The idea of using a virtual environment for training is far from new, aviation has used flight simulators for decades. While the return on investment is undeniable (unlike an airliner, there’s no cost for a pilot to crash in a simulator), it’s provides the only opportunity for experiential learning without any of the risk.
Slowly, immersive headsets are becoming a universal training tool. Suzanne Edwards of e-learning consultancy Enlighten says VR is the current best method of overcoming a common Catch-22 in industrial training. “Many mine operators have a restrictive permitting system that means new employees cannot go underground without training, but the best way to get the training is by going into the mine,” she says. “Using VR means more experiential learning.”