Articles, Blog

Fictive Reality – Virtual Reality put to real use

October 3, 2019


– Virtual reality will change our society, I am sure of that, but it’s
been short on the applications. I’m in Stockholm, Sweden
and today I will see one of the most interesting
real uses of VR that is here and now. This is Mojang’s old offices, who built Minecraft and we know
how it went for them. Hello, how are you?
Good! So, what is it? – I can blab on about different things, but just let me show you. – So, you iterate them like you know, like doing some stuff like that. – Would you like to join this course? – Not really, no. – No offense, but. (both laughing) You saw the boring way how to learn, now let me show you the fun way how we can do it instead. Get this headset on Virtual Reality – Hello everybody, my name is Mathias I’m here from Rock Software,
how you doing? We had booked a meeting with Katarina. Where is she? Katarina is unfortunately sick. I do apologize. So I thought I would jump in, in her place instead, if it feels ok with you? What is your role in the company? I am responsible for our marketing department
at Rock Software, so I am very… Shouldn’t we have postponed the meeting then instead? Very relevant question, definitely, but at the same time, you are a very important customer,
so it feels important that we take this time to understand your situation, because that
I have the possibility to help with. … CRM system and try to understand it, if that
feels ok with you. Does that sound good? How much does it cost? That is a great question, I would like to go into that also,
how much it costs, but it feels a little early, because I don’t know
exactly what you need and what you are striving for and what
you are looking for, so I thought Come on! What does it cost? As mentioned, there is an interval, but I thought it is better if I understand you first,
then I can give a better indication. Otherwise it will be a very wide range, if that sounds Do you REALLY mean you haven’t met another customer with similar prerequisites before? What does it cost? All in all per year – So tell me, what are we seeing here? – Training, basic training. Practice makes perfect, all these cliches, and they’re all correct. That is exactly what it is, if we look at the elite sports, whatever they do, they
practice, practice, practice, then they become great at something. There are no shortcuts to becoming great at anything in this world. Unfortunately, or fortunately for us right, is that the corporate
training as it is today, it just tends to be a
little bit boring, it’s from the perspective of corporations, let’s digitize something, let’s make it fun and engaging. There might be an LMS
or something like that, where you sit there and there’s a video and there are multiple choice. But what we try to do instead here is create a fun environment
where you actually can learn and have a role
play in virtual reality. So what you can do in
virtual reality compared to what you can’t do in the real world is that in a very standardized
and cost efficient way, you can actually reproduce role plays. That’s what you can do. That’s the fun part of it. You measure it, you test. You go in there, you play your role. You ask your questions,
you get your feedback. There’s a report afterwards
and you see all right, this I did
right, this I did wrong. And then you start to understand, okay, what should I do with this? How can I improve? – Yeah, exactly. I mean, business success
is a lot about execution and that comes down to
the behaviors and routines of the people. I’ve had a lot of staff all over the world and I can’t recall a single instance where the traditional
one day off-site course resulted in a change of behavior. – So, if you have, let’s
say, sales training. In general you got
some kind of education, then they just throw you out in a sea. Like, go hunt. And then you burn quite some accounts, you burn some clients and you actually do not really succeed
(woman screaming) until after a while
when you really learned and you experienced this feeling of a really demanding client. Which is fair, because they should be. They should ask you the right questions. They should ask you tough questions. They should challenge
you and make sure that you actually know what
you’re delivering to them. So, then the question is like, okay how do we really learn, then? And if you’re really lucky
and you are some kind of CEO for a big, fancy company, you
might get sent to New York. And then you meet some CXOs there and you have a weekend away and you sit there with
these fantastic actors who sit there and create
a role play for you. And you do learn in the role play because you do get challenged. So that’s positive. But then again, what’s
similar to that situation, and the situation where
it’s the standard education that we just saw, is that
the impact of the words quite quickly usually deteriorates. So when I mean the impact, it’s the actual behavioral change. Do people really change
when they get this education? And in general, not necessarily. You might pick up one or two things. So how can you then, in a cost efficient and a nice, standardized,
measurable way as well, create these kinda role plays? Without becoming like,
strange and awkward. And that’s where VR is just fantastic. That’s where VR nails it. There’s been many challenges with VR when hyped a few years ago. But today and where we are right now, it’s gaining traction and you start seeing if correctly applied in the right setting with the right way, it’s marvelous. Then it really does the trick. So, what you do is that you sit there and you actually have this
role play with avatars. These avatars are in front of you and you have a dialogue with them. So, it’s really like a complex
dialogue that you have. And you actually get so close
to this learning environment that you would have in real life. And that’s measured. You talk, and this is the important
part, what we work with, is that we talk in VR. So it’s not that you sit and push buttons or anything like this, you actually talk. – As you know, I’m a technology man. So, how does it work? – So, the technology in
this is really around what we call a dialogue tree. So, all of these scenarios, that Mathias is talking
about, is a role play which is a back and
forth between the player and some virtual characters. And in order to prepare this,
we have a dialogue tree. So the dialogue tree is
everything that can be said throughout this conversation. And as you imagine, as the
conversation goes forward, you have more options,
and you have to basically depend on what was said before. – Business case for that? So, what we do is to sit
down with the customers and we build a dialogue tree
together with them. We do this first by
recording and analyzing the way that they would
role play the perfect sales scenario, for example. And when we’ve done that,
we can build this tree which gives a number of
different realistic answers to what the player would say, so that the characters
can respond in a good way. But they also include
challenges back to the player which is what we want to test for. And so, different
answers will have points. And the best way through
this dialogue tree, the most successful way of handling the virtual character,
for example the customer in a sales scenario would then be given the highest points. – Is it machine learning,
controlling the characters? – The machine learning part
can come in different stages. The first stage, as we use it now, is that when we record what people say, we can analyze and transfer it into text. But the second stage is that we can build the dialogue trees in realistic ways by taking all the different
dialogues that we’ve recorded and all the ones that
we’ve played through, and therefore we can
build, before the sessions, a perfect dialogue tree. And ultimately the AI can be used to then control the characters
during the conversations. Like you would if you meet them in a game or if you would be talking to a robot. – So when do you think you will have your first real customer? – First real customer? We have customers, we have several. Like, for example we have
Jobzone, a recruitment company. Look, I can sit there and talk about it, we can go and ask them instead,
how they think about it. What do you think? – Let’s go. (upbeat music) – We are a recruitment
and staffing company based in Sweden, Stockholm
with a Nordic reach. And we are working within different areas all from engineers to sales. And we have been using
Fictive Reality to create our own program where we have a work test. So, many sales people out
there, when they are recruited, it’s very difficult to recruit
sales people because you never know how
good they are at their job. So we did a test in virtual reality which has been really successful. – Super cool. – Yeah, a super cool
feature that we are giving as an opportunity to our customers so that they can use in their recruitment. – What I really like what
you do is that you take this personality test with it, and then the recruitment test with it, the interview with it and then you just combine all these factors either you say no or yes to someone, right? – Yeah.
– Or that you make sure that you get the right onboarding. – Exactly, because it’s a
chain when you hire someone. And you need to get all
the pieces in a row. And everything from the
regular interviews that we do or in the CVs you also
have to see how they are in their environment, so to say. But then also all of
this combined gives us the opportunity to give
an onboarding platform for the actual recruiting
company that is recruiting. – You of course, are pioneers in this. – We are pioneers, we are first in Sweden, which we are very proud of. – I think you’re first in the world. – We’re first in the world. We are first in the world! That’s super cool, yeah. I have to change the title. – Yeah, sure. – We have to change the
title on the webpage. – Cool. – So, we are the first in the world when it comes to virtual
reality recruitment. I’m kind of proud. (music) – It’s a bit strange maybe
to ask, but how do you think it’s working with fictive reality? I’m sitting here, a bit on the spot. – I’m going to be completely
honest, transparent. Are you ready for this?
– I don’t know. – It’s been awesome!
– Ah. – Yeah, it’s been really good. Because it’s been a
partnership from the beginning so we have been taking
what we are the best at, and you have been taking
with you what you are best at and combined we actually
have, together, made something that really is pioneering. So, I think that the
partnership is the proof of how big trust that you have created and the product has also
exceeded expectations. And we can say that because our customers that have tried it, have
been very satisfied. So it actually is, with
their words that I’m saying, that the product has
exceeded expectations. – Thank you.
– So, it’s a very good job. We’re very proud to be a part of this. – Really nice to hear. (upbeat music) – So how did this all start? – It all started with my
failures as a manager. I was there, as a
manager, standing in front of my sales reps, and
trying to educate them. Trying to make them
understand and see like, “Okay, these are the
questions you should ask, “these are the answers you should give, “this is how we should
behave with the client.” Basically trying to educate them, right? And what did I do? Well, I did what is being done today. I was there, I held a workshop. I pushed them through
awkward role play games. That’s what I did. And did things really change from that? No, not really. So that and the combination
with the tech virtual reality and immersiveness that you get there, you actually can capture a
person and they can sit there, they’re locked in, they are
focused, they are there. And then they actually learn
when they start talking to these avatars. That’s where I felt like,
okay, we’re on to something. Role playing in virtual
reality is the future. That is what will be done. – For me, I’ve been
playing role playing games for fun since I was basically a small kid. And I loved it so much I started
making role playing games, writing role playing games. It was not my daytime job. I worked in Ericsson, a big
telecommunications company for a long time. I worked a lot with developing
software and selling software and doing the product design for software. But for me, role playing has
been my passion the whole time. And when I met Mathias
and we talked about, we talked about the potential
of VR. VR now really becoming
ready as a technology before it’s been more
talked about, hyped about. Now it’s ready. And role playing is
something you can combine to really help education become better. Because I’ve been in the big company, I’ve taken these boring courses. I completely share the frustrations of Mathias.
– It could have been me. I could have been the teacher. – Yeah, yeah, yeah. I would still have been
frustrated, I’m sorry. (both laughing) – So Martin, what is your vision? – Well, to me what’s
really interesting now, as Mathias said, VR is just now ready to become a mass market product. But you also have AR, augmented reality. And VR and AR will start
merging as technologies. And then you will have
a flexibility of both being immersed completely inside a room and the ability to use it
all over town, basically. And to be able to coach, and help you in your every day life. So for me, when we can kind of understand the way people learn,
and understand dialogue so that an AI can take the
full learning opportunity together with the student,
then you can do this in a full,
augmented reality version. You can imagine a coach that coaches you on the way you should be doing your training. You can imagine having hints
at how you should perform your sales talk and you
can imagine a course that is just very interesting to take. – So, I have one question. – Yeah.
– So, what does it cost? – What it costs? (laughing) – So, if any customer wanted to try this, what should they do? – We have a closed beta, so
follow us on social media. We have LinkedIn and
fictivereality.com. Just reach out to us and
we will get in contact with you. – Okay, thank you very much. – Thank you. – Thank you very much. – Earlier today I met Fictive Reality. All right, this is my take from a technology investment perspective. VR is interesting now for two reasons: 5G is coming now, which will
make it work everywhere and headsets are getting better. This will benefit the whole ecosystem, but I actually want to
take this from a bigger, more long term perspective. I am certain that VR
will have vast impact, maybe we won’t even live in
cities to the same extent. That is far into the future,
but that’s the thing. Most people think that
these type of changes will happen quickly and have small impact, but in reality, they have
enormous impact and happen slowly. We are still in the very early stages and that is what business strategy and technology investment is all about. It is about playing the long
game in the right direction before everyone else sees it. The VR industry has been short on uses beyond gaming, etc. This is real enterprise use. Real customers, now. The sign outside the building says, “Tobaksfabriken”. Sweden used to have a
state-run tobacco monopoly about 100 years ago. That seems really funny to
us now, but at the same time we are creating other types of monopolies in global technology everywhere. The leading player in a given niche becomes so dominant,
becomes a type of gatekeeper that it becomes almost
impossible for a second player to enter or even survive. If the guys can take
their platform to dominate these types of conversational
VR interactions, it can be very hard for
a second player to enter. So, what can they improve
from what I have seen? I always like to think big. We put a mobile phone in the hands of every person on the planet. It can be done. So, if all companies were
to use this platform, how would it look then? How would the onboarding
experience be then? So, for those of you who have
followed me for some time, you know some of my evaluation criteria. So is it possible that
they can make it big? Yes, it’s possible. I’m going to look at
investing in this one myself. I really liked it. Okay, Larsson out. Hej då! (instrumental guitar music)

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2 Comments

  • Reply Martin Fröjd September 27, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    Great to see this video coming together! Like our very own documentary 🙂

  • Reply Joakim Holmer September 27, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    Absolutely GREAT production again Larsson. We look forward to see more. You rock. Thank you. -JA Beach Studios.

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