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News, Technology, Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality: Tech’s ‘Gift of Possibilities’ to the Corporate World

Abhinav Raj

Abhinav Raj, Writer
@uxconnections

For decades, VR has enabled workforces to step in and take charge in unfamiliar circumstances, by simulating impossible environments. Here’s how the corporates have been harnessing VR for training.

If you could conceive an idea, take it out from your cranium and recreate it in the three-dimensional plane of reality to observe or experience it, then you might have found an application for VR. 

Virtual Reality is the most powerful narrative visualisation and annotation tool and it is ready to revolutionise the corporate training world. 

Over the past decade, as the deployment cost of the technology steadily plummeted, the vast sea of opportunities VR presents is limited only by imagination. The unparalleled extent of value VR provides in education, training and management has been the impetus in driving the technology into the mainstream application, surging its use in the Fortune 500 companies in 2020. 

Providing a blank canvas’ worth of creative freedom, VR has enabled seamlessly integrated digital information to be represented in our desired physical environment; and at times, altering the environment itself. 

High-stakes circumstances or impossible to simulate environments have been achieved in virtual reality and enabled professionals employed in the healthcare industry to receive training in surgical skills, the armed forces to train with heavy weapons and convoy simulators and astronauts to complete system rescue operations by providing immersive and compelling simulations in real-time.

The human anatomy in virtual reality. (Image: Microsoft HoloLens)

According to a 2006 research by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers entitled ‘A Meta-Analysis of the Training Effectiveness of Virtual Reality Surgical Simulators’, virtual reality simulation in the transference of skills “reduces the time and the errors in the performance of a given surgical task, and, furthermore, it can clearly differentiate between the less experienced and the experienced trainees among its users.” The research concluded that with the incorporation of AI components in VR simulations, the simulators will likely ‘prove to be very effective tools for training in the skills necessary for surgery and endoscopies.’

Alex Kipman unveils HoloLens 2 at MWC Barcelona. (Image: Microsoft)

The technology has opened a new channel for omnidirectional learning. The Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, Cleveland is pushing the frontiers of VR-based learning, setting forth the precedent of the new, evolved educational method. 

In collaboration with Microsoft HoloLens, the CWRU is spearheading education and training in mixed reality. Through its revolutionary new VR apparatus, the HoloLens 2, Microsoft helped students of medicine understand anatomy better through mixed reality simulations, learn faster and score up to 50% more while retaining more knowledge.

VR-based training is finding diverse applications, all the way from NASA to your local Walmart because using a headset is not rocket science.

A Walmart employee trains on an Oculus Go VR Headset. (Image: Walmart)

Since 2018, Walmart outlets across America have utilised over 17,000 Oculus Go VR headsets for training employees with Strivr training modules that simulate the high-stake, high-rush environment of Black Friday, equipping staff with the knowledge to assess and pre-empt the chaos that will ensue, along with the means to take charge of the situation. 

VR means the workforce may never have to step into uncharted territory.

VR is ready. Are we?

The UX Connections View

Chris SainsburyChris Sainsbury
Managing Director

At UX Connections we’re certainly ready. The training solutions discussed in this article all require slick and easy to use user interfaces – whether in VR, AR, app or web. We’re experts in analysing your requirements as a product owner or HR manager, and putting the user first when designing a system that meets your needs. If you need help finding out how virtual reality training can fit your organisation, please get in touch.

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