An interactive immersive learning experience

To onboard presenters from the home of some of the UK's best-loved radio stations to the state-of-the art-studios

The brief

Global runs the UK’s favourite stations – Heart, Capital, Classic FM and Gold, to name a few. They approached us to design an effective training programme to ensure radio presenters, journalists and producers would handle live on-air errors in the correct manner. It’s critical that presenters know what to do when things go wrong. New hires do get trained in these scenarios. But because they don’t happen very often, our client wanted to make sure they remember how to respond.

The objective was to improve the quality and reliability of Global’s broadcast product through better end-user education and increased confidence of equipment in the studio.

Experimenting with filmed VR, allowing the audience to see what's going on inside the user's headset

#mixedreality #immersive

Our solution

We decided the experience had to be two things: Authentic to people place themselves in the familiar studio space around them; Immersive making vivid memories for when the situation comes up in real life.

We created a headset-based virtual reality experience that places the user in the presenter’s chair at Global’s flagship Leicester Square studio. We simulated the entire radio studio and all the equipment in 3DS Max from photos to create a ‘wow’ factor. We then constructed serious interactive learning challenges in Unity to give a sense of the real-world, live broadcast high stakes.

The result

Operator errors reduced by a third, since the new training was introduced.

Global’s project owner told us:

“When you’re sat with the VR headset on you do feel like you’re in the situation. We’ve tried it with our presenters and the re-creation of our radio studio is so spot-on you can see the jeopardy comes to them when something goes wrong. We have a simulated scenario of the lights going off in the studio and the power going down, and you can see the presenters saying “Oh what do I do now?” and it really instills the mindset they might be in if something were to break.”

Anecdotally, presenters reported the training was more enjoyable than anything they’d seen before. Some admitted they wouldn’t have attended if it weren’t for the opportunity to use VR!

There was another reason VR was a winner. It was a smart investment for the future. VR might need a higher upfront cost, but is reusable. 360 Video can appear less costly, but is inflexible. If something changed, the footage would become obsolete and a reshoot would cost the same again. If Global added or changed studio tech and practices, we edit the environment and scenarios.

Check out our other VR experiences here.