Siemens Setting the Bar: Supporting Customers With Virtual Reality Training

Siemens Setting the Bar: Supporting Customers With Virtual Reality Training

Industry giant, Siemens has once again set the bar for technical innovation. In addition to the incredibly advanced products and solutions they constantly offer their customers, Siemens Low Voltage Products in the U.S. will be offering Virtual Reality-based training to them as well.

Learners will be able to immerse themselves in VR space and interact with Siemens’ products like never before – in a consequence-free environment. Learning time is greatly reduced while still steadily increasing knowledge retention. Decreased as well are the cost and logistical burdens of transporting personnel and equipment to training sites geographically.  Additionally, the solution is built to scale, meaning it is designed to accept more areas of content curriculum in the future. 

Customer Support Like Never Before

As an organization, one of the pillars keeping Siemens in business for almost 170 years is supporting their customers. And they certainly have a very complex landscape of “customers” to support. Their channel is extremely broad, containing: electrical contractors, engineers, architects, and distributors of all sizes. Delivering the right solution to properly support these various types of customers is indeed a challenge, but one that Siemens has met head-on through a very robust Virtual Reality execution. 

From a nuts and bolts perspective, Siemens wanted to decrease the current expenditure on product training efforts. Considering a global company of that size, shipping personnel and equipment to all the places it needs to be is extremely expensive. And that is just for one single product solution – they have thousands. Another goal was to create an experience like none other in their industry through the use of Virtual Reality. This is a storied business built on tradition and “the way things have always been done” so to be first-to-market with an approach like this was key. Lastly, the solution needed to be scalable. The approach needed to be built on a platform – a foundation – that allows future additions for other products and solutions, as well as capabilities for learning. 

This is how they would change the game. 

The Solution

The V3CORE Training Platform answers the call in addressing these challenges. It’s unparalleled scalability, reliability and overall robustness place it in rarified air. The current version of the Siemens Virtual Reality training module centers on one of their Power Panel products. One of the key features of the V3CORE Training Platform is procedure-based learning. Learners are walked through and interact with a procedure to outfit the panel with a collection of circuit breakers for the panel. The instruction utilizes the “Show me, teach me, let me try” experiential learning model. Learners have work instructions clearly called out in front of them denoting each step of the process. They have the ability to watch a demonstration animation of each step to become more familiar with what is expected. Lastly – and with most impact – they interact with objects in the scene, whether tools or products, to actually perform the required work. This interaction is the key learning moment. After this moment they will have a memory of actually doing the work. With this procedural model, performing operations in the correct way, in the correct order, is the only way to advance. There is only one way to do things – the right way. So when the student encounters the Siemens equipment in the field, they do so with a significantly higher amount of pre-knowledge, the benefits of which are vast.

The environment is immersive and comparable to the real world so that there are few to no speed bumps in believability for anyone going through the training. The goal when architecting such a solution is to create a space as real as possible without the consequences of the real world. We learn far more from failure than success. Fail early. Fail often. This is a cornerstone to this type of instructional approach and an attribute of using a visualization technique like Virtual Reality. 

Despite the electrical industry being so diverse in member age, the majority of individuals, regardless of their age, still benefit from and need training such as this. So, it’s required that training in VR be digestible by an older audience as well as younger groups. The purpose is defeated if anyone feels overwhelmed by learning “a VR app,” THEN proceeding to their training. The solution should be designed in such a way as to create a training experience that just happens to be in Virtual Reality. 

The use of VR in the training space cuts learning time dramatically. Classes take less time and instructors and students are re-purposing that extra time toward other gains. The landscape has changed! Training audiences are putting down their lengthy instruction manuals and three-ring binders, and closing the PowerPoint presentations. They’re excited to learn now. Because it doesn’t feel like learning anymore… it feels like life. Life without the consequences. 

View a video created internally by Siemens talking about the VR Training initiative.

Siemens brings you factory training and engineering in a whole new way. Use Virtual Reality to immerse yourself and try out new techniques in a safe environment with memorable experiential learning. Train anyone, anywhere, with Siemens Virtual Reality Training.

This One Day…

Never one to take a false step, Siemens previewed the training solution to a group of customers at a prominent electrical contractor in the Midwest. The goal of the meeting was to simply show the audience of upper management the solution and get their thoughts. The contractor liked the tool so much they insisted some technicians be brought in immediately to go through the training-not as a true-to-life test – as real training! They saw the immediate benefit and opportunity and seized it. Multiple technicians went through the training that day and were ecstatic about their experience. Training those technicians in VR took a fraction of the time as compared to doing the actual procedures in the real world. And as a result, each student felt better about future encounters with that equipment in the field because they would arrive with so much more knowledge – knowledge they otherwise wouldn’t have had. 

Scalability & The Future

To be worthy of investment in this day and age, in addition to providing ROI, you need to have a plan for the future and how you want to get there. The V3CORE Platform has been built with scalability in mind. The platform is a robust collection of features and functionality years in the making and very inclusive in terms of what it does and, more importantly, what clients can do with it. Curriculum can be added in phases because the content is treated as a module. And as new updates and features get added to the V3CORE foundation, those are automatically downloaded and installed. 

Siemens is taking full advantage of this aspect. Discussions are already underway to add another product’s procedure to the solution. The vision for Siemens has always been a wide collection of products/solutions that serve as launch pads for training. And they are on their way of achieving that. VisionThree is proud to stand beside them on that journey. 

Lastly, what used to be future-facing discussion is now present-day reality. Virtual Reality hardware has evolved to a point to where it is untethered (not requiring a separate PC) and cost effective to adopt. Devices like the Oculus Quest are bringing VR Training to the masses and changing the training environment forever. 

So, between the V3CORE Training Platform, the content, and the hardware, it’s a very bright future for Siemens – or any other company that wishes to step up their training game and innovate using VR as a learning approach. 

The Latest Tech is Helping “Seal the Deal”

The Latest Tech is Helping “Seal the Deal”

Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Touch-Driven Applications are providing more freedom to showcase products and services effectively in the boardroom, on the trade show floor, and in one-on-one sales presentations. Interactive storytelling allows companies to engage customers anytime, anywhere.

According to Forbes, digital marketing trends for 2018 focus on 2 main requirements: that these tools be more personal and more mobile. Clients expect more than slideshow sales presentations and stacks of handouts on conference room tables. ROI is king, and sales often hinge on customers being able to clearly and quickly see how products will grow their business. By using current technology, companies can differentiate themselves from their competitors by leaving vivid, lasting impressions on customers.

Businesses that integrate these sorts of applications are shortening sales cycles, increasing closing rates, improving customer training, and building deeper, more long-lasting relationships with customers. This is in part due to the use of flexible technology, but also because the content within that technology is proving to be more meaningful and focused on customers’ needs.

Augmented Reality:

AR offers the opportunity to present and demonstrate a product anywhere, any time.

Augmented Reality (AR) can provide a realistic sense of scale when introducing large products to clients. Prospective clients can visualize products in their space (see samples of our AR work here), creating a powerful sales presentation and actively engaging customers in the sales process. AR allows you to carry an entire collection of products around “in your pocket,” ready to present anywhere, at any time!

Virtual Reality:

With VR, clients are immersed into realistic virtual environments that will help them to visualize products “in action.”

With Virtual Reality (VR), not only are clients completely immersed into products, but they are also transported into personalized, product-specific environments. Selling rodent traps to a warehouse owner? Place them in a realistic virtual warehouse and show them the product in action (for more info on this project, click here).

The newest VR technology also allows users to reach out and interact with objects using their own hands (read more on this innovative development here). VR lets customers get up close and personal with products, and creates a lasting impression in this era of the elevator speech and “just give me the bullets” selling styles.

Touch Applications:

Touch applications offer personalization, while retaining uniform branding and polish.

Gone are the days of PowerPoint sales presentations. Touch-Driven applications allow more personalization on a client-by-client basis, and can be taken into the field on phones, tablets, or large screens, depending on situational needs (like our partnership with the City of Greenwood). Touch solutions offer polished, uniform branding and messaging when added to sales presentations, but still allow the freedom to personalize on a client-by-client basis. This powerful tool can be as flexible as your needs require.

Experiences Matter.

Let us know how we can help your business begin incorporating one (or more!) of these types of flexible solutions into your sales presentations!

VisionThree Hosts Experience Makers for “VR Talk” Speaker Series Event

VisionThree Hosts Experience Makers for “VR Talk” Speaker Series Event

VisionThree was proud and excited to welcome over 50 Experience Makers into our humble abode this past Tuesday evening. This group, primarily focused on user experience design in all forms, seeks to “inspire, educate, and design a better Indianapolis.”

This VR talk, led by Partner & Strategy Director Jake Leeman, centered around what V3 has seen and experienced professionally in the VR space here in the Midwest over the past year.

Highlights included an overview of the rapidly growing AR/VR market – projected by TechCrunch to hit $108 billion by 2021 – and a discussion on the various technology and hardware sales and advancements in the Virtual Reality space over the past year. As this technology continues to mature, and hardware becomes cheaper and more readily available, we will begin to see VR spread to the masses within the next year or two.

Experience Makers participated in three VR demos of actual projects.

Jake also covered the three areas of business interest that V3 has seen spike over the past six months: Brand Experiences, Product Demonstrations, and Education & Training. The discussion around each of these areas included an overview of three VR-based case studies for actual paid VR projects V3 has completed since January.

  1. Brand Experiences: Creating immersive environments, activities and experiences centered around brand activation and engagement with consumers
  2. Product Demonstrations: Showcasing virtual products, services or systems that are too small, large, complicated or costly to demonstrate in real life
  3. Education & Training: Utilizing a virtual environment to supplement current training & education initiatives for manufacturing, engineering, etc.
The talk concluded with some UX tips and tricks that the V3 team has learned from during our design and development on recent VR projects:
  1. KISS: VR is still new to most users
  2. Create simple & clear UI Design, tasks, & objectives within the space
  3. Design for the virtual environment users need (180º, 360º)
  4. Keep the experience short & focused (1-2 minutes)
  5. Ease your users into the experience (Acclimation Period)
  6. Don’t forget about actual reality (the space, the gear, etc.)
  7. Test, test and more testing; what can go wrong, will go wrong

VisionThree is thrilled to share our knowledge and experience of this exciting and growing space with other creative professionals here in Indianapolis. Virtual Reality is here to stay, and we’re glad to be a part of creating amazing VR experiences right here in the Midwest!

Interested in getting a private demo of our VR work? Call or email us (sales@visionthree.com) to schedule your own VR experience soon!

VisionThree Creates a Modern, Interactive Media Experience for Purdue Alumni’s Boilermaker Station.

VisionThree Creates a Modern, Interactive Media Experience for Purdue Alumni’s Boilermaker Station.

VisionThree creates an engaging multi-user touchscreen experience for the Purdue University Alumni Association.

Another recent example of VisionThree’s successful experience-creation strategy is the Purdue Alumni Experience, a large-format touchscreen experience that allows multiple users to interact at the same time. Unveiled in late March at the new Boilermaker Station, this experience has already proven to be a hit with visitors. VisionThree, headquartered in Indianapolis, is known for its unique approach to designing experiences through the use of technology and engaging interactive design.

Alumni, current students, and their families are encouraged to explore decades of imagery that highlight various categories such as historic milestones, leaders, traditions, and accomplished alumni. This experience’s dynamic content has been brought to life on the screen through stunning animations that build and transition away as each user explores the content. These subtle interactions allow guests a freedom of exploration where curiosity and discovery are encouraged and reinforced visually.

This interactive experience will reside on a massive 98” touchscreen display at Boilermaker Station, a room dedicated to the Purdue Alumni Association on campus within the Purdue Memorial Union, across from the Welcome Center. This screen size is central to delivering an experience that will accommodate multiple users at the same time, as they visit the room on a game day or during other social or school events.

This is exactly what the Alumni Association needed – a really cool and engaging way to show how broad the Alumni footprint really is. And one that they can grow and keep fresh with new content. Not a lot of universities are doing that well. As a Boiler Alum myself, it was a great honor to be a part of this project.

JASON MORRIS

DIGITAL PRODUCER, VISIONTHREE

VisionThree worked with the Alumni Association to clearly define the purpose and objectives of both the room itself and this key interactive experience, making sure we could deliver on our promise of creating an experience that truly mattered.

VisionThree’s creative and development teams then worked hand in hand to concept a visual experience that would be easy to use, intriguing to look at, and fun to engage with. This internal collaboration – between design and technology – has been central to VisionThree’s continued success as design trends and interactive technology have continued to evolve.

The Purdue Alumni Experience at its core is built around the concept of a dynamic photo wall that populates with unique content each time it is activated. Visitors begin exploring by touching any of the images on the screen. That interaction will trigger a larger version of the image, along with some supporting contextual information. However, that same interaction will also trigger a random assortment of thumbnails from within the same category to appear all around it, encouraging further exploration within that media collection.

Behind this touch-based interactive experience lies a robust content management system built by VisionThree. This CMS allows the Alumni Association to constantly monitor, curate and expand its collection of content through a simple online interface. This web-based portal provides a convenient and secure way to manage the experience’s content to keep it fresh and exciting as the media collection grows.

In addition to this interactive experience, VisionThree also developed a branded animation that plays under a custom branded facade along the exterior hallway wall. This highly visual and compelling piece aids in attracting attention to this new area of the Union. The infinite expandability, along with rich data tracking for detailed analytics, combined with the overall design and development of both the interactive experience and attraction video, create an entertaining alumni experience that will live on for years to come.

For more information about the Boilermaker Room, including its hours and location, click here.

Engaging Interactive Experience from VisionThree Helps Deliver Greenwood’s Vision for Downtown Transformation.

Engaging Interactive Experience from VisionThree Helps Deliver Greenwood’s Vision for Downtown Transformation.

VisionThree creates a dynamic 3D version of proposed downtown redevelopment for the City of Greenwood.

VisionThree, headquartered in Indianapolis, is known for its unique approach to designing experiences through the use of technology and engaging interactive applications. The most recent example of this is the A City with Vision Experience, a 2D and 3D interactive presentation experience unveiled Tuesday at Greenwood’s City Center by Greenwood Mayor Mark W. Myers.

Residents, community leaders, local business owners, and potential developers are encouraged to learn more about Greenwood’s business advantages and development opportunities through this presentation. Here they will interact with dynamic content that has been brought to life on the screen through subtle animations, photo galleries and an interactive 3D version of the proposed downtown redevelopment. These visually compelling content areas combine to tell a rich story about Greenwood’s many current opportunities and vision for future growth.

This interactive experience will reside on multiple touch screen displays throughout the City Center located downtown, as well as on iPads used by city officials while on the road. This flexibility is central to delivering the story of where Greenwood is going in as many ways as possible to a variety of audiences.

“What we created for Greenwood made the Mayor’s announcement and plans much more impactful to stakeholders and media. This is another example of how VisionThree goes far beyond the typical PowerPoint to make powerful and engaging presentations.”

JEFF WHITE

PARTNER, VISIONTHREE

VisionThree worked with Greenwood city officials to develop a clear picture of the content this experience needed to cover in order to tell their story successfully.

VisionThree’s creative team then led the concepting and presentation design, working hand in hand with their development team to make sure each content area was both engaging and easy to use. Successfully combining exciting and engaging interactive content with robust, well-engineered application development has been central to VisionThree’s success over the years.

The City with Vision Experience contains 4 different content areas in total. Presenters begin by exploring Greenwood’s current features based on current development and its location within the state and Mid-West. From there, users can learn more about the city’s vision and philosophy towards its future growth, as well as explore a section dedicated to the 5 major development initiatives currently underway. The final section is a 3D centerpiece completely devoted to the downtown redevelopment project, where users can explore the various projects and concepts that have been both planned and completed.

These experiences, both active and passive, combine to create a memorable experience for each visitor. The City with Vision Experience, as a whole, focuses on the commitment and vision the City of Greenwood has in its development, both past, present, and future. VisionThree is proud to have helped achieve this compelling experience for this sister city. One that truly embraces our motto: “Experiences Matter.”

For more information on how Greenwood is working to redefine itself and present its vision of its future, visit http://www.greenwood.in.gov/topic/blocks.php?topicid=309&structureid=45

For more information about Greenwood’s exciting announcement and how they used VisionThree’s experience, see any of the following media coverage of its debut:

 

Immersive “Bicentennial Experience” Connects with Hoosiers using Interactives from VisionThree and Sensory Technologies

Immersive “Bicentennial Experience” Connects with Hoosiers using Interactives from VisionThree and Sensory Technologies

VisionThree partners to create a memorable immersive experience that will tour Indiana as part of its bicentennial celebration.

VisionThree and Sensory Technologies, both headquartered in Indianapolis, are known for their unique approach to designing experiences through the use of technology and engaging interactive applications. The most recent example of their partnership is The Bicentennial Experience, a technology-infused mobile museum unveiled last Friday at the Indiana State Fairgrounds by the Indiana Office of Tourism Development (IOTD).

Governor Mike Pence gives the open remarks at the unveiling of the Bicentennial Experience.

Hoosier visitors are encouraged to reminisce and dream as they interact with several captivating touch displays, customized programming, compelling visual imagery, and immersive audio – all featuring iconic Indiana sights and sounds. The seamless integration of audio-video capabilities and interactive design allows for a rich story to emerge within the mobile unit.

The self-contained mobile unit will reside at the Indiana State Fair for three weeks, before visiting communities across the state. It will be making stops in many of the cities on the bicentennial torch relay route, covering over 3200 miles.

“We’re excited to be a part of this amazing experience that brings Hoosier pride to life,” said Jeff White, partner at VisionThree. “Reaching today’s audiences can be difficult. Through a creative blend of intuitive design and engaging interactive content, we are able to successfully connect with visitors young and old. This compelling interactive prompts them to explore and learn more about our state’s rich history and exciting future.”

VisionThree guided the creative concepting for the overall experience, helping to bring cohesion to the initial vision. Brainstorming with Sensory Technologies on creative and technical solutions for telling these rich stories was crucial to the success of this experience. Successfully combining exciting and engaging interactive content with robust, well-engineered technology has proven to be key for these companies continued partnership over the past three years.

The Bicentennial Experience contains 6 different exhibits areas in total. Visitors begin by exploring Indiana’s stunning landscapes, historical sites and modern attractions in the Indiana Treasures space, using an engaging photo-viewing application that arranges images from all over the state in a dynamic shape matching the state’s, loosely positioned according to their real-life locations. VisionThree brought these otherwise static images to life, imbibing the display with a sense of energy and movement.

Visitors enjoy learning more about Indiana's natural resources, historical landmarks and beautiful scenery.

Visitors are then guided through an Indiana Leads display, which educates them on the people who helped put Indiana on the map. The next area, Indiana Grows, brings our rich agricultural heritage to life using bold imagery, peek-a-boo discovery panels and a smell station.

Indiana Innovates highlights many remarkable Hoosier inventions and products with actual artifacts, while also covering the state’s production and technology history through three looping video stations, each focusing on a different area.

In the Indiana Inspires area, visitors are invited to explore a visual database of some well known – and some not-so-famous – faces. Touching these photos brings up more information about these notable Hoosiers, denoting both their accomplishments and which part of the state they are from. VisionThree paid careful consideration to making sure that every touch interaction springs to life with dynamic animation and content reveals.

Visitors explore famous Indiana faces.

The last area, Indiana Unites, is the finale for the exhibit, engaging visitors through a powerfully inspiring video that celebrates our past, present and future.

These experiences, both active and passive, combine to create a memorable experience for each visitor. The Bicentennial Experience as a whole focuses on the pride we should have as Hoosiers in our rich history and bright future. VisionThree is proud to be an Indiana company that has helped achieve this compelling experience for residents of our entire state. One that truly embraces our motto: “Experiences Matter.

For more information on Bicentennial events, visit www.in.gov/ibc/

For more information on Sensory Technologies, visit www.sensorytechnologies.com/