The beginnings of virtual reality (VR) date back 40 years, although the most rapid progress in this area has happened relatively recently. In the last few years, VR has evolved considerably, overcoming many former problems such as insufficient computing power or exorbitant costs. In addition, the sheer weight of the equipment ceases to be an obstacle to professional implementation in many industries.
Although the applications created in this technology, at first glance, look almost like a computer game, virtual reality can improve the training and professional development of employees in many aspects. The benefits of using this technology are manifold: lower costs, less staff, less risk to human life. One of the unique advantages of VR is the ability to “immerse” users in environments where it is difficult yet necessary to provide training. Because the equipment (just like the trainer) does not have to be directly in a specific workplace at a given moment, many people from different workplaces can be taught at the same time. Thanks to virtual reality, it is possible to place employees in almost any location or situation, ensuring interaction with facilities that would be difficult or impossible in a real training environment without using this technology.
Virtual reality gives companies and other organizations the opportunity to create scenarios in which employees actually learn without incurring any risk from the mistakes they may make (eg. in the form of a machine or material batch). This enables error-based teaching in which employees can safely commit and rectify mistakes. Due to the specificity of many enterprises, learning through experience is often the most difficult to implement, but often has the greatest impact on employee competence. Virtual reality allows you to take full advantage of this type of education. Trained people can see how they react in stressful situations and identify gaps in their own knowledge that stand in the way of their development. Virtual reality training can also be helpful before a given employee starts working in a new job.
Virtual reality can be used to create interactive scenarios reflecting real situations. This immersive training may include a simulation of how machines work, what people need to do to operate them and their interactions.
VR provides a degree of security during training, which is often difficult to achieve in a real production environment. In addition, it limits the use of classic paper manuals or video materials in the preparation of employees to perform the work required of them.
Research conducted by Brandon Hall Group has shown that interest in using VR is growing in high-consequence industries. These are industries in which organizations face a host of legal requirements and compliance with imposed standards. These include: aviation, chemical industry, health care, production, energy and investment / finance. Interest in using VR simulation technology has increased significantly among these companies, and 30 percent identify these tools as a priority for educational training within 12 to 24 months.
VR is used in manufacturing and service industries too. The ability to simulate everything from factory production to the most sophisticated prototype of a new product is invaluable, and the ability to train immediately, efficiently and at low cost makes VR the technology of the future for factories. Because virtual reality is still gaining popularity, it is used with increasing frequency on the market.