close popup

Get the latest updates delivered right to your inbox.

But first, let's get acquainted:

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
December 20, 2020

XR is a Game-Changer in Industrial Training

“Danger, danger, danger!” — the production line control panel screams. During the onboarding session, a new staff member makes a mistake. Before another disaster occurs — weeks ago, the factory had to deal with a newcomer’s accident during that same onboarding procedure — the Operational Manager briskly orders a complete shutdown of the machinery, bringing the entire production line to a complete halt. Time is money, mistakes cost money, and now, the employee’s lack of confidence will translate into an extra expense.

What’s worse, this type of error is common during standard industrial training sessions. The steep learning curve results in expert workers setting their work aside to shut equipment down, and wasting consumable goods (materials and lubricants, paint, manufacturing tests…) to demonstrate a procedure to a new employee. Furthermore, most training methods also include a theoretical portion. Usually, a manual will overview industrial best-practices; for instance, safety protocols will be mentioned without being rehearsed. In some cases, the new hires undergo extensive training to earn a certification but never having to put into practice the newly acquired knowledge and skills.

Besides the training flaws, there is also a lack of knowledge transfer between the fast-aging workforce and the inexperienced new hires. A Harvard Business Review report (1) reveals that the current skills gap may leave approximately 2.4 million jobs unfilled between 2018 and 2028, and impact the economy for up to $2.5 trillion. The same report notes that in 2019, U.S. firms spent $83 billion in budget training alone, amounting to an average of $1,300 per participant. Was it worth it?

A PwC study (2) highlights significant differences between three major learning scenarios; classrooms, e-learning, and the new kid in the block, VR. Here’s a glimpse of the psychological observations: VR students were 3.75 times more emotionally connected than their classroom peers, and 2.3 times more than the e-learners. Also, students with VR headsets and controllers were 1.5 times more focused than their peers in traditional classroom settings, and 4 times more than e-learners.

VR training is built upon an immersive learning approach, which mimics life-like work scenarios to train employees in a virtual, safe, and captivating environment. The main ingredients of this educational recipe are: AI, applied learning methods, data science, spatial computing, and, of course, VR technology. Basically, VR students have an active behaviour; they are continuously interacting with 3D elements, realistic environments, and collaborating with their colleagues. Incidentally, that specific cooperative feature has been the catapult aspect of VR during the pandemic. With this hands-on learning approach, plus the level of immersion enabled by truly captivating sensory experiences, employees gain muscle memory quite quickly. In fact, according to the study Virtual memory palaces: immersion aids recall (3),”the HMD condition was found to have an 8.8% improvement in recall accuracy compared to the desktop condition.”

Unlock full blog post