Enterprise Education

Aurélie TRUCHET, co-founder and Chief Customer Officer, is responsible for the holistic management of projects for the company’s 300 clients, from conception to implementation, with a particular focus on their ongoing success.

Jean-Pierre ABIDAL, editorial manager and member relations manager at France Immersive Learning, conducted and wrote this interview, providing valuable insights on the subject.

 

How did the Uptale project come about?

The Uptale project was born nearly 8 years ago when we pooled our skills and diverse experiences. With David RISTAGNO, Dwayne ISERIEF, and Sébastien LEANG, we formed the founding team. Before launching Uptale, I had worked in the learning services of large companies such as Danone and Axa. David and Sébastien were developers at Microsoft, where they were immersed in the world of mixed reality through technologies like HoloLens. Dwayne, on the other hand, already had experience as an entrepreneur. Together, we decided to harness the potential of immersive technologies in the field of learning. Our goal was clear: to make Immersive Learning accessible to everyone. We wanted to enable anyone with training needs to easily create immersive modules and deploy them without encountering major technical constraints. The journey to achieve this goal was not without obstacles, but today, with nearly 300 satisfied clients, we can confidently say that this objective has been fully achieved.

What are the reasons for not opting for the use of real-time 3D?

Our approach has always aimed to faithfully replicate reality. Initially, we opted for 360° capture, and now we have expanded our offerings to include mixed reality. In the latter, the learner navigates their real environment where virtual elements are overlaid. We also advocate for the use of real people rather than 3D avatars to ensure an optimal level of realism. We can film on-site or use a green screen to integrate people into immersive environments, where they can provide guidance, perform manipulation demonstrations, etc. In addition to increased realism, the use of real 360° footage offers a considerable financial advantage compared to real-time 3D.

What are the benefits offered by a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform for customers?

Deploying immersive training can be complex and subject to various constraints, whether technical (related to software and hardware updates) or deployment prerequisites (online, offline, integration into an LMS, adaptation to specific users, etc.). With SaaS, Uptale handles user and headset management, secures content, and provides comprehensive tracking and analysis tools to monitor learner progress effectively and securely

From Imagination to Virtual Reality: Interview with Aurélie Truchet, CCO of Uptale

What types of content can be created using Uptale?

All sorts of content can be created with Uptale, but we often see our clients returning to three main themes. Firstly, the deployment of standards regarding safety, quality, and procedures is common. Secondly, there’s onboarding for new employees, which is a common need. Lastly, soft skills are also popular, especially for management or customer relations training. Our clients utilize a variety of features such as quizzes, ordered sequences, and danger simulations. In reality, the only limit lies within the designers’ imagination.

What are the main differences between the design of immersive training and e-learning courses ?

From a practical standpoint, the design steps are largely similar between immersive training and e-learning courses. It begins with a project scoping process, determining pedagogical objectives, and gathering data from subject matter experts. Next comes the storyboard writing stage, which may differ slightly as it requires planning various filming situations for immersive modules. Additionally, pedagogical activities include more interactive elements, such as research or object manipulation in a 360° environment, as well as voice recognition. Immersive modules offer a range of more advanced interactions, allowing for activities more oriented towards practical business applications. When designing these modules, it’s essential to consider real-life situations, environments, and specific industry needs. Uptale greatly facilitates this design process, even for non-experts.

Can immersive modules be created with Uptale without having specialized pedagogical skills ?

Our platform is designed to be used by all types of profiles. At Michelin, for example, subject matter experts create immersive modules without necessarily having expertise in pedagogical engineering. They use predefined templates to develop these modules and share their expertise. This process is more akin to tutoring than traditional training, meaning they don’t need to incorporate many pedagogical techniques. With just a few simple steps, like capturing a few 360° photos and integrating key information, they can effectively create immersive modules. This offers considerable flexibility and time savings. Of course, for more complex content, such as gamified elements or those requiring a deeper pedagogical approach, it may be necessary to mobilize specialized skills.

How does Spatial Learning transform the user experience?

At Uptale, capturing reality has always been our trademark. With the emergence of Spatial Computing, we’re able to project interactive elements into any environment. This advancement allows us to further enrich our training by integrating a multitude of theoretical concepts in addition to the practical aspects we already covered. For example, Spatial Learning enables us to present real-size videos of professional gestures, incorporate 3D objects, quizzes, and much more. Learners can use their bodies, move around, and thus interact immersively with the content. Spatial Learning skillfully combines the advantages of augmented reality and virtual reality, embedding interactions directly into the work environment. This approach opens up vast horizons without requiring additional financial or time investments.

Could you share a concrete example of a client using Spatial Learning ?

For instance, at Stellantis, we are currently implementing on-field training that combines augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Initially, employees acquire theoretical knowledge of all operations through AR. They have the flexibility to manage their time, move around, and review videos at their own pace. Once they feel ready, a transition to VR is offered, allowing them to observe the workstation on the field. The feedback we’ve received has been unanimously positive. Learners appreciate this approach, which allows them to stay connected to the real world while benefiting from interactive theoretical learning.

How will AI transform the experience of Uptale users?

For some time now, we have been leveraging AI for tasks such as text-to-speech conversion, speech recognition, and automatic content translation. However, recent advancements in this field have led to significant changes. First, we have implemented tools to assist in the design and creation of exercises. Once module design has begun, our AI can suggest quizzes and other exercises based on the data already available in the module. Of course, these suggestions are fully customizable, but they provide considerable time savings. Additionally, we have integrated generative AI for environment design. This feature is particularly useful in case of filming difficulties or for prototyping. The AI can also update visuals by reworking them to meet current standards, producing impressive results. Two features particularly surprise me. The first is the ability to add depth to 360° images, allowing the user to fully immerse themselves. The second feature is video translation with simultaneous lip-syncing. This enables companies operating in multilingual regions to deploy training on a large scale while keeping costs under control.

What is Uptale's roadmap for 2024 ?

During our keynote in November 2023, we unveiled a large number of innovations. In 2024, we will focus on making them accessible to users of our platform. This includes notably the ‘collaborative’ feature, which allows users to gather in an immersive experience and interact together. Of course, we still have many surprises in store, but I can’t reveal more just yet.

From Imagination to Virtual Reality: Interview with Aurélie Truchet, CCO of Uptale

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