Virtual Reality will Change Everything
Organizations have tried interactive websites, CD-ROMs, communities of practice, video, and webinars, but all of these fall short of both creating a meaningful learning experience and getting the people learning more engaged. But virtual reality (VR) is coming, and it not only offers more strong and attractive professional improvement experiences, but it can also deliver the experiences that are not possible without harsh weather, expensive hardware, or actual enemy opponents.
The core purpose of virtual reality is to trick the brain to believe that it is experiencing something that is real and really occurring in the surrounding. This virtual reality experience comes from the fast graphic chips and processors whose displays combine two images using the wide angle optics and producing stereo immersion and vision.
Wherever you are moving your head, there is something available for you to view, because these images are typically rendered in a 360-degree environment. It becomes difficult for the human brain to understand the difference between the real world and the virtual reality world, because the computers serve up the visuals so fast that a human brain can’t understand. To facilitate the learning in an intuitive and natural way, virtual reality delivers fascinating environments that include sounds as well. Due to the malleability of the software, developers have become able to create dangerous and rare circumstances and situations that would cost a ton to try to state in real life.
The most effective for people to learn anything is to learn by doing. The flight time for pilots operating expensive aircrafts, is typically at a premium. So airplane companies throughout the world have turned to simulation. Building full simulators isn’t a realistic option for most airplane companies, due to the cost. However, products, equipment, and even our bodies are available in 3D models which makes it relatively easy to create virtual reality experiences.
Imagine that you are a medical resident. You might see 50 transurethral resections of the TURPs or prostate, throughout your entire residency. University of Washington’s Tom Furness said, “Most of them are normal. You rarely, if ever, experience an unusual case.” A resident can practice more than 50 procedures a day, with several variations that can help to train for unusual circumstances by using virtual reality technology.
The same philosophy is being applied to football by STRIVR Labs. The company is creating virtual reality training set-ups that can help quarterbacks run through the defensive plays and the videos are of real players taking action (rushing them or whatever it may be). This helps the players practice so that they can react quicker and overall enhance their performance.
At times, the current software can get in the way of effective communication. Bob Berry, who is the CEO of Envelop virtual reality, said that teams are trying their best to understand the fact of how everything fits together. He said, “People try to analyze data in a non-intuitive way, as parameters or attributes, or even a 3-D model on a 2-D screen. In VR, they can share the data in a 3-D space, at the correct scale — and talk about the representation of the data how it would exist in the real world. Human brains are wired to understand the model in the way VR presents it. That removes levels of abstraction and helps people communicate directly about the same thing.”
There is still the need of practice for good communication. Some virtual reality games like Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes offers genuine circumstances to teach the people to communicate with each other with accuracy even if the person is under pressure. This game revolves around defusing the bomb. The person playing in virtual reality can see and locate the bomb and they also have a variety of tools to defuse it. The other person playing this isn’t able to see the bomb, but has a manual showing how to defuse it. Both of them need to work together otherwise the bomb goes off. This seems to be more exciting than a boring lecture teaching people how to communicate with each other.
According to Gallup Poll in 2016, less than 3 out of total 10 employees are engaged while at work. There are many factors behind poor engagement: disconnects and miscommunications between the front-line employees and management, poor managers, perceptions of performance, and mismatches between role and talent. Another important factor behind poor engagement is context. Employees don’t know what is expected from them, how their work is related to the whole organization, and how they are connected to the mission and purpose of the organization.
Virtual reality could provide new employees with the virtual reality experiences that will help to secure their relationship to work and feel more part of the team. Employees could be able to go on tours of development and research, factories where the things are assembled, and the mines where the raw materials are sourced. VR could enable the employees to see the development of solutions and the delivery to the customers. It could also enable them to freely ask questions, wander, and return as often as they wish. Virtual reality will help individuals to understand efficiently not just the contribution of their work and role, but also the connection between them and the success of the organization.
Virtual reality has a great potential to alter the way we teach, learn and develop. For VR to be very successful, it will at least partially depend on developers’ ability to create lessons utilizing more immersive experiences. It will also be reliant on the customers being willing to experiment.
These are the early days for virtual reality. It sure is exciting though. As Berry said, “VR eliminates learning that was forced on people by less capable technology, such as how to communicate about 3-D data at a distance, and brings it back to a more natural, intuitive activity that just works.”