Augmented and Virtual Reality Solutions
Until recently, virtual reality had been something of a fantasy for storytellers and technologists. As long ago as 1935, American science fiction writer Stanley G Weinbaum described something like virtual reality in a short story called Pygmalion’s Spectacles.
What’s Virtual Reality?
Virtual reality (VR) is a computer simulated reality in which a user can interact with replicated real or imaginary environments. The experience is totally immersive by means of visual, auditive and haptic (touch) stimulation so the constructed reality is almost indistinguishable from the real deal. You’re completely inside it.
Over the last several years, VR has moved from being the purview of the military and aviation to the mainstream of professional development, as managers, instructors, coaches and therapists have claimed increasing benefit from immersive experiences.
In the complex industrial companies a considerable amount of resources is focused on training workers and developing new skills.
Increasing the effectiveness of those processes and reducing the investment required is an outstanding issue that can be easily resolved using the AVR tehnologies.
Virtual reality enables teachers, lecturers or anyone in an educational setting to do is to deliver large amounts of often complex information in a visually attractive way.
Students find it easier to learn when presented with a visual explanation which they also find easier to retain and recall
Advantages of virtual reality training
What are the advantages of virtual reality training? These include the following:
- Able to simulate dangerous or risky situations within a controlled environment;
- Accurate and realistic simulations;
- Cater for large numbers of students over various locations;
- Highly visual approach which aids with learning;
- Peer review, feedback and ongoing assessment;
- Deconstruct complex data into manageable chunks;
- Visualisation of complex concepts and theories;
- Exploration of virtual scenarios as experience for real world scenarios;
- Ensures that learning is fun and enjoyable where appropriate;
- Cost effective.
Other benefits of training using Virtual Reality
- You can train large numbers of people within a virtual setting, i.e. remotely, without spending vast amounts of money;
- You can train one person at a time on a particular piece of equipment without extra costs;
- You can create accurate 3D models which provide a realistic representation of what you are trying to achieve or trying to instruct people to use in a safe environment (elements of risk can be added if necessary).
VR training case studies
Canadian telecommunications company Telis uses virtual environment to onboard employees. So far, more than 1,200 new hires have used it to get basic orientation training. Telis finds that the virtual environment helps break down geographic barriers between people.
Virtual Reality in Safety Training
Fire Safety – Virtual reality can simulate real life situations and anyone can be immersed in a given scenario which allows a person to live an experience without putting themselves in danger. Scenarios such as a burning building could be created where smoke impairs the vision. By presenting a person who refuses to leave or someone with mobility problems who cannot leave, fire-fighters can prepare themselves for the situation.
Food Safety – Factories, restaurants and food service businesses can all use virtual reality to bring the food service business into the classroom. Using virtual reality headsets the student will be immersed in a busy environment where they can handle certain types of foods and actively identify issues such as contaminants, allergens and other hazards within this type of environment.
Health and Safety/Construction – Virtual reality could simulate construction sites where engineers and construction specialists could work in real life scenarios, identifying health and safety issues without causing problems on real sites where there are countless dangers.
The Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that allows computer-generated virtual imagery information to be overlaid onto a live direct or indirect real-world environment in real time.
AR is different from Virtual Reality (VR) in that in VR people are expected to experience a computergenerated virtual environment. In AR, the environment is real, but extended with information and imagery from the system. In other words, AR bridges the gap between the real and the virtual in a seamless way.
Augmented Reality systems can either be marker-based or markerless-bassed.
Marker-based applications are comprised of three basic components which include a booklet for offering marker information, a gripper for getting information from the booklet and converting it to another type of data, and a cube for augmenting information into 3D-rendered information on a screen.
Markerless-based applications need a tracking system that involves GPS (Global Positioning System), a compass, and an image recognition device.
Augmented Reality in Learning and Training
Students and trainees can strengthen their motivation for learning and enhance their educational realism-based practices with virtual and Augmented Reality (AR).
AR in education and training is believed to have a more streamlined approach that has wider user adoption than ever before due to the improvement in computer and information technology.
AR has the potential to have learners more engaged and motivated in discovering resources and applying them to the real world from a variety of diverse perspectives that have never been implemented in the real world.
Augmented Reality in Industrial Maintenance
Adopting AR in learning and training is still quite challenging because of issues with its integration with traditional learning methods, costs for the development and maintenance of the AR system, and general resistance to new technologies.
AR training case studies
General Motors is another early adopter, using Google Glass to train factory workers in real time and provide immediate feedback, with users seeing the correct techniques in their Google gadget as they perform tasks. Training is being redefined as people begin to perform complex operations in the field with AR technology creating additional contextual information and operating procedures.
Oil and Gas Operator use the AR technology to give users a hands-free ability to follow instructions or seek guidance while performing a task. A field technician equipped with AR glasses loaded with gigabytes of information could walk up to a broken compressor unit, and with a glance to his/her left, be shown an easily readable and scrollable repair manual.
Safety Training with AR
One of the most important considerations for HSE professionals is ensuring that safety training is conveyed in a way that's engaging, relevant, and memorable.
Augmented reality improves delivery of excellent quality training to practical on-the-spot use to prevent workplace incidents and accidents.
For workers on the job, imagine giving them the power to see manuals, instructions, and tips as they pass a device over equipment.
For actual safety training, it puts the actual equipment in the hands of trainees as helpful training media is superimposed over the physical world.
AR combines the effectiveness of using real tools and equipment for training, with the helpfulness of creatives designed to enhance the learning experience.
The future of Augmented Reality as a visualization technology looks bright, as shown by the interest generated in business and industrial circles as well as discussed in popular periodicals and research papers in the learning and training fields.
New technologies and information communications are not only powerful and compact enough to deliver AR experiences via personal computers and mobile devices but also well developed and sophisticated to combine real world with augmented information in interactively seamless ways.