VR Learning & Training

Virtual reality is an impressive technological feat. It has been in the minds of dreamers and developers for decades but had hit monetary and technological hurdles along the way. It has allowed for us to be completely immersed in a digital landscape, exploring the world in a completely different way. The term virtual reality comes from exactly that - a computer-generated, virtual version of an alternate reality emulation. It creates a frameless, 3D digital world that we are able to interact with and explore, to an extent. 

Virtual reality can utilize up to 4 of the 5 senses, including touch, sight, hearing, and sometimes even smell.  Because of the unique way of immersion, VR can trick your brain into thinking you’re in that world. Like previously stated, virtual reality is created with computer technology and mathematics. Using a headset fitted with two lenses, they are angled differently for each eye, ensuring optimum immersion without any disturbances and to create a depth of field feature.

 

Along with shading, parallax and graphic details, the VR world can seem very real. There are different kinds of VR headsets, each having different specifications. Some headsets are more expensive and come packed with better graphics and more advanced technology, including higher frames per second rate and vertical sync, which each work with the refresh rate of your monitor to provide a seamless, non-tearing visual experience. It’s important that there is no visual lag or jaggedness because it can make the user motion sick and dizzy. Another concept of VR is called the field of view. Field of view is the user’s total visible environment, including peripheral vision while wearing the headset. The field of view and angles must be accurate to put the user in complete immersion. 

 

Aside from the technology to provide the moving images, the user must be able to move and interact within the environment. Different sensors, including infrared, in the headset and controllers allow you to move your head and arms in real life and have it translate over to the virtual world. These sensors are advanced and are able to predict your location in the real world and translate it over into the VR world, making for the most immersive experience possible. VR also uses special sound technology to improve the realism of the VR experience. The sound is called spatial audio, which places sounds around the 3D world, making it seem as if they come from different areas and depths on the visual map. VR headsets can work with video game consoles, PCs, and now some Android devices. For people using virtual reality for job training, the interaction with their environment is essential for learning how to properly execute the tasks they will soon need to replicate in the real world.

 

Learning and training using VR spans across multiple lines of work. Therapists use virtual reality on their clients with anxiety disorders and depression in order to take them on a calming virtual plane ride or put them in a calming landscape to meditate. VR can be used in medicine, military, entertainment, education, sports, architecture, oil and natural gas - the list goes on. Any line of work or teaching that can benefit from virtual reality simulation is a great candidate for VR learning and training. Virtual reality is extremely useful in the medical field, allowing surgeons and residents to simulate surgeries, new operation techniques, and practice minimally invasive surgery on patients. Virtual reality is beneficial for both instructors and learners - it has provided a new teaching and training tool, making teachers and instructors more confident in their student’s abilities to retain information. The students and trainees are also more confident in what they learn using VR because their information retention level is much higher compared to standard classroom training.

 

In education and training, virtual reality has changed the way students can experience and learn information. Never before has such an immersive, thorough way to learn been accessible to teachers and professors. Virtual reality makes learning more visual. 90% of the information that our brain receives is from vision. VR training creates an exceptional visual environment to stimulate visual learning and increase retention of information. In addition, VR learning can actually be extremely affordable. The price is initially steep, but with future development, tons of engaging, educational applications will be released to make the price per experience/class very low. Virtual reality learning allows for students to explore the world of different subjects in a way that, beforehand, was not possible without great cost. Virtual reality makes training much safer and less costly than onsite training, especially in the oilfield and natural gas industry. Many types of training are dangerous and can cause injuries and fatalities if trainees do not know the environment well enough.

 

Virtual reality training allows users to be completely immersed in a recreated job training site while being able to use sensory learning and staying safe. Trainees can make mistakes in VR that could otherwise cause damage to the people and worksite. In addition, virtual reality can bring people from around the world to immerse and interact in one space. This saves time and money from traveling. Not to mention, virtual reality job learning training is interactive and video game-like. Students will feel as if they are playing video games at school, and those who are job training will be more prone to remembering safety protocols and guidelines, for they act as “rules” in the VR gaming environment. All in all, the use of virtual reality simulation in the entertainment and learning/training industry has created an entirely new way to interact with a virtual environment, resulting in a broader sense of understanding of the world and the advancement of technology.