The introduction of Virtual Reality (VR) applications is no longer around the corner – it is here. It is striving to deliver new opportunities for businesses looking for cost-effective solutions, great return on investment (ROI) for updating human skills (all levels), better training options, and much more. Below is a brief look at where businesses can save money and optimize their operations.
New Hardware Technology – A Better Approach
In the past, to create realism in simulated job site training, companies had to invest millions of dollars (look at flight simulators as an example) into bulky, large, and expensive simulator hardware. In many cases, this hardware is completely stationary, which causes large expenses and insufficient training time when trainees are spread out nationally or even globally.
Emerging affordable VR hardware provides a 360 degree perspective of a digital world. It can be used in combination with various off-the-shelf motion tracking devices. This new hardware approach allows learners to interact with what they are seeing using the most natural interface: their body, eyes, hands, and fingers.
How Can These Devices Make Training More Effective?
- VR training offers same level of realism as larger simulators, but at significantly lower costs.
- Many companies hold training from a specific site (like their headquarters). Having to fly trainees around the country or even from other countries is cost-intensive and time consuming. VR technology, being more affordable, allows to establish more training offices globally – or even send VR equipment to employees to train remotely.
- Remote VR training allows distributed team training, where large and complex operations are rehearsed. Companies that deal with manufacturing of products can train their employees effectively the virtual way from various sites simultaneously without using resources. Digital models can be interacted within a realistic mode. This allows for a larger margin of error without waste.
- Customer service training can be carried out interactively with less stress. Employees can learn how to better interact with customers on an individual basis. This can optimize time spent on training by reducing stress—a relaxed atmosphere is conducive to learning.
- Sales training can be held virtually in a realistic way without travel cost or lost travel time.
- Training and seminars for specific topics for all levels of employees can take place on site simultaneously with participants from all over the world attending. For example, deep-sea divers can learn complicated new job operations without leaving their office. This saves large amounts of money spent on travel costs, time, and planning and bringing increased expertise to the workforce.
- The amount of downtime is reduced, since the costly equipment (like a crane) is no longer “parked” while the employees are in a training session. Training can happen simultaneously to when the equipment is used.
Return on Investment and Cost Effectiveness
Being able to train employees for new operations, update their skills, staying current, and training for job positions often costs a lot of resources. It can also be very expensive, cut into the budget, and brings a questionable amount of ROI (return on the investment) which effects the projects. Investing in new VR technology costs much less than a few years ago (about 50% less in some situations) and can be used repeatedly by any number of employees or groups simultaneously. The amount of seminars that employees can participate in is virtually limitless. The interactions that can take place between people all over the world are infinite. ROI becomes easier to measure based on the new skills and training programs undertaken, by means of this exciting new technology.
Many of these technologies are not yet on the market, but they will be soon, and staying competitive on the worldwide market will mean investing in new methods of doing business on an international scale. The new way of communicating and learning interactively carries little risk and great benefits.