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Enhancing Immersive Learning with VR Technology

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Enhancing Immersive Learning with VR Technology

Immersive learning with virtual reality (VR) has become increasingly popular over the past several years.

VR is vital in the digital transformation process, industry 4.0 and e-learning. Oftentimes innovation directors and chief information officers look to enhance training programs and VR has the ability to teach employees practical skills in a safe environment by simulating real-world situations. Employees can learn crucial safety protocols, hard skills, and other lessons through full immersion rather than reading a handbook or video. 

Some of the benefits of using VR-based Immersive Learning are improved knowledge retentionbetter performance, and full engagement

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Credit: PWC for Live Training decision matrix framework

With Immersive Learning on the rise, it is important to understand this new way of training and see how your chief information officers and organization as a whole can benefit from it long-term. 

What Is Immersive Learning?

Immersive Learning uses VR technology to train employees through simulated real-life scenarios. It is based on cognitive and behavioural science and enhances employee proficiencies through immersion. 

The Immersive Learning approach uses VR alongside data science, spatial design, and advanced learning theory. Neuroscience research has found that the brain reacts to VR experiences the same as real-world scenarios, meaning how employees perform in the virtual setting is closely related to how they will perform in the real work environment. 

By using VR, you can immerse employees into simulated work situations that may happen in the real world. It uses the best practices proven to enhance behavioural learning. This will improve the trainee’s preparedness, knowledge, confidence, retention, and engagement in the long run. 

Using Virtual & Augmented Reality Technology

VR as a tool for Immersive Learning creates a safe training environment while keeping employees engaged as they develop practical experience. VR is the headset that users wear, and the experience is typically enhanced with realistic environments built to mimic real-world interaction and design. These virtual albeit realistic environments allow for users to explore as if they were in the real world but also push the user down a set pathway for a learning outcome. This kind of process training is nothing new, but the platform and medium being used now have changed considerably.

Immersive Learning with VR/AR technology creates a very realistic environment and allows users to feel like they are engaging in real life. However, VR provides a safe learning environment where users can learn from their mistakes and receive feedback, among other benefits. 

Example of a VR Learning Scenario recently published for Electrical Engineering training:

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Benefits of Using VR/AR Technology with Immersive Learning

Immersive Learning makes learning easier and better than in the past. Instead of using handbooks or lengthy videos, users can quickly improve their practical skills and prepare for different contexts. 

Here are some of the other benefits of Immersive Learning with VR/AR technology. 

Improved Engagement

VR can improve learner engagement even more than real-life instruction because it fully immerses the trainee into various situations. Since there are no distractions in the virtual environment and no way to check phones or other devices, employees can pay attention to important safety protocols and lessons they will need to know on the job. 

This kind of focus and attention is crucial for new employees as they learn safety protocols. Since the brain treats VR experiences like reality, having trainees practice in simulated scenarios can enhance their performance overall when they face similar situations in real life. 

Users can also develop an emotional connection since VR and AR create a very realistic environment for employees to train in. The skills they build feel more practical since they are learning them in various highly realistic situations. This keeps trainees engaged and highly involved in their learning process. 

Not only can they see virtual scenarios, but they can also have meaningful interactions with objects in those environments. It requires trainees to make decisions that have real consequences in the safety of virtual and augmented reality. 

Increased Motivation

During training, employees may not feel very motivated to learn a series of steps or safety protocols from a video. Since they do not see the need now, the theoretical lessons may not stick until it is too late. 

VR/AR technology makes employees much more motivated to learn when they face realistic situations. It tests their knowledge and forces them to retain information so they can use it in real time. 

When trainees practice in a realistic virtual environment, their brain treats simulated situations like real life. Being put to the test with fewer distractions increases a trainee’s motivation to learn and knowledge retention.  

Simulated Risk in a Safe Environment

When it comes to potentially dangerous situations like unloading trucks, working with heavy machinery, active shooters, or natural disasters, VR can provide a safe space for employees to practice how to handle those situations. 

One of the great benefits is that VR allows employees to learn from their mistakes and try again. Trainees receive immediate feedback as well because their choices directly affect their virtual experience. 

It allows employees to learn by repeating the same dangerous situations repeatedly, which is typically impossible to simulate in the real world without putting others at real risk. Instead, employees can learn at their own pace until they feel confident and prepared. 

Measured Data & Performance

Companies can now measure the performance of their employees and the organization as a whole by accessing data from VR training. When trainees use the Immersive Learning technology, the headset captures their actions and provides insight into the cumulative collected data. Employers can see how well trainees did and how well they seemed to know the material. 

The data from VR training comes in five different types: 

  • Usage: Duration, frequency of training, and completion

  • Performance: The ability to answer correctly and complete tasks efficiently

  • Attention and engagement: How attentive learners are, which indicate performance on the job

  • Sentiment: Participant feedback

  • Predictive analytics: Immersive and real-life data combined to create a learning-based model and personalized approach 

Conclusion

Immersive Learning revolutionizes training like never before. It allows users to practice, make mistakes, and learn important information without allowing any distractions. As a result, it increases their focus and motivation when faced with realistic situations and the ability to make mistakes and try again. 

It also allows employers to see how well their employees perform by analyzing the data. The measurable data can also tell how well an employee may perform when faced with challenging situations. 

With the proper tools and understanding, this dynamic learning strategy provides incredible potential for future workplace education. 


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IBM launches new way to partner through IBM Partner Plus

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Cloud Computing News

IBM has developed IBM Partner Plus, a new program that reimagines how IBM engages with its business partners through unprecedented access to IBM resources, incentives, and tailored support to deepen their technical expertise and help speed time to market.

The program is designed to fuel growth for new and existing partners, including resellers, hyperscalers, technology providers, independent software vendors and systems integrators, by putting them in control of their earning potential. IBM Partner Plus is central to the company’s Hybrid Cloud and AI strategy and aims to empower partners to help clients automate, secure and modernize their businesses.

IBM Partner Plus offers partners a transparent, simple and modern experience. By growing technical expertise and demonstrating sales success, participants can progress to three tiers – Silver, Gold and Platinum – which unlock specialized financial, go-to-market support and education benefits. In the new program, badging will become the standardized measure of skills and validated solutions will demonstrate expertise. The enhanced IBM Partner Portal consolidates and tracks all expertise, revenue, and deals globally, offering each partner a clear line-of-site into their progression through the program.

“IBM Partner Plus introduces a new way for IBM to deliver value to new and existing partners by helping them gain skills, grow faster and earn more,” said Kate Woolley, GM, IBM Ecosystem. “We’ve heard from partners that they want a simplified experience that helps them win with clients. I’m confident these changes and our continued investment in our ecosystem will make IBM the partner of choice across the industry, and together we can drive growth for partners, clients, and IBM.”

IBM Partner Plus results from the company’s journey to put partners at the centre of IBM’s go-to-market strategy and act as a growth engine to help capture the $1 trillion hybrid cloud and AI market opportunities. IBM has invested in elevating the role of partners and accelerating partner-led sales by enabling the ecosystem to become a preferred route to market, offering clients an optimal mix of technology, services, and consulting expertise. To drive continued growth, IBM will increase its capacity to support partners by doubling the number of partner-facing brand and technical specialists to help them prospect and win additional client business.

“The new IBM Partner Plus program provides an enhanced experience that sets our company up for success by offering employees access to skills and opportunities, so we can help more clients utilise IBM’s technology portfolio to modernise their operations,” said Bo Gebbie, President, Evolving Solutions. “IBM is more serious than ever about putting partners first. They’ve listened to our feedback, and it is reflected in the new partner experience that makes it easy for us to collaborate, rewards our investments and fuel growth.”

IBM Partner Plus brings all partner types and programs together – whether they sell, build on or with, and/or provide services for IBM technology – into one integrated ecosystem. For example, to help broaden the market opportunity and create new revenue streams for its ecosystem, IBM recently enabled partners in North America to resell IBM products through other cloud marketplaces. This allows for independent software vendors to embed IBM Software from partner marketplaces into their own solutions. All partner sales through the marketplace accumulate towards their progression in IBM Partner Plus. 

Competitive incentives

Partners can advance through tiers to unlock benefits and demand generation programs which could offer them up to a threefold increase in total investment from IBM. The IBM Partner Portal gives partners real-time visibility into the incentives they are eligible for, predictability into potential earnings, and includes an automated deal share engine that helps them surface quality leads. This has improved deal registration and introduced partners to more than 7,000 potential deals valued at over half a billion dollars globally.*  IBM investments in co-marketing campaigns and co-sell support with partners can also help bring solutions to market and generate demand.

Insider access

IBM Partner Plus builds on the successful release of its October badging and selling enablement materials to partners, which has driven more than 15,000 partner enrollments in sales and technical badges. Offering partners the training, enablement, and experiential selling resources available to IBMers at no cost can help better equip them to win with clients. Additionally, access to IBM’s seller tools can help them generate competitive and transparent pricing. Partners can also attend IBM’s quarterly Sales Kickoffs together with IBM sellers, and participate in live training sessions and other global technical advocacy events to help upskill, increase eminence, and engage with technical experts. For new partners, IBM is launching the IBM New Partner Accelerator, which provides onboarding, training, and other benefits during their first six months in the program to help accelerate their path to profitability.

Enhanced support and benefits

Partners can grow skills, develop solutions, and build sales expertise with technologies like AI, security, and cloud on an open hybrid cloud platform by leveraging technical experts from IBM. IBM will also assist partners in the development of minimal viable products, proofs of concept, and custom demos to help them win client business and accelerate growth. In addition, as partner businesses grow with IBM, they can unlock additional benefits designed to help them expand capabilities and find new clients.

PartnerWorld will transition to a new IBM Partner Plus experience on January 4, 2023, with the new incentive program taking effect on April 1, 2023. Registered PartnerWorld members will maintain their current tier through July 1, 2023 and can progress to the new tiering system during this time as they meet criteria.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London.

Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

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How Technology is Improving Pet Health

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How Technology is Improving Pet Health

An increasing number of people are taking up pet ownership. And why not?

Pets offer loyal companionship to humans and can even provide many health benefits. According to a recent market analysis, pet ownership increased from 56% to 68% of households in the past 30 years.

Pets are part of your family, and you want to keep them healthy and happy. But it can be challenging to determine your pet’s best approach. Fortunately, plenty of innovative technology-based solutions available today make it easier than ever to keep tabs on your four-legged furball’s well-being.

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Wearables

Wearables are becoming more common in the pet industry as they can provide a wealth of information about your dog. These devices can monitor a pet’s health and activity levels, including heart rate, body temperature, and location. They can also track daily activities such as walks or playtime with other dogs.

The biggest draw of wearables is how much data they collect on each animal and how quickly they send that data back to owners so they know what’s happening at all times. This can help with many things, but the best advantage of wearables is that owners can track their pets’ location.

According to a recent NCBI study, around 3% of cat and dog pets are lost annually. Wearables can use radiofrequency technology to communicate the pet’s current location through radio waves. This can help reduce the number of lost pets.

Online Pet Medication and Grooming Accessories Stores

Online pet medication and grooming accessories stores are increasingly important in helping pet owners care for their furry friends. These stores offer a wide variety of pet care products, from medications and supplements to grooming supplies. This makes it easier for pet owners to find the items they need to keep their pets healthy and happy.

Additionally, these stores often offer discounts and free shipping, making it more affordable for pet owners to purchase the necessary items. With the help of these stores, pet owners can easily access the products they need to keep their pets healthy and happy.

For instance, allergies and allergy-related pruritus are common problems in pets. However, you can now easily purchase medication like Zyrtec for keeping allergies at bay. Additionally, you can also learn about Zyrtec through online resources. 

For example, if your cat has allergy irritation and you want to give Zyrtec but don’t know how much, you can read about the Zyrtec for cats dosage. This will let you administer the right dosage of Zyrtec and help with quick treatment.

Smart Collars

Smart collars are a technology that’s been around for a while, but they’ve recently been making their way into the pet world. These devices can track your pet’s activity and location, alert you when it’s in danger, help administer medication to your furry companion, and more.

Smart collars aren’t just for dogs. Some cats also wear them. They work similarly to GPS-enabled collars on people. They can calculate how much exercise your cat gets each day by measuring the distance traveled and time spent moving around. This information is then transmitted back to the owner via smartphone or tablet app so that he or she knows precisely where their kitty has been spending his time.

Pet Medical Records Platforms

If you’re a pet owner, your veterinarian has likely recommended keeping a medical record of your furry friend. This can be anything from an ultrasound or x-ray image to their blood pressure and weight or even just basic information about their day-to-day health needs.

Pet medical records are stored in the cloud, meaning they’re accessible from anywhere with an internet connection and can be accessed through mobile apps or web browsers. Some platforms are specific to particular hospitals. Others allow users to share information between different vets’ offices.

It’s important to note that some platforms use “secure storage,” which means only authorized people have access rights to them. Other ones don’t require any special permissions at all. The latter option might make sense if you live somewhere where there aren’t many veterinary practices nearby yet but still want access whenever needed afterward.

Many such platforms are being created for pet healthcare. For instance, Vedi is one such platform. It is similar to the Federal government’s My Health Record database. The My Health Record database records human health data, and Vedi will record pet health data. According to Startup Daily, the platform raised $3 million in funding to go global in 2023.

Pet-Specific Apps

Pet-specific apps can help you find a vet, track your pet’s health, and manage your pet’s medications. For example, if you’re interested in finding a new home for your pet as soon as possible, several websites offer homes for sale or rent near your home.

In addition to vet search engines and pet accommodations sites, there are also apps designed specifically for this purpose. If the idea of having an app on your phone sounds too much like work, consider downloading one that will help simplify finding a new home for your furry friend and maybe even make things easier than calling around and asking questions.

Veterinary Telehealth

Veterinary telehealth is a technology that allows you to consult with your vet remotely using the internet. This can be used to diagnose and treat your pet’s health issues, as well as general wellness checks and vaccinations.

While this technology has been available for some time now, it’s still not widely used by pet owners who can’t regularly travel to their veterinarian. Vet telehealth also allows vets around the world to offer remote consultations with one another via video chat or phone call.

Finally, vet telehealth could be particularly useful when treating sick pets who need hospitalization or long-term care, such as chemotherapy treatments or radiation therapy sessions.

Pet Cams

Several types of pet cams are available in the market, but they all have one thing, they help you keep tabs on your dog or cat.

  • A security camera is a good option if you have trouble keeping track of your pet alone at home. It will record everything around the house when you aren’t there so that if something happens while they’re out, you’ll be able to see what happened and whether or not it was an accident or something more serious.

  • A health monitor can help detect illnesses early on, especially kidney failure, heart disease, and thyroid issues that could cause serious health problems later down the line if left undetected for too long before treatment begins.

The demand for pet cameras is growing. According to a market analysis by Future Market Insights, the pet surveillance cameras market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.5% between 2022 and 2032 to reach $93.5 million by 2032.

Conclusion

Technological advancements allow you to monitor your pet’s health and well-being. These advances in technology have helped people better understand the needs of their pets, as well as provided solutions to common problems.

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Zero Trust Cybersecurity-Focused Leadership in the Digital Era

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Zero Trust Cybersecurity-Focused Leadership in the Digital Era

Zero trust cybersecurity is increasingly being adopted as a way to improve cybersecurity in organizations of all sizes and industries.

Source: Beyond ID

The impact of cybercrimes is expected to increase exponentially by 2025 and reach an estimated $10.5T. In CY 2022 cybersecurity breaches had a global economic impact evaluated at $6T and the average cost reported per cybersecurity breach was $4.35M. Investors have recognized the need and potential of this mega-industry which is equivalent to a nation’s GDP and larger than most country’s GDPs. We have witnessed an increase in venture capital , private equity and overall mergers and acquisitions, as well as a vibrant startup ecosystem offering a complex range of cyber-defense solutions.

Zero-trust cybersecurity is a security model that assumes that any network, device, or user may be compromised and therefore requires authentication and authorization for access to resources. As outlined by the World Economic Forum (WEF) there is an urgency for governments and business leaders to adopt zero trust cybersecurity in this current global economic and socio-political environment. 

The zero-trust approach that encourages us to “never trust and always verify” can help restore digital trust by limiting access to sensitive information and systems to only those who have been verified and authorized, reducing the risk of unauthorized access or data breaches. Additionally, it can also help organizations comply with regulatory requirements and industry standards for data security.

The principles that define a zero-trust architecture are:

  • All data and services are resources 

  • All communications is secured regardless location 

  • Access to enterprise resources is session based 

  • Access to resources is determined dynamically

  • Continuous security posture monitoring

  • Strict authorization and access enforcement 

  • Continuous data collection & enforcement enhancements 

  • Integration with enterprise detection & response 

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Source: Paloalto

Investing in zero trust cybersecurity can include a variety of different technology solutions and services. Some common investments that organizations may make to implement a zero-trust model include:

  • Identity and access management (IAM) solutions: These solutions can be used to verify the identity of users and devices and control access to resources based on predefined policies.

  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA) solutions: These solutions can be used to add an additional layer of security by requiring users to provide multiple forms of authentication before accessing resources.

  • Network segmentation solutions: These solutions can be used to segment networks and isolate sensitive data and systems from the rest of the network.

  • Endpoint security solutions: These solutions can be used to protect endpoint devices such as laptops and mobile devices from malware and other threats.

  • Cloud security solutions: These solutions can be used to secure cloud environments and protect data and systems that are hosted in the cloud.

  • Security information and event management (SIEM) solutions: These solutions can be used to monitor and analyze security-related data from various sources to detect and respond to threats.

  • Professional services: Organizations can also invest in professional services such as security assessments, penetration testing, and incident response planning to help identify vulnerabilities and develop a robust security strategy.

The zero-trust cybersecurity investment size and type will depend on the specific needs and requirements of the organization, the size of the organization, as well as the organization’s technological maturity, risk tolerance and results of a robust feasibility analysis.

The impact of zero-trust cybersecurity can vary depending on the specific industry sector and the types of data or systems that are being protected. Examples of implementing a zero-trust model in various industries include:

Zero-trust cybersecurity architecture, as outlined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology NIST can have a profound impact on data governance, as it can help to secure sensitive data and systems in various industries by verifying the identity of users and devices, and by limiting access to resources based on predefined policies related to regulatory guidelines or specific business rules.

However, there are numerous challenges encountered when deploying zero-trust cybersecurity, such as cost, interoperability, alignment with other enterprise strategic priorities, harmonization with ethics and risk programs, etc.

What can C-suite leaders do to be better prepared for success when planning a zero trust strategy? They can focus on creating a culture of cyber-resilience, which translates into increasing cyber-literacy and cyber-fluency for the general enterprise workforce, and optimize ( via upskilling and reskilling) cyber-specific skills for their technical team. The workforce management efforts should be complemented with a proactive digital ethics program deployment and an honest SWAT assessment in the face of increasing sophistication of cyber-attacks globally. Performing a robust FMEA analysis is an imperative for companies that wish to retain or gain competitive advantage. Evaluating and examining existing internal enterprise cyber-capabilities, versus the option to forge strategic partnerships or perhaps scout out for a potential cyber-acquisition should also be on the agenda. The design and deployment of cyber-metrics is a crucial step that requires alignment with other financial, operational and ethics enterprise dashboard metrics. Last, but certainly not least, forward thinking leaders must embed innovation and continuously improve their cyber-defense program to dynamically adjust to the rapidly evolving cyber landscape.

Futurists envision cyber-resilient programs that will most likely include satellite internet, human-computer interfaces, cyber-digital twins, quantum technology, federated learning, etc.

Globalists and ESG-conscious leaders are hoping that our transition to the next iterations of the world wide web, such as web 3.0 and web 4.0 will have state of the art cyber-defense programs and will align with both the UN SDG 2030, as well as with the net-zero UN 2050 agendas.

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