Seeing is believing. A picture is worth a thousand words. There are dozens of clichés out there that drive home how important visuals are for learning and processing information. It’s no surprise, considering that human beings are visual creatures. As we move into 2019, we wanted to take a look at how training technology is enabling us to incorporate visual learning into custom corporate training in a way that’s more engaging, interactive, and immersive than ever before!
What Visual Training Technology is Out There?
It’s commonly said that “learning by doing” is one of the most effective ways to learn. This is one of the reasons why among all the exciting, buzz-worthy, new technological advances out there, we think that the integration of 3D models in training deserves a little more hype. After all, with the right implementation, a 3D model can provide learners with hands-on exploration and active learning practice anytime, anywhere, and without the need to splurge on product mockups or physical simulations.
Consider, for example, a machine operator who is able to select different areas of an equipment model to access all the relevant parts and procedure documentation. Being able to—quite literally—see what information is relevant to each section promotes recall and allows for more efficient operation in the future. What about a cardiovascular clinician exploring the inside of a heart through the use of a 3D model? The ability to zoom in on particular areas of interest would be an opportunity you couldn’t easily replicate in the physical world. With a little abstraction, the benefits of 3D models can extend to almost any industry out there, providing immersive active learning in a budget-friendly way.
Another effective method to promote immersion is through 360° video, a technique that has taken the world by a storm over the past few years. These videos, which record footage in all directions simultaneously, allow the viewer to change their viewing direction as if they were actually situated in the middle of the scene. The effect is similar to a virtual reality experience, except that no special equipment is needed to dive in.
One major benefit of this video style is that it gives learners an opportunity to feel a presence within the scenario. It adds depth to observational learning, allowing users to learn where to direct their attention and what to expect from the flow of a situation. It can even be used to provide in-person training without the instructor needing to be physically present. All of these applications add immersive depth and promote learner engagement while remaining highly cost-effective.
While 3D modeling promotes interactivity and 360° video immerses the learner in the scenario, to realize the benefits of both, we need to take a step further. Augmented reality and virtual reality technology are often grouped together, but there are distinct differences between them that provide for unique training experiences. Augmented reality overlays information and content over what the user is seeing around them in real time. This makes it best for just-in-time learning and for accessing relevant information on the job.
Virtual reality, on the other hand, immerses the user entirely in a virtual world, allowing them to move, explore, and interact with key features. This makes it one of the most innovative and engaging methods for scenario and simulation training. For instance, VR can be used to replicate emergency preparedness scenarios to test employee skills under simulated pressure without having to set aside time and hire actors for a convincing in-person training session.
While more cost-effective solutions are becoming available as technology improves, it’s worthwhile to note that AR/VR can be a substantial investment to make. However, we believe that the immersion and engagement it provides learners can be well worth it when properly implemented.
How AllenComm Brings it All Together
It’s always been important to us to take an innovative approach to training, making the most out of new technology as we develop the best strategies to meet our clients’ needs. Siteline, our interactive mobile workflow platform, is our response to the world of visual training technology. This platform takes traditional content learning to another level by weaving in all three of the different technologies discussed above.
We pioneered Siteline for one of our manufacturing clients, using AR capabilities to give workers access to the information they needed to operate their machinery. We paired a powerful content library with 3D models, available through either medium and organized in a way that promoted easy cross-referencing. Siteline was the perfect match for the manufacturing floor, but we believe it has the potential to transform training in a multitude of other industries as well.
Curious about how Siteline works? Interested in how this technology could fit within your industry? Don’t be afraid to reach out!