Why an AR/VR Company Won India’s Biggest Social Impact Award
For years now, people have always associated Augmented reality and Virtual reality technologies with gaming and entertainment. While it’s true that these two use-cases led the initial craze for AR/VR, now a lot of development has started shifting towards training, simulations and learning based use-cases in a variety of fields like healthcare, pharmaceuticals, automotive, oil & gas, education etc.
AR/VR technologies have led to the creation of use-cases and solutions that could not have been either provided at all or lacked scale earlier. This has led to AR/VR technology solving a lot of problems and hence changing the face of training, learning, maintenance etc. as we know today.
Before we begin, the context : —
Simulanis, an AR-VR company that creates training and educational content for enterprises and the future workforce recently won the Sankalp Award. Sankalp award is one of the largest awards for enterprises creating an impact. The Sankalp forum brings impact focused entrepreneurs, investors, policy makers, government officials and other key stakeholders under one roof.
Even more context : —
I work at Simulanis.
What is the impact a technology largely made with gaming use-case in mind can make? Well, traditional gaming itself can make a lot of impact and change lives for better, why would AR/VR be left behind?
Traditional gaming itself can make a lot of impact and change lives for better, why would AR/VR be left behind?
Here are some of the major reasons we won the Sankalp Award :-
Novel technology, noble use
While we have been in the AR/VR domain for more than half a decade now (and the technology itself is way older than that), AR/VR is still a novel technology. Everyday we meet people who would be experiencing these technologies for the first time and be wowed by the same. Our work in the domain doesn’t reflect an early demo showcasing what is possible and how it could improve people’s lives, our work exhibits a mature product that is already being used for serving a noble cause ( helping people earn livelihoods through job oriented training in VR).
Wait. Helping people earn livelihoods through VR, how?
For years, we have worked closely with industry leading pharmaceutical firms. We created training and learning modules for their employees to get hands-on experience of the work before actually working on the shop-floor. This experience helped us in creating generic content for the overall life-sciences sector. The VR content created by us can be utilized by anyone studying in the domain to become job ready by getting hands on training for different job roles in VR followed up by certification and placement by the relevant industry partners. These VR modules have been deployed in training centers across India which brings me to the next point -
Traction and scale
One of the major challenge a lot of companies wanting to create a business out of doing good for people is scale. Sometimes the product itself lacks the capacity to be scaled while sometimes the execution might not be up to the mark. Within an year, we have been able to launch 10 such centers across India in an asset lite model where different parties in the ecosystem (us, students, training centers, guiding bodies) benefit from AR/VR directly or indirectly. This has led to not only an use-case which has scale (the VR content can be deployed all over the world with a few modifications) but also a business model that can be scaled to reach more and more people.
Cutting the access barrier
No other medium can provide the immersion and hands on movement that VR can provide. Earlier, finding the right training for the job roles that we train people for through VR could hardly be found. The reason is simple - providing hands on training would either require purchase of the real machines ( they can cost up to millions) or access to the machines in operation within pharma firms (an extremely challenging proposition). Virtual reality cuts these access barriers through simulation of required industrial machines and allows training centers to give training for the pharma job roles at an extremely economic cost. Our execution allows students to get trained for job roles where previously next to none training was available along with certification and placement (an end to end execution).
Over the past few years, we have been able to train 1000+ people across different enterprises and sectors. Taking that number to new heights has been our driving force since inception and has seen us taking on challenges which could not have been solved without Virtual and Augmented Reality.
A statement that I always share with people interested in AR/VR is “Almost anything that you can imagine, can be simulated in AR/VR”. And this understanding is essential to think of use-cases that can create an impact in people’s lives for better.