Have you tried virtual reality glasses? Maybe you have experienced with them the almost real feeling of diving among sharks or the vertigo of descending on a roller coaster?
Virtual reality or VR allows you to interact with 3D graphic environments, images or videos that reproduce the real world.
The technology required to enjoy virtual reality is becoming increasingly sophisticated and the devices are becoming more accessible and affordable.
We can find from glasses where to insert our mobile like the Google Cardboard made of cardboard (see video of assembly) or the Samsung Gear VR , to the most sophisticated glasses that connect to other devices, like the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive or PlayStation VR.
But virtual reality is much more than just a playful experience. It is increasingly being used in different fields such as engineering, medicine, education, design or skills training. Companies are finding that virtual reality offers significant benefits associated with the high level of immersion it provides:
Safety, because it allows the reproduction of highly dangerous environments.
Profitability, because it avoids having to travel or acquire real equipment.
Convenience, it reproduces optimal real environments.
VR in worker training
All this means that companies that devote a budget to training their employees are increasingly turning to virtual reality, both in classroom training and eLearning. But what applications does it have?
Intensive training in skills related to security, costs, infrastructure or equipment. Here are two examples.
Virtual reality simulator from the company AUMENTATY for ADIF to understand and visualise the assembly and repair of catenaries on railway tracks. The operators can assemble different parts to form the catenaries, which normally require four or five people to handle them. Or this other example of maintenance of railway installations by VIRTUALWARE.
Audi uses various virtual reality simulators to train its workers in the areas of Sales, Technical Development and Production.
Immersion, interaction, gamification, motivation, commitment to the company, interactive videos, … Here we can see the gamified platform Nikoop.
Simulation of environments with risk in order to avoid injuries or even accidents. Virtual reality can help workers to improve their skills and acquire appropriate behaviour habits in real risk situations for their physical integrity or health.
The company INNOAREA, has developed several projects related to the prevention of occupational risks. or this other example of cardiopulmonary resuscitation from the aforementioned company VIRTUALWARE.
VR in training for employment
The advantages and uses mentioned above give us an idea of the potential that virtual reality offers when it comes to training unemployed people or those in a situation of improving their employment.
The pedagogical objective of using virtual reality is that the student lives learning experiences very close to the working reality instead of memorizing concepts, characteristics, process lists, etc.
Use of free virtual reality content
Students can access multiple virtual reality teaching resources available on the Internet:
companies that design digital content, such as this forklift handling resource from the company UNIMERSIV ,
large companies such as a visit to a TOYOTA vehicle production plant,
the Youtube virtual reality channel where you can visit a tourist destination, a monument, a natural park or a sea bed.
Or solutions that allow team training through virtual reality.
Development of virtual reality content for the classroom
Teachers with concerns about this technology can design their own virtual reality content with the help of free virtual reality and augmented reality tools without the need to be an expert in programming.
Another option is to propose to the training centre that it acquires a 360º video camera and record scenes in real working environments so that they can later be viewed by students with the idea of identifying machinery, PPE, production processes, elements of a machine, measuring a space, etc.
In the same way, students can be encouraged with an intermediate digital competence to design 3D modeling environments with less or more difficulty with open software programs such as Sketchup or Blender and then integrate them to adapt them to virtual reality or augmented reality. An example of this are Aumentaty Creator and Aumentaty Scope are free tools developed by the company Aumentaty that allow to create and share augmented reality projects.
The reality is that unless educational and labour administrations devote a significant budget item to the development of immersive virtual reality resources developed by specialised companies, we will continue to deprive students of complete learning experiences.
So, my advice is to start using open resources and self-produced resources with the free tools that teachers have more and more at their disposal.
Another clear advantage of VR is that one person can put themselves in the shoes of another: for example, a boss can better understand the perspective of a member of his or her team.
But if exercises to encourage empathy are carried out incorrectly, they can actually reduce empathy.
For example, one study showed that people who were blindfolded to pretend they were blind thought that blind people were much less capable. Because participants were not given time to adjust to the new situation, as blind people do in the real world, the exercise unintentionally reinforced a discriminatory attitude.
More and more companies are adding the use of virtual reality in their strategies. The reasons for doing so are those seen in the examples shown in this article.
This technology serves to bring the product or service offered, regardless of its nature, closer to the user. Therefore, it has great value as a tool to achieve higher conversions in any business.
P.S. if you are interested in getting involved with Virtual reality in education, you can click the link here:
If you are interested in creating your own virtual reality laboratory, we also create free plans for that. To get your free plan, click on the link below.