The best type of training is hands-on. On-the-job training offers new employees to truly understand their role and confidently learn how to fulfil it. However, some industries and job roles are far too dangerous or high-risk to enable new employees to learn in a hands-on way. Instead, we revert to more conventional methods like training manuals or PowerPoints, but these are dull and unengaging. What if the was a way to engage your employees whilst learning in the most effective way without any risk? Enter AR and VR.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) can offer businesses a digital environment in which to train their employees. The technology eliminates the risks usually associated with hands-on training techniques because they are working in a simulated environment, therefore, there are no immediate risks to the trainee’s health or any of those involved.
Back in July, Google trailed VR training techniques by asking two teams to learn how to make an espresso, one using a VR, the other by watching YouTube videos. Whilst neither versions of the espressos were particularly amazing, those trained using VR made their cup of coffee quicker and with fewer mistakes than those training using videos.
Virtual learning contributes to a quicker, more efficient learning process. Virtual learning environments encourage interaction and engagement. Trainees are introduced to their workplace environments and become familiar tasks as they are actually carrying them out. VR/AR learning can also present trainees working in high-risk industries with real, potentially dangerous situations they may find themselves in at work. Whilst previous techniques will have informed trainees on how to respond to these situations, simulations will force trainees to react and resolve to them, building their confidence with the appropriate equipment and procedures.
Reality technologies have evolved over the past year. Simulations are becoming more realistic meaning experiences are more immersive and effective. Users can learn at their own pace as the software can provide instructions on demand. The learning can be adapted to an individual’s schedule or goals, ensuring that the training is time-efficient and effective.
One issue some businesses have with leveraging the training opportunities presented by AR and VR is the initial cost. The effectiveness of the training means long-term cost will decrease, but from our experience, lack of confidence or awareness makes businesses unwilling or unprepared to invest in the up-front costs. Luckily, as people begin to understand the opportunities presented by the technology, technology companies enter the market, therefore, cheaper headset alternatives become available. Take Google Cardboard for example, Google have developed a VR headset literally made out of cardboard retailing at just over £10 – and this isn’t even the cheapest headset available.
Whilst the cost of developing the programme may be more expensive, the long-term benefits, including cost reduction, are undeniable. Due to the increase in engagement time spent on training significantly decreases. Using customer data, VR Star confirmed that a 24-month training programme can decrease by around 8 months.
With IDC’s predicting global spending on AR and VR to double each year through to 2021, the capabilities of the software will increase. More businesses will begin to consider just what this technology can do for their business, including improving training techniques. Early adopters of the technology will stay ahead of the trend, discovering innovative usage of the technology and set themselves ahead of competitors.
Get in touch with B60 to discover what AR and VR can do for you.