Positive Social Change: Microsoft Summit 2017


Just over a week ago, Microsoft launched their free global Tech Summit in Sydney. This is their first ever attempt at this event, and a success story which will now move ahead into 13 other countries. This first summit took place at the International Conference Centre (ICC) in Sydney’s Darling Harbour from 14-17 November and brought C-Suite/BDMs, Partners and the tech community together over the course of one week. The conference provided expertise, skills, and connections for businesses and individuals to network, discover, and share their solutions in a digital landscape that is transforming at an increasingly rapid pace.

The Summit was kicked off by local Microsoft managing director Steven Worrall, who announced that “cultural transformation is the vital ingredient to any successful digital transformation”. Microsoft’s global head of industry, Toni Townes-Whitley elaborated on a similar theme, asserting that public and commercial leaders have a responsibility to establish business success that delivers a positive social impact. “Global companies like Microsoft need to think of the broader societal implications and transform responsibly,” she said, a statement that strikes a chord with what we are trying to achieve at 360dgrees.com.


360dgrees.com was the first ISV (Independent Software Vendor) Microsoft partners that were selected & invited to participate and showcase within the beating heart of the summit – the expo area. We were hugely excited to be involved as this is the world’s first expo where ISVs were included in the Data and AI story. As Microsoft partners, the Summit was a fantastic opportunity for us to share our transformative solutions, make new connections, and strengthen our existing relationships. However we also find the key themes and ideas shared at the conference to resonate strongly with our drives and beliefs, with a strong emphasis on success being driven by “the ability of companies to adapt both their leadership and their organisations for the digital era” as Worrall put it.

New technologies and solutions, like 360dgrees.com, are defining incredible new business opportunities at a rapid pace. From the global macro view to local industry deep dives, it’s a tangible solution to advance organisations’ digital transformation. But significantly, we are dedicated to ushering positive social change by revolutionising the way safety training is delivered. The fundamental goal of the 360dgrees.com platform is perfectly summarised by Microsoft’s mission statement – “empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more”. This is the core promise of our platform, to simply deliver the advantages of interactive reality software to anyone. The feedback from our customers and partners throughout the course of the week was overwhelmingly positive and we look forward to the future.

To learn more about 360dgrees.com safety training, visit 360dgrees.com/safety-training/.

How Mixed Reality Gave Me Purpose & Made My Daughter Proud

Written by Toby Ellis, CEO at 360dgrees.com 

I’ve worked in the Innovation and Technology sector for a few years now, but it was a simple yet really confronting question my 8-year-old daughter asked me at breakfast one morning that forced me to think about technology, what I do, why I do it and helped to pivot the focus of our entire organisation. I’ll get to her question in a minute… 

I want you to think about training. Imagine safety training for a warehouse.  There are 10 people in a room and none of them want to be there. They would all prefer to be back doing their jobs. They’re working from a folder and in that folder, is a question. That question is “should you be looking at your personal device while walking across the warehouse floor where there are forklifts and PT’s operating?” Now, no-one gets that question wrong, but it doesn’t change behaviour because the second they leave that training room they’re all on their mobile phones.  

Now I want you to reimagine that training using our 360dgree.com platform. First, the participant puts on the Mixed Reality headset and is immediately immersed in the environment. They are in the warehouse. They take the point of view of the person walking across the warehouse when they hear an SMS and a phone appears at the bottom of their view. They look down to read the text and in that split second, they are hit by a forklift.  Sounds a bit rough right, but not nearly as rough as not getting home to your kids. 

Did you know, that in Australia at the end of August 115 people had died as a result of workplace accidents and that that number is higher than the corresponding period last year?   Workplace accidents cripple people financially. A global number of cost is touted at $6bil but the impact on individual families is devastating. You see the problem is, traditional safety training produces poor real participation rates, low knowledge retention and is done in abstraction of consequence. 

Our Mixed Reality Training Platform creates immersive, interactive, gamified training experiences that makes it impossible to not be present and engaged during the training. We turn training into a game where you make decisions and learn by doing not by reading and data tells us that when you learn by doing you can lift knowledge retention from 5% to 75%. When you experience consequence, you get to feel the outcomes of your decisions and that’s what drives behavioural change.  

You become the forklift driver, the nurse, the student, the teacher. You’re not doing the training, you’re in the training. Actively participating, making decisions and experiencing the outcomes of those decisions. 
If safety and training are important to your organisation and you aren’t taking advantage of Mixed reality technology then please reach out to us today as we have a platform that can help you tomorrow. 
Now, back to that question my little girl asked. Matilda said “Daddy, how do you make your money?” At the time, my answer was “Ï help people see things differently using technology.” It was a cool answer but it lacked purpose. I wanted more purpose. My parents are teachers, my wife’s a teacher, my brothers served in the navy, I have cousins in the police force and friends who are nurses. I wanted more purpose in my work. I didn’t like my answer so I sought to change it. Now, our platform is making a real difference to businesses and communities. The next time my kids ask me how I make my money I am able to say, “Daddy helps people go back to their families the same way they went to work: Safe.”

To learn more about 360dgrees.com and how we drive real outcomes through virtual training, get in contact with us or visit 360dgrees.com.

Top 10 Innovative Uses of Mixed Reality

Created by Max Harris, Media Producer at 360dgrees.com

Over the past few years, the immediate tactile excitement generated by Virtual Reality (VR) gaming and clever Augmented Reality (AR) marketing campaigns has become an increasingly mainstream novelty. VR and AR exist on the Mixed Reality (MR) spectrum, referring to any combination of virtuality and reality, and while MR is still generally associated by the layman simply with gaming and gimmickry, this could not be further from the full picture. MR is an extremely powerful tool for driving outcomes with a limitless diversity of applications across every industry. It is the key for the future success of so many industries and is primed to create an unpredictably enormous disruption, changing the landscape of our entire society within the next 5-10 years. To give you an idea of why this is the case, we’ve put together a list of our ten favourite innovative uses of MR that already exist today.

1. Safety Training

MR safety training is an exciting innovation set to drastically improve workplace safety across limitless industries, saving countless lives and dollars. MR training means using VR headsets to place employees within a real, interactive, 360-degree video workplace where they encounter real-life safety hazards and situations. This means inhabiting scenarios that are unfeasible or unsafe to practice in the real world, while learning to make important decisions in real time and under pressure. MR simulations provide the ability to experience the consequences of safety complacency in a visceral manner, dramatically raising retention rates. This means moving towards zero medically treated incidents and lost time incidents.  According to research, using MR for safety training may improve safety outcomes by a factor of an estimated 30%.

2. Live music

MR offers an incredible gift to any lover of live music, and one that promises to revolutionise the way music and performance is consumed. By placing a range of 360-degree cameras in choice locations around a venue, and live-streaming the spherical footage, music lovers can experience the thrill of seeing their favourite artists perform live, from the comfort of their own home, with the full buzz of the concert-going experience. Augmenting the 360 footage with interactive hotspots means giving the viewer total control to watch the concert from every angle and navigate between different cameras. Audience members at the venue then have the ability to get out their mobile device and enjoy the concert as if they were on stage with the artist – making bad seats a worry of the past.

3. Training Medical Students

MR training is also being used as a tool within the medical industry. In many cases, acquiring real world experience on-the-job simply isn’t feasible for healthcare professionals, as their decisions carry a grave deal of weight and can even imply the difference between life and death. With MR, medical professionals are able to explore every procedure and learn how to care for patients without any risk involved. They can participate in realistic tutorials that allow them to interact with medical equipment, and face the pressure of making choices under duress. These simulations are able to teach and train in a way that is not possible with other types of lessons, by realistically imparting experience and consequence rather than just facts. This translates into lower liability insurance costs and fewer cases of malpractice and negligence.

4. Travel

MR promises to change the way we perceive the world, and this means changing the way we travel the world. Learning about history can now mean experiencing history, and travelling through space can now mean travelling through time. Using AR, you can now be accompanied by a virtual tour guide with you as you travel, interacting with your surroundings and explaining the history behind them. Furthermore, this technology means this history itself can be fully brought to life. Imagine the immersive thrill of visiting the Roman Coliseum and using AR to experience gladiator battles right in the world before you.

5. Simulation

MR has begun to be used across many industries a powerful tool for simulation, prediction, and visualisation and one of the most powerful applications of this approach is in agriculture. Using artificial intelligence, machine learning and advanced algorithms, MR simulations can demonstrate crop growth based on weather patterns, practices, and other variables. Researchers can collect data, test and import it into the simulations in order to observe the crop growth and suggest changes in practices. This will help farmers prepare their crops against any unwelcome environmental changes while at the same time realistically understanding the consequences of not following right practices, raising total shareholder return and net cash generated from operating activities.

6. Therapy

VR has been used to varying degrees in therapy for over a decade, but the limitations of the technology has made this application sparse. However MR is being increasingly implemented as an effective tool in psychological and occupational therapy. Patients occupy a virtual or mixed environment and digitally navigate through specifically designed environments, completing tasks in order to treat specific mental ailments. One successful example of this innovation is in exposure therapy, whereby patients overcome phobias by interacting with virtual simulations of trauma in order to allow them to overcome their fear response. This has also proven to be particularly successful in treating post-traumatic stress disorder.

7. Anaesthetic

Continuing in this psychological vein, MR is also proving capable of disrupting the pharmaceutical industry. The use of a VR headset playing a calming simulation, as a tool of distraction during surgery in place of anaesthetics, has proven surprisingly successful. Doctors have used soothing digital simulations to lull patients into a calm and distracted state rather than chemically inducing numbness or serenity; displaying striking and immersive vistas which completely block out the reality of the operating room. These simulations have proven to lower blood pressure and heart rate, reduce stress, and even fully remove the necessity of a general anaesthetic.

8. Retail

Online shopping represented a massive disruption in the retail industry, drastically changing the way we consume in the 21st century. Yet online shopping in itself does not fully compete with the tangible and tactile relationship that many consumers hold with the products they purchase. Many customers still feel the need to experience a product in a real space, and admit to appreciating the ritual of exploring a physical shop. With MR, real spaces can be digitally recreated and consumers can find themselves in floating online shopping spaces, visiting and navigating a physical shop in a virtual world, without leaving their house. AR also means demonstrating what purchases would look like on your person or in the context of your own home. Investment group Goldman Sachs has predicted the MR retail industry will be worth USD$1.6 billion by 2025.

9. Real Estate

Using 360-degree video and virtual simulations, immersive virtual tours can be taken of properties without having to physically visit them. Furthermore, simulation means that these properties can still be in construction, while a rendering of how they will appear when finished can be fully explored using a headset. Furthermore, potential buyers can now use MR to experience how a property will look once they have painted and furnished it their own way, letting a buyer be sure that this is the right space for them.

10. Architecture

Also in the realm of real estate visualisation, MR presents a clear and potent advantage to designers and architects because it empowers them to immerse into three dimensional spaces which simulate and render architectural designs. This means replacing traditional renderings and completely reducing the time spent reworking designs, efficiently eliminating costs and improving safety. The true power of this technology is the ability to convey the reality of designs and explore them. From experiencing the reality of a room’s lighting, to the strength of a building’s foundations, to the physical feel of a space; we can now realistically test how quickly a building can be evacuated, or how it might look once it is populated with furnishings. All this while it is still in the design phase, saving an incredible amount of money and time.

While these 10 innovative applications are some of our favourites, they only scratch the surface of what is possible with MR. Hopefully this list has opened your mind to the limitless realm of endless cross-industry application. This technology is going to dominate and dictate our future, with real and effective outcome-driving solutions. If you’re interested in learning more, or are wondering how MR might be relevant to you and your industry, contact us at 360dgrees.com. Our experts are waiting to empower you to commercialise using these radical innovations.

Consequence Driving Accountability

Toby Ellis, CEO at 360dgrees.com

The real battleground for Safety Training is creating a culture of safety accountability.

It’s the ultimate outcome in a minefield of tasks. Tasks like hazard identification that make us think we are doing our part when, unfortunately, the only thing we are improving is our ego.

A recent LinkedIn exchange really stood out for me. I was having my daily catchup/update on LinkedIn when a contact of mine commented on a post. The post was a picture of someone at heights without the appropriate safety gear. The person had been travelling to work and, thanks to a great/authentic attitude towards safety practices, was able to identify a safety problem: A powerful skill. They took a photo and posted it on LinkedIn with an important message like, “Workers at heights without harnesses. Be safe out there guys. Look after your people.”

Like lots of other people on the thread I applauded the post and fully endorsed the message. Be alert and aware and make safety something you actively look out for. Not just for yourself, but for those around you. Everyone deserves to go home safe. There were lots of comments of praise and lots of people who empathised with the post having too seen an incident that same day and how all too common scenes like this were. All you needed to do was be attuned to identifying safety issues and you could see them everywhere.

It was a 6-word comment from my contact that brought this illusion crashing down for me. He asked: “What did you do about it?” Wow! Exactly. What did you do about it. Did you stop and speak to someone on site? Did you go over to the worker and mention it? Or did you just take a photo and post it on social media?

I get it. It’s potentially complicated. There are people and emotions involved and it can be confronting. But it makes for a great discussion. If you are focused on safety and if that means ensuring that people get home to their families at the end of the day, when does the skill of identification actually deliver on this outcome? When you act on it and do something. And by do something, I mean something more than take a photo and share the message. That’s helpful and raises awareness, but in that moment, when that worker was at risk of not going home to their families, that’s when they most need you to be safety accountable.

Creating Safety Accountability is something that is hard to engender in people without them really appreciating the consequences of safety incidents, safety complacency and poor safety practices. This is exactly the types of outcomes that Mixed Reality (MR) Training is helping organisations of every size deliver to protect their people.

The ability to create MR Training experiences that let people experience consequence without being in a position of danger places safety identification in the context of action.

Imagine the following being delivered in fully immersive, gamified, 360, Mixed Reality:

  • You put the MR Viewer on to immerse yourself in a 360 MR Training experience  
  • See your colleague working around cranes under a suspended load? What do you do? Walk past it and mention it in the next team meeting or stop the job and get them out straight away?  You decide to walk past and speak scathingly of it in tomorrow’s meeting. Just after you decided to walk past it the lifting slings failed, crushing them. They died and the effect on family, friends and co-workers lasts a lifetime. 
  • See your mate working at heights without the appropriate harness? What do you do? Walk past it and mention it in the next team meeting or go over to the guy and say something? Again, you make a note of it and look forward to tomorrow’s meeting where you can play your part in helping keep the site safe. Just after you took that photo and drove away they fell and might not be able to work for 6 months. That’s devastating for the family. 

Instead of traditional training delivering these messages as a lecture/reading from a folder, you can experience it in MR and see the results of your decisions. You can see the accident and, critically, experience the effect and consequence of your action or inaction.
No-one wants to see a mate in hospital, be unable to be a dad or a mum to their kids, or see a family in financial trouble. So, when you use Mixed Reality Training to experience consequence without physically being there, you take a much larger step to creating armies of people who feel personally accountable for safety. And that accountability will drive action, not just identification.

Visit 360dgrees.com and get in touch with one of our Mixed Reality experts today.

Cover photo modified from original by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

Consequence, Participation, Retention: The untapped value of MR Training

Written by Toby Ellis, CEO at 360dgrees.com

There’s a problem with traditional training:

  • Real participation rates are low
  • Retention of knowledge is low
  • Training is delivered in abstraction of consequence

And it’s not the fault of the training teams, the people taking part or the organisations: It’s a symptom of the tools at disposal not helping. Technology is to blame! But it doesn’t need to be. Mixed Reality (MR) Training is enabling organisations to reimagine training and pedagogies, to deliver improved results and a renewed enthusiasm on the part of the participants.
Let’s take a step back. Imagine a traditional training session at work. There are 10 people who are attending the 2-hour session away from their desks/jobs. Despite the very best of intentions of participants and trainers, too often the below is the real outcome:

  • 4 people are thinking about what they are going to do after work or at lunch
  • 2 people are consumed by the thought of all the work they could be doing if they were back at their desk
  • 1 person is reminiscing about the time they saw the Wallabies win the Bledisloe cup, on the siren, with a John Eales conversion in his very last game
  • 1 person is fading in and out of consciousness and is lucky to have the support of their colleague next to them who is providing some well timed ‘nudges’ to keep them from being noticed
  • 2 people are listening


I exaggerate to emphasise… but you get my point. In this example, there are 3 main problems:

  • Participation is low. In this example, only 20%.
  • Knowledge retention rates are low. Retention rates from learning by lecture are as low as 5% when compared to retention rates of 75% when you learn by doing.
  • This training very rarely lets people really understand and experience consequence of actions – what is the outcome and why is it important. So it becomes task focused, not outcome focused.

A lot of effort and a large commitment by everyone, that deserves a better result.

Fast forward to the same training delivered using MR Training.

  • The training is a game delivered using Mixed Reality. They put on the MR Headset, then get immersed in a game that shows them real people, asking real questions and each decision they get to see the same people show them what the consequence of that decision is. As if they are right there and it is happening to them in the 1st person.
  • Each participant can go through the training as part of a team or on their own, when it suits them.
  • The training team and organisation get access to the rich analytics of the MR Training for each individual and as a team/organisation to identify trends and think strategically about training needs.
  • The training can take a fraction of the time and the team are pretty excited about taking part in MR Training!! Let’s not kid ourselves… it’s cool!


MR Training solves problems we saw in the traditional approach.

  • 100% participation rates. By its very nature, MR Training is fully immersive. Try thinking about lunch or what you’re doing after work when you have an MR Headset on and are playing a Training Game!
  • Retention rates through the roof: from 5% retention rates for a lecture to 75% retention rates from ‘Learning by doing’ as a result of the gamification of the training.
  • Consequence brought to life: MR Training lets people experience consequence, without being in a position of danger! Outcome focused.

So, you’re left with more people participating, retaining more, with an opportunity to experience consequence.

These are exactly the sorts of outcomes 360DGREES.COM are helping enterprises achieve by challenging and innovating the way they deliver training. No longer a tick in the procedural box… training that delivers real outcomes. But it’s hard to explain… get in touch with us and we can show you so you can experience it for yourself.

1 Source: National Training Laboratories, USA
Banner image modified from original by Patsy Lynch @ FEMA Photo Library

How 360° Video is Changing the Future of Safety

By Max Harris, Media Producer at 360dgrees.com

How 360° Video is Changing the Future of Safety

Workplace safety is an essential aspect of every business in every industry.

A lack of proper safety precautions in the workplace impacts not just the individuals who are placed in danger, and their families, but the damages can have financial ramifications at every level of management within a business.
Ensuring employee wellbeing means fostering a comprehensive safety culture.

This is a challenge for employers which is often underestimated. Creating a culture of safety means more than just educating staff on protocol, it means creating a training program which can actual transform the habits of employees. Industries are searching for innovation that can protect the welfare of employees and the prosperity of businesses.

The Problem with Traditional Safety Training

Traditional safety training is usually time consuming, expensive, and struggles to actually change patterns of behaviour in a meaningful way.
In fact it often fails on three key fronts:

A failure to adequately demonstrate the consequences of poor safety protocol.

Seminars, workshops, and tests can only go so far in their demonstration of the personal impact of unsafe procedure. Traditional safety training therefore cannot viscerally convey the consequences of courting danger in the workplace, and so fails to break habits.

A failure to provide training in a way than will translate to experience.

Studies show that the most effective learning is kinaesthetic learning. People learn by doing, and there is a psychological divide between theory and practice.
Learning something which needs to be applied empirically, such as safety procedure, requires more than just a theoretical understanding. Simply being told how and why to be safe will never be fully effective. Furthermore, the stressful reality of a dangerous situation is not adequately prepared for by traditional training.

A failure to engage employees.

Put simply, safety training is often perceived as boring or even frustrating by staff. This means that employees do not commit their full attention to the training, and therefore do not retain the information or its empirical significance.

For these reasons, industries are looking for innovations in the field of safety training that can effectively establish a safety culture and protect employees and businesses as a whole. This is where 360° video steps in.


360° Video

360° video uses either omnidirectional cameras, or a collection of cameras stitched together in post-production, to create spherical videos which can be viewed using a virtual reality headset. With a headset on, the user is in a real world environment where they can look around in every direction. 360° video can also be augmented with interactivity – hotspots which give the user the ability to move between immersive environments, make choices, and more.

So what is the relevance to workplace safety?

360° video means placing the employee in a real environment where they are asked to actually respond to safety scenarios in real time. This can be applied across any industry and in every workplace. 360° solves every problem facing safety training.



Making mistakes is one of the most effective ways to learn. However making mistakes in a real-life safety scenario can be disastrous, costing millions of dollars, and resulting in injury or even death. 360° safety training empowers learning through mistakes by viscerally simulating the consequences. This leaves a lasting impact on the user and will actually change their patterns of behaviour.


360° caters to many different types of learners because it is an immersive experience that creates an immediate engagement from the user. It instils safety responses as instinct because it teaches through action, and thus develops perceptuo-motor skills and cognitive problem solving. It simulates the pressure and stress of making safety decisions in the moment, which will translate to real scenarios.


It is impossible to give half your attention to a lesson in 360° video. It immediately takes full control of your focus by coercing you to interact with your environment, from the first moment you put on the headset and begin to look around. It brings the student to life and is a memorable experience.

Satefy Training 360


Factories, distribution centres, mines, and a range of other industries are already having success implementing 360° VR headset training. Revolutionise the way your business approaches safety by using 360° videos.

Get more information at www.360dgrees.com.

“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” – Confucius

 (Cover Photo by Nan Palmero, licensed under CC BY 2.0A woman using a VR headset at SXSW, 2015.)