Here are the videos of the demos from the presenters from our Training Webinar:
You can watch the recording of our Webinar here
Here are the videos of the demos from the presenters from our Training Webinar:
You can watch the recording of our Webinar here
Register for our upcoming webinar expert panel with Intel, Sentireal, and others here
Join us at our upcoming Summits, see here
A New Year is a good time for reflection on past achievements and setting new goals for the incoming year. The VRARA Training Committee is pleased to highlight the various activities that we completed in 2018 and give a preview of what we hope to achieve in 2019.
During 2018 we significantly increased the number of VRARA members contributing to the work of the Training Committee. We now have over 100 representatives making contributions via our conference calls and team collaboration tools. The Committee compiled and released a comprehensive white paper on best practices for VR/AR based training. We also released an extensive survey on how the training ecosystem is using and will use VR/AR devices, software and media to deliver enterprise training in a variety of market sectors. The outcomes and results of these two initiatives were presented to the wider VRARA community at the previous VR/AR Global Summit. Training Committee members also contributed to a training-specific panel session held as part of the same event.
In 2018 our Committee also shared and showcased several training-related projects, use cases and applications developed by our member organisations through the VRARA news channel and blog posts. We also delivered several presentations in the Training track of the previous VRARA Online Symposium.
Overall, we’re incredibly pleased with the achievements made by our Committee over the previous 12 months. We feel that we’ve made great progress in sharing and promoting best practices, new applications, experiences, projects and products related to VR/AR based training. In 2019 we have a series of goals that we want to realise. Our next VR/AR Training Webinar is coming up on 16th January 2019 and we are determined to make that our most successful online event yet. We are working on gathering together a library of VR/AR training app demos that can be showcased at VRARA-sponsored events. New and updated white papers on VR/AR training best practices and how to maximise return-on-investment from VR/AR training are in the pipeline. We also have an ongoing initiative with our colleagues in the Education Committee on areas of common interest.
We look forward to 2019 and would encourage you to join the VRARA Training Committee to build a stronger and wider ecosystem that delivers higher-quality and more-engaging training through the power of VR and AR.
We plan on growing and expanding the work we’ve done to help build resources, information, and the community for XR training applications. We are looking to host a series of Webinars, starting January 16th, to help introduce key concepts of XR training and to give companies the tools and information they need to begin successful projects in this field. We continue to build upon some great partnerships with training conferences, allowing us the opportunity to showcase XR training applications to an eager audience of corporate trainers, educators, and decision makers. The Training Committee is excited to begin a partnership with the Education Committee to identify areas of commonality and to co-author useful guides and white papers.
Another goal for 2019 is to bring together a library of member demos. Our hope is that a centralized repository of demos will give the Association and its members the opportunity to choose industry or application-specific demos that can spark a much more targeted conversation about how XR training applies to any given field. Over the past years, we have understood the power and necessity of showing quality, relevant demos, and this collaboration will help members and the community at large in understanding the impact that XR can have on enterprise training.
If you are interested in being featured in this report or sponsor it, email firstname.lastname@example.org for details!
The VR/AR Association Training Committee is working on this industry report that will feature companies specializing in VR/AR for Training solutions. This report will be published in Q1 of 2019 and promoted to the industry globally.
Thank to our Sponsor!
HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society. With the broadest technology portfolio, HP delivers solutions for customers’ most complex challenges in every region of the world and gives businesses new ways to create, design, experience, and train with VR. Learn more here
Register for our upcoming webinar, “The Impact and ROI of VR/AR in Training” here
Join us at our upcoming Summits! Sign up here
If you are interested in being featured in this report or sponsor it, email email@example.com for details!
The VR/AR Association Training Committee is working on this industry report that will feature companies specializing in VR/AR for Training solutions. This report will be published in Jan 2019 and promoted to the industry globally.
The immersive technologies of virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) are poised to disrupt training in all sectors including corporate, healthcare, manufacturing, and education to name a few. This is a bold statement but one supported by the psychology and brain science of learning. Traditional approaches to training rely heavily on text, or one-off expert demonstrations and predominantly engage one learning system in the brain. This is the cognitive skills learning system that recruits the prefrontal cortex and relies heavily on working memory and attention.
Importantly, this system is not fully developed until one is in their mid 20s, begins to decline in middle age, and is negatively impacted by stress, pressure, and anxiety making this a fragile and suboptimal learning system. Immersive approaches, on the other hand, broadly engage multiple learning systems in the brain in synchrony including experiential, emotional, behavioral and cognitive systems that recruit many brain regions including occipital, temporal, parietal and frontal cortical regions. This broad-based synchronous engagement of brain-based learning systems leads to a powerful sense of “presence”, strong initial learning and enhanced long-term retention. Because many of these systems are less affected by age and stress, learning is more consistent across individuals and situations.
As Einstein said, “Learning is an experience. Everything else is just information.” Experience is at the heart of immersive training, whereas information is at the heart of traditional training. Our society is in desperate need of high-quality training. Training approaches are ripe for disruption and immersive technologies meet this need.
— Todd Maddox, Ph.D., Founder and CEO, Cognitive Design & Statistical Consulting
Featured companies already include:
Concurrent Technologies Corporation
ONE Digital Consulting
Other Companies (see infographic below)
RSVP for our next webinar with a live Q&A!
“The Impact and ROI of VR/AR in Training”
Expert Panel Moderated by Raj Puran, Intel
Jan 16, 2019
Participate in our Training Committee here
Carlos J. Ochoa firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff Meador email@example.com
Shai Newman firstname.lastname@example.org (Skill Real)
Marlo Brooke email@example.com
Examples featured in this publication include:
INNVESTION is a VR/AR Platform for Industry Base Training Simulation by ONE Digital
Electrical Safety Certification In Virtual Reality by SkillReal
Hotel Customer Service Training by Portico
Augmented Reality Maintenance Aid (ARMA) by AVATAR Partners
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” Albert Einstein
New technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence are rapidly changing people's jobs and lives. Technology will likely change many of the existing jobs, requiring workers and companies to adjust. While maybe only one in seven jobs may be lost to automation, many others will change significantly. OECD suggests in their study (2018), that around 14% of all jobs across 32 countries analyzed have a high risk of automation, 32% of existing jobs may experiment significant changes to how they are carried out.
In the other hand, and according the OECD study, It is now essential to ensure that schools prepare students for a world in which they will constantly be adjusting to new technologies, new business models, and new ways of working. People, including young people, need to be equipped with the type of skills that will allow on average 25 job changes throughout their lives.
Therefore, learning systems will need to adapt to the changes brought about by automation and teach students that allow them to take full advantage of the current wave of technology adoption. This includes skills such as cognitive and social intelligence but also extends to the skills needed to work effectively in a digital context, both as specialists and users of digital technologies.
Carlos J. Ochoa (ONE Digital Consulting) firstname.lastname@example.org
New technologies are an emerging industry creating employment opportunities and entrepreneurial possibilities. According to projections set out by the European Commission, market demands for qualified information and communications technology (ICT) specialists will not be met, seeing a shortfall of up to 500,000 ICT professionals in 2020. Virtual and augmented reality solutions are amongst those with some of the highest market demand in the ICT sector.
Skills, and skills development, are an essential component of all efforts in this challenging society. Too many workers are simply unprepared to meet the needs of firms, particularly in more competitive economic environments.
New skills development for more complex jobs. Technicians need to be proficient and continue to change rapidly as tasks become more complex. Find the right info at the right moment. Technicians need fast access to all info to take fast and complex decisions.
High Training cost. Time, resources, maintaining and quality standards.
High Digitalization cost (paper, no automatization processes, decisión taking.
Data integration and maintenance. Manuals, documents, files…
Data visualization. Format, devices, availability, usability
Risk and performance. New complex and unpredictable situations. Actions based training methodology.
Quality, standards and sustainability
Expensive or difficult hand on practice (no experimental, no real world scenarios…)
Difficult assessment process.
Most of existing solutions are isolated, expensive and not VRAR designed. Also have a gap about learning processes, methodology and instructional approach.
Industry 4.0 is the of automation information and data exchange in manufacturing technologies.
Enhanced productivity through optimization and automation
Provide real-time data and information for real-time decision makers
Business continuity through advanced maintenance and monitoring possibilities
Higher quality products as a result of real-time monitoring and technology convergence
Better working conditions and superior sustainability
Engineers with the right skills, with excellent experience and experimental training, are the demands in the industry worldwide has become acute.
The need for efficient and effective workforce training and operation in the industry worldwide has become acute. VR/AR technology is the most efficient and fastest way to educate new employees and prepare them for their daily work. In the other hand, thanks to VR/AR and digital information, technicians can focus in operation & maintenance task enables them to cut down on time spent on administrative tasks, significantly increasing productivity.
VR/AR and Simulation-based training also helps increase professionals confidence because they can practice procedures until they master them. Further, trainees become more aware of safety procedures because they have to follow them in the simulations.
Reducing Training cost. Experiential training based on VRAR give real-time feedback and improve the efficiency of skills transfer, increased knowledge retention.
Reducing delays & mistakes. Using collaborative VR/AR and digital documentation, we can integrate “all in one”. Minimizing time to action in decisión taking providing technicians the complete background on an asset, detailing all historical data and repairs to quickly perform the task in hand.
Improving Safety. Dangerous or difficult to replicate scenarios can be safely simulated with VRAR. This allows monitors to repeatedly practice critical or unpredictable scenarios while preventing damage to equipment and persons.
Improving quality, and standards. Experiential Training through VRAR actively participation in the activities obtaining higher retention rates. VRAR training allows employees to receive hands on training, in a virtual environment. This prevents expensive down time and disruptions in normal operations
Improving assessment process. Monitors can create specific complex situations to be resolved, where Technicians will deal with different task according their role or responsibility. They will be evaluated based on their performance on the relevant work items. This information can be integrated with the company’s internal record keeping systems for certification and/or administrative action.
Improving preventive maintenance. Integrating applications such as electronic job sheets and work orders, on-site workers are now able to focus on the task in hand while using VRAR with tablets or smartphones. This enables them to cut down on time spent at the end of each day on administrative tasks, significantly increasing productive-time.
Faster and better decisions. Decision-making processes are shortened and problems, as well as defects, can be resolved quickly and efficiently
Imagine a solution, that deploy an intelligent VR/AR ecosystem with the specialized know-how to turn unstructured data into value-adding information, e.g. when providing services such as preventive maintenance, security management or operational management.
INNVESTION is an innovative platform for training, operation and maintenance of plant services, which includes advanced reality technologies in immersive environments (extened reality, 360º video), methodologies in a modular architecture (on/off line).
A cloud platform will allow users to download the different modules. For a full INNVESTION experience, the user only needs a mobile device and VR glasses that fit the device. The training centre will need an internet connection to download modules, and these can be accessed offline, only needing a connection to update new content.
INNVESTION can be used from a single “low cost” VR device based on Samsung Gear Mobile VR, through the most advanced VR Oculus Rift, HTC Vive configuration.
Simulation-based training, prefaced with traditional training methods on process fundamentals, is the most efficient and fastest way to train new employees and prepare them for their daily work providing huge added value and benefits:
Faster project execution, commissioning and ”time to market“ through improved collaboration
Cost savings through consistent plant information available at all times
Higher plant availability, integrating real time data and 3d visualization
Safe and efficient plant operations
Creating a lasting impact on people’s behavior:
A fortune 100 company has asked SkillReal to provide a Virtual Reality experience to certify and drive thousands of employees around the world to safe conduct in a critical electrical work.
The solution was built on the foundation of the SkillReal Virtual Reality for Training platform. It’s major components are:
Four detailed scenarios: Introduction to the Virtual Reality environment; Standard Electrical Safety procedure scenario; Advanced “what-if” scenario; Infrared scanning scenario.
Effective user feedback: real-time feedback to trainees during the mission, and detailed personalized feedback with key critical error highlighting at the end of each scenario.
Integration: with client pre-test and post-test activities – to analyze and measure the impact of the practice scenarios.
Valuable Analytics: Detailed user performance tracking and analytics, recording all user actions, time taken to perform task and mission, interactions with objects and more.
Together with the client, we were able to create an unparalleled authentic user experience in Virtual Reality, with a strong sense of realism – changing a standard regulatory training requirement into a game-changing and powerful practice.
Based on SkillReal’s powerful Virtual Reality platform, the project was delivered in a very quick turn-around, with two first content packages being released with just 10 weeks, and two more released 10 weeks later.
The project leveraged SkillReal’s multi-disciplinary capabilities of Instructional Design, UX and UI in Virtual Reality expertise, a world-class 3D studio, and a creative and dedicated team of developers, QA and project management people.
“It’s super exciting work. Breaking new ground is never easy and it’s great to be partnering with you. I have endless respect for your team’s attention to detail and dedication to quality.” Senior client expert on the project
A major hotel brand didn’t have the bandwidth to provide consistent training for new employees in many customer-focused areas. They wanted to ensure that new employees interacted with guests in way that not only followed correct procedure but also adhered to brand standards. They wanted to provide more interactivity and practice than a mere shadowing experience for new hires, but could not rely on having trainers or senior staff available.
Portico recreated select hotel experiences inside Virtual Reality. Learners spoke directly to digital avatars of hotel guests in order to practice and master their conversational skills. These virtual guests were powered by Portico’s TrueTalk AI, allowing them to respond with natural conversation, creating a truly immersive and realistic experience that was immediately transferrable to the workplace. Furthermore, a Virtual Trainer (also powered by AI) listened in on the conversation, providing immediate feedback if the learner deviated from established procedures or brand messaging.
The training was considered a success by both the hotel and its employees. Employees were able to practice their skills without the need for any supervision. The hotel noticed a decrease in training time along with an increase of confidence for new hires. As a result, new hires were able to enter the shift rotation faster and did so with fewer hiccups along the way.
One other added benefit was the general level of excitement from the new hires. They exhibited a genuine enthusiasm towards trying the training; the training itself became a fun “water cooler” topic for people to discuss. Some of the existing staff insisted on trying it to see what they were missing out on!
The full results can be seen here:
Marlo Brooke, President and CEO, Avatar Partners (email@example.com)
Aircraft Readiness is a number one priority for both military and commercial aviation. Maintenance task troubleshooting and execution time and error rates are significant aircraft readiness degraders.
An additional stressor occurs when an organization must extend the life of its equipment; in some cases, 10-20 years beyond an aircraft’s expected life. This puts unanticipated strain on systems and structures, resulting in excessive down time for repairs. In some cases, 40%-50% of the inventory of a platform are unusable at any point in time.
Maintenance errors are a leading cause of inventory down time. For example, a mistake made on a fuel cell replacement can result in an aircraft being down for 6 months or longer, driving enormous cost, and risk to global safety. Even the best training tools can reduce errors down to 75%, but today’s economic and global situation require something better. Aerospace needs a training solution that can be used on the job, and produce zero errors.
AVATAR Partners was approached by a community of maintainers to address a common issue in one fixed wing aircraft, which was a Wiring issue (specifically, the Left Main Landing Gear Planing Link Proximity Switch Fail).
The problem was complex:
• The task required 3 non-integrated sources (IETM, Wire Illuminator, Schematic)
• Tasks to gain access to test points was not identified
• Wire Illuminator visuals did not include installed components
• Poor wire illuminator visuals cause confusion in wiring orientation
• Visuals did not show necessary connection points
• Time intensive testing and strict time constraints
To address the issue, AVATAR Partners used a standard Criticality, Difficulty, Frequency (CDF) analysis model to identify the optimal training solution; clearly, an advanced solution that would allow the maintainer to get assistance without leaving the job itself, was critical.
AVATAR researched all training technologies available, and designed a Mixed Reality solution, which combines both Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. At the time, most Augmented Reality solutions relied on the use of markers or codes to identify the object. AVATAR joined the Vuforia VIP program and developed the Augmented Reality Maintenance Aid (ARMA), and worked with the vendor to develop an advanced object tracking system that would lock on target based on the shape of the object itself (using CAD data). Furthermore, most AR solutions had the issue of drift or jitter when dealing with a large object, such as an aircraft. The maintainer must be able to walk around the aircraft without any shift or jitter; if not, the maintainer loses all confidence in the solution. AVATAR Partners was able to eliminate shift and jitter entirely, regardless of the object size.
ARMA is a Mixed Reality industrial-grade training and job performance aid, useable under unpredictable environmental conditions. The results are as follows:
ARMA Reduces Time to Troubleshoot by 75%
With lock-on Object Tracking and elimination of drift/jitter, ARMA gains 100% confidence of the maintainer
Because ARMA is configurable, it can be designed to support any aircraft platform type
ARMA is scalable, allowing the maintainer to train in any environment, with or without the aircraft, or with a scaled down model, through the use of object tracking
ARMA is “Two for the price of One” - can be used in both training and on the job
ARMA is a hardware-agnostic and integrates with flight-ready glasses today
Increases the number of Ready Aircraft
Modular, extensible, integrates with any backend system, and allows multi-user collaboration
ARMA offers remote assistance which allows remote Subject Matter Experts to view, guide and record users remotely through steps and processes.
The AVATAR Team has developed other MR solutions that reduce cost and errors throughout the manufacturing process. Another example is the assembly of large, complex ships, where our team developed a Mixed Reality solution that Quality Assurance Time on Task by 90% while Eliminating Errors to Zero. Our ever-present objective, Simplifying Complex Systems™, is a success story that keeps growing.
RSVP for the Training Webinar here (click on Upcoming)
At Sentireal, we create software and media platforms that turn mobile devices and
headsets into smart assistants. These assistants deliver training and guidance using VR/AR technologies, blended with artificial intelligence (AI). This combination provides "personal immersive learning" - personalised immersive content and continuous background assessment of learning progress.
Scheduled for Jan 16th 12pm est
Our Training Committee has organized an expert panel that will present the latest use cases, best practices, and ROI on VR/AR in Training
Marlo Brooke of Avatar Partners
Jeff Meador of Portico
David Trainor of Sentireal
Carlos J. Ochoa of ONE Digital
Others (if interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org)
RSVP for the Training Webinar here (click on Upcoming)
VRARA Webinars host industry thought-leaders on various topics. During these live webinars (webcasts/panels/symposiums) we have a live Q&A with the attendees. These Webinars are attended live by 100-800 people, and 1000s watch the recordings.
In addition, our last Online Conference had 75 speakers and 10,000 viewers. See more info here
See our Webinars page here http://www.thevrara.com/webinars
Jeff Meador is the Founder of Portico.ai and Co-Chair of the VRARA Training Committee. He joins VRARA's Storyteller Davar Ardalan to talk about the impact VR and AR are making on enterprise training. Meador says whether used as part of new or existing training programs, the inclusion of immersive technology is the new gold standard of training excellence. VR and AR give learners the opportunity to learn, try, experiment, and succeed on their own without the need for extensive setup, cost, or physical risk.
The VRARA Training Committee recently conducted an industry survey to get a sense of major use cases for VR, AR and MR. What industries are benefiting most today and what are some of the use cases?
The benefits we’re seeing are more use-case focused than industry focused, although the mechanical, medical, and safety/ security industries have all seen fantastic applications of this technology. Some of the strongest early successes we’re seeing from VR training come from two general use cases: observational training and mechanical training.
For observational training, VR is great for letting people assess a situation and environment and identify potential problems or hazards. This could include identifying safety concerns at a construction site or noticing areas of a restaurant that need attention before the doors open for the day.
Mechanical training, on the other hand, involves some sort of precision manual operation. This could be assembling a motor, performing knee surgery, or diagnosing problems with an electrical grid.
We’re starting to see the industry expand from here. Companies are starting to use immersive training for more leadership and management skills, sales training, and reinforcing corporate culture.
VR tends to prepare people to do a task. People learn how to operate equipment, assemble parts, and assess situations. They practice in VR so that when they encounter the situation on the job, they’re prepared.
AR tends to assist people in doing a task, so it’s more of a just-in-time training model. Companies are using AR to pull up schematics or instructions during part assembly, provide directions around a complicated warehouse, or to allow a remote instructor or expert to see what they’re seeing and provide guidance.
Have you seen any research from the employee vantage point? VR training might be more efficient in the long-run but is there a danger of employees missing out on company culture?
The way VR training is being used right now still gives employees a lot of opportunity to learn about company culture. The introduction of VR into a training program doesn’t eliminate some of the classroom-based training that happens, so great discussions about company culture, brand, and values are still happening in organizations with a strong VR training program.
VR can be instrumental in reinforcing certain aspects of corporate culture. For example, some companies have made 360 videos to give employees a better understanding of their customers and what makes their product special.
Some other research points that we’ve seen are very compelling. Employees are a lot more engaged with the learning when presented in VR and AR. They find the content to be very relevant to their skill development and are seeing a quicker transfer of skills. More importantly, retention rates skyrocket during interactive VR sessions, with some studies showing as much as a 400% improvement.
At Portico, we’ve been working with neural scientists on the way the adult brain learns. We have a white paper out that details a lot of the science behind how the brain responds to VR differently than traditional classroom or computer-based training.
Tell us more about your company Portico.ai and focus on VR for training.
We’re focused on developing tools for soft-skills and leadership training inside VR. Our cornerstone product is our TrueTalk AI, which is a cloud-based service that lets learners talk directly to digital avatars in Virtual Reality. We’re seeing a lot of use for this technology across the board. Role play is part of many trainings, ranging from customer service to leadership and management. This has always been an effective form of learning, but one that’s inconsistently applied. Not all learners get to participate, and the situations and feedback vary greatly from experience to experience. We’ve made it possible to deliver consistent role play scenarios with effective feedback on performance.
We’re developing some of these experiences in-house and also partnering with a variety of companies that are integrating our speech technology into their products and offerings.
How are you integrating artificial intelligence as part of your VR training experiences?
Artificial Intelligence is central to everything we do. We come at it from two main points. First, we have our AI that moves the conversation forward. So when the learner speaks, the digital avatar responds quickly and with relevant information. The avatars respond not only to what was said but how it was said. We’re diving into some of the nuance of language and how that can relate to business processes as well as organizational brands and values. Which leads me to the second layer of AI: our virtual trainer. During the conversation, a virtual trainer is constantly listening. If the virtual trainer recognizes an area where the learner deviates from process, best practices, or brand messaging, the virtual trainer can pause the scenario and offer immediate feedback on ways to improve the conversation.
Davar Ardalan is the founder and storyteller in chief of IVOW, an AI-powered storytelling agency and Stanford Affiliate. Ardalan co-chairs the Stories and Audiences Committee of the VR/AR Association, and has been recognized with a 2017 NASA Team Leadership award for Space Apps, a Gracie Award from the American Women in Radio and Television and a shout-out in the popular comic strip Zippy.
The VRARA Training Committee are conducting an initial industry survey to capture the industrial landscape for one of the major use cases for Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality – namely training and development of employees. The survey is still open for respondents, so if you haven’t taken the survey yet then please do so by following this link. It’ll only take 5-10 minutes of your time and provide valuable insight into how VR, AR and MR is becoming an integral part of industry-based training.
A number of interesting trends are emerging from the survey responses received to date. In this article we’ll focus on two of the survey questions that demonstrate these early trends within the respondent’s answers.
What sorts of activity do you think will most benefit from VR/AR/MR training? (Check all that apply)
Clearly the early survey respondents feel that manual skills and mechanical/industrial operations will especially benefit from VR/AR/MR based training, with the realistic simulation capability of VR and the interactive real-time guidance provided by AR/MR being particularly relevant. However, although process-driven activities scored particularly highly on this question, creative activities such as art and precision crafts also feature strongly, indicating that VR/AR/MR based training does have a role in activities that are not necessarily driven by process and compliance.
What are weaknesses of VR/AR/MR for training? (Check all that apply)
Understanding where the perceived weaknesses or deficiencies lie in current forms of VR/AR/MR training is key to addressing those issues in future versions of the training technologies. Clearly the early survey respondents feel that cost is still the major barrier to introducing or increasing the use of VR/AR/MR within training programs. Reduction in headset costs and innovative business models around content access should help to address this. Availability of the technology has also been highlighted as an obvious weakness, suggesting that hardware providers should consider future manufacturing and distribution processes and software providers should consider subscription and distribution models beyond the “app store” format. Resistance to chance is also highlighted as an issue, suggesting that the efforts of the VRARA Training Committee in evangelizing and promoting VR/AR/MR training are still well-placed!
The survey will remain open for a few weeks so, if you haven’t had the opportunity to capture your thoughts and opinions on VR/AR/MR training then please follow this link. A fuller article or whitepaper on the complete set of survey results is planned, so keep a lookout for that in the near future!
Email email@example.com with any questions.
Pokemon Go may have brought it mainstream, but augmented reality (AR) is more than just a tool to get kids off the sofa. The technology is finding its way into a number of uses for business, including learning and development.
What exactly is AR and how are companies using it? It's essentially a mix of virtual reality and the real world: your actual location with images or information superimposed into the picture. AR can overlay maps, steps, data and more. It provides instructions, answers questions and, for example, can compare what a worker is doing to specifications for a task, offering input to perform the work correctly.
The technology is already in use at plenty of worksites. Using Google Glass AR headsets, GE Aviation connects mechanics to specifications: as they use their digital torque wrench, the system tells them immediately when they have the exact fit to seal hoses and fluid lines. In healthcare, surgeons and nurses may wear glasses that display a patient’s vital signs in real time as treatment is being administered. In construction, AR can map out plans against the workspace, allowing workers to see what they should be doing in 3D, rather than having to check against blueprints.
Honeywell says it's using the world’s "first and only self-contained holographic computer." A headset that uses Microsoft’s Hololens provides a mixed reality view that gives learners a chance to explore in a combination of the real world and virtual space. "These active learning methods use sight, sound and touch, codifying learning," Vincent Higgins, director of technology and innovation, Honeywell Connected Plant, told HR Dive in an email.
"We are finding that Honeywell’s Skills Insight Immersive Competency, which uses augmented and virtual reality, really boosts retention rates," he said. "Technical staff are better prepared to face the challenges of a constantly changing work environment.”
The tech has certainly caught users' attention. "AR has started out primarily in new customer-facing applications to bring a 'wow' factor to websites or mobile apps," said Christa Manning, vice president of solution provider research for Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP, in an email. It's been used to help shoppers imagine how furniture might look in a home or to show airline frequent travelers how to navigate airport terminals, she told HR Dive. But the tech has moved to address the needs of business.
Early adopters telecom, for example, are using AR to support workers in the field who are servicing remote equipment. "With lots of data being generated by the 'Internet of Things' (IoT) and devices everywhere throwing off information," Manning said. "AR can be critical to help human beings process all of this information in real time and in context."
There are three main "horizontal applications of AR in B2B at the moment," Tuong Nguyen, principal research analyst at Gartner, told HR Dive in an email: "task itemization, collaboration, and see-what-I-see video." Task itemization delineates the steps needed to perform; collaboration gives employees resources and data needed while SWIS allows others to participate in the task from a remote location.
“Augmented Reality and VR represent an innovative alternative to instructor-led training,” John Buzzell, president of You Are Here said in an email to HR Dive. “Both can dramatically reduce training times, improve consistency and enhance recall, leading to higher quality and speed that helps companies retain the employees they spend so much money to recruit.”
For business considering adopting AR, the challenge may be more than just identifying a need. Preparing employees and learners to use the technology can be difficult. "As they bring new AR approaches," said Manning, "learning professionals should consider that this can cause cognitive overload for many users. Having to learn not only a new set of information but also a new tool for conveying the information and adjusting their own ways of working and learning at the same time."
She recommends learning professionals coordinate very closely with IT to make sure they have access to the right hardware, as well as Wi-Fi that can keep up with timely processing of all the data. "Like any new technology or change in the business," she said, 'learning professionals really have to focus on supporting the workers empathetically through the change and market the benefits for the worker as well as the business."
Buzzell suggests that businesses have a solid strategy before implementing new tech: “You must build a solid 'customer experience' for your team, create a framework that makes sense for your organization, and make the transition as smooth as possible," he said. There are resources available, such as professional organizations like the VR/AR Association. He also noted that many device manufacturers or solution providers offer "adoption dollars" that can help companies start the transition to immersive tech.
If it’s deployed properly, adoption may not be solely about teaching staff how to do something differently, Nguyen said; "it’s giving them a tool that makes their job easier/faster/safer.” If an employee has been trying to drive a nail with a shoe and you hand them a hammer, they really don’t have to “learn” how to use it, he said; you’ve simply provided a tool that makes them more effective.
Curiosity may well drive learning, too, Manning noted. “As much as AR can be overwhelming, it can be very powerful to tap into human curiosity and to make learning new things or applying new information more compelling and fun.”
Don’t overlook capitalizing on the novelty of the tech, she said. “Simply trying it out in a pilot or test area will help attract new digital workers and/or ease more hesitant employees into a new area.” But AR must be in the context of a mature and sound workforce support and enablement technology strategy. “Like any new type of technology,” she said, “there will be fits and starts and it will never be the end all be all, but [it] should be part of an overall portfolio focused on productivity.”
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This 20+ pages white paper was written by our Training Committee and industry experts.
The VR and AR landscape is fast evolving and provides benefits across many industry verticals. One of the most widely hailed applications of VR and AR is in Training/ Learning & Development because of the seemingly boundless array of possibilities and benefits compared to traditional training methods.
This document outlines and details a set of best practices, aiming to capture the rapidly-evolving field of VR and AR and its use in training and skills development. It is intended for novices to VR and AR technologies which are knowledgeable in current training methodologies and experienced in the general training market. While this document provides an extensive discussion of current best practices and usages, VR and AR continue to grow organically and rapidly. We encourage you to experiment and push the boundaries of what is currently possible with this technology.
The VRARA Training Committee will ensure this document is current through regular updates every six months.
When people hear about virtual reality (VR), images of a person wearing a headset and holding a gaming console usually come to mind. However, for the education sector, VR is an opportunity to finally connect with both learners and teachers in a novel and meaningful way. For example, EON Reality collaborated with Oral Roberts University to create the Global Learning Center, a dedicated facility for augmented and virtual learning.
As the global executive director of the global VR/AR Association, I've watched our 3,900-plus registered companies and our Education Committee and Training Committee work on best practices, guidelines and standards to accelerate the VR/AR industry for all, one committee in particular being devoted to education and training.
Today, VR can enable experiential learning by simulating real-world environments. Students can test their skills, record their work and interact with experts all within VR. Students have responded overwhelmingly positively to active learner engagement. A recent study shows that "93 percent of teachers say their students would be excited to use virtual reality and 83 percent say that virtual reality might help improve learning outcomes." This points to a universal trend as these students will soon enter universities and then the workforce, where job training scenarios will become the new classroom.
For visual learners and individuals with learning challenges, VR provides an alternative medium to meet their needs. Likewise, educators see increased engagement levels and improved test scores across the board with VR education programs. Hands-on learning techniques like VR education directly contribute to increased cognitive memory.
The benefits of incorporating VR/AR tech into educational experiences include better, more immediate engagement and the opportunity for learners to "feel" the experiences and better remember and express what they learned. A student can experience what was not possible to experience before and become better prepared for when such experiences occur in the real world.
The basic functionality of VR in education is to bring learning to life via a virtual environment. The more a learner is able to participate in life-like engagement, the easier it is to personally feel a connection to the subject material, making it easier for application and retention of the subject matter.
The most popular trends in VR learning include enterprise and education. In enterprise, Walmart is using VR to help train its employees on topics like management and customer service. Soon, all 200 of the company's U.S. training centers will use VR instruction to educate the estimated 150,000 employees going through the program annually.
In education, there's Star Chart, an iOS and Android app with over 20 million users that brings the universe a little closer. Users learn about astronomy by pointing their phones to the sky at night and utilize other features to learn about planets and space discovery.
It’s important to pay attention to this trend and adopt VR solutions in your organization to educate employees in new and better ways and teach students with more engaging and effective tools. However, like many new technologies before it, awareness is the first barrier to entry followed by cost and content.
Many are still not aware of VR training solutions that are proving to be effective. At The VR/AR Association we are doing our part to promote the industry and help organizations locate the best VR solutions for their use case. Meanwhile, quality VR headsets come at around $399 (already down from $599 ore more just a few months ago). Cost is steadily declining our research points to $199 being the sweet spot price point for “mass adoption.” Finally, better content — specific for each use case — is needed and is being created for enterprise use cases and educational curriculums.
In 2018 we will see the costs decrease, better content emerge and more awareness spread, which will propel the VR/AR education market to high growth.
Ultimately, VR in education will revolutionize not only how people learn but how they interact with real-world applications of what they have been taught. Imagine medical students performing an operation or geography students really seeing where and what Kathmandu is. The world just opens up to a rich abundance of possibilities.