Based in the Midlands, VR Safety works at the cutting edge of interactive and immersive technology. Its MD Steve Hogan drives Virtual and Augmented Reality into safety and awareness training for the future.
When we talk about Virtual Reality think most of us think it’s something of science fiction movies such as Iron Man and Star Wars, well it’s here now and it’s accessible and affordable.
So what is Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, I should explain
Virtual reality (VR) is an artificial, computer-generated simulation or recreation of a real life environment or situation. It immerses the user by making them feel like they are experiencing the simulated reality first hand, primarily by stimulating their vision and hearing. It can be used to enhance training for real life environments by creating a simulation of reality where people can practice beforehand (Such as flight simulators for dangerous situations, processes in factories, construction etc)
Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that layers computer-generated images or animations on top of an existing reality in order to make it more meaningful through the ability to interact with it. AR is developed into apps and used on mobile devices to blends digital images into the real world in such a way that they enhance one another, but can also be told apart easily.
The image is an example of a digital image overlaid on a real image. The digital images can be generated by a marker or a beacon. They can provide additional information to the real life image, such as directions or instructions, the hardware can be as simple as your smart phone or in more technical work, smart glasses.
So what can the technology offer?
VR Safety uses Virtual Reality tools and equipment to provide real life training solutions to clients in many industries such as education, nuclear, defence, aerospace, rail and even the restaurant food safety business. The technology has already proven to provide, realistic simulations of what people might experience in their fields of operation and is the best way to teach people how to do jobs that are complex or dangerous. Safety training is were VR and AR really comes into its own, you can put employees in hazardous environments without risk, you can put new employees through induction programs and simulate site tours.
We often include assessments within the program so the feedback can be monitored to see how well the user has been engaged. It is very well documented that retention rates are held longer in the brain if they experience real life situations or simulations.
What has been the reaction of customers?
The general reaction I get from customers who see the technology for the first time is “WOW” then silence as they are immersed in another world. In every situation the customer really “gets it” the possibilities are limitless and you can see this with the customer.
By providing the opportunity for employees to have realistic experiences of critical circumstances that they may otherwise not have had yet. VR can have a direct impact on management efficiency and productivity, leading to real improvements in business performance. Customers really enjoy the technology and learning environment, once they have experienced the true benefit of virtual reality. Basically what VR enables teachers, lecturers or anyone in an educational setting to do is to deliver large amounts of often complex information in a visually attractive way. Many students find it easier to learn when presented with a visual explanation which the also find easier to retain and recall.
This is a game changing technology is no longer a thing of the sci-fi imaginaries it’s now an affordable tool with huge benefits,both virtual and augmented reality have the potential to transform how we interact with almost every industry today, we only see it growing from strength to strength.