How VR Can Revolutionize Professional Training

October 12, 2016

5:50 pm

There are many professions in which making mistakes can be extraordinarily expensive. When a surgeon, pilot, soldier, racecar driver or other professional whose livelihood depends on precision makes an error the result can be damage to extremely expensive equipment. Even worse, there can be a cost in human life or injury. Because of this, training people in certain fields has always been a challenge.

This is why medical students work through various scenarios over and over again using computer simulations. It’s why pilots use flight simulators as part of their training programs. Soldiers go through simulated scenarios over and over again until their reactions become instinctive. In some cases, the goal is that muscle memory takes over instead of the normal cognitive process.

Of course, the value of simulation isn’t limited to careers where your money or your life could be on the line. There is training software that exists to walk sales professionals through various scenarios. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter what the goal is, most simulation training is missing something.

What's Wrong With The Standard Model of Simulation?

The answer to this question is simple: It’s two dimensional. There is no way to get a 360-degree view. That hardly matches the real world. Fortunately, VR technology is now revolutionizing the way that professional training works. Keep reading to see some amazing examples.

Learning to Treat Dementia Patients Through VR

Recently, an Australian student created a virtual reality simulator that educates caregivers on the realities of dealing with a patient or loved one who is suffering from dementia. What an amazing effort, and how timely is this at this particular point in time. Members of both the Boomer generation and the forgotten Gen-xers have now had to experience the challenges of living with relatives suffering from dementia.

Thanks to the development of this professional training program, caregivers can work their way through the various challenges and scenarios that can affect them while still focusing on real world solutions.

Training For Light Industrial or Manufacturing Workers

Amazon has fulfillment centers all over the country. Light industrial areas are full of companies who have plants that need skilled workers to fulfill orders. Today, in order to keep these plants running smoothly, some businesses run virtual reality based training programs that allow corporate trainers to use company software to teach workers without risking them or expensive company equipment.

Athletics And Virtual Reality

One example where VR has been used to train people and get great results, yet can still be dismissive is the world of sports. STRiVR labs has created a virtual reality package that enables an athlete to practice, and even go over a play. Better yet, they can do so without unnecessarily putting themselves physically at risk for injury or exhaustion. It is no wonder that head coaches from many respected college athletic programs feel as if this training package is a worthwhile addition to their training programs.

Combining Gaming and VR to Provide Construction Worker Training

The iCinema Centre is unique in that it has combined gamification along with virtual reality to train construction employees who are working on their listed construction project. The professional training that they have implemented allows prospective employees to learn the potential dangers they might face working on a large construction project while also filling them in on the information they need to have in order to stay safe.

It is clear that companies are using virtual reality to increase the likelihood that employees learn new policies and procedures, as well as learning potentially dangerous equipment in a closed environment. 

Image: Wikimedia

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Dianna is a former ESL teacher and World Teach volunteer, currently living in France. She's slightly addicted to apps and viral media trends and helps different companies with product localization and content strategies. You can tweet her at @dilabrien