We fundamentally believe in the power of Virtual Reality when it comes to training. Everyday this believe gets fueled by seeing the impact VR training makes for our clients. Or better, for the employees of our clients. Training is a humane concept and about real people learning real things to use in real businesses.
"We feel privileged being able to touch these lives and empower employees to thrive, feel more confident and do better in their jobs."
We feel privileged being able to touch these lives and empower employees to thrive, feel more confident and do better in their jobs, even in their lives. That is what VR brings to the table. However VR in itself is just a technology, only with the right content it becomes a very powerful medium.
In 2019 we have seen more training scenarios being created on our platform than ever before. Clearly training with VR is living up to its hype. In 2019 more clients have used our technology to change the lives of their employees. We have welcomed clients such as ISS, Tata Steel, ASR, AH, Schiphol and many more. They have been creating training scenarios in the area of safety & security, customer service and leadership.
These new training scenarios have become bigger and more sophisticated, meaning that employees can spend more quality time training in VR. This also means more choice, real-life consequences and more branches to choose from. That in itself results in a higher replay-ability and employee engagement. To summarise this trend of more complex scenarios, one can say that VR training becomes more mature.
The missing part
It seems everything is perfect. Does that mean we are ’there’ when it comes to VR training?
Well, no. Not yet at least. There is a very important aspect of VR training that has been overlooked and should get way more attention for long-term success. I’m talking about implementation. It is often the missing part when it comes to a successful roll-out of VR in any organization.
"There is a very important aspect of VR training that has been overlooked and should get way more attention for long-term success. I’m talking about implementation."
Why is implementation overlooked and why is it hard to do?
It is overlooked because VR as a technology in the training industry is relatively new and therefore very innovative. Let’s be honest. The training industry is still a bit dusty (no offence). Training is done in classrooms with a trainer sending information to participants. Of course e-learning was introduced, which did change the ability to train anytime and anywhere. But the style of learning didn't really change. It is still about sending information, only then testing whether that information can actually be recollected.
Introducing new technology is always exciting and therefore we tend to maximise that technology. We want the best, placing that technology central, instead of the employee. It is understandable, but it didn’t help to give VR the right place in the training industry. More focus on the technology itself, means less focus on the actual use and implementation of that technology.
The other problem is that implementation of VR training is not easy to do right. First of all there is embedding. How does VR fit in current training programs? What does it replace? What does it enhance? Then there is hardware. Which VR devices do you buy? How many? Should all employees get one or can they be shared? Next to devices, implementation is also a question about access. Who should have access to what scenario? And how can this technology be integrated into existing company systems?
All these questions come into play when thinking about rolling out VR training. For long-term successful implementation of VR training, answers are needed.
At the start of 2019 we, at Warp VR, set out to get answers to these questions. We even made it our mission to make sure that every professional should get easy access to great VR training content. Having high-quality VR training content is great, but useless if getting access to that content is too difficult.
"It is our mission to make sure that every professional should get easy access to great VR training content."
There are two sides to this mission. First of all great content, secondly easy access. In 2019 we helped clients as well as partners in the journey to create high-quality VR training scenarios. We have learned a lot, which we combined and put in an online course. This course shares our learnings to create different styles of scenarios, from guided tours, to information-based scenarios, to truly immersive story-based training scenarios. We talk about the theory behind learning and training and even discuss media production basics. In 2020 we will keep on gathering and sharing knowledge for creating high-quality VR training scenarios.
Also in 2019, we approached the problem of easy access and built a solution for integration with existing Learning Management Systems. We have been very successful in connecting with LMS's such as SAP Successfactors, Workday and LearnLinq through SCORM and LTI protocols (xAPI is following rapidly). Connecting these, often desktop orientated, systems to VR mobile headsets has been a challenge. But we succeeded! Imagine an employee starting a VR training from an LMS on desktop, playing that actual training on a VR headset and when done, sending the results back to the LMS. We now have this frictionless user experience in place. Ask us whether your LMS solution is already supported.
In 2020 we will continue our mission to provide employees with easy access to VR training scenarios. Integration with other systems is key here, so our solution can easily be part of a bigger learning solution. We have always believed in a blended approach where the use of VR for training is part of other ways of learning. Placing VR in such a context will make it easier for companies to try using VR for training.
Ready to start with VR training in 2020?
Virtual Reality is an undeniable part in the future of training. It is no longer a question whether VR training will deliver business value. It is more a question of when and how.
"Virtual Reality is an undeniable part in the future of training."
When you as company decide to start with VR training in 2020, keep in mind:
- Using VR for training should never be about technology. Training is still about real people that only use technology to maximize their impact.
- VR training content should completely evolve around your employees. VR is the perfect medium to put your employees central. Better scenarios will increase replay-ability and employee engagement.
- Implementation is just as important as great content. Having great content is only part of the puzzle. Therefore think about embedding VR training in your organization and make sure access is frictionless through integration with your current LMS.