VR training seems to have all chances of earning the title of the disruptive solution regarding staff’s rising skills in various industries. Previously, we already talked about the uses of virtual and augmented reality by industrial companies. This article, in turn, is wholly devoted to virtual reality training, probably one of the most exciting and prospective application areas. Here, you’ll find information about what challenges immersive technologies can solve, their pros and cons, and what businesses should consider when implementing VR training.
Let’s start with a few interesting facts about what type of information people learn quicker and remember for a more extended period.
Studies show that after two weeks of learning, the average person can remember approximately one-tenth of reading information, one-fifth of heard information, and about one-third of visual information. However, if we start to see and hear simultaneously, most likely, we will remember at least half of the received information. This means that the more senses are involved in learning, the more and better knowledge is gained. The undisputed champion here is a simulation of the real experience of training or practice — almost 90% of what we have been taught is recorded in our memory.
No doubt, this real experience is the best teacher. However, when people learn, they make mistakes. They might forget something, misestimate a situation, or make a wrong decision. The modern world is full of dangerous professions, where employee mistakes can lead to colossal and irreversible damage. Medics, soldiers, personnel of hazardous installations, police officers — the list is long. Indeed, it isn’t easy to recognize a job in which safety and health are not necessary. Also, modern manufacturers use highly expensive equipment that can be vulnerable to incompetent operations. The use of VR training programs prevents such unfortunate incidents and helps employees receive the required knowledge and skills to utilize such machines properly without financial risks for the company.
The use of virtual reality training is capable of solving the issue, and even more. Modern solutions can reconstruct with high accuracy almost any situation or the environment from surgery to the control of a factory machine, or conducting a military operation. Currently, almost all business sectors can benefit from using virtual reality simulation for educational and training purposes.
It may seem that VR training solutions are fit only for facilities in which personnel can face potential danger to their lives. However, the application areas and benefits of virtual reality simulations are many more than meets the eye.
Here are a few examples of how completely different businesses can leverage immersive technologies, particularly VR training, to boost and develop their workforces.
VR training programs are perfectly fit to teach a person how to use and operate all machinery types. VR creates an artificial environment in which people can interact with a reconstructed model of the equipment, and the generated object completely replicates all functions of the real analog. The use of virtual buttons, regulators, and other control elements will have the same effect as in real life. In such a way, employees can master skills without the risk of damaging equipment or spoilage of expensive materials.
Demo of a VR technicians’ training, custom-made by NIX engineers for our client.
One more scenario in which VR training demonstrates all its forte is multi-step tasks. This includes troubleshooting and repair mechanisms and equipment. VR simulates a job in which employees have to make several consistent steps to get to the root of the problem before fixing it. Regular training with such ‘building toys’ allows employees to reach full maturity in the short term and perform their work quicker.
The use of VR training programs to introduce new employees to their working conditions, with which department they will interact, and show how business work is generally becoming more popular and in-demand among large-size companies. Such excursións decrease onboarding and allow newcomers to do their jobs efficiently from the very beginning.
The primary purpose is to rebuild the environment, in which people have to react to its changes in real-time. These simulations include various virtual reality training simulators for mastering driving and piloting skills from cars and trains to fighter planes and training algorithms of actions applied in hazardous situations in the workplace and even spaceships.
Here, you can find more demonstrations of VR simulators developed by NIX engineers:
Virtual reality training helps employees perfect their soft skills and the way they communicate with customers. Multiple simulations of tense situations in which the employees face unsatisfied or aggressive clients prepare and teach them how to react to and make proper decisions. Based on this experience, the employees can solve similar situations in real life more efficiently.
Despite the numerous advantages that virtual reality training provides companies, it also has its cons. Fortunately, the benefits and prospectiveness that a business receives outweigh negative aspects, but it’s also essential to know and consider them.
1) Physical side effects
In a virtual environment, some people begin to feel discomfort, faintness, disorientation, headaches, nausea, eye strain, or worse symptoms. To minimize these effects, training sessions have to last a short period until a person adapts to the artificial world. If any of the symptoms occur, the student has to take off the equipment immediately and stop training. Not everyone can use VR training equipment, and companies have to consider this.
2) Constant technology progress
It’s a paradox, but one of the cons of implementing VR training programs is continuous technology development. A VR simulator created today may need an update; hence equipment which it simulates may already be obsolete and needed to be changed with a new version. Fortunately, expert software vendors help mitigate the effect of such changes, organizing your system to be scalable and customized with minimal expenditure.
3) High implementation cost
Integration of VR training programs needs relatively significant investments. It’s usually the main factor that prevents companies from harnessing immersive technologies. On average, costs of the VR system can vary from $30,000-$150,000. However, it’s not a hefty sum given how much stopping of the production line can cost businesses because of failure. The main point is that it’s a long game — the longer a company uses VR training, the higher the ROI it receives as a result.
Many companies of different sizes and from various business sectors already use VR training solutions. Let’s look at several examples.
This is a VR training program developed by NIX engineers for a driving school. The implemented VR solution stepped up the educational efficiency for the entire driving course and greatly improved the students’ performance. The first students who tried the innovative technology noticed a significant boost in their driving skills after VR training. When it was time to drive in the real world, they knew what to do and concentrated on the road and the environment instead of controls. Moreover, the ‘game’ aspect of the VR simulation conditions taught the students to avoid traffic violations as a fun challenge that instills safe driving.
Screenshots from Youtube video Osso VR Visual Enhancements Reel (2020)
Nowadays, VR medical training is a powerful educational tool that helps raise medical skills in various healthcare sectors. Utilizing this technology on an ongoing basis can move healthcare service quality to a new level.
One well-known example is a VR simulator created by engineers and doctors of the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles (CHLA). As a result, their cohesive work has become a VR training program that helps doctors practice saving infants suffering from seizures or in anaphylactic shock.
The second example of VR medical training is a simulator developed by Osso in which surgeons can master their skills in a risk-free environment. Conducted research proved that students who trained using virtual reality simulation demonstrated much higher performance than participants that traditionally learned the same material. Participants trained in virtual reality simulation completed 38% more steps correctly in the procedure-specific checklist.
Screenshots from Youtube video How Hilton Uses Virtual Reality for Training | Oculus for Business
VR training finds application even in the hotel business. Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., an American multinational hospitality company, has empowered their business with immersive technology. The company employees have training in simulators to refine their working and soft skills and provide clients high-quality services. Its system mostly consists of scenario-based and multi-step tasks mentioned earlier in this article.
The Virtual Squad Training System (VSTS) at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii uses wireless VR training environments as part of their military training.
Militaries of developed countries such as the US leverage the full potential of VR training programs. There are flight simulators for the Air Force, assault training, simulations of hostage rescue missions, and so on. Given the nature of their military service, soldiers have to always be ready and instantly react and adapt to any environmental changes, thus their lives and missions’ success depends on these skills.
The use of virtual reality simulation is an advanced solution to increase the expertise level of the workforce. It, in turn, leads to better long-time usage of equipment and higher quality of products and services. As a result, businesses receive a comprehensive enhancement of their capabilities, more satisfied customers, and increased incomes.
Current VR training solutions and immersive technologies overall can boost business from literally any industry, providing options, of which, twenty years ago, manufacturers could only dream. This still needs significant investment to deploy in the company; however, all benefits overlap all weak points.
If you want to know more about VR solutions or other cutting-edge technologies and how they can empower your business, feel free to contact our experts.
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