Whether you’re an artist or not, you surely know of Vincent Van Gogh and his famous post-impressionist paintings. You may have gazed at The Starry Night or Sunflowers and wondered in what manner, in what mood, and with what methods Van Gogh painted these. Have you ever wondered though what it might be like to be immersed in Van Gogh’s paintings? In case you’re one such dreamer, we have some good news for you! The Exhibition Hub (an edutainment company) is using 3600 projections and virtual reality to design a never-before immersive experience called Van Gogh—The Immersive Experience, which just made your dream of stepping into Van Gogh’s world come true! Watch this video to get a sense of what this breathtaking experience is like.
In the digital learning space, immersive technologies today enable us to simulate complex situations, processes, and the functioning of equipment, enabling us to design highly interactive and engaging learning experiences that are tough to replicate in a traditional classroom or in traditional digital learning settings. Learners get to explore physical spaces, geographies, and topographies and experience unique, complex, and difficult situations and scenarios in a safe way.
Immersive technologies—principally including Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), and a broader spectrum that includes Mixed Reality (MR)—are revolutionizing corporate learning and development. While the terms VR, MR, and XR have gained popularity and are widely used, there are fine lines that separate the three.
VR involves a completely digital immersive experience, where a learner must wear a headset to be transported into a computer-synthesized virtual world. These virtual worlds can be exact replicas of the real world and the user can perform certain tasks in them.
AR may not require wearables; the user can download the AR app on their phones and use the phone camera to project virtual characters or pictures in their real surroundings. AR augments the real-world experience rather than creating a totally new digital world.
Mixed Reality spans the zone between the virtual and the real experiences. Holographic devices and simulations allow virtual objects to interact with real objects in a physical space. Extended Reality (XR) is the umbrella term for the three immersive technologies discussed.
According to this Business Wire report, the use of immersive technology in the education sector is poised to grow by $16.12 bn during 2022-2026, accelerating at a CAGR of 59.28% during the forecast period.
Immersive Learning over the Decades
One of the earliest applications of Extended Reality in learning was the use of VR flight simulators for military learning, which began in the 1980s. VR was used to create simulations of battlefield scenarios that allowed soldiers to practice their skills and tactics in a safe, controlled environment. In the 1990s and 2000s, VR was also used for flight learning and other technical learning programs, as well as for medical and surgical simulations.
Today, immersive technology can be used in corporate learning in various ways. Augmented Reality technology can be used to provide real-time, context-specific information and guidance to employees as they work. For example, an AR app could provide step-by-step instructions for assembling a piece of machinery or offer guidance on how to troubleshoot a technical issue.
Virtual Reality simulations can be used to train employees in a variety of tasks, such as operating equipment, handling hazardous materials, or responding to emergencies. These simulations can be highly realistic and allow employees to practice and learn in a safe, controlled environment.
VR can also be used to create immersive team-building experiences that encourage collaboration and problem-solving. For example, a team-building exercise might involve working together to complete a virtual escape room or solving a virtual puzzle together.
Another use of VR is to create immersive leadership development experiences that allow employees to practice decision-making, communication, and conflict resolution in a safe, virtual environment.
Overall, immersive technology has the potential to transform corporate learning and development by providing highly interactive and engaging learning experiences that can help employees acquire new skills and knowledge more effectively.
Immersive Technology at Encora
Here are some examples of how we’ve leveraged immersive learning technology at Encora to craft impactful learning experiences for our customers.
Virtual Reality Module for a Global Logistics Client
A leading logistics company approached Encora asking to create a virtual learning experience for their fleet of drivers. The client wanted to provide their drivers with a virtual,
real-life experience of being a package van driver before they set out on ride-along with their instructors. We created a micro-learning series by using 360-degree videos that ensure a more realistic experience of ride-along for the drivers. The digital training can be accessed through VR headsets. We also designed a desktop version of the experience (for learners who are sensitive to VR).
Virtual Reality Game for a Retail Client
A large retail chain approached Encora for a quick solution to train their geographically dispersed stock clerks, who are tasked with organizing product displays and storage such that consumers have easy and convenient access to the merchandise they are looking for. We designed a VR game for the client that allows learners to practice arranging products on display shelves. The learner puts on a VR headset and enters a virtual retail outlet where they have to
- Locate a trolley with specific products
- Take them to the relevant shelf, and
- Arrange the products without dropping them. Learners are rewarded based on the time taken and the number of products arranged correctly.
Augmented Reality Onboarding Adventure for Encorians
We designed an AR Onboarding Adventure app for our new hires. The app is like an onboarding buddy that takes new Encorians through three missions: a treasure-hunt experience that gives them an in-depth understanding of Encora values; an ice-breaker experience that helps them get to know their new colleagues; and a vision-board experience that encourages them to define their career goals, aligning them to Encora’s goals. New hires are rewarded with a surprise gift at the end of the adventure.
360-degree Tour for Healthcare Client
A healthcare client approached Encora with the goal of having their sales teams trained on their products, with the critical need of having their learning audience understand the application of their products in actual healthcare settings. We designed an immersive, online 360-degree experience that enables their sales team to explore a healthcare facility to experience first-hand how their products are being used. Learners visit different rooms, including the operating room. Learners interact with various automated characters and explore product information in the form of videos, posters, infographics, etc. by clicking on different objects.
Virtual Reality Experience for Automobile Client
An automobile client was looking for a learning solution for technicians to learn assembling the V8 engine. We designed a Virtual Reality experience that included an interactive 3D model of a car engine. Learners can take apart the V8 car engine, learn about each of the components in detail. Later, they learn how to reassemble the engine, putting it back together piece by piece.
Virtual Reality Experience for a Quick Service Restaurant (QSR)
For our QSR client, training their large, scattered workforce in the art of making fries was challenging on multiple fronts. To bring down training costs, they approached us to design an immersive learning experience that can help bring their new hires up to speed quickly and help reduce wastage (which would typically happen when their new hires use actual equipment for the first time). The VR experience we designed for them allows learners to enter the virtual kitchen and learn and practice a variety of skills ranging from checking the oil temperature and using the skimmer, to removing food particles and serving crispy golden fries.
The digital transformation that has swept across the globe in the past few years and has already carved out a space for organizations to embrace truly immersive workforce learning programs. According to this PWC research, “51% of companies are either in the process of integrating VR into strategy or have already built VR into at least one dedicated line of business.” Regardless of the industry that you’re in right now, your learners learn best when it is “learning by doing.” With the global workforce mostly going hybrid, organizations like yours feel the need for immersive learning experiences. Reach out to us today so we can help design and develop a risk-free virtually simulated immersive learning environment for your learners that will take them, and your organization, to the next level.
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