Jeremy Dalton - spreading the word about virtual reality

As Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality leader for our Consulting business, Jeremy is excited by the influence these technologies will have on both our personal and business lives in the future.

He explains how Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality will allow us to interact with the world in a completely different way and how we’re helping clients understand what’s coming in the future through our disruption proposition. Finally, Jeremy shares his excitement at being seated next to Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on Apollo 11.  

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I’m Jeremy Dalton and I’m the virtual reality and augmented reality lead for PwC Consulting.

I’m interested in virtual reality because I believe it’s going to have an incredible affect on both our personal and our professional lives in the future.

So as an example in the consumer space, virtual reality offers the ability for all of us to inhabit and experience worlds that we wouldn't otherwise be able to do so, either for financial reasons, for  time reasons or simply because they are events that have happened in the past.

So at PwC we have a disruption proposition and this is all about helping clients to understand what’s coming in the future, from both a technology and non-technology perspective. VR is incredibly important to business for a number of reasons, but let’s consider the training example, instead of having to take your staff to a specially designed training site and maintaining that and dealing with the transportation costs, you can recreate that in virtual reality and save on those costs and actually have a more effective learning experience because instead of clicking as we would on an e-learn and saying we would do something, you’re actually doing it in virtual reality.

Augmented reality and virtual reality in terms of the device and how we use them are already split in a number of different ways, so we can experience virtual reality without having to wear any headsets, just by using projectors on the walls around us, we can experience it by using a head mounted display that we actually wear, we can experience it on our mobile phones by opening up applications by scanning the world around us and allowing it to provide contextual information.

Virtual reality has some challenges, there have been issues raised around its potential societal impact, so what happens if consumers start to prefer the virtual world to the real world, and those are valid concerns and we should raise them in a way that allows us to think about this technology responsibly. But at the same time virtual reality is already being used to help benefit humanity in all sorts of wonderful ways, such as how it’s being used in care homes to give dementia suffers an idea of what it’s like to be at a beach for example.  

I’ve been on the Apollo 11 mission, in virtual reality of course and that was an incredibly impactful experience for me, I got to sit next to Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin and I looked outside to my left and through the window I could see the curvature of the earth start to appear as we rose up into space and I just think for the next generation of children who are going to be using this technology to help them learn about the world, I think it’s an incredibly exciting time to be alive.

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