Implementing VR training: Challenges, Solutions and its Impact on Your Organization

Puneet Badrinath
February 14, 2023
3 min read
  • What was the headline of the compelling article you read a week ago? 
  • Who won the tortoise vs. the rabbit’s race?
  • Which was the first car you owned/drove? 

You can easily answer the second question, and answer the third one with a little difficulty. But the first one is soo tough! We remember stories that are thousands of years old, but material that’s a week old is forgotten. We remember things that are strongly connected with emotions - the thrill of owning and driving your own car or the strong morals of the tortoise vs. the rabbit’s race. That’s almost always missing in the headline.

We want the same retention and recall when we learn something new, but at the same time, we can’t pack our brains infinitely. That said, there is some knowledge that we want our coworkers, trainees, etc. to retain. Today’s challenge is our inability to lodge them into our long-term memory by associating them with strong emotions.

Enter Virtual Reality

Be it the famous Virtual Reality (VR) experience of falling off a building or the extremely real horror games, they touch the primal experience of survival. There are other virtual realities that touch other emotions and these experiences stick with us for a long time. Naturally, VR training has gained popularity in recent years in the hope of offering a more immersive and interactive way of learning and improving skills since knowledge retention and recall are clinically proven.

But, the ability to take this across sectors, business scales, audiences, etc. is limited despite the benefits. 3D is intimidating to anybody outside CAD realms (or folks who understand what CAD stands for - Computer-Aided Drawings). And you need “translators” who act as intermediaries between knowledge, training material, etc., and the virtual reality experience. These are typically folks like software engineers, 3D artists, and virtual reality hardware vendors. With every additional layer, there’s a layer of intimidation/frustration added that makes this transition to VR stories harder. The key then is to eliminate these translation layers to make storytelling that much easier.

Internally, we faced the same challenge when working with multiple customers on immersive experiences. It was soo hard to context switch between each customer and create completely new stories from scratch every single time. We found that eliminating all dependencies on engineers, 3D artists, etc. upto 85% or more is the way to quickly turn around for customers, and make ourselves a viable business partner in the long run. The answer surprisingly is ZERO CODE - I want to create a virtual reality or augmented reality experience for my customer, and I quickly put together something like a PowerPoint and after a few back-and-forths, is ready to go live - as simple as that.

Here’s an example of this in action - one of our customers wanted virtual reality for safety training to simulate field conditions. They had a combination of standard operating procedures, PowerPoint presentations (to illustrate examples), and subject matter experts. To convert this into a virtual reality experience, we had a combination of:
1. Project manager understanding the content of safety training,
2. Software engineer to write code/logic,
3. 3D artist to create these models, source them, and optimize them,
4. And finally, the customer's subject matter expert overviews the accuracy of the content.

Every single change goes underwent many loss-in-translations, and due to the nature of the activity, the cost of the project is high, the time taken is long, and the customer's interest to scale this fizzles out over a few months.

And remember, this is for one module! Safety training has 100s of modules across multiple sectors and this is a daunting exercise, not only to create but to maintain and ensure it's updated.

We removed two to three people (of the four above) and gave the zero-code tool for the subject matter expert to create the virtual reality training module that covers 80% of their needs (in 2x-3x time it takes to create PowerPoint presentations) with the library of 3D models themselves, or with the help of another person. This reduces the overhead, the need for multiple back-and-forths between these folks, and a path to scale across the organization, globally.

And we don’t eliminate these jobs! The 3D artist spends his time creating a library of assets instead of working on individual projects and reusing modules from different projects. And the software engineer works to make capable libraries to perform advanced functions within the software rather than writing code to animate individual elements of the 3D model.

ZERO CODE does this today, and all the tools exist to leverage virtual reality for training on Fabrik.

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