NASA has long been using virtual reality training. From space walking to robotics operations, VR simulation has become the best way to prepare the astronauts for their zero gravity adventures and missions. In recent years, virtual reality for companies has continued to expand throughout many industries.
In this article, we’ll cover reasons why to consider virtual reality training for your workplace, who provides such a service, as well as what other valuable VR uses there are for your business.
First, let’s cover why to consider VR training for your workplace:
The 4 Main Benefits of VR Training
1. Immersive Training.
We already know that people learn more effectively with hands on training, rather than visual training alone. When you can combine visual, audio, and tactile training, people are more likely to retain what it is they are learning. Virtual reality takes this to the next level by providing real life scenarios in an immersive and responsive environment. Training can be done much faster, resulting in better operational efficiency.
2. Safe Training.
VR provides access to real world scenarios without any real world safety risk. This leverages a company’s ability to develop highly trained employees in a safe learning environment. This is why VR training programs were designed and are used in fields where risk is imminent.
3. Cost Savings.
If your company has dedicated training facilities, and/or the need to travel to provide training for employees, then VR training could save you a tremendous amount of money. With on-site VR devices, you can eliminate the additional overhead cost of extra buildings, utilities, instructors, employee-use company vehicles, machinery, equipment, and all of the expenses that come with them.
4. Employee Engagement and Retention
VR tech is fun, and exciting! It can promote a desire for learning, and encourage improved job performance. Helping your employees feel better prepared to perform their job will result in higher confidence, and less turn over.
Industries That Can Benefit From VR Training
Medical, Military, Air & Space, Construction, Manufacturing, Energy, Oil & Gas, Transportation, Travel, Real Estate, Retail, Restaurant, Insurance, Education, Beauty
While VR training has been around for quite some time for medical and military applications, the advancements in knowledge, technology, and devices has brought the possibility of VR training into all industries.
Here’s one well known company that has already expanded their training with VR programs:
Walmart recently upgraded their training and development program by integrating VR training with Oculus Go’s. STRIVR and Oculus created a custom program by which Walmart could more effectively and efficiently train associates in technology, customer service, and compliance. One simulation enables associates to learn how to assist customers with the Pickup Tower, a new tech unit that is rolling out in Walmart stores.
Tailored VR Solutions For Your Workplace
Using VR training in your workplace may sound great, but how do you actually implement it?
There are several company’s that offer services to create a customized VR experience for whatever type of training program you may need.
Here are some examples of VR training companies, and what they offer:
STRIVR is a platform that is changing the way that company’s train their employees through personalized hardware and software. Making a name through some high profile connections, they are affiliated with the NFL, MLB, NHL, Walmart, Pfizer, Google, Verizon, and Nationwide, just to name a few. They specialize in improving performance.
Elite VR replicates elaborate environments including those simulating dangerous emergency situations. By providing immersive VR training, Elite VR is helping company’s develop employees who are in high stress environments to gain not just knowledge and skill, but also muscle memory prior to real life exposure. This reduces on the job injuries, as the trained personnel has the ability to respond quicker and with more accuracy in the event there is a real emergency.
Elite VR provides more than employee training. They provide interactive assessments that allow a company to measure the progress of the training with each employee. The industries they serve are Construction, Transportation, Manufacturing, Medical, Fire Safety, OSHA & Life Safety, and Oil & Gas.
PIXOVR offers VR training for first responders to practice emergency protocols. They serve companies like Ford, Chevy, and People’s Gas.
They also have training modules that include:
- Active Shooter
- Construction Safety
- Gas Meter Inspection, and more!
Uses for Company VR Goes Well Beyond Training
Marketing, Advertising, E-commerce
Virtual Reality can be used for business in many capacities beyond employee training.
VR can be an effective tool for conducting meetings. Rather than using Skype, Slack, or other online group video sources, you can create a more immersive live digital conference.
Thinking more outside the box, your business can use VR tech to its advantage through various sales, marketing and advertising campaigns.
Here are some companies who have embraced virtual reality to provide unique customer experiences:
With the help of VR, Merrell set out to demonstrate the abilities of their hiking shoes and boots through a retailer to consumer experience called Merrell’s Trailscape. Once the VR headset is on, the consumer enters a simple bridge and rock wall build that turns into an incredibly high mountainside view with wind, birds, rock slides and a bridge collapse.
It takes only a couple minutes to walk through, but gives consumers a sensory experience that is relative to hiking off the beaten path. You don’t know what you may encounter, and you better have the right shoes!
In collaboration with Oculus, National Geographic has also created a unique experience for VR users, the National Geographic VR app, which provides 360* video up close with the wildlife. While your company may not be taking people through a massive herd of elephants, the 360* video tech can be used to explore any type of surroundings.
TOMS, a shoe company known for donating one pair of shoes for every pair purchased, uses VR to share its charity works. If you happen to live near one, step in to any TOMS Community Outpost, slip on the VR headset, and watch “A Walk In Their Shoes.”
There are several agencies in the travel industry using this technology to “teleport” their clients to far off places!
( Just Google “VR in the workplace,” or “companies using virtual reality” if you want to see more businesses that have come up with great ideas of how to use VR to better train their employees and/or communicate with their customers! )
The Consumer’s Standpoint
Looking at all of this from the consumer’s side, people with VR devices at home have the benefit of virtual shopping. Some company’s have already jumped on the opportunity to expand their business with a VR e-commerce store.
In 2016, IKEA introduced their virtual reality store. Jesper Brodin, IKEA Range & Supply Manager said, ”Virtual reality is developing fast and in five to ten years it will be an integrated part of people’s lives. We see that it will play a major role in the future, for instance it could be used to enable people to try out a variety of home furnishing solutions before buying them.”
IKEA’s virtual reality kitchen experience allows shoppers to walk around a kitchen, make design changes, and perform various tasks ranging from opening cabinet doors to frying on the stove top! You can try it at home with your VR headset at www.steampowered.com
In 2017, Lowe’s took VR to another level by not only offering store navigation to shoppers, but by introducing VR classes for visualizing projects and learning DIY skills to make customers home improvements easier. Imagine that as a consumer, you can put on your VR headset and step into a class on how to tile your bathroom wall!
These are the types of experiences that are being developed, and that company’s are implementing into their businesses, and they’re amazing!
The possibilities are endless, and we are sure to see much, much more in the future!
5 Tips for VR Motion Sickness Relief Learn what you can do to prevent motion sickness while using VR. These are the top 5 ways to prevent, or remedy, VR motion sickness.
We want to know …
Are you a business owner or manager who uses virtual reality training for your employees?
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Are you a consumer who has used VR in a retail environment?
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