Be A Victim Of Workplace Discrimination In VR

Be A Victim Of Workplace Discrimination In VR
March 24, 2018
Brisbane's Lord Mayor Graham Quirk and Equal Reality co-founder Rick Martin using virtual reality.


Brisbane's lord mayor has become the victim of discrimination ... in a virtual simulation.


On Wednesday a world-first virtual reality experience to combat discrimination designed by Equal Reality was given $5000 as part of the Lord Mayor’s Global Entrepreneur Program.


A headset and two controllers are used to simulate a situation where the user is in a wheelchair and part of workplace conversation, ater which they are asked if they felt excluded or treated differently.


Equal Reality co-founder Rick Martin said while virtual reality tended to be used in gaming, there were lots of applications.


“Virtual reality is exceptionally immersive. It really has an impact on people. It makes people remember things and it really has an effect on people’s brains.”


The Royal Australian Navy has adopted Equal Reality’s diversity and inclusion program.


Mr Martin said the navy understood where the future of learning was going.


“The military context really understands the power of virtual reality because they’ve been using it to great success with flight simulations and other types of simulation," he said.


“Historically, getting a bunch of sailors in a classroom talking about behaviour is not the most effective thing to do ... but maybe if they have their own personal deep immersive learning where there is nothing else but that learning, it gives them a whole new perspective in their own time and their own way.”

Mr Martin said paid actors used as part of online workplace training were on the way out and would be replaced with virtual reality.


“This is the first time you can literally walk in the someone else's shoes and feel what it’s like to be talked to in a certain way,” he said.


“The great thing about technology is it will eventually be more and more scaleable. That’s really when it gets exciting because it would be accessible to everyone.”


Lord mayor Graham Quirk said Equal Reality’s grant application was one of 90 received and they received one of 11 available grants.


“This is about keeping jobs in Brisbane, it’s about making sure we develop the innovation here,” he said.


Judging panellist and Brisbane chief digital officer Cat Matson praised Equal Reality for solving a real-world issue and overcoming discrimination in the workplace.


“It’s not just about creating another app any more, it’s about helping people in their lives and that’s one of the fundamentals of the digital Brisbane program.”


Other grant recipients include:

- Kristen Souvlis – Kindergo and Like a Photon Creative

- Katie Richards – Virtual Legal

- Sheree Burdinat and Warwick Anderson – Quantum Geology

- Tim O’Brien – RaffleTix

- Brad Parsons and Mark Parker – Movus Australia

- Christoper Drake – FX2 School

- Chris Conway Lamb – FabrikCNC

- Chris Macaulay and Tristan Ozinga – Advvy Pty Ltd

- Leah and Shaun Bond – PPC Samurai

- David and Abbey Crompton – Caveman Kitchen

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