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  • 2030 age: 45 (32 in 2017)
  • Location: Edinburgh UK
  • Job: Immersive experience designer
  • Sector: Creative economy

Wilson studied fine arts mixed media at university. This provided an environment in which Wilson developed an awareness of the diversity of media and media practices.

By the end of his studies, Wilson was convinced that some of the most exciting developments in culture lay in digital technology. He enrolled on a 12-week course at a bootcamp where he deepened his knowledge of 3D design software for modelling, animation and rendering.

Wilson chose this training pathway over postgraduate work as it focussed on the specific tools that he would be using in industry and exposed him to how projects worked in practice.

The games industry was an early adopter of virtual reality (VR) and Wilson quickly found a job with a small developer creating alien landscapes. As with any new technology, there were growing pains. The holy grail of VR gaming, at that time, was designing an authentic first-person shooter (FPS), which permitted aiming and freedom of movement without causing motion sickness.

A solution eluded Wilson’s design team, though it provided him with a stream of challenges on which to cut his teeth and learn by doing, at a time when industry knowledge was too fragmentary and constantly changing to be standardised.

As virtual, augmented and mixed reality technologies entered the mainstream, so industries such as healthcare, tourism and sports to education and manufacturing began to seek workers with Wilson’s skills

Wilson was approached by a number of recruiters, though an old friend from art school convinced him to join his e-commerce start-up, which was using new technologies to enhance shopping experiences and reduce the guesswork that accompanied buying new products.

To this end, Wilson took a series of accredited online courses in sales and marketing which gave him an insight into how consumers make decisions and how to manage that journey from a behavioral and creative perspective.

After several years, Wilson joined an education company which he believed was a natural home for his skills. Immersive experience technologies provided a way to teach complex concepts visually, and motivate users who otherwise struggled with traditional learning methods.

Wilson is very excited about the future – not only about the possibilities for these tools in STEM subjects, where learners can interact with computer-generated objects, but also in fields such as literature, history and economics. For example, a soon-to-be-launched product transports students to the mills of 19th century Manchester as they read about the demand for social reform, an experience which Wilson hopes will give them a deeper connection and understanding of the beliefs, goals and values of their ancestors and other historical actors.

Skills (S), knowledge (K) and activities (A)

Fine arts (K), originality (A), design (K), fluency of ideas (A), visualisation (A), sales and marketing (K), cstomer and personal service (K), arm-hand steadiness (A), english language (K), visual colour discrimination (A).