As the applications for virtual reality technology become increasingly broad — moving beyond creating increasingly realistic gaming environments — more and more people are entering the field with an eye to personal development programmes. One of these is Jeff Marshall, the data analyst-turned VR specialist who has created a new programme to help people overcome their fear of public speaking.
His programme, Ovation, styled as “the future of communication training”, provides paying users with access to train their skills in front of a “supportive audience that feels real”. Speakers are prompted to move their gaze around the room and gesture with their hands, and receive support to lower their user of filler words and improve their gaze.
The young company has received a variety of press coverage, including pieces in The New Yorker, The Telegraph and The Verge.
Marshall set up the company in August 2016 after a two-year stint as a Global Data Analyst at Bloomberg. Whilst there, he delivered a talk on how VR could help presenters.
Before that, he worked as a Commercial Insurance Broker for The Mahoney Group, and earned a joint degree in Finance and Journalism from Arizona State University.
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