Surprise factor (creativity + originality):
In 2020 we conceived and developed a world first case study demonstrating that we could stream a high-fidelity VR medical education application in real time over a 5G standalone network. We created the first phase of the VR Anatomical Learning platform for Coventry University which was funded by Vodafone. The VR Anatomical Learning app was the first global commercial use of the Nvidia Cloud XR software. This provides a teaching tool that allows lecturers and students to remotely step inside and explore a 3D simulation of the human body for education purposes.
Purpose factor (effectiveness + problem-solving):
Virtual and immersive learning is the future. The current pandemic has accelerated this need 3-5 years ahead of its previous adoption path. For example, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) learning, immerses places the student side by side with the world's leading educators, so they no longer need to be and now they don't have to be in the same room or even the same city.
Access to Virtual/Augmented Reality content collectively known as XR can be challenging. Problems arise when collaborating inside XR apps as these systems require complicated hardware and software to run.
Currently, to achieve a virtual learning solution you would have to invest in a high powered workstation for every single user, all of whom would need to be in the same location, connected to the same network. This type of pipeline requires expert support to maintain, whilst managing the VR applications which would become increasingly difficult as the library of applications increases.
We believe 5G connectivity and powerful cloud computing is generating more possibilities for immersive soft skill training / education across multiple sectors, especially healthcare and visualisation for medical education.
Our innovation is a collective of new existing technologies which have been instrumental shaping the XR streaming software. Our collective knowledge of this software has enabled us to develop new and improved pipeline processes.
Disruptive factor (originality + ambition):
For many, a visual aid is an essential tool in learning. Research shows that visual styles account for 60-70% of learning.
According to a study by PwC in 2020, VR learners were four times faster to train than in a classroom, 275 percent more confident in their ability to apply the skills after the VR and 3.75 times more emotionally connected to the content compared with classroom learners. As the future of learning and work becomes more hybrid and remote, augmented and virtual reality solutions provide opportunities to train at scale and connect people in new ways.
In our case study we have built the framework for an immersive education platform, we now need to expand the content to cultivate a subscription-based learning platform for Universities and Industry alike.
Cross-sectoral impact and/or opportunity for global collaboration:
The disruption to education and industry caused by the pandemic has only made us more confident in the role that XR technology can play in helping us understand our world and each other. It is also clear we must do it ethically, compassionately, and equitably.
Equality, diversity, and inclusion are among the main benefits and our motivations for building what we believe is a teaching platform of the future.
Alongside our partners Coventry University, Vodafone, Ericsson and Nvidia we believe 5G has the potential to significantly improve healthcare education delivery globally by boosting network speed and capacity while reducing latency. This will be crucial for transmitting large medical images, supporting telehealth initiatives and remote patient monitoring tools and facilitating the complex uses of AI, AR, and VR technologies. 5G technology will also facilitate faster downloads and communication on tablets and other mobile devices used in healthcare, allowing the growth and adoption of mobility in healthcare education on a global scale.
As the spheres of learning and work move rapidly toward hybrid modes of interaction, we are optimistic about the significant role extended reality (XR) technologies can play in enhancing the ways we learn and work together. In 2018 the AR/VR education market was worth $1.8B which is reported to increase to $12.6B by 2025.
We have identified the benefits of virtual learning for universities and any large organisations that require collaborative interactions for learning, creating and communicating. In response, we have analysed the requirements to enable us to create and deliver an ongoing blended learning solution.
We have success fully tested the prototype of the VR Anatomical Learning platform on the 5G standalone network which was installed at Coventry University by Ericsson