Q1. What is VirtualSpeech?
VirtualSpeech is a photo-realistic training platform for public speaking and job interviews. The user puts on a virtual reality headset and is immersed in selection of beautiful environments.
Q2: How did you come up with the Job Interview and Public Speaking App?
My co-founder, Artur Grzybowski, came up with the idea after presenting at the Augmented World Expo conference in California in 2015. He quickly realised that there wasn’t an efficient way to prepare for his event and current methods on the market, such as presenting in front of a mirror, didn’t work.
We talked to friends and family about this and quickly realised almost everyone suffers from some sort of social anxiety. Having working in the virtual reality sector for a few years, we decided to use our knowledge and the recent popularity of virtual reality headsets to help people overcome their fear and improve speaking skills by developing a VR app which is available for free on our website.
Q3: What is the difference between the Public Speaking
and Job Interview sections of the app?
The public speaking part of the app puts the user in a variety of sized rooms. We currently have a large conference room, where you can present to a hundred people, and a smaller meeting room where you present to about 10 people. We developed some useful features, such as the ability for the user to see their own slides in the conference room with them.
The interview section immerses the user in a room with an audience of 4 people. The user picks a company or job area and is asked both technical and general questions. The interview questions are real past questions and are a great way to improve speaking skills and thinking on your feet. Currently we have included the most applied to companies, which include Google, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Deloitte and a few others.
Q4: How long have you been developing the app for?
We have been developing the idea and app for just over 6 months now, with a proof of concept published to the Android Store as a Beta version in early January 2016.
After some encouraging feedback from over 200 Beta testers, we released the app as a production version so that anyone can download it. The app is called ‘Public Speaking for Cardboard’ and available on the Android and Apple stores. You will need a virtual reality headset to use the app correctly.
Q5: How can VirtualSpeech can help people?
The app can prepare people for various occasions, from pitching your idea to a small panel, to presenting at a TED talk in front of hundreds of people. We are building various environments to help with a range of scenarios, including best man speeches at weddings, giving a TED talk, practicing for X-Factor and interviewing to a large panel.
Q6: What are you developing next VirtualSpeech?
We have loads of ideas for development:
Adding a TED talks environment, wedding scene for best man and groom speeches, an X-Factor room and various other scenarios to help your public speaking practice
Expand our list of company job interview questions and develop a way for the app to understand how the user has answered the question and provide an appropriate reply
Give feedback to users for presentations and job interviews – this will massively help people improve and work on weaker points of their pitch
Introduce the app to other VR headset platforms, including Gear VR and Oculus Rift.
Q7: How can we get latest updates and developments?
We have an active social community and would love to hear any ideas you have on new features. Visit out Facebook page or Twitter page and get in contact or follow us to stay up to date on the latest developments!
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