Why AR/VR May Be the Future of Employee Training

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Why AR/VR May Be the Future of Employee Training

The number of jobs for virtual reality developers and engineers has increased tremendously over the last few years. This reflects growing interest in VR from SMBs (small to midsize businesses) to Fortune 500 companies, notably for workforce VR training simulations. VR is charting new trails in application development that will impact the social good, ranging from assisting individuals with learning disabilities to increasing productivity to vocational job training. Although VR and AR (augmented reality) adoption in the workplace is in early stages, it is trending upward. This eWEEK slide show, using industry information from IBM, presents the ways the company envisions VR will be used to help employees and companies succeed across various industries. 

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AR/VR Total Market Opportunity Is $143 Billion

According to IDC, the total market opportunity for AR/VR including software, hardware and services will be$143 billion by 2020. More than half (55.6 percent) of AR/VR is non-consumer spend.

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VR Is Helping Employee Training Programs

Companies of all sizes are increasingly using VR to conduct employee training and to introduce new employees to their work environment. Businesses are using VR instructions for employee training related to customer service, management or seasonal situations, such as encountering the Black Friday rush in virtual reality.

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VR Training Scenarios Aren't Only for Tech Companies

In a typical VR training scenario for the construction industry, new employees may observe a virtual construction site to determine fairly quickly what equipment is missing. This allows workers to recognize the opportunities that exist to better assist their customers and improve safety onsite. Some companies in the hospitality industry are using VR to train their chefs how to cook inside a virtual kitchen—but without safety risks. 

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VR Provides Up to 75 Percent Learning Retention Rates

Real-world benefits of VR trainings are increased learning retention rates, productivity and increased safety. With VR, you can experience a situation as if you are actually there.  According to VR company STRIVR, learning retention rates can be as high as 75 percent versus 10 percent for reading or a lecture. 

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Benefits of Implementing VR Training Programs

VR environments increase the speed of training. Humans are intuitively spatial beings, and by using spatial-aware applications and computing models, our brains can process information faster and more effectively. Benefits for companies include cost savings, little to no risk, realistic scenarios, safe/controlled areas, innovative and enjoyable experiences, and suitability for different learning styles with personalized training. 

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Opportunities for Potential Future VR Applications

Here’s an example: decision support and expertise projection on the manufacturing floor. Imagine that employees on a factory floor would be able to view instructions in real time—when and where it’s contextually appropriate—instead of flipping through a cumbersome and distracting training manual.

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Virtual Meetings Give You More Time Back in Your Day

Whether it’s meeting in a virtual space or augmenting individuals into your space (such as in the movies “Kingsmen” and “Star Wars”), we can decrease travel and improve collaboration by simulating being physically present with our clients, teammates and family. 

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AR Can Help Companies Retain Knowledge

Enterprises are drowning in data, and knowledge and expertise fuel continuing innovation and digital transformation. But when workers retire, they take knowledge with them. AR enables knowledge capture and recall across time/space, verbal command/control and visual delivery, and it leverages spatial memory.

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Top IT Job Candidates Seek “Superior” Access to Tech Tools, Training

Most companies still lag behind in their digital transformation efforts and this could hurt their prospects of hiring top IT professionals who expect to train and work with the latest tech tools.
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