Much has been written about extended reality (XR) and the exciting potential it brings to the gaming and entertainment industries.
So, why is no one talking about the billion-dollar solutions XR is bringing for every other industry out there?
Right now, numerous industries including energy, utilities, construction, healthcare, military, first responders, and manufacturing are using XR training solutions to train their fleet in a safe and affordable way.
You may be surprised to learn that many of these industries are using ready-made “off-the-shelf” training modules.
Instead of spending time and money developing new virtual content, companies can gain access to content libraries filled with tons of 3D immersive training modules that are tailor-fitted for their existing industries.
If you’re an IT or HR professional looking for a scalable way to train your employees, then read on about the exciting new ways XR is creating solutions for every organization.
What are XR Solutions?
Extended Reality, or XR, is a broad term encompassing all forms of real and virtually simulated environments, such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR).
To participate in XR, users typically wear a headset or smart glasses to do one of three things, depending on the platform:
- Enter into a completely simulated digital world (VR)
- Overlay graphics and real-time information over their existing physical world (AR)
- Combine mixed elements of virtual reality with their physical reality (MR)
Today, there are many tools available to help users enter into various forms of XR. These range from the Oculus VR headset, HTC Vive VR headset, augmented reality apps using built-in cameras on smartphones, and mixed reality smart glasses such as Microsoft HoloLens, Amazon Echo Frames, and Google Glass.
Since XR encompasses all forms of virtual and augmented reality, there isn’t a single device that is uniquely just XR. XR is more of a catchall phrase that categorizes any type of device that deals with VR, AR, and MR.
So, an Oculus Quest 2 VR headset and Microsoft HoloLens MR glasses are both XR devices, even though they deal with different types of virtual and augmented realities.
What Does it Mean to Have “Off-the-Shelf” Content?
Once you’ve acquired the proper XR devices for your employees (VR headsets, MR glasses, smartphones) you’re only halfway there — you’ll still need XR content.
XR content takes many forms. It can include an AR smartphone app, an immersive 3D VR space, or can include an MR app using smart glasses.
Because creating new XR content can be costly and time-intensive, many companies opt to license existing content.
Benefits to Using Ready-Made Content
Instead of spending time and resources to make new content, it’s easier for companies to license and use existing “ready-made,” or off-the-shelf content.
This content is easily accessible through the XR Content Management System, a centralized platform that makes it easy to download the software to thousands of devices, or even assign different levels of access to each individual employee.
Many industries such as construction, healthcare, emergency services, and the military have standardized and training certifications required for their employees.
For many of these industries, it’s preferable to license an existing popular training module for their industry rather than starting from scratch.
Since XR technology is still relatively new, there will be instances when ready-made content isn’t available yet for your industry. Luckily, PIXO’s team can build high-quality custom content, solving another issue for some industries.
How Industries Implement XR Solutions Today
Numerous industries today are taking advantage of XR solutions to help cut costs, minimize accidents, and train their employees, particularly those that deal with hazardous materials and situations.
The military, construction companies, and utility companies use XR technology to help their employees complete compliance training and undergo training missions in a safe and consequence-free environment. This is particularly helpful for first responder hazardous materials training, natural gas leak training, and fall protection, for example.
Manufacturers are creating machine, tool and process training in VR to reduce the costs to train new employees, reduce the trainer/shadow expense and reduce down time for production, resulting in large savings and higher productivity.
Real estate agents and construction companies are taking advantage of virtual walkthroughs to allow people to tour around new buildings, sometimes before they are built.
Automotive designers today are more likely to be using VR headsets than carving clay, as they can rotate their designs and visualize every component more clearly than ever before, being able to “step inside” their designs and rotate them at will.
Restaurants are leveraging VR to train new employees, making it easier than ever to get new hires up to speed on the many tasks they perform throughout their shift.
Even retail workers are entering the world of XR, completing training modules to teach them increased empathy, or even using AR glasses to spot items in the warehouses quicker.
Benefits of Using XR Over Traditional Methods of Training and Project Demoing
XR training modules allow employees and their organizations a consequence-free form of training, letting them train in simulated environments that could otherwise be too dangerous or expensive to train in physically.
For example, the US Navy implements XR to train its aircraft carrier flight deck crew, allowing sailors to learn the complexities of directing air traffic in a safe environment, far away from multi-million dollar aircraft until they are completely ready.
Other high-risk industries, such as construction, electric companies, utility workers, manufacturing, and pipeline workers, also benefit from training virtually. Not only is their training safer, but it’s also more experiential than reading a standard book or training manual alone.
Additional benefits of using XR training include deeper learning comprehension, improved learning retention, improved teamwork, and fewer mistakes on the job.
XR training also lets employees and organizations continue business despite coronavirus restrictions, allowing companies to train their employees from home and bringing together multiple remote workers into the same virtual space.
Which Off-the-Shelf XR Solution Can Your Company Use?
Do you work in an industry that’s in need of new technological solutions, whether it’s training, onboarding, or communication with a large team of employees?
PIXO introduced its flagship product, PIXO Apex, as a tool that can manage XR content globally with one cloud-based solution.
With the PIXO Apex Control Center, your organization can securely distribute all forms of XR content (Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality) across one or more enterprises.
Your company’s IT and administrative employees have the ability to distribute XR content to thousands of employees at once, and get in-depth data analytics to view how your employees’ training progresses.
Take a look through our existing Content Collection library to see which training modules are right for your employees.