XR is the term used to describe all kinds of immersive technology including VR (Virtual Reality), AR (Augmented Reality) and MR (Mixed Reality). Immersive technology is making its mark in all major industries for business and consumer functions with 71% in the medical industry, 47% in manufacturing , 46% in military and 23% in retail. All XR integrates 360° video and CGI technology, with an overall purpose being to create a highly immersive environment. With that being said, let’s take a deeper look into the advantages of both 360 video and Computer generated technology (CGI) to see what businesses should know when it comes to choosing a long-term VR training solution.
Interactive 360° Video Vs CGI
Key Takeaways of 360 Interactive Video:
- Quick and relatively simple process to create video
- Easy to follow along and revisit modules
- Great for soft skills training, communication and empathy building
- Super accessible
- Able to capture large spaces of the employees workplace
- Versatility for use, can be used in public events and demonstrations
Key Takeaways of CGI:
- Multi-sensory stimulation
- Realistic and believable computer animations that stick in your mind
- Not just an observer, but the active participant
- Ability to modify and update content
Immersive and Interactive 360°
360° VR videos are a powerful tool because they enable individuals to experience what they can not access immediately. This is made possible through the integration of real-life scenarios with a 360° view of the said location and people, making it more photorealistic than CGI (Costin, 2019). Scenarios are commonly presented in two or more variations to show the employee the correct conduct of behaviour, contrasted with incorrect conducts of behaviour that lead to detrimental outputs. Showing both ends of the spectrum plays a significant part in helping new employees to align their attitude and skill set with that of the company’s expectations. It provides a framework as to what the employee needs in order to succeed in their role and the ease of accessibility means content can be revisited at any time.
Just like when watching a fantastic horror film or reading a humorous novel, a good cast of actors in VR training modules can leave a lasting impression on the value of employee performance. When a viewer values the content they digest, it is usually because they felt an emotional connection with the subjects surrounding them. This is what makes 360° video an advantageous use as an empathy machine. As company’s strive for employees to carry out empathy in lines of work such as customer service. Walmart’s 360 video is used to train 1 million of its employees each year and staff response was they felt more comfortable going straight to the sales floor because VR’s environment replicated the same store making it feel real.
Other industries such as clinical health nursing are recognising how VR can help medical students grasp better patient management skills. Recently, a VR 360 video study took place to improve clinical medical students’ education about schizophrenia. There were a total of 60 nursing students that completed five different scenarios on clinical symptoms and methods for treating patients (which took place using head-mounted displays). The results showed that nurses felt more motivated to learn about the topic when using VR headsets as they were excited to take on a new technology-centric form of training.
Most people are accustomed to computer generated imagery. CGI has created entire worlds and populations of species that feature in motion pictures every year. You just have to think about your favourite animation character or sci-fi film to realise the endless times we view films that have CGI as the backbone of its success. However, computer Generated Technology is also commonly used by both VR and AR. From a business perspective, companies can use VR CGI to train employees in handling hazardous or potentially life-threatening situations. Through the integration of CGI the user becomes part of a computer generated world and has to control his own actions in order to grasp safety compliance measures that can be adopted in the workplace. Virtually any situation can be created in CGI, from war simulations to chemical explosions and even performing emergency surgical operations. It is the realistic and believable nature of CGI that enables users to feel as if they are really facing ambiguous situations and as a result, stimulations stick in the users mind well after they undergo training.
The engaging and immersive qualities of VR are challenging businesses to investigate into its creative capacities, using both 360 interactive video and CGI. As companies strive to smoothen out and modernise their outdated training regimes, the next step is to weigh in investment options that are within their profit margin. In doing so, a business can discover the type of training and style of immersion that can enhance efficiency and be of value for the long-haul. With that being said, if a business is seeking to improve their employee’s communication, particularly in building skills within customer service, conflict resolution and compliance protocols, the intuitive nature of 360 video is arguably more viable and a cost-effective solution.
Written by Lauren Tizzone
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