Talking About New Realities

Last Friday I had the honor of speaking at the DET Realities conference in Detroit, MI. The one day gathering was hosted by Grand Circus Co. They sought to gather some of the leaders, thinkers, and innovators in the Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality fields in the Detroit and Southwest Michigan area to discuss and share… and of course, network.

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I was invited by the lead organizer, Peter, after he had seen my presentation on the potential of delivering just-in-time training and learning via augmented reality on the manufacturing plant floor at the Realities 360 conference in San Jose this summer. We both felt my talk was fitting for the DET Realities conference. It exemplified what is going on in the training and AR/VR world, but more importantly it was a pronouncement of what Detroit and the industrial factories that make up it backbone is doing and envisioning.

 

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Neal Rowland presenting on AR in manufacturing at the DET Realities conference 2017

 

The speakers ranged from entertaining to enlightening to mundane to practical. One speaker discussed the legality of augmented reality. A topic I had not given a great deal of thought to. It is a topic definitely worth thinking about. Brian Wassom is a lawyer and had argued cases about the still-being-carved-out legal matters of augmented realities and their creators. He has chronicled some of his work on a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AugmentedLegality/

DETrealities_logo-300x300Another interesting speaker was Steve Dantas from VRARA [ http://www.thevrara.com/detroit ]. Steve spoke about the challenges that companies and executives are facing to leverage VR and AR in their businesses. Nobody at conferences claim to have the answers. It is way too fledgling for anyone to claim that. So his quick presentation, it was thoughtful in the sense of what we need to think about. What are the budgets, market plans, and strategies executives must consider as we venture down these still unpaved paths. The VRARA is an association that gathers liked minded individuals on the topic. I am looking forward to joining and hearing from you and others. Follow the link for more on the association: http://www.thevrara.com

Thanks again to Peter and Stephanie for pulling together a great event. Thanks to the Grand Circus for hosting the event. I am hopeful there will be similar meetups annually and maybe at other Grand Circus venues across the United States.

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Mixed Reality in Training

I recently gave a presentation at the Training Conference 2017 in San Diego on the use of various devices that could be used for learning and development. The objective was to share with fellow educators and other leaders and professionals in the Learning and Development industry some of the soon-to-be realities that we are experimenting with for delivering Just-In-Time (JIT) training to our learners.

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There were a few technologies and tools that we are currently experimenting with at Plex Systems (an ERP company based in the Detroit area). I showcased the Microsoft HoloLens and Daqri helmets to illustrate the delivery of training to manufacturing employees. Our thinking is that shop floor employees must wear safety glasses, why not make them more dynamic and useful beyond just eye protection. Ergo, when an employee is standing at a workcenter or on the assembly line attempting to recall their training from weeks back, they do not need to rely completely on their own memories. If already equipped with augmented or mixed reality glasses, they should be able to access training content straightaway. Whether that content be training documentation, training videos, checklists, or a live person, the employee needs that material at the point where he or she must apply it more than weeks prior while they were sitting passively in a training session.

The Microsoft HoloLens and Darqi devices are not the only cutting edge technologies we are exploring. I shall discuss more of those other devices and our strategies behind them in a future blog. For now, I simply wanted to bring up the discussion and get the virtual ball rolling [pun intended!].

As I prepare my next presentation on the topic – which includes the Online Training Conference in New Orleans and PowerPlex 2017 in Atlanta – I am curious to hear what other people are doing or considering doing. Would love to dialog and share thoughts!