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A decade ago, most of us had rarely, if ever, stumbled across the use of VR in everyday life. If we did, it was probably an expensive luxury. But now, Virtual Reality is commonplace, particularly in the context of learning. Here are five places where it’s fast becoming a staple.

The workplace

Employers are fast becoming aware of the enormous benefits of VR learning. And as more companies start to adopt it, those advantages become increasingly apparent. Supermarkets, finance companies, care homes and fast food outlets are all using Virtual Reality to make training more effective and efficient.

Employers who have adopted the technology have reported lower costs, better safety, improved customer care and more efficient practices. If you want to know more about developing a Virtual Reality training programme, read our step-by-step guide.

The classroom

In May 2018, China’s top medical training university implemented a Virtual Reality acupuncture training programme. It’s a testament to how VR can be used to reduce risk compared to other training methods. Traditionally, students had to make the leap from being told how to perform procedures to having to perform them on real patients. Now, Virtual Reality learning is bridging that gap.

Course professor Cheng Kai told the South China Morning Post: “There’s a very high level of requirement for precision in acupuncture teaching. For example, there’s an acupoint called jinming, which is situated very near the optic nerve. Needling this acupoint carries a certain danger. The VR learning system is a big improvement on traditional acupuncture teaching based on two-dimensional images and the use of real people as models.”

We recently reported on some of the exciting developments in VR medical training. New techniques include VR surgical training, VR emergency training and 3D anatomical modelling.

Elsewhere, schools, museums and teacher training colleges have all begun adopting Virtual Reality to bring learning to life.

Fire services

Virtual reality learning is highly suited to high-risk situations that could require life-and-death decision making. Fire response is one area in which VR learning is making an impact. Just this month, and Australian fire department launched a Virtual Reality training programme that’s aimed at preparing firefighters for the approaching bushfire season.

Trainees are given a set of VR goggles, which present a highly realistic scenario of a developing fire. Not only this, they’re even fitted with heat packs on top of their clothing, as well as virtual hoses that simulate the water pressure of a real hose. Staff can also access an interactive virtual map, which tracks the path of a developing bushfire.

Policing

Virtual Reality learning has been used for police training in the US for some time. But earlier this year, a Welsh police force became the first in Britain to adopt the technology. Gwent Police have started training officers in the use of handcuffs, arrest procedures and property searches using VR.

Superintendent Vicki Townsend told Digital Trends: “[Virtual Reality] provides the ability of a safe learning environment, which promotes open conversations about opportunities for options for action, investigation and safeguarding. The scenarios provide the opportunity as a group to maximize this learning by focusing on the decision-making model, and allows the development of officers from peers with more or different experiences.”

Then, in October, West Midlands police launched a VR learning programme for drivers on the dangers of passing cyclists too closely. The initiative was the result of a Kickstarter campaign by Cycling UK, which aims to provide the UK 45 police forces with the 360 film and VR headsets for free.

Launch your own Virtual Reality learning programme

If you’re interested in launching a VR learning programme within your organisation, we can help. At Absorb Reality, we specialise in providing cost-effective, tailored solutions to organisations across any sector. Get in touch with us to discuss your requirements. Not sure what you want? Simply ask our expert team for advice and we’ll be happy to help.