One of the goals of the XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling competition is to reduce training time by at least 50% in contrast to traditional training. Virtual Reality training is proving invaluable in radically reducing training time - offering four times faster training than comparable classroom learning methods. By combining VR training with data-driven supported learning, we are putting technology to work to deliver both faster and more effective training.
If we consider how we learn as humans, we depend upon trial-and-error from our very first steps. We focus on a goal and through repeatedly failing, we develop strategies to succeed which we can then use to achieve bigger goals. A child trying to grasp an object first has to develop hand-eye coordination to reach the object. Once this is achieved, a new challenge emerges in how to grasp an object and through repeatedly dropping the object, an understanding of how to articulate fingers to form a steady grasp emerges. As these skills are refined and perfected, our subconscious mind can take over and allow us to focus on bigger challenges.
In contrast, when we learn more advanced skills that enable us to perform in the workplace later in life, we depend largely on written material and theory, commonly interspersed with digital assets such as videos, and further refine our knowledge through practicing in the field.
Virtual reality training leverages our built-in ability to learn-by-doing, or put another way, to learn by failing within a safe virtual environment. By leveraging this ready ability to learn, together with unique benefits afforded through VR technology, the process of learning and developing skills can be accelerated to empower participants with both the knowledge and confidence to meet new job requirements.
Traditional training typically involves allocating fixed time, including travel and logistics, to be in specific place or generally available. When reskilling, it can be difficult to balance other commitments with additional training. VR solves this by enabling participants to learn around their schedule, offering the ability to learn or practice on-demand at convenient times. By being flexible to the needs of the participant, training can be done on their terms and tailored to individual needs, ultimately leading to greater capacity and opportunities to learn.
Most training scenarios require the use of specialised equipment or specific tool in relation to the work being performed. Providing ready access to limited and often high-value resources creates a bottleneck in the learning process, compounded by having more participants vying for access at the same time. In contrast, VR can provide accurate virtual models that closely represent physical assets - behaving and operating in an identical fashion and usually built from the same digital design files used in the real-life assembly process. In effect, each VR training participant can have unlimited on-demand access to highly accurate models eliminating physical constraints to speed the learning process.
Typically, VR solutions solve the complex problem of hand-object interaction by defining specific grasp-points - determining where a participant is most likely to hold a virtual object and approximating the hand location to the closest and most appropriate grasp. VR training highlights a particular challenge with this approach - by artificially limiting and best-guessing where a participant is likely to grasp an object, a vital part of the learning by doing experience is lost and it becomes an approximation of the real-world scenario. The VITAL rapid reskilling solution uses Gleechi VirtualGrasp technology to provide more natural interaction and give participants complete freedom of interaction within the virtual scenario. The experience becomes much more immersive, accelerating learning by transforming classroom material into a physical experience that can be consumed in a fraction of the time.
We look forward to giving the training participants the opportunity to experience VR training first-hand and changing their conceptions of learning on their way to new meaningful new employment, with a renewed set of valuable skills.