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  • Virtual Reality hasn't exactly seen the booming success in gaming and

  • entertainment that was once expected. "Lets do this." But this VR has a totally different

  • purpose. Keeping workers safe.

  • "I'm going to go ahead and say evacuate for a half mile."

  • It could also keep VR alive.

  • Wow, looks like we made the right call.

  • At a time when headset shipments have been down four of the last five

  • quarters. And just a month after IMAX announced it will close all its VR

  • centers this year. Market forecasts predict spending on virtual and

  • augmented reality headsets for training is expected to reach 2.2 billion dollars by 2022.

  • And companies like start-up Pixo VR are taking notice.

  • I think we learned our lesson doing mobile appsthat it's much more

  • difficult, that the budgets aren't necessarily there, and this made a lot more sense for us.

  • Put your hand just a little bit into the wall.

  • Pixo VR made the switch two years ago, from creating video games, to

  • creating training modules.

  • Obviously flammable, explosion risk.

  • Like this one, which teaches first responders how to identify and react to

  • explosive chemical leaks.

  • VR provides an opportunity for people to train in environments that

  • otherwise are impossiblefar too risky, far too expensive.

  • By simply putting on an HTC Vive headset, workers can experience

  • life-and-death situations that are impossible to safely recreate in real

  • life.

  • Here we go, going up.

  • Like a rickety 15-story construction site without solid scaffolding.

  • I'm really high up. Oh my Gosh.

  • You make a decision.

  • I think I'm going to hook it to this rope up here.

  • And suffer the consequences if you choose wrong.

  • Oh my God.

  • The sensation of falling is so real, it's immediately clear this experience

  • will stick with me.

  • I died.

  • I'll remember that fall, and which safety measures I should have followed,

  • far longer than I'll remember any PowerPoint slide.

  • That felt very real.

  • There's research to back this up, too. One study found students have 30

  • percent better knowledge retention two weeks after learning with VR as

  • opposed to traditional education methods.

  • There's a whole bunch of research that shows that if you are a human and

  • you interact with something in three dimensions, as opposed to just

  • looking at it on a piece of paper, you understand it much more profoundly

  • and fundamentally. It's just the way that our brains are wired.

  • And there's a big need for more effective training. Last month the National

  • Safety Council announced that preventable workplace deaths have been on

  • the rise in the U.S. for three years in a row.

  • Essentially, 14 people every day leave their homes for work and don't come

  • home. This is absolutely unacceptable and there are things that we can do

  • about it. Technology like AR and VR are really going to engineer the human

  • error out of these equations, but we've got to start to really do the

  • research to understand what's working and what just has potential, so that

  • we can give employers the best resources available to help make their workers safer.

  • This year, the NSC will begin a two-year half-million-dollar research

  • project to study the effectiveness of VR and AR, among other technologies, for reducing workplace fatalities.

  • Workplace fatalities and injuries have consistently cost society more than

  • $150 billion every year. So while there certainly is upfront costs in

  • investing in new technologies, those technologies will save companies in

  • the long run with a reduction in fatalities and injuries.

  • One startling number — 713 workers fell to their deaths in 2017, a number

  • that Hurwitz is hoping will go way down once workers start training on

  • Pixo VR's fall prevention module.

  • And hopefully we'll see the numbers go down for accidents and certainly

  • fatalities. It's something that the entire company has got got behind

  • because we know we're making lives better.

  • Hurwitz is in good company. Most of the major players in the VR space have

  • begun using their software, and their headsets, for workplace training.

  • The return on investment in the commercial space is so profound for some of

  • these key scenarios, like remote assistance, like laying out physical

  • spaces, like guiding someone through a complex process, that these things

  • literally pay for themselves very quickly. So that's where we're seeing

  • the most interest in investment right now.

  • Microsoft HoloLens, technically an AR headset, has been added to Trimble

  • hard hats on construction and mining sites to enhance worker safety. It's

  • used by 20,000 ThyssenKrupp elevator technicians to make sure they're

  • safely strapped in when making repairs. Chevron technicians wear HoloLens

  • for otherwise precarious oil refinery repairs. And Japan Airways mechanics

  • use it to stand inside a virtual jet engine while it's running to learn how to safely maintain it.

  • Folks that have a tool belt or a hard hat have not benefited as directly

  • from the digital revolution, so mixed reality, we think, and devices like

  • HoloLens are one of the trends that can really bring the benefits of the

  • digital revolution to whole new categories of people that haven't benefited before.

  • Even the Army has turned to VR and AR training. In November, Microsoft

  • signed a two-year $480 million military contract with the U.S. government

  • to deliver up to 100,000 HoloLens headsets for use in combat missions and

  • training. And the list goes on. Samsung's Gear VR headset is being used to

  • train workers on new production lines at Magna's automotive parts

  • manufacturing plants. DHL is using Google Glass in its warehouses. Pacific

  • Gas and Electric is using heart with 3D VR to teach employees valve

  • assembly. In 2017, Facebook launched Oculus for Business, offering bundles

  • of their Oculus Go and Oculus Rift headsets to businesses like Tyson

  • Foods, Walmart and Verizon. Tyson Foods in particular had some promising

  • results. It used VR modules by Menlo Park-based Strivr to train its

  • workers in safety and hazard awareness. And it saw a 20 percent reduction

  • in worker injuries and illnesses.

  • Verizon stores plan to have 15,000 of its frontline employees put on Oculus

  • headsets, and be confronted by armed robbers, a high-intensity Strivr

  • simulation to prepare them for worst-case scenarios. And now WalMart is

  • using Strivr's virtual training modules in all 4,700 U.S. stores, training

  • more than a million employees with 17,000 Oculus headsets.

  • A major hurdle that's plagued VR since its early dayswill all those

  • employees get nauseous once they strap on the headsets?

  • With WalMart specifically, and all of our customers, we work really hard to

  • make sure we're putting you in pretty much a static decision-making

  • moment. We're not moving the camera. We're not running you down an aisle.

  • We're making it very very comfortable for the employee.

  • Strivr has raised $21 million in venture funding and has secured deals to

  • bring immersive learning to companies like BMW, JetBlue, Fidelity and even the NFL.

  • It puts you right on the field.

  • And Pixo VRits fall prevention module is just the beginning. Now, it's

  • working on programs to prevent the other three most deadly accidents on

  • construction sites: electrocution, being struck by heavy objects and

  • caught between things.

  • The market is definitely starting to show momentum and change for the

  • better. Over a year ago, 2017, the question was, what is VR? Today the

  • question is, what do you have to buy? And they are also under the belief

  • now that VR training is a great solution for them.

Virtual Reality hasn't exactly seen the booming success in gaming and

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Why Microsoft Uses Virtual Reality Headsets To Train Workers

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    joey joey posted on 2021/05/16
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