Posted by Jay W. Curry

Todd Gregory, General Manager of Myriad Global Media, talks about Virtual reality and augmented reality in the realm of industrial training.

Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.


Jay Curry: Hello Texas. Welcome back. This is Texas Business Radio. We’ve got a great program going today, and this segment is going to be really extra special. We’re going to be talking about a little virtual reality and how you apply it in the real world of business. This is going to be dandy.

Before we get started, let me remind you that you can go to TexasBusinessRadio.com and everything we do is there. There’s a video of all of our guests, there’s videos about our sponsors, information about Matt and I and everybody involved, including George. It’s all there, at TexasBusinessRadio.com.

Now, if you hear something and you have a question you’d like to get answered, we monitor a 24 hour phone. That’s right. You can call us at 3 o’clock in the morning. We will go out and we will get the experts, we’ll get the answer, and we’ll get it on the air for you. That number is 844-814-8144. One more time. 844-814-8144. Give us a call with your questions and we’ll get you the answers. We also monitor #TBR, as in Texas Business Radio. #TBR if you want to give us a tweet.

And that all said, Matt had to step out for this segment, but I’m Jay Curry Your host, and we have a dandy coming. We’ve got Todd Gregory, General Manager of Myriad Global Media. Did I get that right?

Todd Gregory: Absolutely.

Jay Curry: Thank you for coming on.

Todd Gregory: Yeah. Thank you so much for having me.

Jay Curry: This is going to be fun.

Todd Gregory: Yes, absolutely.

Jay Curry: Todd, tell me what is it that Myriad’s all about?

Todd Gregory: Yeah. Myriad Global Media is an idea’s company. And we’ve been in business for 28 years, just celebrated 28 years this year. Doing business around the world, so we have offices in London, Abu-Dhabi, as well as in the US. Been here in Houston for the last 10 years. A lot of the things that we’ve been taking to our customers is bringing them new ideas that they can really help grow their business.

Jay Curry: Wow. You’re into … for those folks that are listening, you won’t be able to see it, but you’ll need to go to TexasBusinessRadio.com and see the equipment that we have here in the studio.

We’ve got two pieces of equipment. We’re going to talk about virtual reality. Let’s start with what is that all about, and then we’ll talk about two different ways of presenting them.
Todd Gregory: Yeah. It really all falls under an umbrella, and we’ll call that umbrella immersive technology. And there’s a lot of different pieces of technology that works to help tell a story, and we really want to fit the right fit for each business application.

Some of those examples, which we’ve got here on the table, is a headset that actually is a virtual reality experience, where you can take somebody through a linear story, either through video, 3D, animation, and actually help them understand exactly what it is you want to tell them. So if there’s something that’s in the future, that’s not ever even really come to fruition or is created yet, this is a great way to do that.

Jay Curry: So this is kind of a black box you see the kids on TV and stuff.

Todd Gregory: Yeah.

Jay Curry: But the application is deffinitely business, big time.

Todd Gregory: No question.

Jay Curry: They’re actually seeing the video, they’re not also being able to look out, which the other one will have.

Todd Gregory: Yeah.

Jay Curry: Tell us a little bit … there’s different types of reality, right? We have reality, and then we have virtual, and then we have augmented.

Todd Gregory: Yeah.

Jay Curry: Talk a little bit-

Todd Gregory: So it’s all about the experience. One of the things that they found is that once somebody puts a headset on, and they go through this, they’re able to take in information visually, they’re able to take it in auditorily, and they’ll be able to retain that information. About 75% of the content they just viewed, they’ll be able to remember.

So what does that really equate to? If you have a complex story you’re trying to tell, and you want somebody to watch this and understand this to ultimately make a buying decision, then that’s really a great tool to use for that.

Jay Curry: Let’s talk about that for a minute because we all know how the kids are using this for games, but you’re talking about serious business. You have all kinds of applications for this. Say I’m a manufacturer for example. How might I use this technology?

Todd Gregory: Manufacturers, they’re coming out with maybe new technology that nobody’s ever seen before, and it’s a little bit hard in a sales pitch or in a creation, to be able to say, “This is exactly what we do.” So this technology can be used at a trade show, at a convention. Once somebody puts on a headset and goes through this experience, all of a sudden there’s some buzz around that booth. People are coming over and, “What is it they’re watching? I want to know.” Well, within that, they could tell their story about that piece of equipment and why somebody needs it.

Our customers that we’re working with, GE, Exxon, Halliburton, Schlumberger, they’re there talking about why that technology is something that they need to save money, something that they need to change their business and change their operations. So it’s pretty vital to have that [crosstalk 00:05:14]-

Jay Curry: Yeah. Folks, you have to think about this. This is not listening like if you’re on the radio. This is visual. So you can have the equipment actually pop up. Maybe it’s a part, and it’s a complex part, and you can rotate it, you can look at it from different angles, and literally using an iPad type application, they can change what part they want to look at by moving it around.

I mean, this is amazing stuff, and it’s just getting started.

Todd Gregory: Absolutely. Yeah. That would kind of transition into another type of technology. I think everybody’s kind of familiar with the craze that went on about a year and a half ago. Their kids are all playing Pokemon Go on their phone and they’re going around catching Pokemon and whatever-

Jay Curry: Yeah [crosstalk 00:05:57].

Todd Gregory: So what’s great about it is that because consumers are starting and embrace this technology, it’s bringing the price down on the equipment, and it’s making it more accessible and available to people.

Another example would be augmented reality. Augmented reality in a business form would be a way to have a trigger that allows people to view that trigger, and pull up a piece of equipment, zoom in and guide through the story of that equipment. They can access videos, they can access specific information that they’re going to need to understand why they have to have that.

Jay Curry: And the applications … I mean, you can show your products, but training. Huge for training.

Todd Gregory: Absolutely. Yes. Another big piece in all of these tools can be used for that.

We’ve covered virtual reality, we’ve covered a little bit of augmented reality. Another option would be something that’s called HoloLens. That’s something that Microsoft has come up with. This is a headset device that is really a microcomputer that’s on your head. If you think about it in oil and gas, safety is a big concern. So, they want as much training as possible, they want to make sure that there’s no fatalities, that nothing else is going to occur on the job site.

So if you’re getting ready to send somebody on a platform offshore, they have to go through induction training. They have a very intense training that goes into that. Well, if they’re able to put it in a headset like this, and walk through a real platform experience to say, “Don’t touch this handrail, don’t do this, do do this,” they can really get them to feel like they’re on the platform before they actually get there.

Jay Curry: Now, that’s using this other tool that you’ve brought in, where they can see with sunglasses reality, and then they can see the virtual reality, or the augmented reality, so they can select various things. If they see something, they wonder what that is or how they should handle it, they can go … what? To YouTube?

Todd Gregory: Any content that you’ve already created, or that’s on the web. That particular piece is called HoloLens. It does have a shield, so you can have a full view. So if you’re walking around and you’re using it on the job site, it is completely safe. It allows your hands to be free, so if you’re an operator and you’re working on equipment, you’ll be able to do everything that you need to do. The great thing that you have, is you have everything you need to do your job better right there at your fingertips.

Let’s just say you’re doing some maintenance on a project offshore. And while you’re there doing that maintenance, you’ve been trained on it before, you know some information but you run into a snag, and all of a sudden you can go over and watch a video, go over there and reach out to another resource to say, “How can I fix this?” and on the job, fix this.

I mean, there’s travel involved, there’s helicopters and planes, and big expenses to go offshore, and if you can get that job done while you’re there, huge savings.

Jay Curry: Yeah. This is going to be revolutionary.
Todd Gregory: Absolutely.

Jay Curry: We are running out of time here, so I want to get to the cost, because this is what is truly amazing. This has become very cost effective.

Todd Gregory: Absolutely, yeah. The equipment itself that it takes is, you can either run it on your phone, you can run it on an iPad, which most people already have. The equipment itself from a VR headset to HoloLens would be under $3,000. It could be as low as under $100 for some of the headsets. The equipment piece is getting lower and lower.

Jay Curry: Yeah. Cheap.

Todd Gregory: Right.

Jay Curry: But we got to have an expert that’s got to put all this together.

Todd Gregory: That’s right.

Jay Curry: That’s where you’d come in.

Todd Gregory: Yeah.

Jay Curry: So that’s going to run …

Todd Gregory: So in our case, what we do is we go in-

Jay Curry: [crosstalk 00:09:28].

Todd Gregory: … and recommend the right solution. We’re going to say, “This is the right fit for you.” We’re going to help them define what their story should be, so there’s some thought process that goes into that, in the ideas on how we’re going to apply it. And then we’re actually going to develop the software within an application, or develop a software that works. And it really is becoming more affordable.

Jay Curry: Absolutely.

Todd Gregory: Giving you a range of some things that we’ve done in the past would be anywhere from $30,000 to $60,000.

Jay Curry: That’s amazing.

Todd Gregory: Yeah.

Jay Curry: Now, think about it, you don’t have to tell them how good you are, you can actually show them.

Todd Gregory: Absolutely.

Jay Curry: This is big stuff.
Todd, thank you for coming on. If somebody wants to learn more, how do they get a hold of you?

Todd Gregory: Our website is MyriadGlobalMedia.com and I’d be happy to talk to anybody. You have this technology … again, my name is Todd Gregory, I’m the General Manager there. But love to talk about this new technology, love to come out and do a lunch and learn at your organization if you’d like to find out more, so make sure you-

Jay Curry: Okay folks. We’re going to put that on Texas Business Radio. You don’t have to remember it. Go to TexasBusinessRadio.com. We’ll have this interview. You can actually watch Todd, and all the information about how to connect with them is going to be right there for you.

This has been great. Todd, thank you very much.

Todd Gregory: Thank you.

Jay Curry: Folks, we got to go pay a couple of bills, but we’re going to be gone just a moment, so don’t go anywhere. We’ll be right back.

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About the Author
Jay W. Curry

Jay W. Curry

Along with hosting “Texas Business Radio”, Jay is a Professional Certified Coach and Master Chair facilitating four Houston-based Vistage peer groups. In addition to being a best selling non-fiction author, the 2015 release of his award winning novel, Nixon and Dovey: the Legend Returns, adds novelist to his title. Jay holds a BS in Mathematics from Oklahoma State and an MS in Computer Science from Kansas State. You can learn more about Jay HERE.

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