The CAT Interview
David Jones, President of Quantified Design Solutions
“…a training company, using the best tools available for the job.”
Group Editor Marty Kauchak interviewed Jones at the VR/AR Global Summit in Vancouver, British Columbia.
While Orlando, Florida-based Quantified Design Solutions’ expanding portfolio is focused on creating skill-based trainers, “a lot of people see us as a virtual reality or augmented reality company. We are a training company, using the best tools available for the job,” Jones explained.
His company has delivered the first-to-market VR reality trainer for cabin crews and a VR trainer for maintainers – both to American Airlines. The VR cabin crew trainer was delivered to the air carrier more than two years ago. The VR maintenance trainer was installed last month as a prototype system at American headquarters in Dallas, Texas. Jones indicated Quantified is in discussions with two other main carriers and “a number of the regionals” about VR cabin crew training products.
While Quantified delivers AR/VR and mixed-reality (MR) products, “we also recognize the value of blended training – pouring all that content together within the spectrum of training technologies. There are things that make a lot of sense to present on your mobile device, providing micro lessons to learners. This is very appropriate for the cabin crew side, whose members are on planes all day and can take out their phone and do bits of training when possible, preparing them to complete more advanced VR training at home station.”
Jones reflected on the civil aviation sector’s demands for his company’s VR/AR and related products, noting in one instance, training organizations don’t have enough simulators, which tend to be expensive, have a large logistics footprint and typically support a measured, low student throughput. Indeed, the VR cabin crew course permits the training of 12 students in a space which previously supported one individual being trained at a time. The company leader also pointed to a theme which CAT has reported on at recent WATS and other Halldale conferences – the surging demand for data. “Every company we work with, whether in the civil aviation industry or adjacent high-risk sectors, want data – the common errors their students are making and other content, for example. We can consolidate all that data – say, for instance, 70% of your students are making the same error and you need to address that in classes.” And Jones provided another recurring, common requirement in high-risk industries – the need for personalize training, taking into account previously completed training and tailoring training to the students’ strengths and weaknesses.
The company president also specified a differentiator among his products and those from competitors. “We create an ‘ecosystem’ where we can present training on multiple platforms, including mobile devices. All the VR training we have at American Airlines, the majority is on my phone. I can complete the session here, now, on demand to better prepare me for that virtual environment or live training, and quickly finish it.”
Quantified Design Solutions’ supply chain includes Micro-Star International for computer high-end VR training systems and HTC and Oculus for VR headsets.
In terms of returns on investment, Jones reported that prior to the start of the American Airlines project, its cabin crew training audience often had to repeat physical training exercises about 27% of the time. “When they were in the VR program, only 2% of their evaluations had to be repeated during physical evaluations. In terms of time saved conducting physical training – the systems paid for themselves and that doesn’t take into account long-term costs, including staff retention, inadvertent slide deployments and the costs to the airline for errors made on the line.”