VR training predictions for 2023

Guido Helmerhorst
Founder & CGO

Virtual reality is transforming the way we learn. In 2023 we expect to see even more changes in the world of VR training. Here are our predictions for what the future holds.

Prediction 1: VR will be BIG for employee onboarding

The use of VR for training has already become common practice for health, safety use & soft skills training. We’ve noticed that onboarding is also becoming relevant, as it makes the current mostly 2D onboarding process more immersive and scenario-based.

VR can for example provide new employees with a virtual tour of their workplace, allowing them to familiarize themselves with the layout and locations of different areas and equipment. VR can also simulate tasks and procedures that new employees will be expected to perform, allowing them to practice and learn in a safe, controlled environment. And VR can be used to introduce new employees to company policies, procedures, and culture.

Overall, adding VR to the onboarding process provides a more engaging and immersive learning experience to new employees, accelerating their onboarding and transition into their new roles.

Prediction 2: VR training is not just for the enterprise

Most VR training use cases today are from large companies that have the resources to invest and experiment with new technologies. We expect that in 2023 more companies will start using VR for training and onboarding. We have seen early signs of this development in education, from primary school to vocational education. VR is used here to bring outside situations into the classroom, and we even see students using VR authoring platforms to create their own content.

Training agencies are also starting to incorporate virtual reality in their courses, as their customers increasingly demand a more blended approach that includes immersive learning.

Prediction 3: We will see more pilot to full VR implementations

There has been a clear increase in companies adding VR training to their learning programs. We expect this trend to continue, accelerated by two main drivers:

During COVID, there was a lot of emphasis on full-fledged implementation of Learning Management Systems (LMS) and Learning Experience Platforms (LXP). Now that those implementations are ready, companies are looking for engaging content to provide to their learners. VR training is a great addition to learning paths provided via LMS & LXP tools, as it provides an effective way for trainees to apply the knowledge acquired from e-learning to real-life situations.

With going back to the classroom, students experienced the less positive sides of classroom training (e.g. ‘death by PowerPoint’). VR can bring real-life situations into the classroom, where students can have a shared experience of going out there to practice. With the right platform, teachers and instructors can easily scale VR training across classrooms and topics.

Prediction 4: VR hardware will focus more on business applications

We’ve noticed changes in the VR hardware ecosystem, where manufacturers of VR headsets are  more gearing towards the professional market. For example, Pico has just released the business version of the Pico 4, the Pico 4 Enterprise. This is a headset with a different approach specialized for business applications.

Meta is expected to launch a business program in 2023, called Meta for Business. This program will have a device and user management solution, including an enterprise-specific app store. Other manufacturers - like Lenovo with the ThinkReality VRX - are also offering business solutions, making it easier for any organization to start working with VR hardware.

Prediction 5: VR will be used for more than just safety training

In the past, VR has mainly been used for health, safety and hard skills training. We expect to see an expansion of use cases in 2023. For example, VR can be used to train employees in soft skills such as communication, conflict resolution, and customer service. Additionally, VR can be used in recruitment to give potential new hires a better understanding of their job expectations and environment.

Prediction 6: There will be more focus on storytelling in training

Companies are starting to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all VR training technology or platform. Multiple suppliers offering hard and soft skills training can be used next to each other in a blended learning approach. As with all content, quality is key. Ranging from leadership development to sales enablement and company culture, story-based VR training is the perfect didactic approach to make a real impact on employees when done right.

Prediction 7: Instructional designers are the new VR training creators

With the rise of do-it-yourself platforms for 3D & 360 video creation, we expect to see more creativity in VR training. Instructional designers will be the new creators of VR training, instead of just programmers. This shift towards engaging, application-focused content will require upskilling for instructional designers, and we can expect to see an increase in  workshops and training courses around this topic.

Learn more

Watch our webinar VR training predictions for 2023 for a discussion about the VR training trends and predictions mentioned above. Get in touch if you're interested in learning more about VR training or creating your own story-based VR training scenarios.

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