Businesses grow in the metaverse
The value of the metaverse market could reach $13 trillion before 20301. Immersive technologies are rapidly evolving, making their way into both consumer and corporate solutions and transforming key industries ranging from architecture and interior design to film production and engineering. Along with these, the labor market and its requirements are changing.
Metaverse is supposed to change this. By immersing us directly in a virtual environment, immersive technologies such as virtual, augmented, and mixed reality offers a chance to enhance our perceptual capabilities for the first time in the history of mankind.
For business, this is a turning point in strategic planning that will certainly change the way we learn, make decisions, and engage with the physical environment. Furthermore, it will affect how companies interact with customers, educate employees, develop products, control their value chains, and, ultimately, compete in the marketplace.
The biggest challenge of the industrial metaverse
Immersive technologies are creating millions of new jobs, but their future potential is threatened by a global shortage of skilled talent – the World Economic Forum predicts that more than one billion workers will need to retrain by 20302. For this reason, companies face the challenge of creating effective training programs to impart new skills to their employees.
The gap between employees’ skills, work experience, as well as everyday business reality is eliminated by Aidar’s solutions for companies that create and improve their immersive training methods. Aidar identifies the capabilities and needs of companies and proposes solutions to pre-empt the problem of employee shortages and the exodus of know-how from companies. The company builds hardware-agnostic (VR) simulators of the working environment in virtual reality (VR), allowing effective onboarding of professionals and training in new skills organized without access to real machines and materials.
Using augmented reality (AR) technology, the company also allows employees to be supported remotely by experts located anywhere in the world, who, with the help of a laptop or smartphone, connect remotely with a person working on-site and receive a full view of the manufacturing plant environment. The employee, via AR glasses, sends the technical support representative a real-time image, so they can view the machine together and identify problems, trigger corrective actions, and even intervene before a breakdown or downtime occurs. If an inspection or maintenance engineer is alerted that an engine on a particular machine is not working, the AR glasses can – based on pre-prepared automated service scenarios – direct them to the correct spare part in stock, help them reach the engine located in the factory, and provide repair instructions. In addition, all this is saved in a knowledge base to serve other employees in the future, and the material gathered in this way can be edited, supplemented, or developed. This allows for almost unlimited development of both teams and the company’s competence.
Reception-oriented immersive education and training
According to a survey conducted by Accenture, more than 90 percent of executives see a need to improve the effectiveness of professional training techniques. Traditional training methods, such as instructor-led lectures or videos, are often proving ineffective and inadequate to meet the expectations of the new generation. The Ebbinghaus forgetting curve3 shows that in one hour people forget on average half of the information they have heard. Students forget 70 percent of the information in just 24 hours, and almost 90 percent of the knowledge they have acquired disappears within a month. This is because traditional educational methods are geared towards transmission, not reception. They focus on imparting as much knowledge as possible, rather than how the recipient will assimilate it, and whether they will be able to use it. Meanwhile, properly designed and delivered training that considers the needs of the business and its key performance measures – as McKinsey demonstrates – generates returns for the organization that is up to four times greater than the costs incurred4
Case studies of immersive training show that the virtual environment offers companies great opportunities to measure and verify its effectiveness and adapt it to the sector and area of activity. Regardless of the sector and the type of skills being taught, learning outcomes in VR are very high, with knowledge retention rates as high as 75 percent5. Learning new tasks through VR allows the development of real muscle memory, which is not addressed by traditional training methods. Muscle memory is a natural mechanism that is responsible for adapting our body to perform specific movements. It allows the body to perform learned actions automatically, limiting the involvement of the brain. Thanks to it, the body remembers sequences of movements it learned even years before. Immersive technologies thus make it possible to teach our bodies to perform actions that could previously only be learned after starting to work on a target, real workstation, or machine.
Measuring the effects of mixed reality solutions
From the perspective of the organization, this adds another KPI. Measuring effectiveness is no longer limited to the theoretical knowledge gained from lectures or textbooks, as VR allows knowledge to be measured at a physical and emotional level, indicating what an employee may be struggling with and tailoring training to their needs and abilities. This is one of the primary benefits of audience-driven education, which is available on demand and tailored to individual preferences. PwC’s research confirms this: students trained using VR were 275 percent more confident that they would be able to put the knowledge they had acquired into practice, which is 30-40 percent better than the traditional classroom and e-learning6.
Training in AR, VR, and MR has a proven track record of solving real-world business problems, as well as increasing companies’ competitive advantage. Their selection is based on the needs of the company and specific criteria, such as the type of knowledge to be transferred and the training conditions – including whether the training can be conducted in a specific physical facility, such as a production plant, and whether there is the possibility to gather participants there, or whether the training must take a remote form.
Where physical presence is possible and the training facility is available – for example, a factory or production line – augmented reality technology works well, augmenting the trainee’s environment with additional digital elements that expand the trainee’s point of view – graphics, buttons, and signs describing the physical environment. This is a common training method that improves the quality of knowledge transfer and the group’s understanding of a variety of issues. However, there are times when a company is faced with the challenge of training employees before the space in which they will eventually work is built, or when they are forced to perform their duties in another location, using a remote model. This is when virtual reality and space simulation comes to the rescue, where people can completely immerse themselves in an artificially created reality and experience future production processes. The technology uses computer modeling and simulation so that the user’s brain can observe, react and engage with events in VR in the same way as in real life.
Trainees put VR on goggles, take controllers in their hands, and access training programs tailored to their current needs. Importantly, in this way, it is possible to train both new employees and retrain experienced staff. At the same time, immersive training provides a learning environment in a safe and controlled environment.
Aidar’s solutions increase the mobility of knowledge and raise the skill level of entire teams. This bridges the gap between a theory on paper and the personal experience of employees, enabling their synergy to drive business growth.
1 Metaverse and Money: Decrypting the Future. Citi
2 Seeing is believing: How virtual reality and augmented reality are transforming business and the economy, PwC
5 Report The MASIE Center, Immersive Realities for Learning and Performance