There are many methods that can be used to break people out of their comfort zones. What is not as common, are methods that achieve this while training teams and pulling people out of isolation. Techpreneur Marshall Moser has achieved all of the above thanks to virtual reality (VR).
After graduating from the University of Georgia in 2015 with a triple major in biology, psychology, and economics, followed by a master’s degree in public health administration, Marshall put his impressive education to use in the tech sector. He participated in a program called Singularity University—a joint venture between NASA and Google—where he build VR environments triggered by variations in heart rates. Marshall then tested this data to see if it could be used in adaptable VR adventure environments.
Fueled by this virtual innovation and his love for action sports, Marshall founded Vestigo. Though a young company, it boasts clients such as CNN, Microsoft, and Home Depot. Vestigo builds VR environments for intense and unconventional corporate leadership training. These environments mimic the world’s most challenging and inspiring sports adventures. Marshall has created these programs to help people overcome the innate human need for comfort and stability. In a business sense, this VR training results in greater team adaptability and innovation.
This falls in line with Marshall’s deep desire to give back to his community. He was the VP of the Student Government Association at UGA and a guide for the college’s outdoor recreation program. He helps students step outside their comfort zones and overcome their limits through outdoor activities. Marshall, an avid adventure-sports athlete himself, maintains a mindset of peak performance and innovation through these sports. With Vestigo and the dedication to his alma mater, Marshall has turned his passions and mentality into a sought-after business service.
These VR adventures are also immensely helpful for helping people overcome isolation created by the COVID-19 pandemic. They can paraglide, snowboard, scuba dive, or explore caves without leaving their homes. As for corporate team training, Marshall has created environments where coworkers build trust and powerful relationships through walking a plank high above the ground and working together to detonate a virtual time bomb to hone communication skills when time is of the essence.
This permits socially distanced learning with not only excellent results, but the nature of the instruction makes what could be a mundane activity new, exciting, and memorable. The VR component tricks a person’s mind into believing they are in an unknown and potentially uncomfortable situation, thus removing that person from their comfort zone. Obstacles can be treated as opportunities, and the element of the unknown requires innovative thinking. Together, these activities can increase performance and adaptability, two very desirable characteristics for almost any setting.
As for the reality of Vestigo’s VR experiences, participants are fully immersed thanks to small details that touch on all five senses. Marshall is currently developing two new environments, including a crevasse crossing on Mount Everest. If that doesn’t help people overcome their desire for stability and comfort, the brilliant minds at Vertigo are up to the challenge of creating something that will.