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Examples of VR used for Training – Industry Case Studies

June 21, 2023 - Dom Barnard

This article discusses case studies which highlight how virtual reality (VR) has been used to provide training solutions across different industries and business sectors.

1. Verizon & STRIVR: Customer service training

Verizon & STRIVR: Customer service training

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.

Learning aims and objectives

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.

Insights from the training

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:

  • Had significantly improved their levels of calmness during difficult conversations
  • Verbal fluency improved considerably
  • Were more confident, sure of themselves, and relaxed
  • All of these are key components for customer satisfaction and de-escalation of difficult conversations.

Learn more: VR Customer Service Training

2. GE Healthcare & Immerse: Transforming radiography training


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.

What happened

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.


  • Quicker and more frequent radiology training
  • Increases the time that actual CT scanners are operational, as they are not being used for training
  • During VR training, trainees make decisions and calculations, based on real scans
  • Real-time data from training to provide feedback and review
  • Easily scalable as all the VR training is accessible online

Learn more: GE Healthcare: Transforming radiography with VR training

3. Vodafone & VirtualSpeech: Improving presentation skills

Vodafone and VirtualSpeech: Improving presentation skills

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 VR and 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.

Benefits of the VR training experience

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

Result highlights

  • Built a customised virtual environment ready for deployment in 4 weeks
  • 91% of learners would like to see more VR training at Vodafone
  • 93% of employees would recommend VirtualSpeech to a colleague

Learn more: Building the Vodafone Pavilion in VR for employees to practice presentation skills

4. Johnson & Johnson Institute & Osso VR: Enhancing surgical training

Johnson & Johnson Institute & Osso VR: Enhancing surgical training

Embracing state-of-the-art medical technology

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.


  • Students trained with OSSO VR obtained a score 233% greater than those who used passive learning tools
  • Students who used OSSO VR completed 252% more steps than students trained with passive tools

Learn more: Driving greater adoption of cutting-edge medical technology

5. Nestlé Purina: Empowering a sales team

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.


  • From training 10 salespeople per month in VR, Nestlé saved USD 100k, per year in travel and lost productivity
  • VR training delivered clear improvements in line with OSHA standards

Learn more: Empowering a sales team to become top dog

6. Intel & HTC Vive: Reducing electrical accidents

Intel and HTC Vive: Reducing electrical accidents

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.

Outcomes and benefits

  • Intel improved their training offer by using VR and recorded a 5-Year ROI of 300%
  • The trainees enjoyed VR training, with 94% wanting more virtual training
  • Reduced training total cost of ownership
  • Increased trainee retention and motivation

Going forward

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.

Learn more: Intel Enhances Training With VR, Sees 5-Year ROI of 300%

7. Varjo & Boeing: Astronaut VR training

Varjo and Boeing: Astronaut VR training

Preparing astronauts for crewed space missions is a meticulous and critical process that requires extensive practice and training. The Boeing Starliner flight-test crew in Houston understands the significance of innovative training methods to ensure the success of their missions.

Docking to the International Space Station (ISS) is a complex operation, and they have embraced immersive virtual reality (VR) environments provided by Varjo for training purposes. This advanced VR training allows the crew to practice precise procedures and prepares them for unexpected events that may arise during the mission.

By simulating dangerous situations and refining their responses and decision-making abilities, VR training plays a crucial role in enhancing mission safety. Varjo’s high-quality visual fidelity enables astronauts to train with precision, immersing themselves in realistic spacecraft environments.

Through VR simulations, the crew can effectively practice and improve their skills without exposing themselves to real-life risks. Ultimately, the integration of VR training significantly contributes to mission safety and paves the way for future advancements in astronaut preparation for space exploration endeavors.

“The ability to connect and jointly train astronauts from various countries, agencies, and private partnerships will be especially important as human spaceflight becomes more commercialized and accessible to everyone.”

Jim May – Spaceflight Training Software Engineer, Boeing

Learn more: A New Era in Astronaut Training using VR

8. NHS & Make Real: Blood identification and grouping


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.

Use Case

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.

Learn more: Blood Identification VR

9. UPS Prepares Drivers for Road Hazards with VR

UPS Prepares Drivers for Road Hazards with VR

The UPS driver training program utilizes VR to allow students to practice their driving skills and develop their ability to identify and handle hazards on the road within a simulated environment. This approach enables drivers to gain valuable experience and prepare for real-life challenges they may encounter while driving.

The driver simulation in VR provides a comprehensive experience that encompasses various road hazards, including pedestrians, parked cars, and oncoming traffic. By exposing drivers to these scenarios in a safe and controlled virtual environment, UPS ensures that they are equipped to handle similar challenges when they are on the road.

Deb Pockette, UPS Integrad project manager, emphasizes the value of training drivers in realistic conditions, particularly for new drivers. The VR simulation captures all the essential aspects that UPS wants drivers to experience before they start driving on actual roads, leading to safer and more competent drivers.

UPS recognizes the importance of embracing technology to maintain a competitive edge and foster a modern workplace. To facilitate this, the company has recently introduced a mobile training academy, consisting of two 53-foot-long trailers, which brings all the training concepts taught in traditional UPS driver training facilities directly to students.

These mobile trailers incorporate virtual reality and augmented reality kiosks, enabling students to benefit from immersive and interactive training experiences.

As UPS continues to advance its training facilities, the integration of VR simulation technology will be extended to all UPS Integrad training centers.

Learn more: UPS Driver Training with VR

10. Volkswagen: Development using VR glasses

Volkswagen: Development using VR glasses

Volkswagen has been utilizing virtual reality (VR) tools in various areas of its operations, including technical development, assembly planning, and factory logistics. These VR tools have proven to be time-saving, process-simplifying, and collaboration-enhancing, ultimately increasing efficiency within the company. Here are three examples of how Volkswagen uses virtual workflows:

Driving Simulator in Technical Development:

Volkswagen’s Virtual Reality Center of Excellence (VRK) is responsible for creating driving simulators that allow new vehicle concepts to be experienced at an early stage. Developers use VR glasses to visualize the driving environment and evaluate aspects such as control elements, customer experience, and functionality.

The driving simulator provides a realistic driving experience and helps identify potential improvements in vehicle ergonomics. By using VR, Volkswagen accelerates development processes and reduces resource consumption.

Virtual Assembly Planning:

Volkswagen uses VR in its 3P workshops (Production Preparation Process) where assembly lines are set up or modified. Traditionally, physical prototypes made of plywood and cardboard were used to plan assembly processes, but these prototypes are costly.

By transitioning to virtual meetings, participants can use VR to simulate assembly cycles, identify ergonomic issues, and optimize processes. The digital representation of production facilities forms the basis for creating 3D visualizations, and participants act as avatars in the simulation. This approach allows Volkswagen to detect errors earlier, reduce costs, and streamline assembly processes.

VR in Logistics:

Volkswagen employs virtual reality to introduce new logistics processes and enhance efficiency. VR workshops are conducted to modify workflows related to new IT systems and software in logistics. By using VR applications, employees can virtually navigate and interact with the logistics processes, understand new features, and actively contribute to shaping the processes.

This approach improves collaboration among planners, IT specialists, and logistics experts. VR simulations enable employees to learn and test digital systems and tools, making it easier to analyze vulnerabilities, manage changes, and enhance routine operations.


Overall, Volkswagen’s adoption of VR tools in various areas of its operations has enabled the company to save time, reduce costs, simplify processes, and enhance collaboration and efficiency.

These virtual workflows contribute to Volkswagen’s sustainability goals by minimizing the need for physical prototypes, reducing material consumption, and eliminating the need for extensive business travel.

Learn more: How Volkswagen uses virtual workflows