Blog Post

Introducing IT director Karl – the powerhouse behind our tech

Updated: Jul 14, 2020

Behind every successful business, there is always a fantastic team of great people who want to make a difference. That is certainly the case at Your Virtual Mind Trainer (YVMT).

When organisational behaviourist and business coach Hilary McLellan had an idea for helping her corporate clients to calm and train the mind, she turned to IT expert Karl Bolland.

Karl has always worked in information technology and is a specialist in creating simple and complex solutions using different stacks of technologies for the education and business sectors.

The majority of his work involves implementing solutions using Office 365, but his big passion is always for understanding a client’s requirements in order to help them find the best tech solution for their aims and aspirations.

“I always get excited and motivated by the challenge of helping to find solutions to problems and to develop services that benefit others,” says Karl. “As soon as Hilary shared her vision with me of combining real films of nature with some calming mind audios, I knew there was real potential in this service.”

“There are YouTube channels that offer films of nature and some websites that offer relaxing audio, but none combine the two nor are driven by a knowledge of psychology and organisational behaviour. I knew that Hilary was on to something, we just had to work out the best way to do it. I’d never filmed, edited nor shared 360-degree videos before, so the challenge was set.”

The ultimate aim for YVMT is to offer 360-degree videos that can be played on a virtual reality headset or via an app so that people can look around the environment and feel like they are really there.

But not everyone has access to virtual reality headsets and not all operating systems and devices can currently play 360-degree videos in the browser.

There have also been other issues to overcome and Karl admits he has had some sleepless nights with various hurdles cropping up along the way.

Karl says: “We’ve faced some challenges and made some mistakes along the way – this is a new technology and we’ve had to work out the best way to get this service out there.”

“On one occasion, I’d spent quite some time capturing a very pretty scene before realising I had also caught a big electricity pylon too. Another issue has been the quality of the sound, particularly the wind caught in footage. Some of these we have managed to fix by re-recording footage, but that’s not always easy when content is captured as far away as Antigua!”

“Dr Ashleigh McLellan had scripted and recorded fantastic audios but sometimes we couldn’t quite get them to fit the footage, so that took a bit of juggling work.”

“What we learnt quite quickly though, is that we can usually always find some kind of solution to every problem. We’ve managed to source specific material to place over the microphone to reduce the wind noise, for example, and I’ve dived headfirst into learning how to edit 360-degree videos with Adobe Premiere.”

Despite the pressure his work brings, Karl considers himself quite a calm person but admits he may be tuning into Your Virtual Mind Trainer for a little help in the near future.

“My job usually involves sitting at home and working from there, so it takes a lot for me to feel stressed. But we do have a baby on the way this year, so YVMT may be something I will soon need!”


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