Virtual Reality (VR) is emerging as the next computing platform. It’s changing the way people create and consume content, moving from observation to immersion. It transports the user to the imaginary world - an artificially created environment that emulates or alters reality. This article particularly deals with the applicability and impact of VR in training.
VR Training and its Need
Among its many applications, VR is an essential tool for training personnel. Its immersive & interactive methods are found to be more effective than a lecture, video or a demonstration. It has a definite imprint on the memory, as VR trainees have reportedly retained 80% of their learning after a year of the training program, whilst the statistics for traditional training isn’t too bright (20% retention after a week of training). This impact of VR is too glaring to be left unrecognized.
The effectiveness of this training has no bearing on its costs; in fact, it substantially reduces the costs that are otherwise incurred through traditional training. It is the only technology that is known for its remote-training feature, which in effect dispels the need of taking workers to a common place for training.
VR is changing the way people train, learn and work across various industries. Key benefits are:
● It improves the safety and productivity of the workers while cutting costs.
● It helps retain better with controlled, easily generated environments.
● It is provided in a risk-free environment wherein the employees can understand safety provisions without undergoing risky and impractical training sessions.
Let’s talk about the above-mentioned benefits:
Safety and Productivity
Realistic VR training is provided away from the actual workplace, and in an environment that is safe. On a precise note, it is provided in-house with the aid of tailor-made gadgets. These realistic experiences are provided with real-life simulations that will provide hands-on experience to the workers, without any risk of injury (or causing unwarranted damages to any expensive equipment). Moreover, the cost of training people on site by assembling them together would obviously be high. This is substantially cut down with VR training.
Better Retention with Controlled, Easily Generated Environments
People these days have an aversion towards lessons but like to experience things; nothing perfects humans as experience does. The experience provided in VR training enamors the viewer and invites their rapt attention. It provides a long-lasting impression of the solution – to state some facts, trainees trained with the VR experience had a retention rate of 80% after a week’s training, while traditional modes resulted in a mere 20% of retention in a year’s time. The U.S. Military has been using VR for decades.
It is provided in a risk-free environment wherein the employees can understand safety provisions without undergoing risky and impractical training sessions
As already observed, while the training provided at a work site incurs a lot of expenses, it is understandably risky. Referring to statistics, 78% of workers complain about the non-engagement in training methods, which is offset by VR. Safety training modules like fall protection training, hazard identification, fire safety, material handling, soil collapse foundation activities, and a host of others serve to make people understand the need of safety and its compliance methods. Virtual Reality is here to solve these issues which hasn’t got the effective treatment through traditional methods.
Training is one of the most featured applications of VR. Here’s a brief on some of its vital areas of applicability:
- Construction - The construction sector accounts for a lot of worksite accidents. The VR model of experiential training educates workers on the safety provisions by taking them through unsafe scenarios.
- Manufacturing – Ford Motor Company uses VR to design cars before it makes a physical prototype. Many companies are creating driving simulators.
- Health - Virtual Reality is proving to be a game-changer in the medical realms. It provides enhanced training to the next-gen doctors and thereby reduces surgical complications and makes life-saving medical treatments a possibility. Its utilities also extend to the medical health sector.
- Military and Law Enforcement – Already used for training the U.S. military forces, the VR methodology allows the soldiers to indulge in a variety of regimental exercises in a safe environment.
Putting the “real” into virtual reality
VR experiences are rendered through specialized headsets, sensors & hand controllers. Some of the most popular devices include HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Magic Leap, Hololens and Oculus Quest. The very purpose of VR is to render experiences in the most realistic way, and Haptic Gloves helps users to feel the shape and texture of objects, adding to the immersion levels of the already immersive VR environment. It truly puts the “real” into virtual reality by being able to touch the virtual world.