So where is VR at? Currently it’s firmly geared towards the consumer market, with emphasis on hardware and content generation tools. All the big players are working on their own versions, with a new one seemingly announced every week (this week’s it’s the news that Google is announcing a fully standalone headset). Goldman Sachs have just made the prediction that VR will be an $80 billion market by 2025, Oculus Rift arrives at the end of March, the HTC Vive arrives in April, and the list goes on. 2016 hasn’t been called ‘The Year of VR’ for no reason.
And so where does this fit into the L&D space? We’re of the firm belief that VR is going to have a profound impact. Anyone who’s put an Oculus headset on and felt the degree of transportation and immersion will know what we’re talking about. It’s a completely different medium and one that’s already being used in a variety of industry contexts. As we move into this new era of consumer-grade VR, it’s hard to see how current proprietary VR technologies and caves are going to last – the costs are going to tumble and the focus is going to be placed squarely on immersive, customisable experiences that focus on the learning objective rather than the technology. And that’s where we come in.
We’ve always known that Virtual Reality was a natural extension of our existing product and we’re planning to be at the vanguard of VR in the training industry. Using an Oculus Rift headset and Leap Motion for gestural capture we’ve integrated VR with all our key features and functionalities, including:
- Live voice
- Multiplayer, allowing users to login simultaneously in VR and/or the browser
- Immersive 3D environments with contextual sound
- Browser-based trainer controls, allowing scenarios to be triggered, environmental states to be changed and content to be pushed
- Seamless integration with non-VR features such as interactive whiteboards, breakout rooms and our forthcoming webcam mode
- End-to-end live and historical reporting
All this means we can create learning experiences for delivery in more traditional training rooms or dispersed across the world. Plus, these high-impact VR training modules can be interspersed with our existing 3D learning tools.
We think it’s really powerful, and having now demoed it to a good number of folks, we’re hearing others say the same. There’s more work to do before we fully roll it out, and we plan to regularly update here on the blog, but if you’re interested in finding out more give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org.