In 2019, private industry employers reported 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses. Laborers, freight, stock, and material movers had the highest number of cases among these 2.8 million injuries.
As incidence rates increase across these high-risk occupations, there’s never been a better time to consider incorporating extended reality (XR) technology into your training program. XR can be utilized for a variety of training purposes, including:
- Driver Simulation Training
- ComplexEquipment Training
- Robbery Training
- Fire Safety Training
XR technology is a safe, scalable training method that avoids real-world risk. Through augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), or mixed reality, XR programs can safely train learners on technical skills, safety, machinery, and more.
If you’re looking for a safe training option that still effectively instructs your learners, meet XR training!
In this article, we will define the 3 types of XR, discuss the benefits of using XR, and provide 4 examples of XR training for high-risk scenarios.
What Is XR Training?
XR training refers to training solutions that extend reality through a headset, mobile phone, or tablet. Essentially, XR extends the reality we experience by either merging the virtual and “real” world or by creating a fully immersive experience. Instead of traditional training materials like PowerPoint, XR technologies offer a more immersive experience for learners that is both safe and engaging.
3 Types Of XR Technology
- AR — AR training adds interactive, digital elements to a real-world environment. In AR, learners can place 3D computer-generated objects onto a surface to study and interact with it. AR is ideal for training technical skills, multi-step tasks, onboarding, and product knowledge.
- VR — VR creates an artificial environment in which the user is fully immersed in an experience. Learners can be transported to a new location where they can look around themselves, walk up to computer-generated objects, and interact with items and people. VR is effective for scenario-based learning, technical skills, multi-step tasks, onboarding, and simulations.
- Mixed Reality — Mixed reality utilizes both AR and VR to blend the physical and digital worlds. This type of XR uses advanced computer technology, graphics, and input systems which allows learners to co-exist and interact with physical and digital objects in real-time.
Benefits Of Using XR For High-Risk Scenario Training
Industries are typically designated high-risk if their employees perform precarious work that has an increased risk of serious injury. High-risk scenarios can involve anything from operating complex machinery to technology-related hazards like equipment failure.
A comprehensive XR training program can help alleviate the risks involved with training in high-risk industries. XR training programs can offer the following benefits to high-risk industries:
- Protect property and assets — In high-risk industries, employees often operate large, complex machinery. To avoid harm and the usage of real-life equipment for training, XR can simulate the equipment in a realistic, true-to-life manner. In doing so, learners avoid the potential of damaging and occupying real-life property and equipment.
- Reduce the number of learner mistakes — In XR training, learners can make and learn from mistakes in a risk-free environment. This helps limit the number of mistakes made in the actual high-risk environment, keeping individuals and employees safe while on the job.
- Realistic skills practice — XR training provides an environment that feels accurate in terms of equipment, setting, and people. High-risk industry skill practice is often unforgiving, but XR training allows learners to repeat and master skills needed to perform their role correctly.
- Ensure long-term knowledge retention — XR yields long-term knowledge retention rates, meaning learners remember information for longer periods of time post-training. Long-term knowledge retention means that learners won’t need to be retrained as often, which avoids wasting time and resources in high-risk industries.
In 2020, the market for XR technology in the U.S. is forecasted to reach $18.8 billion, which is an increase of over 78% from spending the prior year. As organizations continue to recognize the advantages of XR, there is no doubt that XR’s usage for training programs will continue to expand.
4 Examples Of Using XR For High-Risk Scenarios
Driver Simulation Training
An immersive driving simulation trains drivers on required steps for operating their vehicle correctly and delivering packages safely and efficiently. Learners can be trained on something as simple as adjusting mirrors to checking that their vehicle is safe to drive. Learners can practice driving at the correct speed and test their reaction to potential risks like pedestrian crossings.
In using full VR, learners don’t have to operate a real-life vehicle or put anyone in physical danger. Although this training takes place over a VR headset, learners can still complete their tasks as if they were operating a vehicle in the real world.
Complex Machinery Training
An AR training program allows learners to view complex machinery holistically or break it down into its individual parts. For example, learners can place a motor on the table top in front of them, then explore its parts and learn additional information about each piece. Beyond just learning about an object and its parts, learners can work through troubleshooting fictional problems like the motor releasing smoke.
AR training for complex machinery allows learners to view the inner workings of objects, see how they operate, and fix problems. This avoids the need to work with actual equipment and steers clear of potential damages, which better prepares learners for working with equipment in real life.
Full VR can simulate a robbery experience for retail and food industry workers. In this scenario, learners can figure out how to navigate and de-escalate a simulated robbery. Learners must make decisions in the simulation that have an immediate effect on the robber’s actions. To successfully complete the simulation, learners must select the appropriate responses to alleviate the situation.
By completing a robbery training simulation, learners can discover proper company protocols and learn how to make decisions under stressful circumstances. Full VR gives learners access to a situation that would otherwise be too difficult to practice, repeat, and address appropriately.
Fire Safety Training
Learners can work through a 360° VR program that prompts them with questions about what to do in the case of a fire emergency. In this environment, learners will experience a realistic work setting with real-life sounds, sights, and equipment. They can learn what different colored flashing lights mean and observe where important equipment is located, such as an extinguisher.
360° VR for fire safety training helps develop the skills and knowledge necessary for handling a fire at an organization. By testing their decisions under pressure, learners will be better prepared if a fire were to occur in real life.
Are You Ready To Incorporate XR Into Your Training Program?
In this article, we’ve covered what XR training is, the benefits of using it for high-risk training, and four practical examples of its use.
Are you ready to get started with your XR training program?