Why is it worth investing in virtual reality training?
Virtual reality training has gained a lot of popularity recently. No wonder as it not only prepares a new employee for work in an interactive way but also makes it possible to simulate dangerous situations that do not pose a threat in virtual reality and thus, see what the consequences of human errors can be and how to avoid them. Furthermore, VR training is a good solution for more experienced employees who would like to improve their skills.
In the following article, we are going to break down components which are crucial for us to know, in order to provide you with a proper estimate VR Training. Enjoy reading!
What is the desired outcome?
The first and most important question you need to pose is what exactly you would like your trainees to achieve in the end. Therefore, it is helpful to list all activities which need to be performed and determine how exactly they should be measured.
There are several options available when it comes to the form of the training. You can choose between a photorealistic and semi-realistic, as well as a true or gamified experience. It is of course possible to combine all those different elements and create a mixed version.
Describe your typical workday
In most cases, virtual reality training requires highly accurate recreations of real work environments. Sometimes it is necessary for us to obtain photographs of the work area and record videos of the processes around the machines and devices.
We applied this operating model while developing a project for the energy sector. The goal was to conduct OHS training including proper selection of equipment, appropriate selection of PPE and correct order of activities.
These pictures were taken in the real workplace:
Concerning the pandemic situations, we are able to prepare a list of guidelines on how to take good photographs and record a suitable video to give us a proper idea of your processes. Furthermore, you can provide us with available references that meet your requirements to help us understand your vision.
How to use it
Above all, the tutorial really does not have to cover activities in a virtual environment only. Tutorials may be also useful for people who are not familiar with virtual reality headsets and controllers, so you should remember about including short and interactive manuals supported by voice-over on how to operate the devices before your employees proceed to virtual training of their tasks.
How should it look through your own eyes?
At this point, we need to know exactly what users see from the first person perspective and what kind of duties they should perform, how they should be presented to them and what other elements should be included in “their picture”. Referring back to the above mentioned training for the power industry, jobs of this kind require using specialistic tools and equipment. While preparing the estimate, we need to know how those instruments look like and how they should be applied, as it is necessary to create 3D models and transform them into virtual reality.
All of these things bring us to the most important component – a scenario. It is a substantial step which sets the basis on which we build virtual reality training. These can be presented in the form of a description or a diagram.
Some of the questions you may need to answer beforehand:
- How many users do you want to train (simultaneously)?
- Should the training be designed in an intuitive way or not?
- Shall we include additional elements to engage the user?
(e.g. errors which need to be noticed by the trainee himself)
- Would you like to use any hints?
- Shall we include a test (closed questions)?
- What happens when the trainee chooses the correct/wrong answer?
- What are the consequences – are they visible straight away or only in the end?
To simplify things, you can also share machine manuals or videos, if you have suitable permissions from providers. Nevertheless, please don’t forget to adapt it for the use of specialists from outside your field.
There are many different types of hardware solutions suitable for such projects but you basically need to distinguish between a standalone VR headset and PC VR.
Portable goggles have the advantage of giving you the possibility to be used anywhere, without the necessity of using a power supply. Nevertheless the achievable graphic quality can be substantially lower than in case of PC VR.
Especially for training related to machine operating or similar processes, we highly recommend using PC VR as it allows us to achieve a high graphic quality which is often crucial for a satisfactory outcome.
Room for error
One of the largest advantages of virtual reality training is the ability to make mistakes and expose yourself to danger without getting harmed. It seems quite obvious that a user has to learn from mistakes to perfect his competencies. With this in mind, we have to know what happens if an employee e.g. does not collect the work wear correctly. A good solution to transform it into the virtual world is pop-up information or voice-over recording saying: “You do not have complete workwear. You cannot start your job.”
End result: Estimate VR Training
After you provide us with the mentioned information, we are able to create an initial estimate either for the POC, MVP or full product. The proof of concept (POC) is supposed to secure the customer about the feasibility of the project. Next, the minimum viable product which provides just enough features to be usable by early customers and last but not least, the complete product.
The final effect of our virtual simulation for the power sector was the following:
You can also read more about this project: Professional Skills Training
It is worth mentioning that by notion ‘estimate’ we mean a rough idea of the budget, as it will be clearly defined in the assessment phase. The cost of such simulations usually starts at around 30 000 USD but the budget depends of course on the project complexity.
We recommend the following final structure:
- Controller Guide
- User Manual
- Training Phases Menu
- Scenarios Menu
- Training Start
- Interaction Finish
Together with our partner, consulting company 4Results (founded in 2005), we design the training methodology in such areas as Leadership, Quick Response Manufacturing, Change Management, Improved Effectiveness, and many more.
Our Product Design Thinking consists of the following steps:
If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to write to us.