Even before the Metaverse hype-train, Enterprise VR was growing exponentially. It’s projected by PwC to grow from a $13.5 billion sector in 2019 to $450.5 billion by 2030.
In fact it’s Enterprise VR that’s behind a lot of the spending in the XR sector. Businesses are finding and pioneering bold applications for VR. Hospitals use it to train surgeons; primary industries for health and safety and accident training; , to give drivers practice handling hazardous materials; retailers, to help ensure staff deliver the correct customer experience; etc.
COVID accelerated the trend to work remotely and now there are many ways that VR can be used to maintain a sense of community and team between co-workers who may never meet IRL. That’s not to say it’s replacing Zoom but it can be a really useful addition to the online communication toolbox.
A more efficient way to learn procedures
There are hundreds of academic studies on procedural training, and the literature is mature enough to include a number of meta-analyses — for example comparing VR surgical training to other techniques. Findings generally support the equivalence of VR training to face-to-face training, the economic savings of VR, or the decreased amount of time needed to train with VR compared to traditional techniques, and larger applications of this academic research echo these trends.
As a recent example, Walmart has trained over a million of its associates in VR. One of the most frequently used modules is “The Pickup Tower” . It’s basically a large kiosk that lets customers pick up online orders. Trainees received step-by-step instruction on how to operate this new machine, with immediate feedback when they made mistakes.
Before VR, each person spent an entire day on training inside specifically designated stores, with some hands-on training and some e-learning. VR reduced the training from eight hours to 15 minutes, with no drop in efficacy. Given the fact that all Walmart associates nationwide need to train on The Pickup Tower, VR should return over a million full days of work. To quote Heather Durtschi, senior director of content design and development at Walmart, “You can do the math as to what the savings would be.”
A safe place to learn soft skills
Over the past year, demand has increased for training “soft skills” to improve customer service and managerial skills. These use cases have a foundation in academic work; for example many studies have used VR to teach public speaking. Given how expensive it is to assemble a room full of real people, VR is a game changer in terms of ease and cost. VR shows a unique balance across experiments — it is immersive enough for people to take the training seriously, but also a safe environment where learners are less self-conscious about speaking frankly compared to talking to real people.
How to get started with a Enterprise VR project?
- The first stage is to identify business areas where you think VR might provide a clear benefit in terms of cost savings or improved performance, measurable with KPIs. We can help you with that – let’s have a conversation!
- Involve the stakeholders at the beginning of the project. If you don’t talk to the users, we won’t know what kind of product they need.
- Start with a pilot project, then collect data and success metrics, iterate and improve the system until it’s ready to roll-out across the whole organization.