This article discusses case studies which highlight how virtual reality (VR) has been used to provide training solutions across different industries and business sectors.
Immersive learning allows employees to practise dealing with difficult customers and challenging situations in a safe environment, where they can build up their skills and confidence.
The American telecommunications company, Verizon, decided to use VR training to better prepare and train their call-center employees, where handling difficult customers is a routine occurrence.
The aim of the virtual training was to upskill customer service staff to be empathetic towards their customers and develop a better understanding of their needs; coaching employees to consistently deliver excellent customer service.
Within the VR environment, trainees have the sensation of feeling and thinking like another person. This allows them to interact and have similar emotional responses to those their customers would experience in conversations.
By going through this process, the employee can better understand why the customer is upset, the causes of their frustration, how to de-escalate tense situations and build empathy rather than resentment.
From research and experience, it was concluded that verbal fluency is a key predictor for a person’s capacity to manage a difficult situation. Therefore, during the VR training, verbal fluency was analysed to measure trainees´ comfort and confidence levels as they practised de-escalating conversations with unhappy customers in the virtual environment.
The group practiced 3 times in VR, and by the end of the training, the employees:
In the past, radiographers have had to use an actual CT scanner to practise their skills. This was incredibly challenging due to the cost and scarcity of the scanners.
This was the driver for GE Healthcare exploring the use of VR to train their radiographers. The aim was to increase the availability of training to more radiographers across different procedures.
"VR training adds great value because of being able to experience a CCTA set up without holding up the room or patient list" - Senior radiographer, GE Healthcare.
A new VR experience was created that closely simulated the hundreds of steps that radiologists need to take during real-life procedures, when operating the CT machines.
Computer-based software simulations were included and at the same time the system allowed trainees to make mistakes in a safe environment.
A senior CTCA-accredited radiographer described feeling "right at home" after spending an hour in the simulation.
Vodafone is a global leader in technology communications through mobile, broadband and TV. The key goal for the team at VirtualSpeech was to recreate the Vodafone UK Pavilion in VRa nd provide additional VR training scenarios, so that employees could practice their presentation skills in the safety of the virtual world, before delivering presentations in real life.
In VR, employees can practice in various virtual environments, upload their presentation slides, receive AI-powered feedback, as well as track progress within the VR app. Managers can also track learner completion and progress, and more easily measure ROI.
Employees have the opportunity for on-demand, realistic practice in the Vodafone Pavilion before delivering a presentation in the Pavilion in front of a real audience
Learners receive feedback on their performance, which they can instantly use to improve, tracking their performance each time they practice
Employees can practice a range of other presentation and soft skills in the additional VirtualSpeech VR scenarios provided, such as a meeting room, sales pitch, and press conference
Performance analytics and feedback data provided within the app ensures employees know which areas they need to work on, and managers or admins can view learner’s areas of strength and improvements as well
The way that surgeons train has not altered a great deal in the last century. Technology may have improved considerably, but surgeons do not typically have the time to learn and upskill. This is particularly the case as mastering the competences to carry out a new procedure necessitates a high amount of repetition. Also, aside from the question of time required for training, the long-established methods for training do not accurately measure the surgeons' progress.
Given this context, it is no surprise that VR has become part of the modern surgical training experience. The first step took place in 2017 when Johnson & Johnson created VR simulations to train surgeons how to implant orthopedic devices. This type of training was then developed and expanded by Osso VR.
The scalability allows them to easily deploy hundreds or thousands of VR headsets for training
The beauty of training surgeons in VR is that they can learn all the steps in the procedures in a lifelike setting without any risk to patients. This greatly contributes to error reduction and increased efficiency in the real world
Throughout the Covid-19 crisis there has been an increase in requests from medical centres who wish to keep up training even if many surgeries have been cancelled. "Medical centers do not want to reach a situation of shortage of trained surgeons, so this becomes an emergency," says Mauri.
Nestlé Purina is the global leader of the pet food industry. The company started by creating virtual reality tours of their factories, which allow salespeople to see first-hand how the company produces its pet food. The idea is that the salespeople would have a clearer understanding of the production process, be better informed, and in turn inspire more trust with their clients.
Another area in which Nestlé Purina has used VR is retail shelf planning. Data is collected and analysed to plan the most effective retail shelf displays. This is then adjusted in VR, based on up-to-date sales figures and presented to store managers to optimise their planograms.
Nestlé are also using VR to help connect salespeople who are based in different locations. The disparate team can now all meet in the same virtual location and use dynamic tools, such as whiteboards to conduct meetings and training sessions. This is encouraging the creation of a more technically savvy workforce.
Learn more: https://business.oculus.com/case-studies/nestle/
Intel created a virtual Electrical Safety Recertification course, which is estimated to have a 300% ROI over five years.
Intel saw the benefits of investing in VR specifically around the reduction of total cost of ownership, more effective training, staff motivation and retention. Alongside this, they identified the ability to create immersive training environments where colleagues can learn by doing in a low risk setting.
The Electrical Safety Recertification course that Intel developed in VR presented trainees with cutting-edge VR content, clear learning outcomes, risk management scenarios, and controlled 360 feedback.
Following the success of the VR course, Intel approved a global-scale deployment of the project, essentially becoming the framework for their VR-based training throughout the business.
Vantage Point is a leading provider of racial bias and inclusion training in VR, with training topics including: Sexual Harassment Training and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training.
Given the current global situation with Covid-19, Vantage Point has recently introduced Covid-19 Deployment Models. This is to ensure that they meet their clients’ needs in line with the restrictions that are now in place.
Blood type identification is a simple and common process, but the effects of getting it wrong can be devastating. Even a small amount of transfused blood of the wrong type can very quickly cause serious illness and death.
The primary purpose of this experience was to show how quickly blood agglutination can occur when different blood types are mixed.
The aim is to build understanding around how important it is to select the right blood type for transfusions and what can quickly go wrong for the patient if you don't.
Make Real and NHSBT worked together to develop the product. They chose the Oculus Quest headset, which offers 6DoF tracking, high performance and can be used as a standalone headset, allowing it to be easily deployed within hospital training environments.
Initial feedback was positive but due to the deployment date and impact of COVID-19 upon the NHS and wider health sectors. Full-scale rollout deployment and testing has been put on hold temporarily as associated stakeholders have been positioned within the emergency response teams.