Barclays Virtual Reality Control Centre

  • Virtual Reality

Their objective was to highlight the importance of safety and security within the organisation. With offices in many countries, Barclays Bank is constantly exposed to a wide range of external threats. These include obvious ones such as criminal or terrorist activity, as well as environmental risks such as extreme weather, floods or earthquakes.

A major flood in an area where a call centre or IT centre is located, for example, has the potential to affect the bank’s operating capabilities internationally. Employees may face difficulties travelling to work if their town or village has been affected or if the city’s transport infrastructure is hit. There’s also the possibility of vital equipment being damaged and rendered inoperable.

Barclays wanted to demonstrate what can happen in such an event and to showcase the work that takes place behind the scenes to coordinate the response.

VIVIDA approach

The production sets out to tell the story of a major weather emergency that takes place in one of their locations, with major repercussions for Barclays’ operations throughout the world. It portrays the actions of staff as they take control of events as they unfold in real time. Staff are shown as they attempt to understand what has happened, assess the risks to the business and employees, and make decisions under extreme pressure.

The viewer is placed in the virtual operations centre, recreated by VIVIDA. Barclays staff actively engage with the events as they unfold. The viewer is interactively able to answer emergency calls from their overseas offices, watch events live on TV and coordinate what has to be done to take control of the company’s response, from the operations centre.

Vivida creates an experience whereby the viewer is focussed on events as they unfold in “real time”, ultimately becoming completely immersed as actions are taken to resolve the crisis.


3D software was used which places the viewer in the control room that’s charged with responding to the crisis. The participant is seated at a console which allows them to fully interact with items around them, which are all part of the experience. The functionality allows them to switch to TV channels to view the latest media updates on the event, to take emergency calls from overseas and to interact with their immediate environment, eg pick up the pen on the desk in front of them, as they begin to take charge.

Impact and wider application

The VIVIDA team has shown this production to hundreds of Barclays employees around the world in cities in India, the USA and throughout the UK.

We are proud to claim it as a resounding success with the experience having achieved very high levels of engagement and awareness.

This production exemplifies the power of this medium as an educational tool, with applications for training in crisis management across a wide range of authorities and organisations.