September 27, 2017

Extended Reality Training

With the rise of digital media, learning can now take place on any platform, anywhere. Interactive digital content, especially in Extended Reality (XR), provides an engaging medium for training.

Learning can be broken into two parts: memorization and application. Memorizing information is an important precursor to practicing its application and developing reliable skills. This is especially important in some industries—like health and safety—where lives are at stake. By mixing the three traditional learning styles (visual, auditory, and kinematic) an individual’s comprehension and long term memory are improved. This is something that can be addressed with extended reality.

Immersive environments provide a chance for users to experience something in a way that feels real. Depth and dimension cause users to behave more realistically. The brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text. This is probably related to the fact that 90 percent of the information that comes to the brain is visual. Forty percent of all nerve fibers connected to the brain are linked to the retina. Visual aids improve classroom learning by up to 400 percent. Training in immersive environments can take advantage of these natural traits. Realism enhances the user experience and leaves a long-lasting impression.

Simulations are dynamic and require problem-solving. Introducing randomness into a scenario means that no experience is identical, even during replay. This increases an individual’s exposure to new content. Just ten randomized variables introduce 3,628,800 possible outcomes. Dynamically changing content provides a superior training foundation over the traditional static material.

Immersive experiences can also provide valuable sensory feedback. Things like pulse and movement can be analyzed to measure how well someone handles stress. If you need to know how someone will handle heights, emergencies, dangerous situations, or train them to recognize potential safety hazards, XR provides a fantastic platform to conduct tests.

Simulation training, another virtual training medium, provides new opportunities for life and collateral loss prevention. Repairing an irradiated reactor becomes more predictable when you can train by simulating the maintenance with architectural plans in XR. Industrial equipment can now be linked to physical controls with haptic feedback to allow operators to become proficient at their tasks before their first day on the job site. Private security forces can simulate scenarios utilizing real-world data in a mixed reality environment the size of a warehouse. By deploying practical technologies, cost-effective solutions can be designed that have measurable results.

Interactive XR applications that make use of augmented or mixed realities are extremely useful for training and problem-solving in the field. With the addition of ruggedized smart devices to the front lines of the petroleum industry, there is an opportunity to provide software solutions that can address user needs in critical situations.

The digitization of information has made mass deploying complex data easier than ever before. By modernizing the way user manuals, repair manuals, or safety training are visualized, the accessibility of this information can be improved. Information that has been digitized is more re-usable than traditional paper medium. It is an important way to catalog intellectual property for use and distribution. Architectural plans, point cloud data, and detailed schematics can now be accessible in XR everywhere you need them. Instant access to this information during a critical period can save lives, or impact the bottom line when repairs are taking place. These technologies can allow a novice to access the experience of a seasoned professional to help guide their work. Equipment subcomponents can be identified in real time and visualized for repair, inspection, and training.

In closing, the ROI for XR training is measurable against the bottom line. In addition to academic studies supporting the data, testing and statistics management allow for tracking an individual or team’s progress. Tracking response time, accuracy, and task management give new insights to an individual or team collective skill level. It also allows you to measure progressive improvements that directly impact the bottom line, and save lives.