When people talk about virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), it’s often in the context of gaming, entertainment, or Snapchat filters. And while those applications have seen mass adoption, they barely scratch the surface of what is possible for VR and AR.
Numerous industries have already used these virtual mediums to enhance and streamline their existing operations. One of the most useful ways that often flies under the radar is implementing VR and AR for education and training.
VR and AR technology have the capability to help students, front line workers, surgeons, or basically anyone who needs on-the-job training or education.
The VR Effect in Schools
While technology aids can help students of all walks of life be more engaged and involved, special needs students can benefit significantly from this cutting-edge technology.
For students with visual impairments, VR and AR give students the ability to manipulate the size or change the contrast of a video, thus making it easier to see. Other applications give them access to an as-needed audio commentary—which can bridge the learning gap if they have trouble understanding what’s on the screen. Likewise, pairing 2D barcode scanning technology with VR screen readers allows students to hear that which they can’t see.
For students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), understanding the emotions of others, especially facial expressions, can be a challenge. A recent study paired ASD students with an AR system. Here, they were presented with basic 3D facial expressions in AR and presented them with problems they had to solve requiring emotional judgment. After the study, the students’ ability to recognize and identify the emotional expressions of others improved substantially, showing real potential for future AR educational programs for ASD students.
VR/AR In The Workplace
The pandemic enforced social distancing and remote work. For some, this was a minor adjustment. For others—especially those “hands-on” careers—it meant reimagining their job entirely.
Front line workers risked their lives daily for the greater good. Thankfully, VR and AR allowed them to mitigate some of this risk. Alongside engineers and scientists, front line workers engaged in on-the-job training using VR and AR systems, which made their learning safer—not just for them, but also for their coworkers, patients, families, and anyone they interacted with. With VR and AR, frontline workers were able to practice on virtual patients and experience, especially in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) situations—conditons common with extreme COVID-19 infections.”
The applications extend beyond the pandemic. VR and AR can be used to make any training simulation completely safe and consequence-free. Surgeons, for example, use VR to help them plan how to navigate new procedures, in a video game-esque simulation. IATA is leading the way in airline safety with their RAMPVR tool and VR training initiatives.
Even big corporations like Walmart, that deal with the consumerism horror stories of Black Friday, have been using VR to train their employees in successful customer relations. The training provides a framework for employees to provide increased customer satisfaction in a safe and realistic learning environment.
In short, on-the-job training in a virtual space has a host of applications, especially in high-skill, high-safety, or high-stress careers.
How To Start Your Company’s VR/AR Experiences
The premise of creating your own VR/AR experiences may sound simultaneously promising and daunting. The potential is surely there—but it’s not as difficult as many think to get started.
Here at Arlene, we’ve helped multiple companies begin their VR/AR activations, from global corporations like Coach and Macy’s down to small startups looking to break into the virtual world. We offer self-service and managed services that enable results-driven VR/AR at scale.
The beauty of VR and AR is that they’re highly visual mediums that are easily accessible and easy data-rich. We’re only in the nascent stages of this medium—so the only limit to the types of education and training you can create lies within your imagination.
If you’re curious and want to explore ideas on how we can work together, reach out to us. We want to help you to make your training and education soar.
Want to learn more? Contact us.