Transfr’s XR Futures Event Reveals Future of Training

Transfr CEO Bharani Rajakumar in front of a blue Transfr background.

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The atmosphere was electric as the Transfr team and a wide array of luminaries from the worlds of education and industry assembled in New York City’s Rockefeller Center for Transfr’s XR Futures. A full day of deep discussions around VR, AR, and the evolution of education in a variety of settings (academic, corrections, community organizations. etc.) followed.

The goal: Train the future of as many industries as possible and help people from pools of undiscovered talent find their personal pathways into well-paying jobs in high-growth industries.

“Our customers and partners do amazing work to get people on a pathway to upward mobility..,” said Bharani Rajakumar, Transfr founder and CEO. “I’m excited for everyone to see and hear how our customers are driving innovative models in learning and development by leveraging Transfr’s platform.”

The day kicked off with a panel of Transfr leaders sharing the latest internal developments, both technologically and content-wise. The rest of the day’s lineup included tech announcements and demos, discussions of non-degree career paths, as well as the impact of VR training and community support on justice-impacted persons. In a standout session, Ali Zamiri and Steve Lukas of Qualcomm and Vishal Shah of Lenovo joined Bharani on stage to detail our tech partnership.

Transfr thought leaders present a vision of XR training

Transfr is leading the way in the world of VR training. The opening panel ran the gamut of Transfr product advancements, from the 50+ skills training simulations produced in 2023, including a new diesel training module and healthcare simulations, as well as Career Exploration 2.0.

“Our new career exploration simulations are shorter and get right to the heart of every occupation,” said Shelley Hu, Executive Producer at Transfr. “They are also more viscerally engaging, giving users that ‘ah-ha!’ moment that can help them make more informed career decisions.”

Engaging Transfr videos splashed on huge screens, giving attendees an inside look into exactly how these simulations play and the impact they can have on learners and job seekers. Bryant Harrison, Director of Product Development at Transfr, also took the stage to debut our more diverse array of virtual coaches and announce the upcoming release of Spanish-language career exploration in 2024.

Dr. Yun Jin Rho, Transfr’s Director of Educational Data Science, was also on hand to discuss the robust efficacy studies that Transfr has been conducting over the past year:

“Our studies show that VR is an effective learning tool,” Yun Jin explained, accompanied by detailed slides. “A single run through a Transfr VR simulation shows better outcomes than traditional classroom learning. We also saw a 60% reduction in distractions when using VR and higher engagement versus a traditional classroom.”

Transfr VP of Engineering, Evan Harper, also unveiled the Transfr Software Development Kit (SDK) which kicked off in closed beta that morning.

“We’re extending a special invitation to the most talented designers out there to help us shape the future of VR training.” Evan explained. “And we’re dedicated to supporting these creators through our Partner Development Fund.”

Tomorrow’s careers: Beyond the four-year path

One of the core tenets of the Transfr mission is helping people find their unique pathways to a better future, without necessarily going along a typical four-year college pathway. More and more organizations are seeing the value in this approach, and we brought on a panel of educators and industry partners to discuss how attitudes towards the four-year path are changing and the role of technology in building the workforce of the future.

Transfr’s Cody Waits sat down with Jamal Jessie, a workforce development manager for Georgia Power in Atlanta and Brian Bigelow, a marine manufacturing instructor with Arkansas State University, Mountain Home, to discuss the rise of alternate career paths that don’t require a four-year degree.

“About 60% of jobs coming to Georgia in the next 10 years don’t require four year degrees,” says Jamal. “We’re trying to educate students about the fact that these opportunities are here. We’re trying to work with underserved communities… We’ve leveraged VR from Transfr because we’re trying to make it cool.”

This article lets you dig deeper into our amazing VR success story client panels.

Second chances for career success

Preventing recidivism and maintaining employment among people leaving incarceration are the top goals — and biggest challenges — for reentry programs around the country. Giving justice-impacted people work skills and relevant experience are key parts of solving this problem. Transfr is proud to work with numerous organizations who are teaming up to give people reentering their communities skills and experience via VR sims, plus a comprehensive network of support services.

Goodwill of Mississippi is just one Transfr client working with people exiting incarceration, helping them build the skills and confidence they need to secure employment and stay employed. Vicki Burton, VP of Workforce Development for Goodwill of Mississippi, had this to say:

“We took a holistic approach towards what formerly-incarcerated individuals need to be able to go to work. One thing they need is to understand what the world of work is like today. You may have been a master mechanic when you went into the system. But vehicles have changed. Tools have changed… From there, we take it into digital skills training. Getting these individuals to embrace this technology is the easy part. They love it!”

Meanwhile, Allen County Juvenile Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana, leverages VR from Transfr to give youths a look at the career paths available to them and the skills they need to pursue these jobs. A web of local groups (including the Boys&Girls Club of Fort Wayne) combine to provide services and support to these justice-impacted youths helping them find the hope and motivation they need to succeed back in their communities.

“Mindset is really critical. If you can change the mindset of a child, then you’ve done your job. And that’s what Boys and Girls clubs is all about is changing mindset. And it’s so awesome to have this partnership would Transfr because it literally, literally takes the mind of a child into the workplace.”

Training tomorrow’s workforce, today

Transfr’s clients are as diverse as the communities they serve! Across the country and at every level — statewide, hyper-local, K12, community college, employers, and more — these hard working teams are doing everything they can to help students, the formerly incarcerated, and job seekers of all kinds get on their own personal career paths. It’s a huge challenge, but with the right experience, technology, and collaboration, it’s possible.

“Every time we talk with our clients,” Bharani says. “We make more and more connections between organizations, sharing skills and ideas, inspiring one another, and ultimately forging the kind of networks that will help more people get on their own pathways to prosperity.”

Want to read more about the Transfr SDK?

Picture of Jack Cieslak
Jack Cieslak
Jack Cieslak is the Editorial Director at Transfr. He’s worked in tech for over a decade, writing for Amazon, CB Insights, and Sisense, among others. When he’s not behind a computer, he enjoys martial arts, gardening, hiking, and of course, reading. A seasoned public speaker, Jack is also the host of Upward, the Transfr podcast.