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INVISTA (Koch Industries): What if We Reimagined Our Entire Training Process?

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Episode Summary

How does an organization begin using immersive technology to change how they work and train? What are the challenges that everyone faces when trying to integrate XR? What sort of impact is XR having on business?

We dig deep with Dane Laughlin, Operations Transformation Product Leader at INVISTA, a Koch Industries subsidiary. Dane has been implementing AR/VR solutions for years and specializes in immersive, emergent technology.

Dane shares how he first came into contact with XR, the challenges he faced integrating XR into his company, the massive impact VR has had on training, challenges with XR content, how to scale from pilot programs to full XR deployments, and key considerations for working with 3rd parties. Plus, you might finally learn what the Metaverse is.

Key Moments

  • Obstacles bringing XR to his organization (6:22)
  • How do you choose XR content (8:20)
  • What is the Metaverse (10:25)
  • Impact of VR (12:40)
  • 3 core challenges with XR content (18:12)
  • Scaling from a proof-of-concept (20:19)
  • How do you know who is in the headset and manage data (22:57)
  • Working with 3rd parties for XR (25:50)
"The three core challenges in XR are keeping VR content up to date, getting 3D content ready to use in VR, and managing devices broadly over an enterprise.”
xr industry leaders podcast with arborxr and dane laughlin of invista koch industries
Dane Laughlin
Operations Transformation Product Leader at INVISTA, a Koch Industries subsidiary

About the Guest

Dane Laughlin focuses on integrating emergent technology across INVISTA’s global operations space for process improvement. Dane’s core competency is AR/VR implementation, wearables, IoT, and data analytics. Using these tools, he is looking to change the way that employees interact with their work as well as their training.

As an internal specialist and project manager, Dane has worked on projects in environments ranging from a corporate cubicle to the manufacturing floor. Utilizing his biomedical engineering background, his core focus is to streamline the interface between people and technology to improve execution accuracy and increase efficiency.

In addition to being a technologist, Dane is also an inventor with four patents in the visualization of deep brain stimulation.

Episode Transcript

Brad Scoggin: Hey there, welcome to XR Industry Leaders with ArborXR. My name is Brad Scoggin and I am the CEO and one of three co-founders of ArborXR. And we’ve had the opportunity of working with 1000s of companies since 2016, and we’ve learned a ton about what it takes for XR to be successful in your organization.

Will Stackable: And I’m Will Stackable, co-founder and CMO. This podcast is all about interviewing the leaders who are on the ground making XR happen today. True pioneers in the space from Amazon, Walmart, and UPS, to Koch, Pfizer and beyond, to uncover the pitfalls, lessons learned and secrets that you can use to help grow XR in your organization.

Brad Scoggin: Today, we sit down with Dane Laughlin. Dane is the Operations Transformation Product Leader at INVISTA. INVISTA is a subsidiary of Koch Industries. Dane’s primary role is focused on immersive and emergent technologies, and Dane has been into space for several years helping deploy AR and VR. To me, one of the most interesting parts of today’s episode is that you’ve got a well-established company like Koch, who’s taken the long view on XR and seeing pretty demonstrable results. Let’s jump in. Dane, so something that’s always interesting to our listeners is understanding what initially attracted a company to XR, and kinda what that process was like. And I know you’ve been invested for about six years, which is part of the overall Koch brand or Koch group of companies. So we’d love to hear what that process was like and maybe what was the initial, what initially got your company excited about XR?

Dane Laughlin: Yeah, well, I mean, I think we run into many of the same challenges that anybody in our industry runs into, which is high turnover, people who maybe not, they don’t have manufacturing skills or haven’t worked in manufacturing before, and so we need to kind of upskill them into a new skillset that they haven’t ever worked with in the past. And so our journey kind of started with like hey, we recognize that we wanna reduce the amount of time that it takes to bring people to proficiency with this space. And so we started experimenting with like, can we build mobile apps? So actually one of the first applications that we ever built is a game that to this day is on the App Store, if you wanna go and download it, it’s called “Electrical Protector,” I think. And the whole intention was how do you drive people to be more engaged with the content than they traditionally would be? And then around the same time that we started to look at the XR space, some better headsets started coming out, like the Valve Index and the VIVE. And I tried one of them at a trade show and I was like, “Man, this is crazy.” You know, like, you really feel like you’re there. And so after that experience, we kind of took it back to the drawing board with some of our training folks and said, “Hey, like, what if we reimagine this whole training process as something that you don’t have to physically walk out on the floor and work with people. It’s something that like, we can have a VR training room and you can train 20 people at a time, kind of thing?” So that was kind of the genesis was, I think it was a nice combination of timing on hardware, and then also just kind of happy coincidence with a good use case to start.

Brad Scoggin: Yeah, I mean, the timing, timing, timing, timing is so important. Were they just open to the idea? Was there resistance? How were those initial conversations?

Dane Laughlin: Yeah, you know, so it’s funny, I think back, or think back to this and laugh sometimes, we started by thinking about XR as, “Okay, we’re just gonna take the exact work process that we use on a daily basis, and we’re just gonna cut, copy and paste the VR training into the traditional work process.” And I think what we learned in doing that, is that you can’t really effectively do it, or you don’t get all the value if you don’t reimagine what the entire work process looks like. And so the funny example that I always give is one of the trainings that we have, there’s a physical object that you hold and it’s like the length of a broomstick, has a vacuum and you’re sucking a nylon string into it and wrapping it around various spindles and things like that. When we first thought about it, the traditional way of training was you have two people who train together and we were like, “Oh, we need to make a physical thing that people hold while they’re going through VR training so that they can kinda get a feel for what it feels like to work with a prop.” And then we realized in practice what that looks like, is you have two people that are in a room effectively blindfolded by a headset, you know, swinging this prop around. And it’s like, “We don’t want light saber battles in the training room. Like, we want to be effective,” right? And so I think that’s a key thing for anybody who is looking to get into the space, you don’t think about it as like, “Okay, this is our work process and we’re gonna force XR into this work process.” It’s, “Let’s reimagine what the entire work process looks like for training people” and then implement XR so that it complements that new strategy.

Brad Scoggin: Yeah, that’s a great perspective. That’s really good insight. And what has been your specific role in that process?

Dane Laughlin: Yeah, so my role has largely been kind of knowing the technology, one, so understanding like what headset applies well in what situation and how do we collect the data and store it and all that fun stuff. But also kind of trying to get a feel for what is the day in the life of the trainee who’s going through a lot of these things. And then the other thing I would recommend to anybody who’s getting into the space is like, make really good friends with the people who you’re gonna be deploying the training to, because ultimately, they’re gonna give you the most honest feedback and it’s gonna be the most helpful feedback because it’s them living that day to day and then you can implement that, and it makes for a much better product than to just kind of top down say like, “Oh, you know, this is what we’re gonna do.” But yeah, so I mean, ultimately my role is more of like kind of shepherding it than it is putting headsets on people. Although I’ve put a lot of people in headsets as well. A lot of it’s more kind of like, how do we think strategically about that work process and all the things we talked about before?

Will Stackable: As an XR champion in your organization, could you talk a little bit about some of the obstacles you’ve had to overcome to help move your organization towards XR?

Dane Laughlin: Yeah, I mean, and the product that you guys have is a big help in many of those arenas, right? Like managing devices at scale is a tough thing. I mean, it still is a tough thing. I’m not acting like that’s a problem that’s already solved, right? And your guys’ team does a great job of helping us get to kind of the next step in that. But there’s so many things about like, what wifi network do you connect to? Like are you dealing with GDPR in Europe? And so you have to make sure that people are, like you have the right information that’s being stored. How do you manage intellectual property that goes into the actual VR trainings? So there’s thoughts around how do you obfuscate things or can you run it in the cloud? You know, all these different aspects. And so when I think about XR, a lot of people think like, “Oh, I’m gonna go buy a headset and take it out in the field and put it on people and it’s gonna be great.” And I think there’s a lot more that goes into the strategy of thinking about, “Do you have the wifi networks to support it? How do you manage the headsets from afar? How do you get content?” instead of like, “Are you building it internally, or are you buying it from somebody? How do you get people to adopt it once it’s actually there?” So again, back to the work stream thing, like how do you integrate it into their daily lives so that it’s something that they just pick up and use, as opposed to like, “I have to think about, Dane told me about this VR thing and now I have to go and do it.” So I think, it’s kind of like a cascading process of making sure that you have the correct stack of technologies to support, stack of technologies and also kind of workflow to support the deployment of XR in a business.

Will Stackable: Totally agree. It feels that friction, the friction to adopt this new technology is still kind of high, surprisingly, even though we’re years and years in. I’m curious, one particular point of friction we hear often is just the approach to content. Who do you get it from? Internal, external? How have you approached that problem?

Dane Laughlin: Yeah, so kind of depends on what the content is. If it’s something, so like the VR training I was talking about for operations, that’s something we had to custom build because we’re the only ones that use the machinery or the equipment that we’re training on. And so in that case, you have to go work with developers or have an internal development group that builds a lot of this training. But there’s also some great partners that we have in the space. Like, we work with Immersed, they have a marketplace that you can go buy VR training and deploy it. And so we try and think about this as like, we call it inch deep and a mile wide or inch wide and a mile deep. And the inch deep, mile wide theory is like fire extinguisher training where everybody needs it, but it’s not necessarily super valuable on like a person by person set. And then we have the inch wide, mile deep, which is a very niche specific application, but has a really high value. And so we try and kind of group things into those two groups to understand like, okay, inch deep, mile wide is probably best served by us going and purchasing it from a partner, whereas inch wide, mile deep is something that we need to focus internally on how do we build something really valuable for this specific thing?

Will Stackable: I think I’d love to hear personally how you’re using XR in your organization? And there’s probably a lot you could answer there, but is there one specific use case that you get excited about personally?

Dane Laughlin: Yeah, so the whole concept of multi-player is really interesting to me. And everybody throws around the word metaverse right now, right? Like Meta’s changed their name and what is the metaverse? Like, there’s a lot of these discussions going on.

Will Stackable: Chief Metaverse Officer.

Dane Laughlin: Chief Metaverse Officer. Yeah, I mean like, there’s a lot of that going on. And I think for me, I try and think broadly about the metaverse as like an immersive internet type of thing. If you just boil it down really in a simplistic manner, which is what I need for my own brain. And the multiplayer thing is exciting for me because there’s many companies, or there are many companies that run the same equipment or the same process in a lot of different locations all over the world. And you have subject matter experts and I call it like stranded talent, right? You have people who are in locations that can’t get to other locations that they’re needed. And so this whole multiplayer concept is really exciting to me because you can plug people in who are subject matter experts from wherever into the places that they need to be without ever setting foot on a plane or missing dinner with their family. And so that’s an incredibly exciting thing to me from like a VR side of the house. From an AR perspective, “Pokemon Go,” like, I love the whole “Pokemon Go” concept and that that kind of got people familiar. That’s always the analogy that I use when people ask me about AR is I was like, “You ever play ‘Pokemon Go?'” Most of the time people at least know what it is. Using augmented reality, either phone-based or headset-based is really exciting to me too because I think you can effectively provide Google Maps types experience without having it be managed by an external party like Google. And so AR from that perspective is really exciting to me as well.

Brad Scoggin: That’s cool. And for us, we think about the potential for XR to just further distract us and some of the negative, let’s live in the metaverse. I think that’s a concern for a lot of people. And so we really try to approach it, it sounds like similar to the way you’re approaching it, is that XR is a tool, it’s something that we use, it doesn’t use us, it’s something that gives us our time back. So I mean, that’s a great example of getting access to experts in a much more efficient way. I’d also be curious, I mean, other areas where you’ve seen impact, and any stats that you’re able to share would be great.

Dane Laughlin: Yeah, well, I mean, so one of the more dramatic examples that we have of impact that VR in particular can have in a business is, like I said, I talked about the manufacturing training, reduction of time to proficiency and manufacturing training by 50 to 70%. Like, that’s a tangible difference for a business, right? So when you’re taking six months to be able to train somebody and then you can turn that into several weeks, like that’s a tangible operational difference for businesses. And so that’s an incredibly exciting upskilling opportunity for a lot of people. I also think that just in general, we’re talking about operations obviously, ’cause that’s my background. But I took, like, I took organic chemistry in college and I just remember thinking about like, we’re doing all these like chemical equations and stuff, and they’re talking about like, “Well, just imagine that this electron floats from here to there.” And I’m like, “I can’t,” I’m a very visual person. And so I think this has the ability to also transform the way that like kids learn, you can imagine walking through a museum and having George Washington talk to you about crossing the Delaware, as opposed to reading a book about it. Like that’s a much more impactful experience. And so I think that the overall opportunity, and I don’t mean to be too hyperbolic in talking about this stuff, but I think the overall learning opportunity for human beings and making learning a more human centered kind of capacity, there’s huge opportunities in that space. And that’s something that’s so exciting to me because ultimately, that’s what drives a lot of the innovation that we see, as well as how fast people can learn and pick things up and make connections and all that stuff.

Brad Scoggin: I could not agree more.

Will Stackable: You’re speaking Brad’s language.

Brad Scoggin: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I took organic chem as well, and I think I did too, and it was horrible. I thought I was gonna be pre-dental for a while and I think that was the class that I’m like, I can’t, I can’t do it. It was horrible, it was horrible.

Dane Laughlin: Yeah. Yeah, well.

Brad Scoggin: I still have nightmares.

Dane Laughlin: Yeah, well, I mean, kudos to the people who that’s like a natural thing for ’em is understanding things that they can imagine that like, and you pick up a few more IQ points before I’m that guy, but I mean, like, I think, from just an educational perspective, I just think about like, man, maybe I would’ve liked ochem if I would’ve gone through it and actually could see what they were talking about. And I think there’s a lot of places where, I was thinking about like mechanics for instance, like, how many people are there that are looking to get upskilled, you know, so again, slight tangent, but like you can imagine like there’s all these reeducation programs like in prisons and stuff like that. Like you could put somebody in an Oculus and teach ’em to be a mechanic without giving them any tools, right? And you could upskill somebody before they even get out. Like that’s a huge net benefit for society as a whole. And I think just has such broad applications in the way that like people interact with each other as well as interact with learning different types and modalities of information.

Brad Scoggin: Yeah, to me, I say this every episode, so people might get tired of hearing it, but it feels like we’re in a learning revolution. And every episode that goes by, I just think that’s more and more accurate because we’re seeing these incredible results and enterprise space. But like you’re saying, it’s not limited to those applications. It is learning in general and it’s not even this, we talk about the, decreasing the time it takes to learn a new skill or new task, but also, I mean, in your prison example, it’s also access, right? It’s being able to learn on demand. You don’t have to have an instructor on site, you don’t have to go to the flight simulator or whatever it may be in these different industries. And so, okay, we kind of blew past that a little bit, but you said that you’re reducing training time by 50 to 70%, and that is significant. And so it seems like we’re hearing more and more of those types of numbers coming out of larger companies and companies like yours who have been very thoughtful about XR for a long time, that aren’t just saying, “Hey, this is the new hot thing. It’s, no, we’ve been thinking about this, we’ve been going deep with it, and now we’re seeing really significant results.” So with that type of a positive results and overall, I guess just excitement, I mean, what challenges are you still facing internally in scaling or moving to other use cases, et cetera?

Dane Laughlin: Yeah, so I mean, like I said, the management of the devices is a big one, right? It’s how do you push content to people? How do you manage firmware updates? Can you put it into kiosk mode so that people aren’t playing Beat Saber instead of doing fire extinguisher training, right, like all of those are big challenges and again, hats off to you guys for helping to manage some of that. I think content generation is still a challenge. Like, I talked a little bit about like the marketplaces popping up, which are all very beneficial, but I think getting 3D content is still a, like a niche skillset set. And what I mean by that is if I wanna go build a pump training on how to work with a pump, I first have to have a model of that pump. And in most industrial use cases, there’s not a good place to get that model of the pump with the internals, you might have some kind of like generic one that was created because when they were setting up the plant, they needed to put something in there, but it’s not gonna be specific and it’s not gonna have the rust on it that you see in like a normal pump scenario and it’s not gonna have all these other things. And so for me, I’m really excited about the emergence of like NeRF technologies and like the Matterport, 3D scanning LiDAR, all these kind of suite of technologies that take physical things and make them digital, I think is a really important part of this entire ecosystem that’s still in development and there’s a lot of people working on it, so it’s really exciting for me too. But I would say that kind of the key challenges right now are headset management and then how do you get actual 3D content? And for us, like we have an internal team that works on developing a lot of this stuff. So we’ve kind of addressed some of the challenges around like, well, if we need to make changes, how do we make changes? And now it’s like we call our Unity developer and they make changes for us. However, like in the past, before we kind of had a mature team set up to do this, there was a lot of like, who’s the partner that we can partner with and make sure that the content’s good, and as things change over time, how do we update those models or how do we update the workflow that people are using? So those are all, I would say kind of the, maybe the three core challenges is like keeping content up to date, actually getting the 3D content, ready for use in your VR for instance. And then managing the devices kind of broadly over an enterprise.

Will Stackable: So when we look at kind of our spread of customers, we get to visit with people at different stages of the journey, some are building a proof of concept, some are at full scale. It seems like there’s an interesting transition point when people go from the proof of concept to some kind of real world deployment at some kind of scale. And I’m curious if you could speak to anything that surprised you about unique challenges or things that you wish you had thought about earlier when it came to that transition point to go from POC to actual real world deployment?

Dane Laughlin: Yeah, no, that’s a great question. So I would say we underestimated the value of managing something remotely, to start, like the general proof of concept phase is like, okay, quick and dirty, like, let’s figure out how to do this as cheap as we can and understand if we can achieve the end goal by doing, this very quick test. And then you get into a place where it’s like, okay, so now that we know that the hypothesis is correct, what’s the next step in deploying this thing? And generally it’s, okay, I don’t need to fly to South Carolina every week when a headset update happens and all of a sudden, you can’t update your training or something like that. So that’s like a key piece for us is kind of understanding what that looks like. I think the other thing that a lot of people, this is more kind of like in the weeds than maybe some would like to hear, but like, how do you authenticate who people are in a headset? And so like understanding who the person is, what they’re doing, how do you move that data to a secure location? And then the end is like, now that we have the data, how do you drive analytics that actually change the work process? I don’t think that we, when we first started, it was kind of like, okay, we’re gonna deploy it in this one location, and then as you start to scale, it’s like, oh man, this is a whole different animal trying to segment things out and kind of understand who’s using it, who’s not, all that stuff. And so if there’s somebody who, like if I were to give advice to somebody and say, “Hey, you’re starting this XR scaling project, have a really good strategy about what you’re doing with your data and how you’re gonna manage the devices when something inevitably doesn’t work because those two things will suck all your time up in a scaling process if you don’t have ’em really nailed down.”

Will Stackable: Understanding who’s in the headset seems to be a hot topic right now. It’s interesting that you mention it. I think it particularly becomes important when you shift from that, you’re in the lab with 10 headsets to now we’ve got, we’re using it every day in the field and we need to be running people through training simulations. What are some of the things that you considered as you were looking at that and any, even if you can speak to a little bit, talking about connecting it into your existing learning management system, how far are we from being able to have a truly integrated solution with all those pieces put together?

Dane Laughlin: Yeah, so a lot of this also, and the hard thing about giving kind of prescriptive advice a lot of times is that the data piece depends on what systems are currently used, right? So that was one of the things that we had to go through and kind of audit for ourselves was, “Hey, what LMS system do you even use? And does it have like an xAPI endpoint that we can hit in order to be able to give us more information?” And so for us, we started with using kind of xAPI statements. So this person at this time was doing this and then we kind of expanded to, okay, now that we have that in a central location, how do you change those so that it can be truly embedded in what like a traditional LMS system can understand? And so that was a whole framework that we had to build out around and actually, ours doesn’t directly integrate with an LMS system. We have an abstracted data layer that it goes to first and then it goes to the LMS for like the analytics piece. And so that was a hard lesson for us was like, you don’t wanna like hardline into your LMS because most LMS systems are not designed to be hardlined into from a VR headset. And so we kind of had to create like a data intelligence layer first that then talks to your LMS system in order to kind of have all the data that we wanted, but also send the insights and automate a lot of the like sign off and things like that.

Brad Scoggin: I think it’s been, we think a lot about managing the learner journey. That’s kind of how we look at it from our perspective. And to me it’s very, very encouraging that that is now a topic of discussion with a lot of the bigger companies. That the whole ecosystem has evolved to the point where, of course, hardware is important and content is important, but we’ve gotten to a point now where it’s matured enough that we can really think about how do we manage the learner journey at scale, which goes back to what we talked about a few minutes ago, just the value of XR in learning. And so that’s something we’ve definitely put a lot of emphasis on. One more question and then we’ll end with a little hot take. But I wanna go back to one other thing you said, you talked about, I think content was one of the examples, but of the three different challenges, making the decision, do we do this internally? Do we work with external partners? That’s an ongoing topic with a lot of our customers as well, and even specifically around device management. I mean, a lot of these large companies do have legacy MDMs and do we use that? Do we go outside? So for you all, what has been that process of deciding do we solve these challenges internally or work with the third party?

Dane Laughlin: Yeah, so I think it depends on the nature of the challenge, right? Like if it’s a pipeline for optimizing models, well, then we may want to own that because we don’t wanna share our intellectual property with people or it makes sense to store it in our data lake or whatever. That may be a process that makes sense to own. But what we realize particularly in the device management space is that there’s new headsets coming out on a weekly basis and it’s a full-time group that we would have to like hire in order to manage all of those devices and how we securely manage them and all that stuff. And so what we kind of realize is that this isn’t probably something that’s gonna be a competitive advantage for us to have an internal capability that manages a lot of this stuff. And so that’s when we start looking at, like, okay, what’s our traditional MDM solution? Which would be like Intune. And I think at some point, Intune will get to a place where it’ll manage VR devices, but like what the nature of VR or XR devices is that they need different things than a traditional phone or other device that you may traditionally manage through Intune. And so then you have to start considering like, how do you do single sign on through like a VR device, that looks way different than what it looks like on like a mobile device, right? And so I think that’s kind of the way that we’ve looked at it is, let’s look at what we currently have, does it achieve what we want? Do we think in the next like year it will achieve what we want? If not, so like it’s kind of this logic tree of, I think the core though is really understanding what you need when you’re thinking about device management because it’s easy to kind of jump into the trope of like, oh, we can just use a standard device management platform and then you get the standard device management platform and you can’t update firmware or you don’t know when the last person used it at what time or you know, whatever. And that’s really painful from a adoption perspective too because if you put fire extinguisher training in a plant and everybody is excited ’cause they get to go through VR training, but three days in, your headset firmware is not aligned and all of a sudden now you can’t run your stuff anymore. Like you effectively stopped all of that momentum that you had beforehand. And so I think what we realized is like in the deployment side of things, we gotta grease the skids really well because we don’t want that to be the reason why this doesn’t get adopted.

Brad Scoggin: Yeah, that’s super helpful. It is. I mean, we talk a lot about you’ve got one shot at a first impression and I think with XR, that’s just maybe as true as ever. Okay, you teed up a great hot take and I might have two quick ones for you. So.

Dane Laughlin: Yeah.

Brad Scoggin: The first one, Dane will be speaking on behalf of Dane, but you talked about new headsets coming out every week. If you’d love to, would love it if you’d share what your favorite is for enterprise, but if you don’t wanna say your top one, maybe say what’s one in your top three?

Dane Laughlin: Yeah, well, so we have a Quest Pro and I actually really do like the Quest Pro. I think it’s a little bit different in user group than like what we were kind of hoping, which is an industrial out on the shop floor type of user. I think it’s more centered on like the people who sit at desks kind of thing. But nonetheless, that’s a fantastic headset and all the technology that’s gone into that I’m really excited about. I would say like my favorite headset is probably the Quest 2, just ’cause it’s a solid, inexpensive device to deploy. I say that, I paused for a moment because it’s painful to manage right now as you guys may know, but I think it’ll get better in the future and like if we’re speaking just strictly hardware perspective, for I guess bang for the buck the Quest 2 really does a fantastic job.

Brad Scoggin: Yeah, it’s hard to beat that. Okay, last one, you defined Metaverse as a more immersive internet, which I love that definition. So what’s your hot take there on Metaverse? I mean, love it or hate it.

Will Stackable: Love it, hate it, 10 years from now, we’re all living in the metaverse?

Dane Laughlin: Yeah, yeah, no, I have a tenuous relationship with the Metaverse. I think the overall idea of it will change the way that people interact with each other, but I think that many of the ideas that are talked about right now are 10 years out, right? And I don’t think the average person understands like the amount of data that you have to have, not even like 3D data, but like just data of how the world works and all these different things pumped in to make things feel realistic and be valuable. And I mean like, like avatars right now are kind of creepy, right, just being honest. And so like there may be some situations if you’re going to a Travis Scott concert, it’s great to be a tiger, right, but if you’re in a work environment, you probably want a realistic avatar that actually looks like you. And so my tenuous relationship is I think it’s exciting for me because there’s more people who have heard the term metaverse in the last year. And so it lowers the barrier to adoption on a lot of these things because people go, “Oh, I heard about that, my kid has an Oculus Quest 2”, like people are are more familiar with it. But I also think that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and we have to kind of temper expectations, and my kind of motto is like, let’s grow with the technology, like we don’t need to be pushing for that five year in the future application when there’s fruit that’s about laying on the ground, it’s so low hanging, right? So we can go and pick the low hanging fruit and grow with the technology and then continue to deliver more and more value over time. And I think that’s a prudent way to approach it because it’s really easy to jump in and just say, “Oh, we’re gonna invest $20 million into the metaverse without having kind of the fundamental concept of like, what does this actually do for our business that’s beneficial? So that’s my hot take is I love the metaverse, I hate the metaverse and I think it’s coming, it’ll be here, and I think it’s what people will promise. But I think much like the internet, like I don’t know if you guys have seen that, there’s like a, I don’t know if it’s New York Times, I don’t wanna like call anybody out in specific, like there’s like a newspaper article from like the late 80s and it’s like, “The internet is dead, only a few users on the internet”, you know, blah blah blah. And it’s like, look at us today. But it took us 30, 40 years to get to that point, and I think it’ll be faster. I think the nature of everything is that we’re heading in an exponential and so it’s much faster than it has been in the past, but it’s not an overnight thing, right?

Brad Scoggin: Yeah, totally. I think expectations and proper expectations are so important. I will say, I think my favorite quote of this episode is, “If you’re going to a Travis Scott concert, you might wanna be a tiger.” So thank you for that, that was beautiful.

Dane Laughlin: Hey, I do what I can.

Brad Scoggin: Well, this has been great. Before we wrap here, you host your own podcast XR At Work, so where could people find you if they want to learn more about what you’re up to?

Dane Laughlin: Yeah, probably the best place to find us is LinkedIn. You can just type in XR at work at LinkedIn and it’s a production company that a friend of mine and I started. Our focus is really around like enterprise and it’s any enterprise, so anywhere from fashion to pharmaceutical, to chemical manufacturing, to paper manufacturing. And our goal is really just to build relationships with people in the space, but also understand where we feel like platforms are starting to converge and diverge and just get people’s hot takes on where they think things are going in the future. So yeah, if you guys wanna check that out, it’s XR at Work on LinkedIn, you can also find it on YouTube and we’re working on Spotify, so.

Brad Scoggin: Very cool, very cool.

Dane Laughlin: Yeah, I appreciate you guys having me on today. It’s always good to catch up with you guys.

Brad Scoggin: It’s been great. Look forward to chatting again soon.

Brad Scoggin: Man, what a great convo Will, something you and I both talk about pretty often is the power that XR has to actually give us our time back. And I think it’s just super encouraging when you hear from a company like INVISTA, like Koch, who’s really taking a long view and seeing such real tangible results. I mean, six months down to several weeks is pretty significant.

Will Stackable: It’s wild. Yeah, I think it also speaks to the fact that in XR for the enterprise space at least, companies now are moving to scale. These pilot projects have proven themselves and there’s real world applications that are worth spending money on. So it’s exciting, I think for the whole XR space and specifically for the enterprise space, I think it’s a big deal. So if you’re interested in hearing more conversations like this, check out our podcast page wherever you like to listen to podcasts. Also, you can go to our website and check out our podcast page there at arborxr.com/podcast and we have show notes, we’ve also got resources and links for you to check out. Thanks for listening. Have a great one.

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