Oculus Rift: six questions answered
Six questions you might have about the Oculus Rift, answered.
1. What is it?
The Oculus Rift is virtual reality software, developed by Oculus VR. It hit the markets at the beginning of 2016 and is popular within the gaming industry.
2. How does it work?
Users place the equipment over their head so that the lenses cover their eyes, enabling them to be escorted into another world.
Sophisticated technologies, with the use of integrated headphones ensure there is no blurriness or distortion, creating sharp, crisp 3D images and integrated audio.
3. What software has been used?
In order to run Oculus Rift, bespoke technology has been utilised, However, it is an accessible platform, increasing its versatility for users, with the eradication of license fees.
4. How has Rift technology become popular within gaming?
In addition to providing a complete sensory experience, Oculus VR have built a number of applications which complement the Oculus Rift, such as the Oculus Touch controller for Xbox One. The technology is commonly used in adventure games through its ability to enable users to track objects accurately within a virtual environment.
Since its launch, Playstation (under Sony) are set to launch their version of a VR headset, which is set to be released onto the market at the end of 2016.
5. What other industries are currently utilising the Oculus Rift?
Since its launch, the Oculus Rift has been utilised within several industries to support the development of various products.
The automotive industry are beginning to utilise Oculus Rift In the design of new cars for their customers, in addition to the construction and design industry, in which developments are supported through the use of the Oculus Rift, where designers can visualise what their proposals will look like.
6. What developments are in the pipeline?
The company are beginning to develop new projects for users to enjoy. The use of 3D in cinemas is not a new phenomenon, but Oculus VR are seeking to establish and develop the market through the creation of Oculus Cinema
The new technology will utilise the Oculus Rift and enable users to view films in what they would otherwise view with in live cinema environment, displaying wider coverage and sharper views, immersing users into another world.
However, the technology would not just be for a single user like a lot of technological applications, but could be utilised in a group environment, allowing individuals to watch a film together and enable them to virtually interact with one another throughout the film.
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How changing your company's software code can prevent bias
Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day.
Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization.
Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.
Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?
We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization
What impact can exclusive terms have on employees?
Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.
Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code
Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!
What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?
What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.
What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology?
My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve.