16. eXtended reality increases engagement and learning

mark grob.001

Listen to an expert in VR and XR talk about the value you can achieve for your organization and for people   (24:56)

First a quick introduction: Mark Gröb has years of experience with virtual and extended reality. He’s lived the entrepreneur side and now is the head of the Immersive Tech Center for UPS. He tells us more about his journey as we start our conversation.

Some key ideas:

  • On-boarding and the critical chain of learning that makes people confident and comfortable

  • Retaining and engaging people and removing the fear of mistakes

  • Putting people in charge of their learning, both old and new employees

  • Scaling up by enabling others to take control of meeting their needs

  • Going beyond smoke and mirrors as an entrepreneur, and knowing your ideas will evolve

What follows are  phrases from our conversation. There are some direct quotes, but this is not intended to be a detailed transcript.


How to help people understand the cornerstones of their work.

What’s that critical chain of learning the user needs to understand to successfully do their job?

Our mantra: zero errors first time all the time. Because we want the errors being done in simulation, not in production.


Mark refers to the framework of a metaverse but as a gated garden.

How quickly can you onboard a new resource?

How do they properly walk or climb up and down a ladder?

Key things they need to learn is how to properly pick up a package. How to read or understand the labels.

Retaining and engaging employees

Our XR platforms keep them learning about something that they may feel they already know. “The power of engagement through the XR platforms is just amazing.”

The training starts with the employee who has not been told anything and it’s just all do it.
And then, based on what they do, they receive feedback in the simulation. “Hey, are you aware of you weren’t actually lifting with your feet because these devices let us understand relationship of. action….
And then they go, oh, well, I didn’t realize that, you know, oh. Or you basically pick the package up on the two sides instead of the two corners, opposite, you know, corners, you know, where it’s the most stable to pick up.”

Accelerating learning

The platforms gave us the ability to actually initiate, not only accelerate learning. The employees themselves are actually initiating the learning. They’re doing it wrong. It’s okay. Because it’s not affecting production. “It’s virtual, you know, it’s just the click of the button or a reset.”

The employee has the feeling of if I mess up, it’s not a big deal.

Scaling knowledge and skills

“The big piece for me and my group is standardizing and providing guidelines so that the technology in effect within say maybe the next two years can be handed off to your traditional IT department.”

“We have already trained people within their group to basically be in effect game developers. We have trained them on the tools to empower themselves so that they can have an internal subject matter expert in their group. They know how to create requirements. They know how to paint the picture.”

So if they need to engage themselves to create a POC (proof of concept) or an MVP (minimum viable product) to explore the value, they can do it, or they can communicate to an outside vendor to build the product correctly for their needs.

Beyond smoke and mirrors

As an entrepreneur, usually the biggest challenge is being honest with yourself, being practical on what you’re trying to do.

You need to go beyond the smoke and mirrors and make it real.

Episode first published March 20, 2022.

You can reach Mark on LinkedIn and read his excellent, entertaining and practical guide  here:

Common Sense Rules for Working in XR

Nothing matches your request, please try again with a different search term.