Work Smarter: Augmented and Virtual Reality Training
Augmented and virtual reality have only recently broken into the mainstream entertainment world as consumer headsets and mobile devices are finally both powerful and inexpensive enough for mass consumption. However, industries that rely on precision and safety, including medicine and the military, have been using augmented and virtual reality to enhance training for years.
While they don’t make soldiers look exactly fearsome, AR glasses by SA Photonics are giving troops an impression of the chaos of the battlefield, without the attendant danger. A group of marines used the glasses to turn a golf course in Virginia into a virtual battlefield. Theoretically, augmented reality will allow soldiers to train in a variety of combat and peacekeeping environments, without having to leave familiar confines.
We’re no strangers to the power of virtual reality training. When University Health System was building a massive new hospital in San Antonio, they came to Geomedia to get their staff ready to save lives as soon as the building opened. Our virtual reality designers and artists built a digital replica of the hospital from scratch, which we then turned into a gamified training simulator. Prior to the new building opening, hospital staff familiarized themselves with the hospital layout (as well as where life-saving supplies were located) in the digital version of the hospital. Once the hospital was opened, doctors, nurses and support staff were able to hit the ground running.
The private sector is beginning to realize the fruits of virtual and augmented reality training as well. At the recent Augmented World Expo, a Boeing engineer claimed that trainees who used an AR app to assemble a mock wing for a Boeing aircraft performed 30 percent faster and 90 percent more accurately than trainees using traditional study tools. These results from Boeing show just how impactful even a relatively simple augmented reality program can be on training.
Forgive us for this, but virtual reality training can even be… out of this world – just ask NASA. NASA has been training astronauts using virtual reality since the early 90s, and today they have a VR lab where astronauts train on everything from spacewalks to manipulating robotic arms.
You don’t need to be going into space to realize the safety benefits of virtual reality, there’s plenty of danger here on solid ground (or beneath it). The oil and gas industry is tightly regulated and requires highly-trained workers for dangerous environments. For oil and gas workers, virtual reality helps save lives. By using 3D virtual reality environments, trainees can learn the ropes of pipeline work without putting themselves or other employees at risk.
As virtual and augmented reality technology continues to proliferate, forward-thinking organizations have the potential to entirely revolutionize the way they conduct training. Dangerous environments can be seamlessly and safely replicated in virtual reality, while instructions for complex tasks can unobtrusively be superimposed over augmented reality glasses. Workers will become faster, more efficient, and safer. To see how augmented and virtual reality can change your training, and what’s out there for you, call or email us and we’ll help you bring a new dimension to training. To follow all of the exciting developments in the training field, visit our virtual and augmented reality page and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.