There isn’t a single organization on the face of the Earth that can survive without well-trained members. However, as much as everyone likes to boast about how effective their training program is, the simple fact is that nothing can beat on the job experience.
Polishing one’s skills on real-life problems in day to day situations, despite all the technical innovation is ultimately what makes a professional valuable. And this one area where Virtual Reality training truly shines out.
What is Virtual Reality Training Anyways?
Although virtual reality is receiving a lot of attention these days thanks to devices such as Oculus Rift and Gear VR, VR based training has been used by companies, academia, and military for a long time. Essentially VR based training puts the trainee in a 3D environment relevant to the subject matter via a specially designed audio-visual headset.
The advantages of such an approach should be readily apparent. Not only can it cut out distractions, but it can totally immerse the trainee in the simulation, to the point where they begin to respond to it just as they would in a real-life situation.
In other words, not only will trainees acquire information relevant to their job, but they can start practicing their skills right from day one.
So, here are 5 advantages that VR based training offers that help it stand out…
Makes learning more visual
Humans are intensely visual creatures. 90% of all the information that is sent to our brains is visual in nature, and 93% of all our communication is visual, too. With VR, training becomes more visual as the subject matter is presented in a visually stunning, 3D format that most people will find far more appealing than regular old text.
Makes better learning more affordable
Until a few years ago, virtual reality training was the sole domain of high-end commercial, government and military applications. A comparatively simple VR headset such as the NVis SX60 with a 60 degree Field of View and 1280X1024 resolution (both eyes) cost a whopping $24,000!
Compare that the price of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive that offer far better specs, and the progress being made should be readily apparent. With falling hardware prices, more developers are also turning to making VR specific content, meaning we will soon have a flourishing eco-system of apps that will make training more fun and engaging.
VR makes learning safer
Workplace training accidents are, unfortunately, common occurrences in many industries and in sectors such as manufacturing, energy and defense, they may even be fatal. As novices are the most likely to make mistakes, they need a safe place to practice their skills until they are confident in them and VR provides just that. By letting your employees practice in a VR 3D environment, they can iron out the kinks in their skills, and start the job with a near-perfect command.
Can be implemented remotely
With trends such as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) becoming increasingly common, the world is moving to a decentralized workplace where people collaborate over vast distances. Since VR headsets are becoming cheaper, they can be easily bought for training purposes and implemented remotely. The trainee can access/download training material from the company’s website, and use it wherever he/she wants.
Aids retention and recall
As we said before, the key selling point of virtual reality training is its ability to create highly immersive environments. Greater immersion can also increase material retention and since the trainees can practice their skills as many times as needed, the knowledge becomes part of their muscle memory, too.
These are a few of the features that make VR training so much better than regular old instructional based training. As the technology evolves, we will see more immersive training solutions emerge that will allow people to train faster, better and cheaper than ever before.