Why Training and Simulation with VR?
Companies such as Volkswagen, Audi, Walmart, Boeing, and UPS are using VR for training and simulation to reduce costs and improve the results of on-the-job training.
“What better proof point that VR training is accelerating and ready for prime time at large scale?” said Hervé Fontaine, VP of VR at HTC Vive Europe, on the first VR training hub by Innoactive that was recently released and is already supported by the Frankfurt and Munich Airport ground operations. These off-the-shelf VR training module solutions are ready to be deployed and implemented today.
Despite solutions already being available, enterprises might ask when the implementation of VR training makes sense? How it can be successfully leveraged? Is it possible to set up a training process that is tailored to their specific needs? Also, is it financially viable? In 2019, the cost of enterprise available tetherless headsets such as the Quest and Focus have reduced the overhead for entry into VR, and platforms have evolved to develop content and workflow specific to enterprise training and simulations.
Studies, such as those by Professor Myriam Reiner — head of the Virtual Reality and NeuroCognition lab at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology — have shown that Immersive and spatial training is more rewarding, effective, faster and more efficient, realistic and with higher levels of engagement and retention of knowledge in comparison to traditional methods of training. VR can reduce complexity, and maintains high quality standards that can be quantitatively measured.
In simple terms, VR enables us to “learn by doing” in everything from flying a plane to working with hazardous material. From research to the lab and now into the workplace, VR and AR technology is becoming integrated into every aspect of simulation and training from prototyping to providing a safe environment for working with hazardous material.
Varjo, the computer hardware company based in Helsinki, is behind the Varjo VR-1 headset that has a Bionic Display- meaning they combine two displays per eye, enabling users to see in VR with human-eye resolution with integrated eye-tracking. It can realistically simulate everything from flight to surgical training. Imagine reading a newspaper in VR, or cleary seeing fine textures and color. That is the clarity of the Varjo headset.
Working with Lockheed Martin’s Prepar3D simulation software, Varjo also developed and implemented a VR training programme that reduced the need for expensive traditional flight simulators. Pilots were able to train faster, more efficiently and cost effectively. Tobias Olsson, Head of Tactical Simulation and Visualisation at SAAB AB, chose this solution to accurately replicate vision. Pilots need to see items close-up in the cockpit, and also far off on the horizon. These high quality headsets are driven by precision with photorealistic graphics.
“Varjo VR-1 lets us establish a seamless VR workflow,” said Jan Pflueger, coordinator of AR and VR at Audi. Looking for solutions in the market with high visual quality, these headsets enabled the Audi team to close a gap in their simulation processing, integral to designers and engineers who need to see minute details in every stage of the design cycle to determine when the car is ready for production, and what are the right tools for this process.
Audi also worked closely with Innoactive to develop VR training scenarios from concept, to prototyping and pilot validation. The Munich based start-up focuses on scaling VR for enterprise as a solution to one of the key challenges VR is facing today. Innoactive’s platform is directed to a global rollout of VR planning, simulation and training applications, supporting the transformation of manufacturing processes in industries such as Automotive, Aerospace/Aviation, Semiconductors, Chemicals, Transportation, and Energy.
After implementing these systems for VR training and simulation, what is the process and cost associated with upgrading, evolving or adapting the programme for specific use cases? By using enterprise focused software, updates can be easily deployed across various locations with bespoke packages.
Beyond the benefits of single-user immersion for realistic training with strong engagement and higher retention, Innoactive has also developed training and simulations where teams can collaborate from different locations in the virtual training room, reducing the cost of travel, and enabling highly effective communication between team members.
While nowhere near as experiential and effective immersive learning, PDFs, whiteboards, timers, and tape measures still have their applications, even in VR simulations. These can be integrated into VR workplaces during process simulations to iterate and explore observations with an effective workflow.
Eye-tracking, a sensor technology that makes it possible for a computer or other device to know where a person is looking, further enables data analytics for training and simulation, with integrations into Unreal and Unity, and a variety of industry-specific 3D engines. Tobii, a global company specialising in eye-tracking, will be exhibiting at VR Days. Their technology is compatible HTC headsets, while Varjo provides its own in-house eye-tracking solutions.
Research in VR training and simulation and its applications to enterprise solutions has been active for over 20 years. With the technological advances and case studies now broadly accessible, it’s clear that VR and AR will become an integral part of everyday engagements and interactions to save costs, reduce accidents, increase productivity and refine employee skills.
Like gaming levels, unlocking achievements, reaching mission goals and being rewarded with feedback along the way, these types of reinforcement play a role in boosting self-confidence. Spatial environments at scale provide intuitive learning and instant feedback or error support. Options such as audio instructions, language options and the ability to appeal to different types of learning (audio, visual, kinesthetic) are all inclusive in VR training and simulation programmes.
The Future of Training and Simulation with 5G
Leveraging the potential of VR and AR to a consistently quality level of user experience and visual details across devices will come with 5G and cutting edge computing.
At VR Days Europe, we will explore Training and Simulation. This summit will feature presentations from leading VR experts, panel discussions and roundtables. Expect a three hour conference with industry leaders from automotive, healthcare, police, defense, first responders, and aviation. Speakers will share the most relevant use cases, showing how POCs turn into day-to-day implementation giving true ROI. Join roundtable discussions where service providers, clients and researchers discuss the future of your industry.
Speakers at the VR Days’ Training and Simulation Summit include: Innoactive’s CEO Daniel Seidle, Professor Myriam Reiner — head of the Virtual Reality and NeuroCognition lab at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, and Varjo’s co-founder Urho Konttori. Don’t miss the panel “Hardware, Haptics & Game Mechanics” with President of Sixense Studios Joel Breton, Varjo’s Urho Konttori, and Co-founder of Oculus, James McCauley.