May 31, 2020

VR at Work with Lily Snyder

VR at Work with Lily Snyder

This episode features Lily Snyder, tech writer and former COO of Doghead Simulations. We discuss Lily’s leap from IT consulting to co-founding a start-up as well as her views on the state of the VR industry and where it’s headed. Other topics include both


Related Links:

Lily’s LinkedIn profile

Lily’s blog

Book: The History of the Future on Amazon (Affiliate Link)

Book: Augmented Human on Amazon (Affiliate Link)

Please click here to download the transcript


In this episode, Heather interviews Lily Snyder, tech writer and former COO of Doghead Simulations. 
Lily shares her background in VR, including how she made the leap from business technology consulting to co-founding a VR start-up.

We also discuss the history of VR and some challenges it’s faced to becoming a more widely adopted technology.
We also discuss the history of VR and some challenges it’s faced to becoming a more widely adopted technology. Other topics covered include interesting use cases for VR, the differences between AR (augmented reality), VR (virtual reality), and MR (mixed reality), and what a good VR user experience looks like.

Transcript

Ryan Purvis  0:00  
Hello, and welcome to the digital workspace works podcast. I'm Ryan Purvis, your host supported by producer Heather Bicknell. In this series, you'll hear stories and opinions from experts in the field story from the frontlines. The problems they face, how they solve them. The years they're focused on from technology, people and processes to the approaches they took, they'll help you to get to the scripts for the digital Express inner workings.

Heather Bicknell  0:30  
All right, well, I'm here with Lily Snyder, who's a VR expert, writer, speaker, former CEO of dog head simulations and IT consultant. And last but not least, my cousin. Hi, Lily.

Lily Snyder  0:45  
Hello, cousin  Heather. 

Heather Bicknell  0:47  
Thanks for coming on my podcast.

Lily Snyder  0:49  
Oh, no. Thanks for having me. I've been looking forward to doing this with you for a long time. 

Heather Bicknell  0:53  
I know, we've been talking about it.

I guess like Who would have ever thought that we would both end up working And IT.

Lily Snyder  1:01  
I know, right. It's pretty crazy. But I like it because it is where it's at. So I'm glad that you're in this space 

Heather Bicknell  1:09  
too. 

Sure. And

I'm super excited to talk to you about VR, because that's not something we kind of ever touch on in my space, but I think it's something that people are, you know, starting to get kind of excited about. So,

Lily Snyder  1:25  
yeah, I think the best thing is I finally have someone to talk to it family gatherings who understands what I do.

Heather Bicknell  1:34  
Yeah, not just like, Oh, yeah, that that, you know, that future thing where you like, put a headset on and you watch a movie or?

Lily Snyder  1:42  
Yeah, it's like, oh, computers. All right. Yeah,

Heather Bicknell  1:46  
I know. It's like, oh, once you once you tell them what you do. Most of the time. They're like, Huh, okay, cool. No follow up questions.

Lily Snyder  1:54  
Yeah, then just like the gloss over and then they go to get a snack.

Heather Bicknell  1:59  
So I that brings me into my first question which, you know, growing up, I always thought you'd be like a professional horse trainer or something like that. So how did you go and end up working in the VR industry in the first place?

Lily Snyder  2:14  
Yeah, well, we're going way back to my childhood. I'm secretly a nerd, too, and fought over playing computer games with my brother. On the other one giant desktop in the library. Yeah, yeah. But from there, so I was always interested in computers. And but more on the business side, I learned as I went to more school, and tried new things that while developing encoding was really cool, it was not my strong suit. So I went into it consulting where I got to think about more of the business processes and how Software affects the businesses specifically in manufacturing where I spend a lot of my time and got to tell developers then what to build. And after doing that, for almost six years, I was looking to do something new. And so I was scrolling through LinkedIn one day and saw that an old client of mine posted about how to do Scrum, agile Scrum meetings in virtual reality. And I like to submit, really thought like yes, this is what we need, because agile Scrum it's a agile type of development methodology. And it was originally intended to be for co located teams. But as you know, the world we live in now, especially in it, it's global. We work with people All over the world. And at the time I was struggling with getting my teams to communicate with each other and even just with me as a scrum master over traditional, like, conference calls. And I had people in India, Europe across the US. And I thought, if we could just meet as if we're real people, but in virtual reality, then we could still, you know, be wherever our offices are, but it seemed like we're in the same place. And it would actually allow us to work as how agile Scrum originally intended with seeing that body language and feedback. So just that one, one post from my old client just sparked all this imagination in my head and like, I wanted to go work for him. And that's what led me to actually working with him. cone and becoming a co founder of that virtual reality startup doc heads simulations.

Heather Bicknell  5:06  
Yeah, that's really exciting. A really cool story. So I'm kind of curious what it was like for you co founding that startup and kind of moving from kind of what sounds like a kind of more traditional LIKE IT consultant rolled it. starting a company basically.

Lily Snyder  5:24  
Yeah, it was a lot of work. I was the last co founder to join. So there were three guys at Cohn, Elbert Perez and chance Glasgow, who had started the company on the product already, and I came in around the eighth week and we went from there. So there was so much I had to learn from just the very first step. So okay, we have this idea and a prototype but We have to find customers, we have to define who our target audience is we have to narrow down what we want this product to be at launch. And even bigger than that was getting to know each other, the team and our working styles, because we all lived across the United States to we started as a distributed team. But luckily, we had the opportunity to get to know each other pretty well, when we were invited. This is back in 2016. We're invited to pitch at VR VCA the first one in Beijing, China. So I saw Matt again for the first time in five years and and met Matt a chance and Albert for the first time all in Beijing airport. Yeah. And so while I think remote work is awesome, I've been doing it for a long time. Time. I think it's also good once in a while to meet up in person and can really knock down some ideas and get get some work done

Heather Bicknell  7:10  
for sure. Did you? Did you have VR meetings as a company to do eat your own dog food kind of so to speak? Oh, yeah,

Lily Snyder  7:17  
yeah, we use that joke all the time.

Heather Bicknell  7:20  
Yeah. There's a big leg business it kind of thing. Yeah.

Lily Snyder  7:25  
Um, but it was it was a huge difference to step into a VR meeting. Because in the past, like, we would be like this or you're on Skype and I'm on Skype, but really, I'd have you know, my email open and I'd be I mean, someone else and not really paying attention to what you're asking. But But I say that love, but in VR, it was like we were we literally were all standing around waiting. board or a document we're reviewing. And it was seen, you know, the hand gestures, the binding language, all those subtle cues that we look for in a meeting when we're talking to someone that gives us that feedback. Plus, I couldn't go just check my phone or scroll through Instagram because I was literally locked in and engaged in what we're doing. That was really cool.

Heather Bicknell  8:29  
Yeah, it sounds like kind of one of those things that you need to experience it to really kind of get like, why that would like I can I can kind of visualize like, why that would be maybe more like engaging than a Skype meeting or you, you know, you'd be able basically to see the level of engagement of your co workers or something like that. But

Lily Snyder  8:48  
yeah, I think you hit a really good point on the head there that we're our team and a lot of people in VR, the biggest problem we struggle is how to convince people even just to try it in the first place. Because, unfortunately, is one of those things you don't get until you experience it. But once you do, you can't help it become a believer and want to be in VR more.

Heather Bicknell  9:17  
Yeah, I think that brings me. That's a great point. And that brings me to something I kind of wanted to look back a little bit on, like, the journey that VR has sort of taken. Because it's kind of like AI, right? It's like, we talked about it today. And it's like the super hyped technology and it sounds very, like futuristic and all of that but we have been doing it and using it and it's been around for a while. I know. Did you ever go to Disney quest in Chicago?

Lily Snyder  9:48  
I haven't been there.

Heather Bicknell  9:50  
Yeah, I think they close like a while ago. But like Disney had these pop up like arcade and they used a lot of Like VR there. And I remember going there as a kid and you put this like huge. You there was one right i think specifically where you had this like huge VR helmet that was so heavy that they like suspended it from the ceiling. And then you would like, fight with this like laser sword or something I remember at Star Wars but it definitely wasn't I think it's just because of the laser sword. Yeah, so like, obviously in gaming we've had, you know, there was like the Nintendo Virtual Boy and there was like, all these kind of like failed experiments to you know, kind of get VR in your, in your household, but at a certain point. It was even, you know, like maybe like, within the past decade, like Google Glass came out and Oculus and those two kind of things. Google Glass, you know, there's obviously a bit of backlash about but um, especially Oculus, like, kind of, I feel like excited people again, about the idea VR and kind of broad this kind of feeling of like new possibilities there. I guess as like someone with insight into the VR industry, do you know kind of what was behind that change and how VR kind of became relevant again?

Lily Snyder  11:16  
Yeah. So for anyone who's interested in the story, and it's a really great story, they should read a book, it came out recently called the history of the future by Blake J. Harris. And he goes into really good detail and good storytelling. answering that question like, what happened? It was this cool tech, it's been around for a long time, I think like since the 1960s. And even goes back a little further and to how people even before then tried experimenting. It's like smella theaters where you go into a movie theater and the seats move and you get sprayed to stuff in your face and And like, like, what happened? Why did VR phase out? And I think the biggest reason was that the hardware just wasn't wasn't up to giving people the full immersive experience yet. But I remember I went to a talk a couple of years ago and a psychologist told her story about how she'd been using virtual reality since the 1980s to help her patients and how she used VR to help her patients get over the fear of flying after 911. So, I mean, people have been using it and researching it. But as Harris describes, in his book, The history of the future, it wasn't until this kid, he's not a kid anymore, but Palmer Luckey came along and was really into VR and modding and he's who create Did Oculus and maybe the team created a company, they ended up getting in rooms with the right people and kind of reigniting the VR industry and showing people that it's not dead. The hardware is now up to par, it can do what we want it to do, the software is there, and we can make this real thing now. And so that's that story is really good. I suggest everyone to go read the book. Even if they aren't into VR, it's a real good thing to read just about, like business and how companies get started and sold. covers a lot of topics. It's pretty cool to go check it out.

Heather Bicknell  13:45  
Yeah, it sounds a lot like machine learning that, you know, it's like the technology was there, but we didn't have like the computing power to really, you know, make it practical. And I guess off of that, you know, obviously, we started with the are in more of like the entertainment realm. But now we're really talking about it a lot for the enterprise or like Business Solutions, I guess. How did we get there?

Lily Snyder  14:11  
Yeah, well, I think it's probably been in both enter entertainment and in the enterprise, I think especially like in the military, finding ways to use it. And I think a lot in manufacturing and prototyping vehicles. I know, Ford has has a whole immersive lab that they've developed and been using for quite a while to prototype cars and new designs before ever actually having to like, physically build it, like physically build all the interfaces. So I think now that let's see, I was at Cincinnati Startup Week last October, and I listened to different people talk about how They use VR at work. And so I think there's so many more opportunities because VR is good if you have like specific use cases that you want to solve. So for instance, one of the speakers was a surgeon, and he talked about how he created a VR program using a patient's real, like biometric scans who needed like valve replacements or stents. So he would use their real biometric Stan's scans, put that in VR, and then practice his surgeries and see where the mouse would fit on that patient. So he would know exactly what he wanted to do and how it fit before he ever went to real surgery. Another cool story was I think it was someone from Procter and Gamble. Don't But he use augmented reality on the plant floor. So instead of an operator, their machine breaks down, they have to go find the manual or go find someone who knows how that machine works. Instead they can put on their augmented reality glasses and that can show them step by step where to walk, what buttons to press and how to fix their machine with having without having to go to maintenance submitted, you know ticket find the paper manual. So we're seeing like a lot of cool ways to use VR that aren't just like have a meeting or play game.

Heather Bicknell  16:45  
Yeah, yeah, that's really cool. A lot of that you know, when I was researching this, a lot of the you know, manufacturing and those kind of like frontline use cases came up a lot where people yeah Like you said, we'll be walking around and could see things right there instead of having to default to paper to like spend time looking something up when they might be like troubleshooting in real time. I think when it comes to VR in the enterprise, right, like, we're just bringing it more into business in general, I think. So I was reading this only backup. I was reading this VentureBeat article that said, basically, that for VR to really make it in the enterprise and become, you know, more of like a widespread competing method that needed to go from becoming just something that delivered value because obviously, right a lot of these use cases have a lot of inherent value. And it's easy to see like why this would be great as like a training tool or a meeting tool or to like augment your current job, but to go from just being kind of cool to being like really a critical Saying that people are using all of the time basically to like, get that usage high enough to get that like critical threshold where employees were companies would adopt it kind of in mass, I guess what's your take on that? Going from? Like, how can we go from being just kind of valuable and cool to being more of like a critical business tool?

Lily Snyder  18:27  
Well, I don't think that question may be like as hard to answer as you might think, because it's really like any piece of technology. Why should the enterprise adopted MRP system or in the plant, why should they upgrade to a manufacturing system? It's really about educating our customers, letting them know what the options are and showing them the The data and the real KPIs that they can get from using this tech. So when I was an IT consultant, and we would go into some of these plants, that some of the people in the plant knew that they needed to upgrade to a system or upgrade their systems, but not everyone was convinced they thought their paper manual paper process worked just fine. But once we went in, and we talked through them about how their manual process worked, how the software would totally change what their manual processes for the better allowing them allowing the operators to work on what they actually liked working on instead of following all these manual steps, and showing all the data and feedback that a system could provide. Then, they are solely brought on board and then Once you upgrade, of course, they didn't want to go back because the software is so much better than their manual process. So I think VR is probably similar that we're still figuring out what, what specific use cases are going to work the best and which companies are ready to adopt those. And that's okay. But once we do, I think people will get into that mindset of thinking, because VR is different than our traditional 2d screen. We're used to seeing data in a certain way and used to user interface being a certain way. Suddenly, everything's 3d, you can have three dimensional objects, you can manipulate it with your hands. It's It's a whole new way of thinking. And I think that adjustment will probably take some time.

Heather Bicknell  20:56  
Yeah, and I think another one of those things is that I know we both have, we both listen to the podcast rocket and something that they bring up when that whenever they talk about rigor. They always talk VR, they always talk about how there's kind of this lack of like, really great apps to kind of show like how to make VR go from just like usually they talk about in gaming, but it's just like, go from being kind of cool to being like, really great. And something where like, I couldn't have this experience if I wasn't in virtual reality. Mm hmm.

Lily Snyder  21:30  
Yeah, that's another one of the topics that Harrison dresses in his book history of the future. Sorry if I'm name dropping too much. I heard him talk the other day virtually met him in VR and some little bit of fanning out. But that that's definitely one of the topics he addresses in the book that you build. So game developers can fairly easily develop for virtual reality. Because they have the knowledge of built already building on gaming engines, unreal in unity, but it's kind of he described it as a chicken and egg sort of thing, how we have new headsets, but they're not going to sell it. They don't have content. But developers need to make a living. So they're not going to put a bunch of time in developing content for some for a headset that hasn't reached a wide enough audience. But in that enterprise, we can enterprises can afford to pay for that content and pay for those apps that will drive value into their business. Whether it be training. I saw one company at an Cincinnati Startup Week One of their training examples was showing someone who goes into a sewer to test oxygen levels, and then and then pull out the poisonous gas in the sewer so that they could go repair a pipe. And I mean, how great is that you're taking a really dangerous situation that how would you really train for that unless you're like actually in it when I can. And since VR is cool, because what we studies have shown that what we do in virtual reality is locked into our mind more than watching a video on a screen or listening to a lecture because we're actually doing those motions. So I think that's maybe

Heather Bicknell  23:41  
yeah is really cool. I know Walmart is one of the enterprises that is really kind of geared up their VR adoption and they have them for like, I think in all of their stores, they have headsets for employee training for like, they do it for like customer service for new technology for like teaching them compliance and they've seen all these benefits. In just people being able to learn things easier, and like with the dangerous job thing, too, it kind of made me think of like astronaut training, you know, we've had these like, I mean, that's kind of like an extreme example, right. But like, you know, they've been using that for a long time to kind of train, obviously, for these situations where you're not going to be able to experience it until you're there. So being able to, like, have that more hands on kind of experience in while also being safe is a really cool possibility. For sure.

Lily Snyder  24:31  
Definitely. Yeah. I think as people as we start seeing,

these headsets come out, and that they're more viable, and they're more easy to use that then we have more people who are bought into the VR and that can actually do things. We'll see people developing more specific enterprise apps and I think those will sell do well. Yeah.

Heather Bicknell  25:01  
I know another example of someone who's like a little bit closer to Lakeside space Splunk? I don't know if you are you have you heard of them before? Did they come up in your IT consulting days they they sound familiar? Yeah, they're like this big data analytics vendor. They do some like machine learning stuff. But most of their stuff is like how to filter through Big Data essentially. And they, I don't know how, like, far along they are in these plans, but they have some plans to develop AR for monitoring server racks. So basically, you know, you'd go around with your, your phone or your tablet and you scan a QR code on the server. I mean, you'd be able to bring up like, CPU RAM, the temperature the last time it was service, that kind of thing while you're like walking around the data center. So that's just kind of another question. potential use case, that's just kind of augmenting what you can already do on the desktop, I guess.

Lily Snyder  26:06  
Yeah, I would definitely like Why not? Why not bring that data out or those notifications out in front of us, instead of like having to walk like each individual server and like, no poker computer in or manually go in and check in glitches have, you know, the notifications pop up in the air? Like, Oh, this one needs maintenance? Or this one is having issues?

Heather Bicknell  26:31  
Yeah. Or you'd like, you know, you'd find the one that was problematic on your desktop. And then you wouldn't have to, like, you know, you can see the metrics while you're over there by where you're actually servicing it. Yeah, that's pretty cool. I guess something we've talked a little bit we've mentioned a few times and VR. I think it would be helpful to go over just to kind of how those things are different and there's also mixed reality. Like how how the Find are these categories and how do you differentiate them?

Lily Snyder  27:05  
Definitely. Great question. So virtual reality is the easiest one I think to define it's where you're stepping into a totally virtual world, and you're completely immersed in it. So physics what you see what your hands are like everything, it could be anything because you're inside the computer. augmented reality, but here's another good book. If anyone's interested in augmented reality, they should read augmented human by Helen Papagiannis. And she goes into all the different things that AR could be. So traditionally people say well AR is something virtual like overlaid on top of your of your real world. But it could be even more than that, like, sensors on your body augmented smell. Anything that changes the way you perceive your real physical surroundings through technology. So right now we think of it like, Oh, I see Pokemon and my driving Yeah, Pokemon.

Heather Bicknell  28:23  
Oh yeah, yeah.

Lily Snyder  28:27  
because really we just have screens to interact with AR. But as the technology improves, I'm sure there were examples of people working on making like malleable screens and so that like, it feels like your fingertips are going like through the screen so that you'll be able to have different touch senses. Again, you'll be maybe even be able to pull something like out of your screen. into your hand. So it can really, really be anything. So I suggest reading augmented humans, that's another really good book and eye opener to even more use cases for this immersive technology than what you wait to be seen on the app store right now.

Heather Bicknell  29:21  
She explained in the book like how augmented smell would work.

Lily Snyder  29:27  
Yeah. Basically through like little devices you would wear like on your face, or if you were walking like through a store. It'd be something more subtle than like someone's spraying perfume right in your face.

Heather Bicknell  29:46  
Because that's like real life. smellivision, right.

Lily Snyder  29:49  
Yeah, it is.

I met someone once who is working on a VR game where you got to meet Chewbacca and he likes Found a Chewbacca sent like he had it in a jar. And he's like, I'm gonna, like have this spray when you meet Chewbacca and he's like, you have to smell it and I was like he was so proud of the nasty Chewbacca smell that he created or found but it's like this is horrible. Please don't put this in my game

Heather Bicknell  30:22  
wanted to be like FDA approved or something. Who knows what people are concocting.

Lily Snyder  30:30  
That's Yeah, we won't have to worry about like dizziness making you sick. It'll just be like, making you say, can you experience something? Yeah, that

Heather Bicknell  30:39  
is kind of cool, though. Bringing the other senses into it, I guess because something I've thought about too with VR is that it's so visual. So if you have like visual impairment, you might not be you know, you can't experience that. But if you have those other senses at the same time, that'll be cool. Mm hmm.

Lily Snyder  30:56  
Yeah, definitely.

Yeah. And then mixed reality is so i've i've heard it described a different way, a different ways but Microsoft defines Ei r as one side of the spectrum and VR is the other side of the spectrum and mixed reality could be anything in between. So any different like if we think of our world as layers like anytime some of it could be virtual and some of it could be like our real reality, like maybe we're in our living room and our couch looks like really fuzzy but when we touch it, it still feels like our couch or you know any any kind of in between is what mixed reality is.

Heather Bicknell  31:55  
Yeah, I watched some of their like HoloLens stuff. They seem to be like the leader in this area, right?

Lily Snyder  32:00  
Yes, yeah. The branded windows mixed reality.

Heather Bicknell  32:04  
Yeah. It made me think of like, Fahrenheit 451 like the room with all the screens right? You know like it with the people it makes it Yeah. Yeah, it's a lose like it's a it's sometimes some of this stuff kind of does bleed into like dystopia or like dystopic fiction, like things we've explored before.

Lily Snyder  32:26  
Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  32:27  
I mean, that's something we really have to think about. Especially like for an IT department. Like how do you provide like security on these systems? Especially like, Stan, now that headsets are becoming standalone that they don't all require a PC to run them? Like, there's How do you prevent like, your data, your enterprise data from being hacked? Can you install VPN on your headsets or how do you you know, how do you support someone who's having a glitch in their headset? Are you able to like remote into someone else's virtual metaverse and like, customer service their problem? I think, I think the answer soon some questions that I'm not sure have been addressed yet as we're focusing on the great benefits IVR can provide.

Lily Snyder  33:29  
So that's that's a consideration I think. laughter. Think about.

Heather Bicknell  33:33  
Yeah, it definitely does sound like a bit of a management challenge. I mean, even just like from a perspective of like, keeping employees like physically safe when they're in VR, you know, making sure that like, whenever there's like some training area, or people aren't gonna hit something or accidentally, like walk into a wall or,

Lily Snyder  33:52  
yeah, make sure you have the straps on your hands, you know, like planer clean your controller and Break someone's like, computer monitor,

Heather Bicknell  34:02  
right? I mean, it's not cheap technology either, you know, certainly something that needs to be managed a little bit. Yeah, I know, Microsoft has, you know, they have like,

all of the,

you know, you can bring it into Azure AD. And they have like different, it works with different like kind of mobile management platforms that they support. I'm sure all of the enterprise kind of grade ones have some of those features. Not super well versed, but I'm sure it'll be something that once we kind of identify, because I think right now we're at the point where, you know, maybe like Walmart and people who have been kind of implementing it for a while now know, like, what the big problems are when it comes to VR performance. And obviously, you'll have some of like the, you know, I can imagine like latency being a big thing. For a VR experience, I guess, you know, that's a good question to kind of turn over to you. I'm sure you spent a lot of time where your fair share of VR headsets, like what would you say makes a good user experience with VR?

Lily Snyder  35:15  
Yeah.

Let's see. The first as, let's see, good experiences are definitely ones where you were free to have low latency, latency. And some of that has been addressed in the hardware. So I don't think that's as big of a problem these days unless like your hardware gets, or unless your device gets like bogged down with malware or something. But I, let's see, I would say yeah, so latency factors. in VR, I want to suggest having like a lot of text that users have to read because there were so the resolution isn't there yet for making text legible to legible. So I have a lot of more like interactive or like pointing click directions instead of read this and now do it. Don't have something that involves a lot of typing because we're still working on how to have key virtual keyboards, the best way to type in VR. And just testing your tracking to make sure you don't like lose your hands because it's pretty disorienting if you're trying to do something and one of your hands just like floats away, and you can't do what you're working on anymore. So those are some of the and then this this interesting question because I was on a panel a couple years ago talking about different things to think about in VR. And I remember My husband who's left handed was trying to draw in, in a VR app. And of course, he was trying to do with his left hand. But that program wasn't only designed to draw with the right. It was designed to draw with the left hand. And so like thinking, taking all those considerations in place to about like, who's using your product, what kind of disabilities might they have? Or you have to think even more in developing your user personas on how might someone else use this that you're back could be different from the way you're thinking about using it?

Heather Bicknell  37:42  
Yeah, the left handed thing sounds like a pretty basic one. That's a big complaint. You think oh, yeah, we shouldn't forget about those lefties But

Lily Snyder  37:49  
yeah, I mean, I guess if you are right handed and you only ever work with right handed people then it couldn't slip under the rug.

Heather Bicknell  37:57  
Yeah, maybe we need like pre VR devices. of VR training where you're like, be somebody else. So you get to like experience.

Lily Snyder  38:07  
Yeah, you could hear now you're a totally different person. But yeah, those are some experiences. So I asked on Twitter the other day, what people what apps people are using. And one that came up was called becoming homeless, where you are a person who just lost your job and you became evicted from your apartment and what's it like living on the street and how to navigate that? It's like, Oh, that's really interesting, because, you know, hopefully, none of us know knock on wood have to actually experience that but can drive you to think think more what that's like. or another. Another use case for VR. I see ally in that as a art exhibits. And because you can obviously paint and create art in VR. So I've seen I experienced one at the Art Museum here in Nashville, someone who created their childhood home, but it was all disjointed because she just had disjointed memories. And so that was neat. And I've heard them another one, someone who wanted to explore why the different like, tribes and factions in Africa, like fight each other. And so in his VR experience, you are like the different person from each tribe and you'd like talk to other people from the different tribes and you learn like, oh, we're maybe we're not so different and maybe we can like learn to work together get get along.

Heather Bicknell  39:55  
Yeah, that like empathy training thing kind of makes me think that there might be some like HR uses for this technology it like even when you mentioned, you know that psychiatrist in the 80s or whatever who is using it on her patients to like, bring them out of that headspace.

Lily Snyder  40:15  
Yeah, yeah, I think empathy, a lot of people called VR and empathy machine. Because the way you can affect people's emotions and what they're feeling by controlling what they're experiencing, since you're totally immersed in whatever that is once you put the headset on.

Heather Bicknell  40:36  
Yeah, that's cool. I could see that being like, it's, it's um, it's like a pretty powerful thing when you think about it. So, with great power comes great responsibility in terms of how you use that technology. I know did you see the the Burger King app that they were using for AR with AR?

Lily Snyder  40:59  
Oh no. That is Oh,

Heather Bicknell  41:02  
this this this I think is like, a little questionable but um, they had this app where you could train it, you know, I'm sure you know, who knows what they're using this data for on the back end but they have this app where a customer could train it on a competitor ad so you'd see like a McDonald's billboard or something and then it would make it look on fire like use AR to make it

Lily Snyder  41:26  
look like it was very Oh, yeah.

Heather Bicknell  41:31  
That's, that's pretty and then you get some like coupon or something for doing that. So sure.

Unknown Speaker  41:36  
Yeah. Yeah, there's definitely some ethical questions that we'll have to address. Because so much because a headset has like all these sensors and cameras built into it. It can map your surroundings it can see what you see on the outside, it can tracker I movements, it can So it's recording can record has the potential to store all this, like biometric data by yourself about where you're using it. And I think those are some interesting questions as to how privacy in VR, not just what we're clicking on, and what games are downloading, but how we're actually moving around in it. What happens with that data? And do we trust all headset manufacturers with that?

Heather Bicknell  42:36  
No one shall be named but um Wow. Yeah, that's, I mean, because I've thought about that, you know, I have an Apple Watch. And I've thought about that. Even they're, like, you know, I'm sure. I don't know exactly how my data could be being used. That's kind of like that amplified times a million, you know,

Lily Snyder  42:57  
yeah.

Heather Bicknell  43:00  
Food for thought.

Lily Snyder  43:01  
Yeah, just put putting that out there. Maybe will inspire one of your listeners to create create a new company. Like privacy VR.

Heather Bicknell  43:13  
VR as eggs. Yeah. I mean, it's it seems like a little bit of like a wild west right now. Yeah.

Lily Snyder  43:21  
Yeah, I think it is, but it's exciting. It's an exciting Wild West. Like, over the past couple of weeks. I've one of the people I follow on Twitter, I've watched him come up with an idea for an AR app. And his idea go from like a prototype to just today he released it on the app store in the Google Play Store. And so now I was able to go download his app and like, use it. Like how cool is that? Where else do you get to go? watch something from idea to creation to actually be on the TV set like that? And the app is called a doodle lens. And so it captures if you draw a little Doodle, it captures that Doodle, and then you can like place it anywhere in your real world. And it's like fun. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's a good industry to be in for anyone who has an out of the box idea like that this is the place to be to do something with it. Like, yeah, there's still questions, and we're not sure how everything's gonna turn out. But now's the time to at least give it a try. Because everyone's open to it and why Matt?

Heather Bicknell  44:41  
I think that's kind of a great note to sort of wrap up on. But before we go, how can people find you online?

Lily Snyder  44:47  
Yep. My website is Lily. Oh, tron dot blog. Or I'm on Twitter at Lily Lily. Oh, tron.

Heather Bicknell  44:56  
All right. Well, thanks so much for coming on. It's great talking to you.

Unknown Speaker  45:00  
You too. Thanks. Heather

Ryan Purvis  45:06  
Thank you for listening to today's episode. Hey, the big news app producer, editor. Thank you, Heather. for your hard work on this episode. Please subscribe to the series and rate us on iTunes or the Google Play Store. Follow us on Twitter at the dww podcast. The show notes and transcripts will be available on the website www digital works best of works. Please also visit our website www dot digital workspace works and subscribe to newsletter. And lastly, if you found this episode useful, please share with your friends or colleagues

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Lily Snyder

Head Writer at Futures & Insight Institute

I use technology to solve business problems. I dive into the unknown to figure out the best ways to solve those problems whether it be software, process changes, or people.
Learn more at my website: lilyotron.blog