Tuesday, March 19, 2019
BusinessEducation/TrainingExtended RealityVirtual Reality

Talespin Brings VR to the Future of Work

Talespin utilizes VR and AI technologies to simulate interpersonal communication in the workplace.

With low unemployment and strong economies throughout the world, competition for employees is more difficult than ever. Talespin’s newly-released Virtual Human Technology utilizes VR and AI to improve interpersonal communication and leadership skills to help companies retain talent and prepare for the future of work.

According to a report from SuperData Research, extended reality training has the potential to save as much as $13.5 billion.

“We’ve already witnessed these savings and improvements in efficiency through our initial client engagements,” says Talespin CEO Kyle Jackson. “We are offering organizations a tool for improving employees’ interpersonal skills at scale.”

Using VR to Improve Real-World Interactions

The company works with its clients to create characters and scenarios to fit their needs. One organization might need help preparing new managers to have conversations about employee performance. Another might use the technology to train customer service representatives.

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Either way, the scripts and character traits are based on the organization’s individual goals. While the characters, scenarios and environment are realistic, their purpose is not to replace real-life human interaction.

talespin virtual human

The more people practice having difficult conversations or learning a training script in a virtual world, the more prepared they’ll be when those situations arise on the job.

In a demo made available before the official launch, users were in the shoes of a manager charged with firing an employee who became increasingly upset as the conversation progressed. The character’s responses forced the manager to develop a sense of empathy yet remain firm in their decision.

“We’re giving people the building blocks they need to be better prepared for real, nuanced conversations in the workplace,” Jackson says. “It’s similar to practicing batting in baseball with a pitching machine, or preparing to become a pilot with a flight simulator.”

Virtual Human Technology and the Future of Work

Talespin’s virtual human technology is nimble and adaptable to whatever situations a business may encounter. As automation continues to move into the workplace, employees will need quick and efficient retraining.

According to a McKinsey & Company report, the future of work will mean more demand for jobs that robots can’t complete, such as managing people, communicating with others and critical thinking. Job-related skills will also shift away from the physical and technical to the social, emotional and creative.

Kyle Jackson Talespin
Kyle Jackson, CEO of Talespin

Jackson said Talespin’s virtual human technology can adapt just as quickly as the work environment does. It can deliver training when and where employees need it most. The more time an organization spends waiting for employee retraining, the more market share and productivity they stand to lose.

“This is the first scalable tool that provides users access to repeatable ‘practice rounds’ to improve interpersonal skills,” says Jackson. “We can’t hardwire human behavior based on these tools. However, we can help them navigate situations where soft skills matter.”  

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Jenna Spinelle
the authorJenna Spinelle
Jenna Spinelle is a freelance journalist based in Pennsylvania. She loves learning about new ideas and new technologies and sharing that information with others. She holds a degree in journalism from Penn State University, and currently teaches journalism as an adjunct instructor at the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications. When she's not writing or teaching, you can find her hosting and producing the Democracy Works podcast.