Virtual Reality has entered the consumer and business market in two distinct flavours. One of them trying to win the public by bringing the best graphic experience, the other by flexibility and cost. In the first category we’ll find the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive or Playstation VR. In the other category you use your own smartphone in combination with a headset, such as the Samsung Gear VR or the Google Cardboard.
But let’s not talk hardware itself (for more information regarding different hardware, check this post from our CTO), but let’s talk about hardware in the context of business training. Although the ‘bigger’ headsets offer great immersive experiences, they do miss one very important key aspect to be adopted widely in the business training industry. These headsets are more expensive than mobile phone based headset, but money isn’t the biggest differentiator. So, what is this key aspect the training industry could hugely benefit from?
In order to answer that question we have to take a look at the current training industry and the different ways of training.
Let’s take a fire safety training as an example. A training in which you have to recognise the type of fire, select the right fire extinguisher and extinguish the fire. If you want to physically train your staff, planning resources is a nightmare. You need a location, one that is available, one that does not influence your production and one that is close by. A full staff driving half a day for training will cost your lots of money. Lastly your staff needs to be cleared of any other work. All simultaneously, otherwise the location and trainer will become to expensive.
In short, physical training can be costly and a planning nightmare.
Technology has answered this problem with e-learning. But let’s be honest. Sitting behind your computer extinguishing fires with your mouse isn’t the most engaging activity.
In short, e-learning is often just plain boring.
I do still think that in some cases physical training is important, but I also believe in a more flexible alternative. Flexibility is that key aspect the training industry is actually looking for. Flexibility without having to compromise that real feeling of physical training.
Flexibility in training means you can train anywhere, anytime.
Mobile Virtual Reality
There is this one device we always carry around. A device we can access anywhere, anytime. Yes… your smartphone. A smartphone in combination with VR goggles, can be the gateway to your very own companies’ training center. Without compromising the real feel of physical training and a lot more fun engaging than boring e-learning. See it as a full training center right there in your pocket.
Just imagine using your employees smartphone as a virtual training center. Imagine the huge cost saving for not planning scarce resources. Imagine the improvement on motivation for not having to train behind desktop computers answering multiple choice questions.