Recently, millions of people flocked to see one of their favorite books translated on the big screen. While the movie version of Ready Player One deviated from Ernest Cline’s original novel, the film definitively conveyed an optimistic vision for ultimate immersion with Virtual Reality. After watching the film, most will agree, VR has an endless list of applications in entertainment. However, those who read the original book may be more excited about the applications of VR for Training and Education.
“Teachers could take their students on a virtual reality field trip every day.”
In the novel, Wade Watts attends a virtual school where the possibilities are endless. Whether it be King Tut’s tomb in World History or the inside of a heart in Biology, he can learn anywhere at any time. Cline’s vision for the future of VR is actually taking place today. Virtual Reality for training and education are two growing industries with lots of promise. Like students in Ready Player One, people are beginning to recognize the appeal of learning in VR.
The Science Behind VR Training
A study conducted in 2002 used Virtual Reality to train medical students in the Operation Room. They found that gallbladder dissection was 29% faster for VR-trained residents. Non-VR-trained residents were nine times more likely to fail to make progress and five times more likely to injure the gallbladder or burn non-target tissue.
A similar study sought to investigate the efficiency of VR driving simulators. They concluded that VR driving simulations “offer the ability to modify driving scenarios at any time and expose drivers to dangerous situations in a methodical manner.” Overall, as VR’s learning advantages become more quantified, companies are increasing their use of VR for training and education.
A Rapidly Growing Industry
As of 2018, UPS, KFC, and the LAPD are all using Virtual Reality to train employees. This may be because VR for training in the industrial process space has shown 33% cost savings. Additionally, in 2015 the global training industry grew from $322 billion to $355 billion. It’s evident that virtual reality has numerous applications in training and employee education and will most likely continue to expand into that market as it saves money and time through more efficient training. Overall, as overhead costs for VR training decline, more and more companies will seek to streamline their training practices with VR.
Thankfully we are not stuck in the Stacks like the protagonist of Ready Player One. Instead, we are headed towards some of the optimistic effects of Virtual Reality tech. As more Fortune 500 companies adopt VR into their training process, we are well on the way to a reality with VR education and training.