Virtual Reality comes to Rosebank

Staples VR has recently relocated to Rosebank and is actively seeking expressions of interest from other businesses wanting to collaborate. The New Zealand owned business is an emerging technology company, specialising in augmented reality, virtual reality and new technology.

Since it began in 2014, Staples VR has gone from strength to strength, developing training solutions for clients both locally and internationally such as the New Zealand Defence Force, Brian Perry Civil, Jetstar and Optus. With a focus on health and safety, staff can train in high-risk areas through virtual reality.

Staples VR develops custom and subscription-based VR software where users can learn tasks such as how to work around aircraft, drive a heavy vehicle, or work in dangerous environments – all behind virtual reality headsets.

Working with clients specific needs, we develop and create virtual reality training for high-risk purposes.

“Solving business problems using technology is now the biggest part of our company,” says founder and CEO, Aliesha Staples. “Working with clients specific needs, we develop and create virtual reality training for high-risk purposes.”

Aliesha says the key success to this way of training is in muscle memory being learnt. When using aviation software training, for example, individuals must physically reach up to turn buttons exactly where they would be in an aircraft. In height training software, users would quickly understand where things are on their equipment, what is high risk and where they can and cannot stand.

By using specific software solutions for different activities, the virtual reality element acts as a real-life game to lower risk and increase the consistency of training.

The overall concept is very sci-fi, and once the software is developed, individuals step into a virtual world to better understand the work environment. Users will feel like they are sitting in an aircraft or on the top of a building.

A recent project with Cycle Action Network let truck drivers experience what it felt like to be on a bike when a truck passed by them on the road. The simulation helped truck drivers understand how it feels when trucks are too close in a real-life way.

There are two ways a company can work with Staples VR. One is to have custom software solutions developed specifically for a company. This would happen when a company has very specific individual specifications – the New Zealand Defence force for example. The other way is through a company purchasing a software subscription. This gives subscribers access to broader software on generic training such as working at height or an aircraft package.

This is where the call for local Rosebank Businesses comes in. Staples VR is looking to add to the subscription service where businesses see problems – this could be areas such as forklift training or other general health and safety training issues. Businesses operating with high-risk health and safety needs are encouraged to reach out.

If a company is a good fit, they would in turn receive access to the software they would help Staples VR develop to go on the subscription service. Staples VR has to work with companies to understand the intricacies of health and safety needs and the inner workings of equipment being used.

The company wants to understand how employers train employees in high-risk situations. Asking questions like, what are the key issues and concerns? How do you train employees to operate new equipment effectively? And most importantly, what can be done to minimise the least risk?

“While we are experts in virtual reality, we aren’t experts in particular subject matters such as forklift or crane driving for instance,” says Aliesha. “We would like to hear from businesses in the area who could help us understand their industry and the specific needs.”

Businesses who would like to talk with Staples VR are encouraged to visit their website to find out more.

Roundabout Magazine

This article was published in Roundabout Magazine Issue 181 (December 2021/January 2022).

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