Episode 6: Project Delivery
After a 12-week development sprint, it’s now time for #TeamAirbus to present their prototype and start the beta-testing with real users from Airbus Leadership University in Toulouse. How is the project received? What has this diverse team taken away from their unique collaboration?
Discover the answers in the final episode of “Meet the Team”
5 Questions for: Paul, Future Concepts
1. What’s your role at Airbus?
Paul Hannah: As Creative Director for Future Concepts, I bring new ideas to the table in terms of customer engagement. We challenge, for example, the Airbus approach at airshows and exhibitions, pushing the business forward with new technology and mixed reality tools that can help explain our business to customers in ways they’ve never experienced before.
2. Why did you join this project?
PH: I joined the team because it was a chance to use new technology in a way no one else had done within Airbus, and to pioneer a new approach to learning. It was also a chance to work with and learn from best-in-class experts within the company with whom I may not have otherwise crossed paths.
3. What were your thoughts coming into this project?
PH: We’re working with a group of people who are all experts in their fields, which is a really good place to start, but I also saw the variety of the team as a potential risk. Luckily, it became our strength. I believe in the power of exponential technologies like VR/AR/MR to help people learn and experience things in new ways, and, ultimately, I think we took a step in the right direction.
4. What do you bring to the team?
PH: I like to approach problems with a sense of humour, and my creative and technical experience is quite unique. I’m quite focused on where I want to get to and I’m not afraid to ask challenging questions to get there. As a team player, it’s about finding the middle ground and seeing others’ point of view.
5. What’s your experience with VR and AR?
PH: When I did my master’s degree, I first experimented with Occulus technology for games development. Now at Airbus, I use VR pretty much every single day. When I get to show something I’ve developed with my team to someone who’s never experienced VR before, it’s amazing to see their faces and know that the experience they’re having is something that I was a part of.
Development and delivery
From mid-February, Airbus Holographic Academy and Singularity University were hard at work on the development sprint of the training prototype. Will they meet their mid-April delivery date? And will the team be happy with the outcome?
Stay tuned for the outcome of the #TeamAirbus journey!
5 Questions for: Capucine, Empowered Organisations
1. What do you bring to the #TeamAirbus project?
Capucine Ortoli: In my professional life I’ve had roles in marketing, sales, business development and communications, bridging the gap between technical and non-technical people. I bring my understanding of both worlds and my ability to help them talk to each other. As someone relatively new to Airbus, I also bring an outside perspective to challenge the ways teams work.
2. Why did you join #TeamAirbus?
CO: I love going completely out of my comfort zone and testing new things. I like change, and this project was totally new. No one knows where we are going, and that’s an aspect that I enjoy in my job – it’s a brand new, green field.
3. What do you think about the project’s success or failure?
CO: Understanding that we could fail is actually great, it’s OK for me. I’m confident that, in life, when things happen in a certain way, they had to happen that way. I don’t have a career path that I want to follow: I prefer to do new things rather than doing what I know.
4. What has been challenging for the team?
CO: Not knowing each other was a challenge, and really collaborating is another one. I think the key asset of innovation is being able to use who you are as an individual to innovate. Because we are all different and each one of us brings unique things, it’s magic. I believe that differences – together with respect, a nice culture, not being afraid, being confident and knowing yourself – can bring innovation together.
5. Had you ever experienced VR & AR technologies before?
CO: In previous jobs, I tested some technologies for communication and aircraft simulation purposes. Even if I’m not very technical, I like the fact that the technology is another kind of bridge that enables people.
Episode 5: The prototype
Back in Toulouse, #TeamAirbus hosts Jody, Katherine and Marion from Singularity University. Their goal: decide which of the two remaining use cases to move forward with. They’ll map out design rules and system specifications for the prototype, which will next be co-developed by Airbus Holographic Academy and SU.
Discover now: how to turn a use-case into reality!
Episode 4: Technology test-bed
At A3, Airbus’ Silicon Valley outpost, the team meets with mixed-reality experts. They learn about eye-tracking technology and other ideas that expand the possibilities of the system they’re developing. Along the way, the team realizes the power of their potential as their collective effort moves the project forward.
Join the team on the last leg of their California trip!
5 Questions for: Bertrand, software developer
1. How did you come to Airbus?
Bertrand Oustière: I was first a game programmer for different studios in Luxembourg and France, and then I became a software engineer in the national research centre in France for a psychology lab. I applied for the job at Airbus when I saw they were using the same tools I already had experience with.
2. What is your role in #TeamAirbus?
BO: As a software developer specialized in 3D and mobile development, I first came to the project as a developer. Now I am leading the technical team, helping six developers and two artists work together.
3. Why did you join this team?
BO: The project is really innovative and I’m proud to be part of it. I love new technologies, in particular HoloLens [a virtual reality headset], which I knew from the start that we would work with.
4. How will this technology change the way we work?
BO: It’s a game-changer on the level of smartphones. For now, something like HoloLens is too big to be in our daily lives, but tomorrow it will be reduced to something like a tiny chip, and at this point we can use it every day.
5. What are your hopes for the project?
BO: It will make a huge impact on employee education. I’m very confident in the project’s aim and in its adaptation by the Group. Using the HoloLens device at Airbus will be helpful in many ways, from the workers to the final assembly line to everyday office life.
AI's big impact
Eye-tracking technology detects a user’s brain activity via ocular behaviour. #TeamAirbus is considering using it to enhance the AI function of their system, enabling it to adapt to users’ behaviour. Increasingly, AI has a stronger role to play in aerospace companies like Airbus.
Episode 3: A singular vision
The elevator pitch: describe your project and its value in 30 seconds or less! Crafting an elevator pitch can not only force a team to crystallize the most important aspects of its endeavour, but also, in doing so, helps build a united vision.
Will the #TeamAirbus elevator pitch help them re-converge on a common objective? Find out in Episode 3!
5 Questions for: Ken, software developer
1. What is your role at Airbus?
Ken Robinson: I work for Airbus Helicopters, Inc., in Grand Prairie, Texas, USA. I am in the ICT Department and serve as a Senior Programmer Analyst. I am responsible for the development and support of all non-SAP corporate applications.
2. Why did you join this team?
KR: I joined this team because it is a unique experience to be on the ground floor in the development of a new technology – and it is an opportunity to work and collaborate with colleagues from other Airbus entities.
3. What are your hopes for the project?
KR: My hopes for the project are:
1) that we develop an application that is useful and widely used by Airbus;
2) to develop the type of application that, when completed, I am very proud of;
3) to learn and grow by leveraging the expertise and knowledge of those that I work with;
4) that this project is a foundation project for other holographic type applications within the Group.
4. What is special about this project?
KR: I think this project is special because it is for us: Airbus. Creating any software application is special, but it’s very special when you are creating it for yourself – YOU are the end-user.
5. When was your first experience with VR / AR technologies and what do you like about it?
KR: My first experience with VR/AR was probably on the personal side with video games such as Microsoft X-Box and Sony Playstation. I love VR/AR because it gives users a choice: a user can go to an entirely different reality and experience with VR, or s/he can “tweak” what they see and experience with the use of AR – all without leaving the real world that they know.
Factory of the Future
As #TeamAirbus shows, VR is no longer in the realm of tomorrow, but can be used to expand potential today. Airbus is making huge inroads with advanced digital technologies, whether it’s in production lines where humans and robots work side by side or 3D printers producing prototypes and components.
Episode 2: Collaboration & key components
#TeamAirbus heads to San Francisco to attend a week at Singularity University. The SU faculty helps the brainstorming team share expectations, review use cases and explore the available system options – as well as cope with some frustrations.
Will the team find a way to come together? Watch episode 2 now!
Singularity University, founded in 2009 by futurist/inventor Ray Kurzweil and space entrepreneur/X-Prize founder Peter Diamandis, aims to educate, inspire, and empower leaders to apply rapidly accelerating technologies to address humanity's grand challenges. #TeamAirbus benefitted from an innovative SU lab that helped incubate and advance their VR project.
Learn more in Episode 2!
5 questions for: Laure Prieto, Culture Change
1. What is your role in the project?
Laure Prieto: I represent the business. At the end of the day, I want our employees to use this technology to learn, both within and outside the Leadership University. I think this is the first application of many of its kind to follow.
2. What is one of the strengths of #TeamAirbus?
LP: Working in a diverse team such as ours enables us to be more efficient and more in touch with the real needs of the employees. In our case, we’re creating an application to be used by many different people across Airbus. So, in thinking about different ways people work within Airbus, our group is able to create a well-rounded picture of how day-to-day business is conducted and how we can best help.
3. Any concerns about the project?
LP: My only concern is that people understand what we do and how they can benefit from it. This isn’t a question of a team of 10 people who are pushing their concept on others. Instead, it’s about employees’ interest, participation and whether they find it relevant in their daily work life. Honestly, if it’s not applicable to the employees, then we have to let it go.
4. What do you think about ‘failing fast’?
LP: I love this term. This is the way we should do it today; we should try and fail fast. In our case, the project took place over a very short period of time. So it’s not a loss of energy or money. It’s a question of trying, failing fast – or succeeding super fast, too.
5. What do you bring to the team?
LP: The capacity I have to listen to people. I’m interested in what they have to say, what they do, who they are. Once I get to know who someone really is, then I can help make connections between them and others. It’s not even very conscious, it’s just how I work.
Episode 1: The first encounter
October, 2016. Our team of specialists meet face-to-face for the first time and discover their diverse areas of expertise. At the Leadership University campus in Toulouse, the group gets down to work on potential use cases and available technologies for the challenge that lies ahead.
Stay tuned: the team travels to the beating heart of the tech revolution in Episode 2, next week.
5 questions for: Alexandre Godin, team leader
1. What do you bring to this team & this project?
Alexandre Godin: I bring my experience in technology, user experience and human computer interaction to help design the final prototype. I’m also trying to transfer my energy, knowledge and motivation to the team to make sure this project will have an impact on individuals and organisations beyond its technical aspect.
2. Why is this project special?
AG: It’s special in a lot of aspects: having the freedom to build our own team – gathering people from very different backgrounds and organizations – working in an immersive way with our partners, associating technologies with human values, which, at first, often stand in opposition to one another.
3. What do you like about VR / AR technologies?
AG: I love the limitless capability to extend human horizons and understandings, being able to walk in parallel universes, enter imaginary worlds, while improving our perception of what is physically around us. I also love its power to communicate emotion, simulate situations and help people overcome their troubles. AR and VR can be used to accelerate re-education or reduce pain, for example. In addition to the incredible possibilities they offer, AR and VR are amazing tools to help our brains talk with data, to better engage in complex processes and understand our own limits and behaviour, too.
4. When was your first experience with VR / AR technologies?
AG: Since my student days, I’ve been passionate about the human ability to appropriate, identify with and be absorbed by a parallel universe when you play a game or read a book, for instance. It is about immersion and engagement, which are proven levers for people to better understand, learn and develop empathy and flexibility. During my Master’s, I combined my passions for human psychology and high technology in a study on improving working conditions at great heights. To analyse people’s behaviour and propose solutions, we used the Luminy CAVE. At this time in 2009, no standard technologies existed. It was only the beginning of the smartphone!
5. What are your hopes for the project?
AG: My biggest hope is we can show the value of what the team achieves, communicate it and use this as a start for bigger ambitions. The way we complete the project is as important as the technical result. This is not only a technical test, but an organizational prototype as well. I really hope that it will make a difference and will bring added value to the business.
Virtual Reality: hype or game-changer?
Another multidisciplinary team at Airbus is currently investigating the potential for the aviation industry of novel devices such as the Oculus Rift, Microsoft HoloLens and other new applications from the realm of virtual and augmented reality.
How will mixed-reality technologies shape the way we learn in the future?
In October 2016, Airbus assembled a team of specialists from wildly different backgrounds and disciplines to answer this very question. Our Meet the Team video series is an inside look at the innovation process as it evolves over 6 months, with each episode taking the group one step closer to their goal of envisioning the next generation of enterprise learning.
Stay tuned: Episode 1 premieres next week!