Off-the-Shelf or Unique XR Training Content? The Pros and Cons

off-the-shelf xr content

Training and development have seen a tremendous uptick in online delivery systems during the past year, with little sign of slowing down. With more and more organizations embracing the value of work-from-home employees, how enterprises conduct employee training is changing rapidly. 

While remote or distance learning is nothing new, most businesses are beginning to embrace the benefit that blended training can bring to their organization with new hires and on-boarding, training for new skills and skill-refreshing, teambuilding, and collaboration. 

Combining instructor-led, interactive, and pre-recorded training modules can deliver effective learning methods for teaching the skills and concepts required for rapidly evolving production needs. And this is where off-the-shelf XR content can really shine. 

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VR Headset

There’s more than one way to learn

Humans learn in a variety of different ways, with the four primary methods being visual (seeing), auditory (hearing), reading/writing, and kinesthetic motion (doing). The benefit of XR training is that it combines these four primary learning methods.

Extended reality (XR) allows learners to experience real-world situations and scenarios that may not otherwise be accessible or safe for inexperienced participants. A recent study found that a curriculum that included VR elements resulted in up to 20% improvement in test scores. Other studies have suggested improvements to learning retention could be as high as 80%.

In addition to increased learning retention and decreased risk for trainees, off-the-shelf XR training offers rapid delivery of new content combined with ease of distribution to learners, no matter where, when, or how they are working, learning and training. 

The benefits of using off-the-shelf XR training content

Off-the-shelf XR content comes with a number of built-in advantages, including:

  • Money saved with pre-built content. Off-the-shelf XR content is typically much more affordable than custom-built XR solutions. No more searching out and hiring designers, subject matter experts, writers, or instructors. By accessing PIXO Apex’s library of online XR content, training modules are more or less immediately ready for inclusion in your existing training and development program
  • Effortless deployment. With off-the-shelf XR content, distributed on a platform like PIXO Apex, distribution is instant, deployment is streamlined, and learners can access provisioned training modules any time, anywhere, as long as they have access to WiFi 
  • Development Not Required. Depending on your training requirements, development can be a costly aspect of the creation of custom training. With off-the-shelf XR content, a dedicated development team is no longer required. Created with the help and critical insight of dedicated SMEs, (subject matter experts), PIXO Apex content means you don’t need to start from scratch to create a valuable VR Training experience. 
  • Rapid delivery. If you have an urgent training need, pre-built XR content can help address that right away, rather than necessitating a weeks- or months-long development process. With PIXO Apex, you can find and deploy urgent-need training content in a timely manner. 

The benefits of using unique XR training content

As with off-the-shelf XR content, custom XR training content also delivers a number of benefits for organizations, including:

  • Align XR training modules with organizational objectives and learning targets. Off-the-shelf solutions are designed for broader audience use and can limit the level of alignment they allow. With unique, bespoke content, you can create modules to fit your learning targets or proprietary methodology precisely.
  • Achieve a high level of customization by investing time into organization-specific training. Unique XR training content goes beyond personalizing an existing product, it allows for a degree of company-specific precision that an off-the-shelf solution wouldn’t necessarily provide. With custom XR training content, you can create training modules that even more exactingly replicate actual, on-the-job environments and scenarios, or experiences designed to address gaps in training or areas where learners are struggling.
  • Costs can decrease over time. When you build custom scenarios or simulations, you reduce the need to “start from scratch”; you’re starting with a higher level of true-to-life accuracy, and avoiding the need to revisit your training application to ensure it complies with existing processes. Images, media, and other reusable components you used in previous modules can also be recycled and reused in new or future training sessions.

Deciding what’s best for your organization

When it comes to deciding whether to use pre-built, off-the-shelf XR training content or custom-built XR training content, you have options, and each clearly offers different advantages. 

Each business is unique, and each organization has its own training  and budgetary needs. 

Both options, when offered on PIXO Apex, provide effortless deployment and distribution to workers, either on-prem or off-prem — including remote or work-from-home employees — without the associated travel and accommodation costs. If learners have access to WiFi, they have access to training regardless of geographic location.

 Determining which approach will have the most positive impact on your training and development program requires careful evaluation of what you hope to achieve. 

An off-the-shelf XR content solution could be ideal for your training program if the following conditions match your organization’s needs and situation: 

  • Training is consistent with generally few updates needed annually 
  • The training challenges you face are common to your industry, (example: fall protection training, or hazard recognition training complying with OSHA safety standards), requiring less need for customization
  • You’re specifically looking to lower costs with regard to training for basic or universal skills and safety procedures, rather than, say, train employees to use a specific piece of machinery or equipment in VR

This kind of off-the-shelf training is often a great option for organizations in the natural gas, construction, or manufacturing sectors, where basic skills and safety training are essential, but often costly.

If your organization is looking to lower costs, risks, or complications associated with training, PIXO Apex’s XR content library could be the right fit for your training program.

On the other hand, custom-built XR training content might be a better solution if your organization’s needs match the following:   

  • The training you provide must be heavily detail-oriented; specific machines must be replicated, or sensitive intellectual property is the subject of training 
  • Your training relies heavily on proprietary production or execution methods
  • You are training for rare but potentially catastrophic scenarios unique to your specific business, (i.e., safety training for a fire aboard a specific kind of vessel or physical installation.)

PIXO: Here to Adapt Your Workforce


The way workforces learn and train is changing — every day. Remaining competitive in your market requires near constant adaptation.With wide-scale globalization and pandemic-induced workplace fragmentation, XR training is more important than ever before. 

Through easy access and distribution of the training content you need — whether in the form of a custom XR solution, or an off-the-shelf training module —keeping your workforce engaged, nurtured, and inspired while achieving operational goals and production targets is no longer a “want”, but a “need.”

PIXO can help.

Reach out to us today and see for yourself how you can implement XR training to strengthen your organization. 

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