| October 28, 2019

Practice Makes Perfect: How AR and VR is Transforming Workplace Training

Sayon Deb

Combining real and virtual environments and human-machine interactions, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) is helping provide experiential and immersive learning environments to prepare the future workforce. According to a new report from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), workforce training is the top use case for both AR and VR. In fact, these immersive technologies – often referred to as XR, an umbrella term describing the intersection of augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality (MR) – are being actively used to support training initiatives in workplaces across difference industries.

Benefits of XR-enabled immersive training include improved productivity and increased employee engagement through its ability to mimic real-life situations. XR hardware allows employees to practice a broad range of training applications from task-specific modules for hard skills and safety to potential customer and employee scenarios for leadership development.

XR simulates situations that would otherwise prove to be nearly impossible, expensive or dangerous, benefitting both businesses which invest in them and their employees alike. Among the companies surveyed with an annual revenue of over $1 billion for this study, 68% use AR and 65% use VR for training and/or teaching.

By giving trainees a fun and immersive learning experience, they are not only more engaged and interested, but are also more likely to retain what they’ve learned. Companies benefit from higher-skilled workers and reduced training and travel expenses. In fact, more than eight in 10 of the companies that participated in the study already rely on XR technologies or plan to use them within the next year to support training initiatives.

CTA member companies like Walmart, Bosch and Osso VR are at the vanguard of deploying XR technologies for training initiatives:

Walmart has deployed VR technology across 200 training centers to train store managers and associates in new technology, soft skills like empathy and customer service, and compliance. The company believes that the confidence boost VR gives employees is what makes it such an effective training tool.

Bosch implemented AR in technical service training at its support workshops. The AR modules educate employees on vehicle servicing and repair by giving them a look at the functions and features of high-voltage engines and systems. After winning an award for the training program, Bosch recognized that the technology allowed trainers to explain sophisticated functions in a clear way.

Osso VR is a VR-based program to train surgeons. With issues of access to trained surgeons and millions who experience surgical complications each year, VR-based training programs can directly address a surgeon skills gap by providing hands-on training that closely simulates an operating room environment – not to mention it can be done anytime, anywhere. A recent clinical validation study from UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine found training on the Osso VR platform improved participants’ overall surgical performance by 230% compared with traditional training methods.

As more technology and training leaders recognize the long-term benefits in cost, safety and employee engagement that XR brings, the technology will become even more embedded into workforce training programs in the years ahead. What will your business do?

To download or purchase the CTA XR Enterprise Trends report, visit CTA.tech/research.

CES showcases the latest innovations in AR and VR through show floor exhibits and showcasing the newest products and panelists discussing the technology’s impact. For more information, visit CES.tech.