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E-Learning Provider Elevates Industry Training While Unlocking New Business Opportunities.


  • Testimonials from ASIS GSX

  • A message from Defencify's CEO, Russ Willmon

  • The challenges faced by the Private Security industry

  • The not-so-unique challenges in Private Security

  • The critical role of working with industry leaders in design

  • Addressing serious subject matter respectfully

  • Combining AI and VR for conversational elements

  • Using VR as a promotional tool for sales and marketing

  • Lessons from the world's most influential study on VR training

  • Dealplay and its role in shaping the future of learning

"As close to realistic as I think you can get ... I think it could be a good learning tool for physical security"

In September 2023, Dealplay and Defencify showcased an early version of VR training for the private security industry at ASIS GSX in Dallas, one of the industry's largest trade shows.

"It's not just about meeting industry standards, but exceeding them"

Defencify offers state-based certifications across the United States. Their mission is to deliver unparalleled online training that builds a highly effective security force. Here, Defencify's CEO discusses the potential of VR and the exciting future of learning in private security.

The challenges faced by the Private Security industry.

Many believe that the world is becoming more dangerous and unpredictable. Through working closely with some of the industry's most experienced leaders in private security, we found several common themes, along with many unique challenges depending on location and the discipline of security services provided. Here are just three of the most common challenges that we identified:

A nationwide increase in incidents involving the homeless and mentally ill.

Despite increased danger, clients expect more of private security, with no additional budget.

Regulated training only sets a mediocre standard and does not contribute to officer safety.

The not-so-unique challenges in Private Security.

VR (or AR) offers an incredible opportunity for learning. The immersive medium creates a safe environment for private security officers to practice difficult situations without being put in harm's way, and this is why we are able to improve the quality of learning significantly. However, in the realm of business, the quality of learning is not always at the forefront of decision-making, and these problems extend beyond private security.

Experience-based training is essential, yet expensive and inaccessible.

High levels of employees changing jobs deter employers from investing in training.

The time employees spend in training directly cuts into billable hours.

The critical role of working with industry leaders in the design process.

There are so many nuances in Private Security that vary from state to state and from business to business. There are also so many elements to what's expected of private security officers that you cannot learn in the classroom. This is one of the most challenging aspects of designing an experience-based training simulation. So, in addition to uncovering the major challenges in private security, we needed to programmatically work with the industry to uncover these nuances.

We have achieved this by establishing an advisory committee of longstanding industry leaders. We would meet with these leaders for regular 1:1 interviews to gain their perspective on key issues and receive feedback on design elements. The committee was made up of a wide variety of specialists and personalities, and comprised people who had managed entire teams, who had come from law enforcement and military backgrounds, and people who had come up from security officer positions themselves.

The common theme that consistently stood out amongst these leaders was that they all cared deeply about their industry and they all valued high-quality training, and were passionate about elevating their industry to meet today's challenges.

Uncovering the perspectives of these individuals was a critical role in the design process and will continue to play a critical role in the development of new and existing training titles. We are grateful for the time that has been dedicated to this committee.

Addressing serious subject matter respectfully.

Our debut title with Defensify is 'Active Shooter Response for Private Security.' This groundbreaking learning module addresses several critical components of an active shooter event, providing insights learners wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to acquire. The training simulation covers three main themes:

Firstly, de-escalation of conflict to mitigate risk prior to an active shooter event. In this module, the learner is required to identify early signs of conflict, potential hazards that could cause physical harm, and consider several techniques to approach individuals before engaging in conversations across three different scenarios, each demonstrating different types of conflict.

Secondly, the learner experiences an active shooter event and is required to identify cover and concealment. The learner finds themselves trapped on the mezzanine floor of a mall with several members of the public, with an active shooter event taking place on the floor below. The learner is required to navigate a complex mall environment, identify the safest routes, and engage with members of the public to identify various types of cover and concealment.

Finally, the learner needs to manage the aftermath of an active shooter event after the attacker has been neutralized and before law enforcement arrives. Given the general requirements for security personnel from law enforcement is not to tamper too much with the scene, however with traumatized members of the public and other dangers present to be wary of. This section of the training helps security officers navigate a very sensitive and potentially dangerous period of time before law enforcement arrives.

The training is focused on developing the muscle memory required to act appropriately in situations where the right thing to do is not always obvious.

Combining AI and VR for conversational elements.

In recent years, the emergence of AI and large language models (LLMs) like OpenAI and ChatGPT has dominated conversations across all industries. Just like every successful technology implementation, established and tested tech always outweighs the newest and shiniest technology of the day. We were able to develop a conversational mechanism that allowed learners to engage with natural language, which is also incredibly versatile and adaptable to any situation without unsustainable design costs. The following considerations were factored into the development of this tool:

Seamless Learner Experience:


It is imperative that the learner experience be seamless and straightforward. The training requires learners to engage in conversation using natural language with both characters in the training simulation and while using the walkie-talkie. It is important for security officers to speak clearly and confidently, so the system needs to understand what the learner has said and alert them if their pronunciation is not clear enough. Keeping with UX (user experience) fundamentals, the conversational element needs to be completely intuitive without any long-winded instructional guidelines that would potentially take away from the experience.

Measurable with Intent:

When selecting the appropriate conversational design approach, the training required a solution that was measurable on all accounts. While some conversational approaches offered open dialogue, they lacked the ability to direct the conversation in a predefined direction that was in line with the module's learning objectives. Furthermore, open-ended conversation would not offer any ability to measure the conversation against a predefined framework. With this approach, the learner could potentially take the conversation into areas that were completely irrelevant to the module's learning objectives. With these considerations, we decided to take an intent-led conversation design approach. This way, we could maintain a meaningful learning experience that was measurable and didn't vary from the module's learning objectives.

Using VR as a promotional tool for sales and marketing can accelerate success.

While VR technology holds immense potential, and despite massive adoption by consumers and in business respectively, the technology is still in its infancy. Innovative organizations recognize this and seize the opportunity to engage customers in innovative ways, giving them a competitive edge in their respective markets.

In September 2023, Dealplay and Defencify participated in the ASIS Global Security Exchange (GSX) conference in Dallas, Texas. This premier event draws over 16,000 attendees and numerous vendors annually, serving as a nexus for industry innovation, trends, and networking. Notable speakers at the 2023 event included former President George W. Bush, former CIA officer & FBI special agent Tracy Walder, and Radek Sikorski, Chairman of the EU-USA Delegation at the European Parliament.

At GSX, where attendees typically spend only a few hours exploring the expo hall, Defencify had to quickly demonstrate its value.

To address this challenge, Defencify unveiled a groundbreaking prototype simulation at GSX, capturing significant attention and bolstering lead generation. The simulation garnered acclaim for its realism and potential as a training tool, as attested by attendees:

"I was very surprised at how realistic it looked. I didn't notice any jittering or jumping. A very good experience."

"It was as close to realistic as you can get. I think it could be a great learning tool for physical security."

By leveraging VR technology, Defencify showcased its commitment to innovation and its dedication to providing cutting-edge solutions for the security industry.

Lessons from the world's most influential study on VR training.

The move towards VR training in security is backed by a thorough PwC study, showing VR's effectiveness in business training. The study reveals VR trainees finish courses four times faster, feel 275% more confident, and 375% more emotionally connected to the content compared to traditional methods. This high level of engagement indicates that VR training not only speeds up learning but also improves the depth of the educational experience, making it ideal for complex situations like active shooter responses.

Dealplay and its role in shaping the future of learning


Dealplay is dedicated to crafting immersive XR (extended reality) learning experiences tailored for training providers. Through a blend of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), we offer customized solutions aimed at transforming the landscape of training delivery and engagement.

The Problem:

For e-learning and traditional in-person training providers, integrating immersive XR learning poses significant challenges. The investment required for XR content creation is often financially burdensome due to limited tools and high costs. Consequently, many providers are unable to offer personalized XR learning solutions to their clients, limiting their ability to adapt to evolving digital learning trends effectively.

How We Help:

Dealplay addresses the barriers encountered by training providers in adopting XR learning by providing comprehensive support. We offer scalable and cost-effective content development services, creating tailor-made 'XR Packs' composed of reusable modular assets. By utilizing efficient production resources, we ensure the creation of high-quality XR content with advanced functionality at competitive prices. Additionally, our platform facilitates the hosting of XR learning content, incorporating profile management, reporting tools, and seamless system integration. Furthermore, we streamline e-commerce transactions and end-user distribution through popular marketplace platforms, enhancing accessibility and expanding the reach of our clients' offerings. With Dealplay, training providers can confidently embrace XR learning, enhancing engagement and efficacy for their learners.

Defencify stood out at ASIS GSX in Dallas, securing 7 times as many leads compared to previous years.

E-Learning Provider Elevates Industry Training While Unlocking New Business Opportunities.

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