Would you agree that as a society, we have gotten very used to consuming information digitally? We spend so much time on our digital devices, that being presented with information on paper or a lengthy verbal lecture can be jarring. Why is it then that so many businesses are still using outdated approaches like reading manuals and classroom learning to educate employees? You can get the same results or better by immersing them in a virtual environment!
As a company that has been involved in the development of numerous immersive training apps, we have seen firsthand the value and convenience that they add to a business, and we are ready to demonstrate it with examples from all over the world and various industries.
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How Immersive Training Works
Immersion in apps is created with the help of xR (extended reality) technologies — augmented reality, mixed reality, and virtual reality. What they all have in common is creating an interactive experience for users with the help of digital elements, but the hardware used for them varies, as does the level of immersion.
Augmented Reality Training
Augmented reality uses a camera (usually on a smartphone or pair of smartglasses) to scan and analyze the setting around the user. It then overlays digital elements, so the user sees both at the same time. For example, a digital piece of machinery will be placed on a flat surface and scaled to proportion.
Virtual Reality Training
Virtual reality is the term most familiar to people, with the simplest concept. Users wear a headset and see a fully virtual world, only digital elements. This is the highest level of immersion of the three technologies. The most popular products in this category are the Oculus lineup (Rift, Go, Quest), HTC Vive, Samsung Gear, and Playstation VR.
Mixed Reality Training
Mixed reality brings a higher level of immersion than AR because users wear a headset that takes up their full field of view, and see a merging of real-world settings with 3D models and animation. In other words, you no longer need to focus on a screen and see everything at once. At the moment, MR is mostly used in devices that support Windows Mixed Reality, such as Hololens (1&2) and headsets from HP and Acer.
Which Industries Are Already Using Immersive Training?
Nowadays, you can see immersive training being used in all corners of the world and numerous industries. Below are some examples:
The automaker Ford is using an internal VR training tool (delivered in partnership with Bosch) to train technicians working with the Mustang Mach-E. The tool allows specialists to quickly navigate between modules of the vehicle and learn to spot issues that need fixing.
DHL, one of the world’s biggest shipping providers, opted to improve warehouse workers’ safety knowledge with VR. They replaced a written training program with a game-like VR experience mimicking standard work procedures that carry some risk. As a result, the company managed to improve the speed of training and reduce the number of workplace injuries.
KLM is a highly respected name in the aviation industry. While many know the airline as a provider of comfort, it is also driving innovation. KLM has developed and implemented virtual education programs both for cabin crew and pilots. The former are taught how to respond in emergency situations, while the latter get acquainted with the cockpit and its controls. This approach has proved very effective, and gives more experience than any other method, short of physical and in-person interactions. To that note, Program-Ace has also found a creative use for the technology. Read more below.
Aircraft Engine VR Training — Explore Our Latest Portfolio Project
Program-Ace designed a VR training simulator that promotes mastery of jet engine assembly. Now technicians can move/modify any part of a real engine and learn proper procedures. This is in stark contrast to physically training with engines, which is burdensome and takes much longer.
Cedars Senai Medical Center in California took an unusual approach to training doctors in the era of Covid — with VR simulations. The simulation focused on new medical procedures specific to the pandemic, such as checking patient symptoms while wearing protective gear and performing CPR in the same conditions. This approach was a big success and allowed over 300 doctors to pick up new skills in a matter of months while maintaining social distance.
The production of the Orion spacecraft by Lockheed Martin is well underway, and the company has turned to the mixed reality platform Hololens to improve the development process in multiple ways. The immersive experience automated processes like measuring & planning work, recording progress, and responding to alerts. The systems where the software was used experienced a 0% failure rate and eliminated half the cost of assembly.
Walmart, one of the biggest store chains in North America has embraced VR in a big way. They have invested in over 17K Oculus Go headsets and used them to train over 1 million employees in cashier operations. As a result, they were able to boost worker engagement and improve test scores by up to 15%.
ATT is perhaps one of the biggest VR enthusiast companies around today. They have integrated the technology with their business in many ways, developing multiple apps for various projects and staff categories. For example, they recently created an application teaching technicians to properly align satellite dishes with high precision. The company named cost reduction and avoidance as the main benefits, as well as improving worker retention. Additionally, training time was reduced by an estimated 40%.
Looking to The Future of Immersive Training
Whether or not immersive training apps become a mainstay in all businesses is yet to be seen, but for now, the benefits of using them are clear. XR training apps can:
- Reduce training time
- Make “hands-on” learning safer
- Eliminate training supply needs
- Be accessed remotely
- Improve retention of knowledge and skills
- Boost worker engagement
Every day, I see more and more businesses flocking to VR, AR, MR solutions, and the buzz just keeps growing. Considering how much the technology has allowed them to innovate and reinvigorate their business, I only hope that those who have not hopped on board this trend yet heed the call. Otherwise, they may get left behind the market.
How to Develop Immersive Training
One of the biggest obstacles faced by businesses that want to create an AR/VR/MR training solution is uncertainty over how it can be done. This makes sense, considering most businesses do not house a team of software developers and designers, or even anyone familiar with creating immersive apps.
Nevertheless, these limitations are quite superficial, since companies have other options available to them, such as hiring needed specialists or working with a development partner. A reliable partner like Program-Ace can jump into development quickly and get it done much faster than you would starting from scratch, as they have a team at the ready with years of immersive development experience.
All it really takes to get started with us is a message. Feel free to fill out our contact form with a few words about the project, and we will be thrilled to help! You can count on us to turn your vision and selected knowledge into something tangible — an unparalleled and exciting experience that your workers will enjoy and benefit from.
Originally published at https://program-ace.com.