Becoming a Force of Nature
The Weather Channel (TWC), an IBM business, has made a point of utilizing Mixed Reality across its media channels. With the launch of its updated mobile application using Watson Advertising, IBM’s new AI business platform, TWC decided to take it one step further by combining user education with training and entertainment. TWC wanted to educate employees on the app’s important features and functions while also engaging and entertaining them. Illustrating the functionality of a mobile application is easy, but doing so in an entertaining way presents its own challenges.
Implementing the Edutainment Experience
When you combine educational elements with entertainment, you get edutainment. We used this approach to help TWC accomplish its goal of challenging users to #BeAForceofNature by blending gamification and interactive elements together to create an engaging VR training experience. The goal of the experience was to transport TWC employees into a life-like city square for an immersive experience. Users learned how to navigate through some of the new features of the TWC application and had the opportunity to set an alert for an upcoming snowstorm. Later in the experience, users virtually became “forces of nature” as they threw solar balls to melt the blankets of snow around them.
After sharing the experience with employees at headquarters, TWC invited us to help launch the experience at three additional events across the country. Hundreds of people from TWC immersed themselves in the VR training experience to see how all of their hard work came to life. The experience proved that training people on new products and technology can be fun and educational. That’s VR edutainment.
We were excited to unveil our mobile application with virtual reality but we had no way of knowing how engaging it would actually be. Our expectations were blown away.”
-Mark Fredo, Executive Global Creative Director for IBM Watson Media & Weather