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Home » Immersive Learning with Virtual and Augmented Reality (2018)
Field services engineers are constantly on-the-go at customer sites and equipment locations, performing critical tasks ensuring that service to the customer is installed, uninterrupted, maintained and/or upgraded. Performing those tasks correctly the first time every time is the highest priority; otherwise the network’s performance could be compromised.
In high-stakes scenarios, it is important to offer two main learning tools: a risk-free environment to learn and experiment safely, and continuous support guidance while executing those critical tasks. For example, field service engineers need to perform critical tasks at customer sites without making any mistakes. Ericsson has created a recipe for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality to support safe and on-demand training.Given the criticality of the tasks, the engineers would rather appreciate an interactively guided learning and performance support experience.
To address those needs, here is a novel blended learning recipe that can be wrapped to-go and ordered as a combo from an innovative learning organization.
Virtual Reality (VR) experience
Augmented Reality (AR) support
Graphics and visuals
Burn-Free Virtual Reality Experience
Invite the Subject Matter Expert (SME) and multimedia specialist to a storyboarding session to extract the scenario steps of a particular task.
Match each of those steps with a corresponding basic visual and/or graphical element.
Brainstorm the environment in which this experience will take place (for example: an office building, an equipment station, etc). Select an environment that is as close as possible to the real environment in which the task is usually performed.
Pass this draft on to your modeling artist so he/she can craft and render a high-definition 3-D model of the environment.
Agree with the VR programming expert on the trigger points in the scenario – i.e. where in the scenario the user input is expected – and generate the corresponding code.
Sprinkle some additional graphics to complete the realistic effect of the environment.
Add some pleasant background audio (to taste!).
Load the experience on a VR-capable device.
Insert device in headset.
Serve, enjoy, repeat.
On-the-Go Augmented Reality Support Wrap
Invite the SME and AR specialist to a sketching session to agree on the elements of the equipment that would need to be activated in the augmented layer for a particular task, and the accompanying descriptions for each step and component.
The AR specialist creates the augmented layer and activation points. For example when the user holds up their AR-capable device in front of the equipment, they will be able to see part names, descriptions and specifications of each, overlaid on top of the actual ports, similar to a Pokémon-go interface.
Load the experience on an AR-capable device.
Launch, hold up and get guided instructions on-the-go.
Dr. Manal Houri is a Technical Training Manager at Ericsson Learning Services, driving the strategic learning portfolio transformation in region North America in alignment with Ericsson’s customer technical competence growth plans. As a researcher, consultant and manager, Dr. Houri has been a leader in the technical learning area for more than 10 years with focus on thought leadership and strategic innovation. Currently managing a team of subject matter experts in the areas of Agile, instructional design, Virtual Reality and multimedia development.
Dr. Houri holds a B.S and M.S. in Computer Science from the Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX. She holds an Adjunct Faculty appointment at Southern Methodist University and is a frequent speaker at major learning conferences.
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