Posted on 15-Aug-18
AR/VR: What's the difference for learning? image

Walking into a building destroyed by fire to assess and record damages. Performing heart surgery. Properly disposing of hazardous materials. Besides making your heart race, these activities have another thing in common: they’re difficult to convert into eLearning or webinars.

How do you train for high-risk situations without putting your employees at risk? Introducing your employees to real-world situations in a safe, controlled environment is one of the best use-cases for augmented and virtual reality. Even low-risk, high-stress situations, like punching in the correct order on a point of sale system while an impatient line of customers forms, can be trained through a new reality.

As more companies begin to see the uses of AR and VR to create training environments, they still run into barriers. Many companies we work with aren’t sure what application will best suit their needs. Here are a few differentiators between these emerging technologies.

We capture scenarios and training environments with 360 video to lead the learner through a process or location that can otherwise be difficult, expensive or dangerous to visit. We allow the learner to view the 360 video by dragging with their mouse or finger on desktop or mobile devices while also providing immersive experience using any VR headset. 360 Video doesn’t include interactions but is still considered immersive.

Use Case: By creating a 360 video that’s accessible via desktop or headset, companies can provide soft skills training in a way that teaches social cues, empathy, body language, and more. A new manager can observe a video of a manager interacting with a subordinate to learn how to give instructions.

360 interactive video includes all of the benefits of 360 passive video with the inclusion of hotspots and interactive info buttons within the video. We create scenarios and branched learning with immersive video and knowledge checks within the video.

Use Case: Companies can teach customer service representatives how to respond to caller questions and feedback. By watching a 360 video layered with questions, the customer service reps can choose how to respond to the situation. The interactive video can be a branched experience in which learners can choose their own journey through the video. For example, if the representative responds to a customer with a great response, the video will play a positive scenario. If the representative responds poorly to a customer, the video will take them on a different path until a resolution is reached.

AR places virtual objects in real-world space. Using special glasses or AR capable mobile devices, images appear in front of the user. This can be used to allow the user to explore an object and all its parts or apply virtual labels to a piece of equipment to help them learn how to use each part of the device.

Use Case: Automotive companies can build a mobile AR application that allows them to teach mechanics, sales associates, and even customers, exactly what car parts need to be maintained. When pointing a mobile device at the car, those parts can glow to indicate it’s time for them to be changed.

Using a combination of 360 photographs and 3D modeling, we can build a virtual device, room or building to teach a process or encourage behavioral change through scenarios and simulation. Truly immersive, this option allows the user to pick up and move objects, turn on or take apart a device, walk around a room, and interact with virtual characters.

Use Case: By building a fully-immersive virtual “home”, real estate companies can train their agents on how to give a walk-through, interact with prospective buyers, field questions, and make recommendations. Agents can walk through the virtual home and open cabinets and turn on the lights. 

Author: Samantha McClintock with Roundtable Learning.

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