Desert Saber, LLC is based in Tucson, Arizona, USA.  The company was spun out of the University of Arizona to commercialize serious games for occupational training.  “Saber” is Spanish for knowledge or to know. So, the company name recognizes its heritage in the desert near the US-Mexico border.

Companies spend over $370 billion US on training worldwide ever year. Yet that training is largely considered ineffective. Over 6,000 workers die on the job every day worldwide. Surveys show the majority of workers are disengaged at work. And labor friction such as turnover and hiring costs cost U.S. companies over $600 billion US every year.

The problem is that training focuses on exposing workers to as much knowledge as possible in a short period of time, hoping the most important information will be remembered and the rest of what they need to know they have to learn as they work. Desert Saber reimagines training by immersing the learner into a realistic world where they have to actually perform the job functions being taught. This is done using the best evidence-informed learning science to guide the development of a more effective way to train workers and engage them in their jobs. Doing a task is proven to increase retention over simply watching a task being done.

Desert Saber has created a unique software platform to measurably improve worker capabilities through immersive, personalized training using video game and simulation technology. Desert Saber’s software platform reduces the costs associated with ineffective training in the workplace.  Effective training keeps workers engaged. Engaged workers pay attention to detail which leads to better critical thinking and decision making and this in term leads to fewer safety incidents, less product waste, and less employee turnover.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

DESERT SABER: Desert Saber’s Conundrum™ platform supports both training and entertainment games, a design that will support the metaverse. The client-facing training applications are PPE Suite™ which stands for Predict behavior, Prevent accidents, and Evaluate capabilities.  Truly personalized, adaptive learning is provided using photo-realistic simulations of the work environment that are nearly a digital twin of the real work environment. The AI-driven Adaptive Learning Cycle™ tracks user actions and modifies the training scenario seamlessly in real-time without the user seeing a break in the action. This ensures each worker receives the right training material for their skill level and the user continues to learn and achieve. The software tracks user actions and decisions and analytics allow the organization to map workforce capabilities to organizational KPIs.  The Conundrum™ platform uses Epic Games’ Unreal 3D engine.

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

DESERT SABER: Conundrum™ will be released in the first quarter of 2022 with an entertainment video game based on the Nobel Prize winning mathematician, John Nash’s, non-cooperative game theory. The game is tentatively titled “Spudz”. Watch social media for news about its beta release for testing. The video game will demonstrate the features of the PPE Suite™ training application.  Training modules will be released throughout 2022 with a primary focus on mining and manufacturing.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

DESERT SABER: PPE Suite™ can be used for any type of occupational training in any industry.  The software can be used for pre-screening for new hires so they can try a job during an interview.  Employees can use the software to cross-train, upskill, and refresh on seldom performed tasks. The software is designed for short micro-learning modules that allow the employee to continuously track their performance and improvement.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

DESERT SABER: Desert Saber will enter the training and video gaming markets in mid-2022.  Training modules for industrial safety will be released throughout the second half of the year.  Individual workers and companies can buy time-limited passes to stream content to smartphones, tablets, laptops, and computers or they can buy an unlimited corporate pass.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

DESERT SABER: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has caused many companies to re-think their training and employee support.  Nearly 85% of companies report they want to adopt new learning strategies. Companies want adaptive, personalized learning that use AI-driven simulation and gaming with results tied to organization key productivity indicators (KPIs).  Serious games for training are projected to grow by 30% over the coming years.  Desert Saber is positioned to offer a product that all industries need to improve their workforce utilization and compete for the best skilled workers.  

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

DESERT SABER: The innovation of the Conundrum™ platform is the ability to shorten both the time and the expense to create or modify training or gaming content. Desert Saber’s serious games use an open world and a sandbox game mechanic that results in emergent play which leads to more flexible and realistic training.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2022?

DESERT SABER: The concept of the metaverse is gaining attention and several platforms are developing to merge people’s real and digital experiences for entertainment.  Fortnite, Roblox, and others host concerts and offer digital NFT sales in game. Desert Saber’s Conundrum™ platform brings work into the metaverse.  Ultimately workers will be able to not only simulate their jobs in Conundrum™ but they will be able to socialize after work in the digital hangout near their digital office in the metaverse.