Fluent Motion Inc
Engineer male using VR virtual reality technology

Virtual-Reality (VR) Training: an Efficient Option for Employers

Virtual Reality, or VR, is a computer-generated simulation that places the user inside an artificial three-dimensional environment.  Trainees enter a 360°, active learning environment, experiencing sights and sounds that dissolve the virtual and actual reality barrier.  Using electronic devices such as a VR headset, or gloves fitted with sensors or remotes, users can interact with this digital environment as if it were real. Sensations congruent with the virtual environment are achieved by synchronizing multiple sensory inputs, including visual, auditory, and sometimes even haptic feedback.

VR technology is already beginning to transform various sectors, including education, healthcare, and notably, corporate training. The immersive nature of VR offers an innovative approach to training, enhancing learning outcomes and fostering a more engaging experience.

VR is especially useful in creating a realistic but risk-free environment where learners can practice skills, explore scenarios, and make mistakes without real-world consequences. This can be particularly beneficial in high-stakes sectors like healthcare, aviation, construction and manufacturing, where even small errors can have severe repercussions. When combined with story narratives and learning curriculum developed by subject matter experts, trainees learn in the best way possible — through personal experience — significantly improving learning retention, job performance, team collaboration, workplace safety, and cost.

A 2022 survey by Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) indicated more than half of companies are already integrating VR into their strategy. If your organization isn’t already using VR, or if you’re using it in a limited fashion but want to go further, now is a great time to get on board with VR training.

 

What is ‘XR’? Is it different from VR?

‘Virtual Reality’ has become something of a catch-all term for Extended Reality, (or “XR” for short), which includes three distinct technologies: Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual Reality (VR) is the computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that a person can interact with in a seemingly real or physical way using special electronic equipment, such as an HMD (head-mounted display).

Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented Reality (AR) adds a digital overlay on top of a live camera view. Examples of AR include Snapchat lenses and the game Pokémon Go. As the name suggests, AR augments or changes reality, while VR offers complete immersion, shutting out the physical world.

Mixed Reality (MR)

Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality (MR) are considered immersive technologies, but they aren’t the same. Mixed Reality is an extension of AR that allows real and virtual elements to interact in an environment.

 

Advantages of VR Training

Time and money savings

For many workplaces, VR is an affordable, remote-friendly way to train employees on not only technical skills, but also soft skills such as leadership and resilience. Several studies have shown the advantages of VR training over training in classroom or e-learning environments. 

According to research by Accenture, VR training resulted in 12 percent greater accuracy, and 17 percent faster completion times for skilled labourers, as compared to traditional training modes. One industry where VR training has been particularly successful is mining, with results announced at the Minesafe International Conference showing an impressive 43 percent decrease in lost time due to injury. 

PwC’s analysis also indicates cost savings, though their research only compares the training content and equipment cost. The biggest cost savings with VR training comes from factors like:

  • Reducing the time needed to onboard or train new employees
  • Reducing or eliminating the need for expensive practice equipment
  • Reducing or eliminating travel costs for specialized instructors and/or for sending trainees to different sites
  • Reducing the need for job shadowing
  • Reducing the skilled labor gap by filling open positions faster
  • Improving worker safety and employee engagement, leading to better productivity and fewer compensation claims

 

Efficiency and efficacy

According to that same PwC survey from 2022, Virtual Reality learners were 2.75 times more confident in applying the skills they learned in training to their day-to-day work. They were also significantly more emotionally connected and focused on the subject matter than their peers who took e-learning training courses. 

Plus, training with VR was completed up to 4 times faster than traditional classroom training – an exciting result for managers and supervisors looking to get employees up to speed quickly. 

A study from the University of Maryland found an 8.8 percent average increase in memory recall among VR trainees compared to traditional classroom trainees, while a survey of welding students at Iowa State University found that 100 percent of those students performed better on welding tests than students receiving traditional training.

 

Safety

Workplace safety is another important application for VR training. 

Keeping injuries to a minimum is good for both workers and businesses, yet the format of job safety training has remained largely unchanged for decades. With its potential to increase efficacy and memory recall, it makes sense that VR is becoming a popular choice for safety training. 

Part of this is that VR can offer realistic physical feedback that classrooms and textbooks simply cannot. For example, in Fall Protection VR training, a trainee actually experiences the feeling of falling. This creates a much stronger response in the brain, and a much stronger motivation to avoid that outcome. For most people, having the physical experience of falling from a high platform is likely to create a more vivid memory than reading about falling in a textbook.

And while experiencing a virtual fall may be unpleasant in the moment, VR training is generally much safer from a physical standpoint than training in a real, active work environment on real equipment. 

According to the National Education Association, VR training produces an average retention rate of 75 percent, beating out lectures at 5 percent, reading at 10 percent, and audio-visual learning at 20 percent. 

 

Fluent Motion VR Training Options

Recognizing the importance of delivering the most efficient and cost-effective training modes for your organization, Fluent Motion is pleased to offer a wide array of VR training options to suit businesses of various sizes, and in various industries. 

See our full list of current training options in our VR Training Library – with new listings always being added.

Our VR training encompasses courses for the top industries where VR training is already being used (according to Perkins Coie):

  • Workforce training and development
  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Manufacturing
  • Automotive

Are you ready to join the VR training revolution? Contact Fluent Motion today to sign up for one of our VR training courses.  Book your VR Trial today!