The cost of VR has decreased rapidly over the span of a few years, and we're betting you've seen a VR world at least once, perhaps at a convention or via a techy friend. Well, businesses are already using it to train their staff in certain sectors while others are investing in it. So with this new reality emerging along with a rise home working and fast-paced society, is virtual reality becoming our new reality?
Who's using it and why?
Right now for many industries, there's a need to train employees safely and efficiently, with home-working being prominent and the size of businesses fluctuating, VR suits this period in time very well. Moreover, companies that most of us already use are investing in VR, such as Facebook, with their VR headset brand Oculus being among the most popular brands on the market. So with that being said, which businesses have already adopted this type of learning and what are they training their learners on?
Walmart has trained over a million people with VR. Their most popular module “The Pickup Tower,” simulates a kiosk that lets customer pick up orders. Trainees receive instructions on how to operate the virtual machine and receive immediate feedback when mistakes are made. Walmart report that their previous training (in person) took an entire day, but with VR it's a mere 15 minutes with no drop in efficiency.
Verizon has built a module to train call-centre employees on how to de-escalate conversations with angry customers. Learners get to practise speaking and listening as a conversation becomes increasingly tense. (Definitely better virtually) According to Verizon, VR increased the effectiveness and consistency of the training and reduced the time it took from 10 hours per person to just 30 minutes.
BP is using Virtual reality to train employees on start-up and emergency exit procedures at its oil refinery in Hull, UK. Similarly, UPS will begin training delivery drivers using virtual reality headsets by showing simulations of roads and hazards.
Is it useful for all training?
So many companies are using VR, but is it suitable for the kind of training you need? Viar360 thinks it's great for manual tasks, but currently a poor fit for honing soft skills as VR suits hands-on training as exhibited by Walmart, BP and UPS.
But demand for soft-skills training has increased. For instance, improving customer service like Verizon, and boosting managerial skills. Not only that, but studies have shown the use of using VR for improving presentation skills (not just because it's less scary, but it's a lot cheaper to use VR than assemble a room full of real people!).
It's also important to remember that necessity is the mother of invention - and since home working, need for communication, need for onboarding, and need for quicker training are all in demand, VR can easily step up to fulfil these needs. In fact, companies like Uptale.io is already doing it.
The benefits of VR data
Unlike face to face learning or even current e-learning, VR comes with a host of analytics that can help both edTech and learners with their training. For example, VR can monitor physiological responses like eye movement, heart rate and fatigue - keeping learners feeling engaged and offering to stop training if they feel tired or ill.
Training platforms will also have the benefit of seeing which courses aren't resonating with learners and be able to refine them. So if your course on accounting is causing VR participants to lose focus, maybe chuck in a quiz, add more colour, or perhaps a meme or two.
At myskillcamp we offer many types of training, which you can pick from our marketplace, and build yourself! From eBooks, quizzes, videos, podcasts and much more. We're constantly looking to include more methods of learning and perhaps VR is next on our list... 🤔
If you're interested in the courses we offer, how to build your own, or even how your business could look like with an engaging training hub, book a free personalised demo today.