Did you know that virtual reality is a perfect method to train both employees and students and properly prepare them for critical or complex situations that they might face in real situations? This technology has long gone beyond video game experiences, and now its possibilities have become endless. Currently, many companies both in the industrial sector and in the services sector are betting on virtual reality technologies to train their workers taking advantage of the immersive opportunities to “learn by doing” they offer. A revolution in an area that until now has been unattractive and static for employees.
There are certain complex tasks and situations in which training can generate high costs as well as a danger to both the apprentice and the people who depend on their work being done correctly. We refer, for example, to the personnel in charge of aviation maintenance or to healthcare professionals, such as cardiologists who in some cases have to work for many years until they become experts regarding the recognition and treatment of rare and serious diseases in real patients. VR technology can offer these types of professionals new methods to gain experience, for example, showing the problem in 3D to understand it more deeply and learn to treat it more accurately.
Likewise, virtual reality is presented as a safe, efficient and profitable training system, in dangerous tasks, among other aspects, because it makes it possible to perform more training repetitions than in traditional training methods. For this reason, it allows users to face virtual situations more similar to those that occur in real life and with this, people get to keep their skills learning from experience without practically incurring no cost to the company.
Nowadays companies want their workers to learn better and faster. A fundamental aspect to have experts who are well trained and know how to act when the system fails is that they learn from experience so that they can understand why the systems act as they do, instead of simply memorizing knowledge through books or procedure manuals. In this sense, virtual reality training offers a shortcut, for its ability to simulate realistic experiences so that the user has the feeling of living it in the first person. In this way, it avoids incurring material and personal costs when faced with dangerous situations that can end even with death, such as dealing with a fire or transporting dangerous chemicals.
Virtual reality: faster, safer and lower cost training
The benefits of VR are not based solely on saving money or time, but on different points that have already been discussed and can be summarized as:
- Better learning: Most research that analyzes the effectiveness of the use of this technology has observed that it has the capacity to guarantee better results than many traditional learning methods. It decreases the time needed to learn and the number of user errors, in addition to expanding the skills acquired.
- Isolation of distractions: By providing a virtual reality experience with headphones, employees are more likely to be more committed to the content and much more difficult for them to be distracted, for example, with their mobile devices.
- Increase knowledge retention: It has been shown that VR training makes it easier for workers to retain what they have learned better, since it is generally more memorable, that is, it makes it possible to maintain knowledge longer than traditional training methods. Numerous experts express that memory retention in subjects tends to be greater in those who have had a virtual reality experience than in cases where the learning materials used have been books or videos.
- Shared stages: The RV allows collaboration between several users in the same virtual scenario, so it is an effective option for those tasks in which its members have to coordinate and work together.
- Rapid Return on Investment (ROI): Hardware costs, computing power and memory continue to fall, which makes this type of virtual training applications increasingly cost reasonable.
It can reduce the number of occupational accidents: Practical training is essential to simulate real-life work situations, without exposing workers to any risk. The RV has proven to be a technology that can effectively increase workplace safety.
Major brands such as Walmart, Volkswagen or NASA have already joined the training of employees through virtual reality. But if you are a small or medium-sized company (SME) is it worth adopting these types of technologies in your company? The answer is a resounding yes. According to a study by 2021 conducted by Capterra, “1 out of every 3 SMEs in the US. will be testing virtual reality employee training programs and, as a result, their new hires will reach total productivity 50% faster as a result”.
Undoubtedly, virtual reality is overcoming many obstacles that existed so far when offering training to employees and has proven to be a highly effective solution in Industry 4.0.