When Virtual Reality Becomes a Reality in Corporate Training

By Dr. Dovi Weiss | April 08,2018

Corporate Training, VR

It’s no surprise that organizations are looking for more efficient ways to train and retrain their employees. With companies investing heavily into their training and development programs in order to fill their skills gaps and reach their full capacity, organizations are looking for the best ways to spend their training budgets.

AT&T, for example, notified 100,000 of their employees that their job roles wouldn’t be relevant in ten years and created the Workforce 2020 initiative, with over $1 billion invested, to help upskill their employee base.

How has Virtual Reality (VR) become a reality? 

One promising technology Virtual Reality (VR), has the potential to train like nothing else in the corporate world. A year ago, UPS announced that it would start training their delivery drivers to spot and identify road hazards using VR headsets that vividly simulate the experience of driving on city streets. As the global leaders in shipping and logistics, UPS saw this new corporate training tactic as a more effective, memorable way to teach a lesson to their employees.

IT experts at UPS created the VR training modules that users see and hear inside VR headsets. Learners using the modules must verbally identify potential road hazards such as pedestrians, parked cars and oncoming traffic. The 360-degree view inside the headset is realistic down to its finest details.

VR provides engaging, immersive, and highly interactive experiences and for this reason, it’s received well-deserved attention as an innovative, effective training technology.

With headset and motion tracking, VR lets you look around a virtual space as if you’re actually there. It’s also been a promising technology for decades that’s never truly caught on. That’s changing with the current wave of VR products that are becoming affordable.

The device that is most commonly used for VR training is a VR headset. The most common VR headsets in 2018 are: Sony PlayStation VR, HTC vive, Oculus Rift, Google Daydream View. The amazing fact is that the average price of a VR headset had dramatically dropped down to around $300. This makes VR a feasible technology for training.

Walmart, BMW, VISA, Bank of America, Google, Verizon, ABC are also among the organizations using VR for employee training—and the list is growing every day.

Photo: UPS VR corporate training in action.

Some companies are using another technology for VR training, called “Digital Cave.” This system consists of five 300-degree screens, like a wrap-around cave. Trackers follow the participants as the floor is wired for sound and vibration. For security training, VR without a head-mounted display is much more realistic, because that’s the way it is in real life. One of the leading providers of digital caves is Virtra.

From a learning effectiveness point of view VR is a very promising training technology.

United Rentals, for example, cut their training time down by 40%. Fidelity increased customer satisfaction by 10%. Training experts envision that VR will play a major role as a learning technology and will be widely used by the year 2020.

As important as it is to create training that’s engaging, it’s equally important to measure the effectiveness of your corporate training programs by using next-generation training solutions. With real-time reporting like T2K BI, the trainer can seamlessly compare skill levels of those attending a training session, allowing the trainer to correlate it with existing data, and identify new opportunities to enable growth.

Photo: Actionable insights on a learners’ progress and performance with T2K Echo BI.

Training executive should not wait for the future because it’s already here, and any organization could be reaping the benefits right now. Virtual Reality is not a dream anymore–it has officially become a reality and with close, effective monitoring, we can see the full picture of the positive effects VR has on the learner.

the author

Dr. Dovi Weiss

Chief Scientist at . Lecturer, Head of Digital Pedagogy and University Director, author on Ed-Tech innovation.

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