VR takes training to next level

Written by Kate Raynes - Goldie for Business News. 

Published: Friday, 23 February, 2018

For the first time ever, the Olympic Games have been broadcast in virtual reality, with the Seven Network having partnered with Samsung to offer 100 hours of coverage of the games in VR and 360 video.

This year’s Winter Olympics were also the first time that athletes used VR as part of their training regime. The US Olympic ski and snowboard teams used VR simulations to get ‘mental access’ to the course before the actual event, according to Troy Taylor, the team’s director of high performance.

It’s a pretty compelling example of how VR can be used by organisations and teams to improve performance.

And it’s something we’re also doing quite well here in Western Australia, with two local companies offering bespoke VR training for corporates.

Training for leadership

Perth-based Being VR (recently rebranded from Diversifly) provides diversity and leadership training for corporates using the Samsung Gear VR platform.

The company recently completed a leadership-training program for Bankwest, which uses VR to provide an immersive coaching experience. Filmed using 3D 360 video and actors, the participant views various scenarios from a fly on the wall perspective. A voiceover narration provides the coaching material to guide the participant through the experience.

Being VR founder and CEO Lucie Hammond said VR offered a number of advantages over traditional training models (often involving role-playing in front of others, which was something many people found intimidating).

Because employees could take the equipment home and try it in private, she said, it allowed people to ‘fail forward’ in a safe and confidential environment.

The realness and customisation of the experience also offered advantages over traditional training videos.

“The immersion and believability of the experience trigger learning and have a level of impact that 2D video just doesn’t have,” Ms Hammond said.

“It’s a whole multi-sensory experience.”

For example, the Bankwest project was filmed in the offices and meeting rooms used by staff, making the experience all the more realistic.

Overall, Ms Hammond said, VR bridged the gap between taking knowledge from intensive theory into day- to-day work life.

Lucie Hammond