People get married using it, meet new friends on it, practice complicated medical procedures, and even make movies. VR is an ever adaptive wave of technology with seemingly every use under the sun, but is it a viable reality for trainers?
We explored this question in this year’s State of L&D.
According to our findings, which we amassed through surveying nearly 300 organizations, 10% of trainers plan to implement virtual reality in the next two years. However, of those we surveyed last year, only 2% of the 6% of 2017 respondents who planned to implement VR by now have been able to do so.
The fact of the matter is, Virtual Reality remains an expensive tool that is typically beneficial in large organizations and large teams in sectors where making a mistake is expensive. Two areas that are currently successful and find the most use out of VR are healthcare and manufacturing.
Healthcare is a profession where making a mistake can prove very costly. It’s a high-stakes learning environment where VR thrives as a viable alternative and allows students to comfortably learn about concepts such as anatomy. While it is possible to dissect cadavers to learn about this, if they make a mistake they can’t exactly “un-cut” an incision that was made.
Virtual reality has many additional applications in healthcare, such as training doctors in advanced surgical techniques, practicing applications in pain management, and improving doctor and patient communication. In the future, VR could integrate into the surgical systems themselves, making it possible to perform remote surgeries in hard to reach geographic locations.
Manufacturing is another sector that also benefits. VR enables companies to more accurately design new vehicles through the immersion that’s created. It’s also a method through which companies can test prototypes of these designs.
At its current state, VR remains a valuable tool for large, high-stakes organizations. Most trainers in smaller and more relaxed industries, however, will not necessarily receive the most benefits from implementing VR at this time. But, in comparing last year’s and this year’s data, there is a 4% increase in the amount of organizations looking to implement VR in the near future.
As the technology develops more and more across different industries, we predict a steady increase in the number of organizations looking to implement VR.