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Augmented Reality makes safety education fun

Arility - Safety Education AppArility - Safety Education App

Ian Sloan, co-founder of WA-based Augmented Reality (AR) startup DSBS talks to us about how immersive technology will make it fun for kids to learn about safety.

''The main challenge is to get those who don’t regularly use AR to understand its benefits. It is like the matrix. You can’t explain it. You have to experience it.''

Ian Sloan, Co-Founder DSBS

DSBS is based in Perth in Western Australia but have worked with customers all over Australia and Europe. Their drive is to be involved in innovative projects that strike out into new directions and establish business value in uncharted areas.

With that drive it's no wonder the company has delved into the realm of immersive technologies and furthering Western Australia's capabilities in Augmented Reality (AR). 

Where and when did it all start?

It all started in 2003 when I, together with Mike Donaldson, migrated to Perth from Scottish Enterprise to form Donaldson Sloan Business Services. Having our initials followed by BS in the company name seemed appropriate at the time.

The Arility platform started with an Augmented Reality (AR) project to provide a new experiential learning centre which could display risky situations using full size Augmented characters in an outside environment. Today, 8,000 teachers and students have tried it.

We also entered a joint venture with the harm prevention charity Constable Care Child Safety Foundation in Western Australia.

Describe your innovative platform Arility

Arility is an augmented reality safety education platform aimed at school age children. The children get engaged, educated and measured through really cool AR on their tabletop. 

There are many organisations who have no cost effective way of providing their safety messages to our kids. We provide a sustainable method for teachers using trusted content, intuitive lessons with miniscule preparation and turn them into a happy content partner who can benefit from being part of a platform that other safety organisations are on.

Name some of your big customers in Australia

DSBS have worked with customers including Horizon Power, Curtin university, University of WA, WA Health, ACT Health , Australian Defence Force as well as many not for profits like the Independent Living Centre, Dementia Australia and Constable Care Child Safety Foundation. 

The Arility platform has worked with the Road Safety Commission of WA, Western Power, the Public Transport Authority and others to develop the safety content and we are in discussions with a number of others including Fire and emergency services, Health, Life savers, Telcos, Farm safety and Rail/tram safety organisations to build on what is already there.

How did you access talent and market opportunities in Australia?

For Arility we started with one of our own developers who had experience with AR and once we had a concept going we sourced a great team of creative Perth-based graphic designers and Unity developers to work in combination with our remote architect from the UK.  This was all sourced with word of mouth from our network.

What is your view on future market opportunities for your company in Australia and internationally? 

The global AR market is set to increase eighty fold over a five year period to be valued at $160 billion. It is an incredibly exciting prospect to be at the beginning of this.

From our research into the marketplace there are no education platforms that support the safety space for children the way Arility does. 

The main challenge is to get those who don’t regularly use AR to understand its benefits. It is like the matrix. You can’t explain it. You have to experience it. 

To give you an idea of what I mean look at our video showing students using it for the first time. I count three wows.

Fast forward five years in time: how would you describe DSBS and Arility?

I can see us in a bright future of augmented reality based projects boasting about being one of the few companies with eight years’ experience working in the space. 

The hardware will have moved on considerably by then and the integration with live data feeds and interactivity with the real world environment will have made the experience evolve into another phase with yet more creative growth to come.

DSBS has been awarded a 5 star rating on the Education App store who use qualified teachers to evaluate and score education apps to share with their teacher subscription list. 

To read more about the company visit their website: www.dsbsgroup.com

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