Mixed reality such as virtual reality and augmented reality is set to be the next big digital disrupter. There is now firm evidence that this method of communication has real impact in shifting market perceptions and underpinning traditional approaches in training and education.

Exploring these emerging technology will be all the Australian Research and Development Corporations (RDC’s) at a conference in Melbourne on 10 & 11 July. As pioneers in this space for the Australian Agriculture industry, Think Digital’s founder Tim Gentle will be speaking at the event on the education and training applications for this technology.

“We are also excited to be bringing the Think Digital Coach to the event,” said Gentle.

The Think Digital Coach is a 14 metre hi tech mobile classroom, currently fitted out with 20 VR headsets, it’s a mobile VR cinema!

“Most recently, the Think Digital Coach has been on the road for Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) taking firstly the Beef and then the Lamb Paddock to Plate Story to schools and communities throughout Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, ACT and NSW.

Fiona Young, Communications Manager, Community Programs MLA said that since the launch of MLA’s Paddock to Plate Story virtual reality campaign in 2017, more than 50,000 people have experienced Australia’s red meat production system for Beef and Lamb through this fully immersive and highly engaging resource.

“MLA had a very clear mandate to inform people educate people about the Australian red meat industry and the hard work and stringent practice that goes into producing such a top quality product, said Ms Young. 

“Using the immersive nature of Virtual Reality, we were able to take viewers through the full production journey from the farm right through to the butcher to continue to meet the rise in consumer interest in the provenance of food,” she added.

“Positive community engagement is integral to a sustainable and prosperous industry in the long-term, and Virtual Reality is proving to be an important part of MLA’s community engagement program,” said Ms Young.

Gentle says that incorporating a pre and post experience survey within the VR environment has also allowed Think Digital and MLA to capture shift in community knowledge and perceptions about the industry.

“This is where we now see it move beyond a feel good marketing experience to a powerful platform for education and research,” said Gentle.

Think Digital has worked with a number of agri-based businesses to create and deploy immersive experiences to engage, educate and inspire people to learn more about where their food comes from and to consider career pathways in food and fibre.

“Excitingly, we have now also created a software platform that will allow our customers to manage and deploy their experiences, and track audience engagement and learning.

“We will be demonstrating and launching this at the Mixed Reality conference in Melbourne, as well as presenting our collaborative VR Platform and augmented wearable applications.” Gentle added.