Second Chance Incubator Topic #1

Enterprise VR Development Services



Second Chance Incubator is a DBA (Doing Business As) of Second Chance Net Inc, a 501(c)3 nonprofit.  Its incubator has a mission to develop business ideas into operational proof-of-concept businesses functioning within the challenging security protocol of a prison. A steadfast requirement is that the job skills earned by inmates allow them a seat at our nation’s digital table upon release, thus reducing recidivism.

A typical incubation takes 2 inmates, trains them in the technical specialty over a number of months, and then applies them to hands-on production of the deliverable to a real customer. After about half a year, the decision is made based on the results of the incubation to transition to a dozen inmates running the full-on version of the incubation as a proper prison enterprise.  We expect the first incubation to launch around September 2020.

This is an invitation to the VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) community to collaborate on the definition and fielding of a business inside Oregon’s state prison under, the incubation. The business will provide VR development services to be defined here. These services will be enterprise applications such as facility simulations rather than services to the well established gaming and entertainment sector.

Approach #1: Campus Simulations

With education moving online, even before Covid-19, education at our colleges and universities has migrated to webinars, Zoom sessions, blog interactions, ePub textbooks, and such. Although this has yielded superior education in many ways, much of the immersive nature of college life has been left behind. Those interactions and the exposure to a new culture is educational in itself to students leaving the oversight of their parents for the first time.

This approach proposes to integrate online education into a VR/AR simulation of a campus complete with study groups, clubs, socializing, guidance counselors, even participation in the occasional political demonstration.

Available to us is hands-on AutoCAD expertise among the inmates as a result of an ongoing training and apprenticeship program inside the prison. If we could mold this into an effective way to produce facility baselines from orthogonal building drawings, that would add to the appeal.

We suspect this may interest campus authorities as a way to maintain the relevance of their physical buildings used as the VR baseline, and a simulation platform to experiment with retaining the campus culture. Walking into a classroom could seamlessly transition to the online education already in existence. Certain classes, for example chemistry labs, may benefit by calling on VR resources.

From a purely financial perspective, the managers of America’s 5,300 colleges and universities have to either drop their pricing closer to the cost and expectation of webinars, or they have to increase their service offerings back to the immersive culture of higher education of 2019.

The large and increasing installed base of VR headsets among college students would support this application of enterprise VR. The VR talent among those students would also be fertile ground for expansion and innovation.

Approach #2: TBD

This is where we’ll put other ideas.

What You Can Do

The Program Manager (Peter Shikli) has extensive experience in high-tech business formation, particularly within a prison, but almost no VR experience. He’s got his Oculus Quest and is learning as fast as he can, but this is where you can apply your gaming and entertainment experience to a good cause. We won’t be fighting space invaders with light sabers, but we feel enterprise VR can open doors to the college experience we had before everything went online.

Use the form below to weigh in regarding our “Approach #1” plans above based on your experience. We are interested in threats we have not noticed making the approach unrealistic, as well as tips about opportunities to field a better business and a better job skill for our inmates.

We are also interested in suggestions for an Approach #2 or #3. Mostly, we are interested in VR people looking to be part of this adventure to form a business unlike any that has ever existed. That involvement can be as a volunteer or as a paid consultant working on specific tasks.