality training on our platform is relevant. So it’s pretty broad is
kind of the ultimate message from a sort of sectors that we work
with.

Alan: Let’s talk about results
just for a second here. So what was that point where you just went,
“Oh my God, this is what we need to do next?” How did that
precipitate?

Justin: There is the key thing.
You can understand the minute you put a headset on yourself. I hadn’t
experienced anything until the the early [Oculus] DK1. And the minute
you put that on, you understand that you are interacting with these
3D environments in a way that was previously impossible. Presenting
something on a 2D interface is effectively sort of abstracting it
away from the manner in which you interact with that in real life.
You are not actually picking that thing up. You’re using a mouse or
you’re using the buttons on the keyboard to pick that thing up. And
there’s all sorts of obviously nuance engaged in you genuinely
interacting. So instead of having to create a complex input system —
as I say, using a mouse or keyboard controls — you put the headset
on, and you’re just there. And if it’s a nicely designed bit of VR,
then the barrier to entry in terms of use and user experiences can be
really low. So you don’t need to be a gamer, you don’t need to
abstract away that interaction. It’s all there. And it’s like you’re
interacting with the real world. As I say, if it’s well-designed. So
I think that was the key thing that did it for us. And then we put
some of the 3D scenarios that we’d already created into the hands of
prospective customers. And the response from them was just so
dramatically different. You know, they took the headset off — and
everybody that now works in VR will see this all the time and that
sort of sense of these people being blown away, and the whole
potential for this medium opening up in front of them– we used to
see it all the time. I think — to be quite honest — that was enough
to encourage us to sort of make that leap. We didn’t do it
straightaway. We got a couple of projects up and running. But I would
say the kernel was in that sort of moment of realizing — both
ourselves and seeing it in our customers — that this just changed
the way in which you could interact with 3D.

Alan: Really is one of those
things that you have to see it to believe it, or even just to buy
into it. There’s been a lot of hype around VR and AR, and as an
industry we’ve done a really good job at hyping the crap out of it.
But when it comes down to it, until you put that headset on someone’s
face, it’s very esoteric. It’s a very visceral experience, being in
VR and doing that. So we’ll go back to the submarine for a second.
But you have a group of people — maybe who’ve never worked together
— who need to go and operate a multi-billion dollar submarine,
putting them into a virtual space to get them used to interacting in
that space. You can simulate the sounds. You can simulate the feeling
of being there. You can simulate all of the actions that they’re
going to take. And it builds real muscle memory. Where do you see the
limit to this? Is there some things that don’t lend themselves to
this?

Justin: To VR? Yeah, all the
time. I mean, we take every single project that we work on because
we– just to be clear, we build content on top of our platform as
well, because obviously not all businesses have that resource
internally. So we do do a fair bit of content creation, and we’ll
take every project on its own terms. You know, it has to live or die
on on its own business case. And very often it won’t stack up. It’s
really as simple as that. I mean, I’m sure that even in the instances
where we can make the business case stack up, I’m sure you could also
you could still create a meaningful VR experience. But if it’s not
going to move the dial within an organization, if it’s not going to
do what it needs to do, ultimately in terms of ROI and impact on
employee performance, then we’re not going to do it. We’re not going
to recommend it.

James: I mean, we get a lot of
inquiries around soft skills. “Can I train my sales force to
deal better with difficult customers?” or “Can I train
against unconscious bias?” or things like that. And I think
there’s some validity to use VR for that. I think at the moment the
challenges around the intelligence or the AI of the avatars you use
and trying to avoid sort of that sort of odd feeling of looking at
someone who doesn’t quite fit to what we expect from a human form. So
there’s a lot of those discussions that come in at the moment, and I
think they are going to take a little bit more development from a
technology perspective to really make that more meaningful. Whereas
if you think of the slightly more procedural focused training — so
the ability to go on to an offshore oil platform and run through a
health and safety process, that you have to take every two months to
make sure you’re still got the right accreditation to operate that
piece of equipment — that fits in a much more simplistic way. When
we start getting into that sort of behavioral soft skills place, it’s
more of a stretch. It’s not to say there aren’t some really good
examples out there. It’s just pushing what VR is really good for at
this stage of its development.

Justin: Yeah, and we are working
on a project at the moment around soft skills, but reason we were
happy to move forward with it — as James says, we’re not selling
that proactively — but the project that we’re currently working on
got green light on the understanding that it was a piece of research,
it’s effectively R&D to see what is possible within the current
technology available. And one of the things that we have found is
that if you are looking to have a pretty realistic interaction with a
non-human character, let’s say in the context of a sales
conversation, the technology just isn’t there, from an AI
perspective, from the kind of fluidity of the interaction and the
experience. You can put something together that works, but it’s not
going to be the thing that’s going to make a difference in terms of
sales training. So I think it’s going to come, for sure. And there
was some fantastic presentation, it was part of the keynote at 0C6
last week — which I was at — by Michael Abrash, who’s chief
scientist at Oculus. He was talking about some of the things they’re
looking at there, in terms of R&D. And they are really exciting
around the representation of humans and so on. That, combined with
advances in AI and speech recognition, all those kinds of things. We
will get there, but we’re just a way off. And so we as a company are
focused — as James says — when we go out to the market, we’re
talking about things that are really about interacting with the sort
of material world process, and so on.

Alan: As part of my trip last
week to Orlando, I got to go to the University of Central Florida’s
learning lab. It’s called LearnLive. And one of the things they
showed me was, they had me talk to a 2D screen that was 3D images of
school kids. And I started having conversations with them. And they
started having conversations back to me in very, very human like
ways. So I would ask one child, “What do you want to do today?”
“Well, I don’t know. Like, maybe we should read a book.”
And then I said to one kid, “Oh, I’m from Canada. Do you like
maple syrup?” I mean, I’m trying to throw them curveballs. And
the kid goes, “Well, my mom says it’s too sugary for me.”
Like, it was just this moment where my mouth was open. I just
couldn’t figure out what was going on. And what it turns out, it’s
actually not AI driven. It’s actually puppeteered by a human. And
they use a voice changer, so that there’s a human answering the
questions, and they are able to pick which child to answer the
questions from. So one person’s able to replicate five students’
attitudes.

Justin: Right, right.

Alan: And each student had a
different attitude. It was just this kind of mindmelting– I thought
it was AI. And I thought, “Oh my God, this is the future of AI.
We’re here. We finally made it.”

Justin: Yeah, yeah.

Alan: Then they revealed the
secret and I was like, “No!”

James & Justin: [laugh]

Alan: “Noooo!!!”

Justin: Old school skills.

Alan: [laughs] Yeah. But they’ve
managed to make a platform that scales, so they can provide this
teacher– it was for teacher training, to teach teachers how to deal
with a classroom full of multi-personalities. So one kid is very goth
and very dark and very smart. Then you have another kid who’s loud
and just disruptive to the class. And how do you kind of manage that
classroom dynamic?

Justin: Yeah.

Alan: It was really incredible.
But I really thought it was AI, I was like, “Oh, we’ve reached
the future!”

James & Justin: [laugh]

Alan: I think we’re not there
yet. [laughs] So, yeah, you’re absolutely right. Being able to have
intelligent conversations with AI agents. How long do you figure
that’s going to take? Before it’s real, it feels right?

Justin: Well, I mean, I don’t
know. I mean, going back to what Michael Abrash was saying, it was–
we’re actually quite a long way off.

Alan: Yeah, I’m thinking 10
years.

Justin: Yeah. And he was talking
in those terms and he was using a theory — the name which I can’t
remember, it was something like Hof– Hofsteiner’s theory? — which
is that everything takes longer than you think it’s gonna take, even
taking into consideration that theory.

Alan: Hofstadter’s theory.

Justin: That’s the one.

Alan: “Everything is going
to take longer, even if you take into account Hofstadter’s theory.”

Justin: Yes! Hofstadter’s
theory, well done. Yeah, yeah, I couldn’t remember the name, but
yeah.

Alan: It was a really great
talk. If people are listening, if you haven’t watched the keynotes
from Oculus Connect 6 — the 2019 version of Oculus’s big conference
— the opening keynotes are just chock full of amazingness.

Justin: Yeah. Yeah. Agreed. I
think it’s a way off. But the thing is, one of the things that we
often try to do is just when we’re having conversations with
customers, with market, we’re just trying to get people focused on
where we are here and now. Because there’s so much power in what’s
already out there. Particularly because the hardware is developing so
quickly. We’re now at the point where we’ve got these untethered
headsets and that are super lightweight and they don’t have all of
the technical complexities or support complexities that went with the
early model.

Alan: I’ve got my Oculus Quest
sitting right in front of me.

Justin: Well, I mean, it’s a
great bit of kit. And obviously it’s not the only untethered headset,
but it’s the one that’s getting the most coverage. I mean, we’re just
trying to get people focused on the here and now because–.

Alan: No, you’re absolutely
right. So let’s talk about it here now, because I think it’s right.
And to quote Ori Inbar, their technology people were always looking
to the future, he goes, “But the technology we have right now is
good enough for almost everything we want to do.”

Justin: Yeah.

Alan: So companies are already
starting to roll this out. But are you finding this– because we’re
finding this on this side is that companies are still stuck in that,
“Hey, let’s pilot it. Let’s check and see. Let’s go slow.”
when other companies are saying, “Hey, we’ve done the pilots,
let’s go”. And they’re starting to scale it out. And then you
run into different challenges like device management, security
protocols, that sort of thing.

Justin: Yeah.

Alan: But what I’ve been
preaching from the rooftops is: Start now, make some mistakes, get
going. And so that when this really starts to take off — which is
starting now — you’ll be ready to do it.

James: Yeah. We find there’s a
mix, to be honest. And that mix has probably become more even over
the past, I’d say six or eight months. So you’re right. There are
still customers out there and thinking, “Well, I just want to
tip my toe in, because I don’t want to overcommit, and just see how
this technology might work for me. I’m still not quite sure about
it.” but we are finding there’s a lot more large organizations
out there, who are well and truly sort of through that POC phase. And
indeed, some of the bigger organizations have done multiple POCs and
they’re now a stage that you’re talking about, they’re like, “Well,
actually, how do I make this in something meaningful, how do I
actually push this out across a global organization, measure it, make
it secure, integrate it with all my systems?” So there’s
definitely been a shift. There are still plenty of people out there
who want to do a POC. And you can understand why. We’re talking to
one organization at the moment. And literally they just need to get
the senior buy-in of their C-suite to go “Okay. I’ve tried it.
It’s a relevant training exercise for our business. That’s really
good. I get it. Let’s push this on.” So I think POC will always
have a role with certain organizations, perhaps slightly more risk
averse. But then there’s also a lot of guys out there who are beyond
that stage, and are looking for something a little bit more sort of
enterprise ready.

Justin: One of the things that
can be a bit frustrating — it was there that start, hasn’t gone away
— is in some instances the inability to self apply. And by that I
mean, we’ve got a whole different suite of things we could show
people in VR. But there’s times when we come up, we have a
conversation with a customer when it doesn’t matter how many
different things we show them in VR, they can’t apply it to their own
business. And so therefore that forces you to have to build something
specific for them. And I’m assuming at some point we will get beyond
that, because one process — if it’s something simple, for instance,
like pulling levers or turning dials, pressing buttons — you would
just assume that people can understand how that can translate to
their own industry. But it’s simply not the case in many instances.
And I think that’s what leads you to those POCs is, “Well, yeah,
that’s fine. I get that. But that’s not our process and that’s not
our equipment or our machinery.” And it seems a bit–

Alan: Funny thing. It’s– even
if it’s in the same industry, they’re like, “Well, that doesn’t
work like our machine.” And you’re like, “Yes, but it
could.”

Justin: Yeah.

Alan: “Just give us the CAD
files and we’ll make it look/work like that.”

Justin: Yeah. And I kind of
understand it. But at the same time, it seems to me that you
introduce a step there, that doesn’t need to be there. And often that
first step, that POC is — as James said — is just about a
relatively sort of soft objective of getting buy-in. It’s not about
hard data in that first instance.

Alan: Yeah, I think to put a
quote there, it’s no longer about a technology problem. This is an
adoption problem.

Justin: Yeah.

Alan: And we’re at the point
where technology works. We’ve proven use cases. So let’s shift gears
a little bit, because I really want to dig into– you mentioned
earlier about these POCs, and onboarding companies, and some things
working better than others. What are some of the ways you’re
measuring success? What are the goals, key performance indicators
ROIs? So how are you measuring those for a company like Shell, for
example? What are the measurements around ROI?

Justin: It kind of depends —
again — on the use case. In the case of Shell — which I can’t
really talk too much about, we’re not allowed to — but it is in the
assessment space, which in and of itself is a little bit different to
training, oObviously. There are some hard metrics that need to come
out of a piece of assessment, particularly if it’s related to some
form of regulation. There you can capture potentially the sort of
kilobits of data in a relatively straightforward manner, which is
simply that text based output, “the user did this, user did XYZ
and achieved this result,” which is the kind of stuff that often
get pushed into a learning management system at the highest level.
But at the same time, what we’re looking to offer alongside that kind
of more straightforward learning objective output, is also the
ability to record everything that that user did. So we built that in
as a core platform functionality. All of the data that gets sent by
the user– all of the data generated by the user in a session —
which for us accounts to 30 messages per user per second — can
effectively be stored as a sort of file and played back as if you
were there the first time round. So it’s not a video, it’s a kind of
interactive 360 degree data experience. That gives you something way
beyond just those learning objectives. It gives you the absolute
concrete proof that this person did this thing. It’s highly
auditable, it sits as a file, it shows them — in six degrees of
freedom — completing this piece of regulatory training. And then
obviously out of that, there’s all sorts of potential insight that
you can start to gather. And I think one of the things for us is that
we often think about is, in many instances you can you can prove the
ROI for those simple learning objectives. But there is more to be had
there, there’s more to be discovered. And there are more ways in
which you can define, firstly, the sort of the performance of the
user. But secondly, the value of the training itself. But I would say
we’re still on that journey ourselves as a company, being able to
clearly highlight what can this data show us. And we can only really
do that by building these experiences out with people, getting lots
of users through them, and analyzing that data.

James: And in that, ROIs can be
used quite broadly. But if you think about having it as an audit
trail, and the ability to go back when something goes wrong, and the
ability to go back and prove to an overarching governing body, yes,
that person took that training, therefore we did the right thing to
ensure we try to mitigate our risk. Well, that could be saving of
hundreds of thousands, if not millions.

Justin: Yeah, for sure.

James: Just based on the ability
to be able to capture that and demonstrate it. So it can be that, and
then you can go the other way, where it’s a bit more as we’d expect
ROI to play out. And say — for example — with the work we’ve done
with DHL, which is creating VR training for cargo loading for
warehouse workers, so the ability to stack a cargo container as
efficiently as possible. So, you know, part of the ROI coming out of
that is not just around “Okay, there are less gaps in that cargo
container. Therefore, we’re shipping more cargo and making more
profit from it.” Well, actually the ROI to them is also going
through to “Well, by creating this VR training, our staff are
actually more engaged, they’re in fact enjoying the training process.
And ultimately that leads to increased staff retention.” So
instead of the average tenure of those warehouse workers being 12
months, well, actually you can extend that out to 15 months. So
suddenly–

Alan: And that is– you know
what, that alone is a reason to start using this technology, that
right there. Because we’re in a a time right now where more people
are retiring than we are able to retrain and reskill for, especially
in trades and skills that are hands-on or in warehouses. Most kids in
America don’t want to work in a warehouse. They don’t want to work in
a factory. They want to be YouTube influencers. Which is cool, but
not everybody can be a YouTube influencer.

Justin: Yeah.

Alan: So being able to make the
training fun, exciting. Are you starting to see or get requests for
gamification of this experience as well?

Justin: Yeah. So the DHL
experience actually does incorporate gamification because — as James
said — it’s a box stacking exercise. And for a company like DHL, if
they’ve got air in their planes, then it’s going to– it’s costing
them. So they have to be super efficient with this stuff. There’s all
sorts of different rules around how packages should be handled. Two
things, actually: in order to make the experience more fun and turn
it into almost a sort of Tetris-type experience, we introduced a
point system, that had all kinds of multipliers based on you
following these various rules.

Alan: I want to do it now. See?
Like, this is how training should be in the world.

Justin: It’s fun.

Alan: People want to put it on,
and try it, and do it.

James: Yeah.

Justin: Yeah. An interesting
thing is that that gamification, it makes people want to do it, and
they take the headset off and they want to have another go. And we
see that all the time, particularly with DHL. But also the
interesting thing is that the data that you’re generating out of that
gamification, the point system gives you an insight into that learned
performance, that previously wasn’t available, because they would
just be doing this in a warehouse, manually stacking it. Somebody
might be watching them and scoring them, but you wouldn’t get that
level of insight into the different techniques that they used, and
the different degree to which they were following the appropriate
process. So it’s got to be a double win there, really.

James: And there’s also a big–
there’s a global leaderboard associated with that as well, Alan, so–

Alan: Of course there is.

[laughs]

Somebody’s got to be first.

James: They’ll be competing
against a colleague, and someone in New Orleans competing against
someone in Manila. And suddenly there’s that little bit of
competition, healthy competition, of course.

Alan: Oh, I love it. And I’m
sure– I’m assuming you guys have some team stuff as well.

James: Yeah.

Justin: Yeah.

Alan: Team Manila’s crushing it!

James: Literally, it’s that.
Yeah.

Justin: I was gonna just say–
I’m going to add one more thing that’s shown ROI, because it’s such a
hot topic in the space. Another example that we’ve got is with GE and
the CT scanner work that we did. There, if you look at that’s a
slight different use case for ROI, in that these CT scanners are
incredibly expensive, obviously. We dug out a UK business case for a
CT scanner recently, that saw that initial investment of the
machinery at £1.8-million, in and of itself, which will give you
obviously one training asset. And then on top of that, it’s circa
£400,000 per year to maintain. You’ve got to have somewhere to house
that scanner, which then involves protecting stuff against magnetic
waves. So you can say there’s going to be like another million pounds
in cost there. So in the first year alone, you’re looking at sort of
3 to 3.5 million pounds, just to get that CT scanner in place. And
then on top of that, there’s all of the costs of obviously sending
people to that specific site, locating them across the country or
maybe even across the world. The cost of a trainer to be there in
person, blahblahblah. All these things add up. And so in a single
year, you can see that the cost of running a single site is going to
be incredibly expensive. And in the instance of the training that we
built for them it was it was very, very straightforward to to to put
the business case for that together, because you are effectively–
firstly, you’re removing the need for that physical hardware, but
you’re also allowing an unlimited number of people to carry out this
training at the same time.

Alan: So that’s a 5 to
£8-million savings. So translate that into American dollars, you’re
looking at 6 to 10, call it.

Justin: Yeah.

Alan: 6 to $10-million in
savings. Now, what are the costs associated with that? So how much
does it cost to build it? How much the cost to scale it, to get VR
headsets on everybody’s head? Just ballpark. What is the ballpark
cost for everything included, to deliver the same kind of level that
you would be normally paying 6 to $10-million for?

Justin: Well, I mean, it’s going
to depend on the number of users from a sort of hardware and it’s
only in terms of our platform. So our platform works on a effectively
a per user basis, which would be in line with most, you know, with
standard SAS licensing, I guess, if you use that as a benchmark. And
then obviously the hardware, if you were going to do something on a
Quest, that’s coming in a £1,000 — or I think it’s $1,000 as well,
isn’t it? — for the enterprise version of that. So how many users
are you going to have there? So that’s a fairly simple sort of sum.
And then in terms of the content creation, that will vary wildly. I’m
not going to talk specifically about the costs for GE, but you can
get– I mean, if we use a really broad range — as we would see it —
in terms of the kinds of projects that we’ve done, they tend to span
from somewhere between £50,000 to let’s say £500,000, depending on
the complexity and the range and the depth of the content that you’re
creating. So it’s a broad– it’s a very broad spectrum, indeed. And
so it’s very difficult to sort of say categorically, and it is still
relatively expensive. And those costs are coming down, because
obviously people are getting creative with those– with the tools for
creating that content. But I think once you add those numbers up,
you’re still coming in at an order of magnitude lower than the cost
that you outlined with the real world scanner.

James: Yeah. I mean–

Alan: Here, let’s just do the
back of the napkin calculation here. You got a thousand employees,
content half a million, call it a million, right? So you got a
million. Then, hardware’s… thousand employees, call it a million
dollars in hardware.

James & Justin: Yeah.

Alan: That’s giving one to
everybody, which you’re not going to do anyway, because you don’t
need that.

Justin: Yeah.

Alan: And then 1,000 licenses.
So another call it million. So that’s three million total. This is
me, back of the napkin really, really stretching here. It’s probably
not even close to that.

Justin: Unless the [garbled] as
well, that’s very minor with [garbled]

Alan: And these are dollars. So
$3-million. And normally you’d be spending between 6 to 10. So, the
ROI on that — just back of the napkin calculation — is dramatic.
And that’s me bumping everything up. So really, this is an order of
magnitude less.

Justin: Absolutely, yeah. And
like I say, that’s a– in terms of the content creation, once it’s
done, it can sit there. Obviously, you may need to do some–

James: But you could also argue
that the CT scanner, once you bought it, it sits there. Okay, it
becomes obsolete.

Justin: Yeah, yeah.

James: There’s a similar– it’s
a similar–

Justin: Well, yes and no,
because it’s a £400,000 cost to maintain every year. As well as the
cost of the facilities–

Alan: Oh yeah. I didn’t even put
that into the costs. [laughs]

Justin: Yeah. And then factor in
the cost of the trainer–

James: Then our licensing is an
annual thing as well. So it’s comparable. Not the cost of, as in how
much, but it’s a comparable– there’s an ongoing piece–

Justin: Yes, but not to the same
degree that’s–

James: Not to the same degree,
because–

Justin: Just to have a dedicated
room, for instance, that’s been properly kitted out, have the
trainers–

James: Yeah.

Justin: Those costs are gonna
really rack up after year one.

James: Yeah.

Alan: Absolutely. So if I’m
looking at as– I’m taking a look at your website and you guys are
helping companies build the content, but ultimately, they can start
to build their own content as this takes off, and there’s more people
in companies that have skillsets that include Unity and whatever. So
is that the case where people will be able to build their own
environments, build their own training, and then host it on your
platform for scale?

Justin: Yeah, there’s– so the
proposition that we have is an SDK that any Unity developer can use.
We’ve tried to lower the barrier to entry there, so you don’t have to
be a really, really experienced developer to get something pretty
meaningful in place. We just sell that now. So you can get access to
the SDK, and then once you’ve created your content now you can upload
it to the platform, and then that enables you all the distribution,
the integration, the data, and all that stuff. So, yeah, others can
create, depends if you’ve got that in-house Unity resource at the
moment. If not, we can do it for you, or we might push it out to an
existing supplier. We don’t really mind. Our model is one of moving
towards SAS business so we can create the content, but we would
really like to create licences. On top of that, we’re just kicking
off a project around what we call non-technical authoring, which
isn’t really a particularly cool name for it, but it’s a functional
one. And that is essentially allowing those trainers or those subject
matter experts to take a source CAD model, and build an entire piece
of training around that CAD model without having to do any
development whatsoever. They do it all in VR. And we’ve been working
that through for a year now with a big automotive. One of the big
global automotive manufacturers is working out what the right
processes for that are, what the right interactions are. We got to
the point where we’ve had that sort of validated across three proof
of concepts. And so we’re now ready to push that into a proper
production mode. And we’re really excited because obviously that’s
the big barrier in a way now, it’s “Well, how do I create
content as quickly as possible?” And the more content for us as
a platform provider that a customer can create, obviously, the more
it’s gonna be used. And so that’s great for us. So we’re focusing
really hard on those creation tools.

Alan: I think that’s the future
of being able to allow customers to build their own content, because
it’s great that you guys are able to help every customer now, when
we’re in early days, but when every company wakes up to this and
realizes the power of saving exponential costs on training —
especially in expensive equipment — I think it’s going to be a race
to– [chuckles] the problem that’s going to be one of a content
shortage. And being able to allow companies to do that themselves is
really key in the long term. What is the most important thing
businesses can do right now to leverage the power of your platform?

James: I think a big thing they
need to do is think about this as a sort of an ongoing program, and
sort of move away from that one-off content approach, and just think
about employing existing– the latest cool technology sets. It’s
really approaching it like they’d approach any business challenge,
right? It’s like, what is the challenge? What are you trying to
achieve, and what is the strategy or the tactics I need to employ to
achieve that? And so I think businesses should look at this as they
do with anything else, and take that approach and move away a little
bit from “Shiny new technology, let’s go do something fun!”
and think about, “Well, how does this make a difference to our
business? How do we deploy it? How do we integrate it? How do we
measure it?” So it’s really taking that longer term view of
implementing the technology, what it’s going to do and what it’s best
at doing.

Alan: Is there anything else
that you want people to know about Immerse, before we wrap up here?
And I’ve got one more question for you. Is there anything else that
we missed?

Justin: I don’t think so. I
mean, anybody that’s out there that’s looking for a way to scale
beyond those kind of smaller proof of concepts has got VR experiences
scattered across their organization. That’s the problem that we’re
looking to solve, and do that in a way that enables the data to be
uniformly in a standardised manner, gathered, collected, and pushed
through to those enterprise systems. So, yeah, I mean, we like to
think– I think James already mentioned that we’re a bit of a sort of
turning point in the market. We’re having that conversation with
people now. We were head of the market up until maybe even about nine
months ago. But things are changing. And so we know there are people
out there with those problems, and we love to see ourselves as a
solution to those. So, yeah, I mean, get in touch.

Alan: So my last question to
both of you. And they can be separate. What problem in the world do
you want to see solved using XR technologies?

James: I’ll go first.

Justin: OK.

James: I think it’s that passing
on of knowledge. It’s a bit back to your point earlier, Alan, when
you were saying people were retiring, that sort of knowledge drain.
So my view is really you can kind of capture that within the use of
VR. So if there’s that incredibly skilled trainer who ultimately
retires and had a very, very niche ability to do a certain thing and
teach a certain thing, well, you can then, in effect, codify that
within the sort of VR environment. It’s like it’s the trainer that
never retires. It’s keeping that knowledge, and that can even extend
right through to incredible artistic skills. Perhaps there’s a
certain way of making something, that is literally something that is
not being passed on. And you can actually capture that, and you’ll be
able to have that for anyone to go and look at at any point and
actually reignite the interest in a certain sort of artistic format.
So I think it’s preserving skills. And I think that’s probably the
biggest sort of legacy I could see this technology bringing to the
world at large.

Justin: James has got a good one
there.

Alan: I know, it’s kind of hard
to top that one. [laughs]

James: You could just say, “I
agree with James.”

Justin: I have another one, but
mine is a bit more personal, in that I currently travel three to four
hours every day. So I live in Oxford, but I travel into London and
it’s a nightmare. So I can see a point in the future where that could
change entirely. We’re definitely not there yet, but allowing people
to work together in a completely seamless way, remotely, so reducing
the need for that travel, allowing people to have more flexible
working lives, and much better work-life balance would be amazing for
me. And obviously alongside that will come the fact that I’ve got a
friend, a best friend who lives in Australia, and I’m not very good
at talking on the phone or even on Skype. And so the fact that we
could sort of meet up and play games together and be in a completely
virtual space, and that I could feel I was there with him — as
opposed to being there with like an avatar or some sort of cartoon
version of him — would be pretty powerful, be a life changer, I
think. Yeah, I mean, I think for me, it’s that idea that we can
inhabit spaces with people that are in completely different places.

Alan: Yeah, it’s pretty cool and
and even spaces that don’t exist. You can make them up. I know of one
of the announcements at Facebook’s Oculus Connect 6 was their Horizon
platform, which is very similar to VRChat or Altspace or some of
these collaboration platforms, but allowing just end users to create
virtual worlds. I think we’re going to be pushing towards the Ready
Player One world, where you can go into any virtual world, meet up
with your friends, and have some fun.

Justin: Yeah, I feel the same as
you.

Alan: The stuff you guys are
doing with training and assessment, I think, is the practical
iterations of this that are going to drive the real long term value
of virtual reality. Because if enterprises get onboard and people
start to be in virtual spaces for work because they have to, that’s
going to trickle down into consumer as well.

Justin: Yeah.

Alan: So with that, I got to
reiterate a quote that you guys said, “VR creates the trainer
that never retires.”

James: Yeah, it did start off as
“the trainer and never dies.” And then we thought that was
a bit macabre.

Alan: [laughs]

James: We changed it to “the
trainer to never retires.”.

Dec 02 2019 · 42mins
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Rosalind Franklin vs. James Watson

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In 1953, the structure of DNA was supposedly found by Francis Crick and James Watson. But did you know there were two other scientists working on the structure of DNA at the time, including a woman? Her name was Rosalind Franklin, and in this podcast, we discuss why Franklin didn't receive a Nobel prize for her work, as well as her life as a woman. We also discuss the life of James Watson and his controversial opinions. 

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Nov 14 2019 · 36mins
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