By Bobby Carlton
Technology is evolving faster than ever, so are the myths about VR and AR training. With this rapid development of technology, companies and industries are more than eager to integrate and use these technologies for product innovation, research, and development. Emerging technologies like simulation technologies, Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) are progressing very fast alongside their convergence with technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) with Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning.
Not only is technology evolving, but its acceptance and adoption among the general consumers and public is also increasing. We can see that by the rapidly growing market of these emerging technologies. Furthermore, the move of the whole industry towards their digital transformation to prepare themselves for the next industrial shift, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIR) or Industry 4.0, is also propelling this adoption faster.
Read more: Why Should You Be Paying Attention to WebXR?
However, due to a lack of adequate general awareness of these technologies, people may hold onto certain misconceptions. Sometimes due to insufficient sources for additional knowledge or sometimes even through the deliberate spread of wrong information. Although the world is moving towards a haven for digital technologies and cutting-edge innovations, these rumors or misconceptions can keep this movement from reaching enough people.
To understand these misconceptions and differentiate between myths about VR and AR training and reality, we first need to know enough about these technologies.
What are VR and AR?
AR and VR are mixed reality technologies or also sometimes Extended Reality (XR) technologies. These XR technologies can streamline various services and product experiences to enhance their capabilities and help companies provide their customers with more affluent and enhanced expertise. Moreover, companies and these technologies can also help companies by enabling various product innovations and newer R&D technologies.
Augmented reality (AR), enables interactive experiences with real-world environments and various elements. AR allows the enhancement of these environments and features through different digital information and sensory feedback. For instance, AR systems can use multiple digital aspects like overlays, visual graphics, and elements alongside other elements like sound and sensory elements like haptic feedback.
The AR system delivers all these elements to immerse the user in the AR environment completely. However, AR systems also must be careful of not overusing digital features or making them unable to blend in with the real-world elements. Since the goal of any AR system is to immerse the user in the new world that it creates by augmenting these digital elements with real-world stuff.
Virtual Reality (VR), on the other hand, provides an entirely virtual experience. VR technology enables interactive experiences with a completely virtual world. The VR system builds upon a computer-generated 3D world. The VR system places the users in this 3D world consisting of different environments and virtual objects alongside sensory feedback, including sound and haptic feedback. As with the AR systems, the VR systems also deliver all these visual and sensory elements to the user. Along with this, the goal of a VR system is to blend all these digital elements in such a way to immerse the user in it entirely and make them feel like they are part of this VR environment.
Read more: Reason Why Big Companies are Using AR
AR and VR enable numerous possibilities in the entertainment sector and almost any industry and industry possible. AR and VR have their uses for rapid prototyping, design, development, maintenance, and monitoring various sites, machines, and objects from industrial and production environments to the aviation industry. One of the applications or uses of AR and VR comes in the training industry too.
Effects of the Myths About VR and AR Training and the Hype Cycle
Consider this scenario in industries like aviation, robotics, or space, for developing a respective product; these industries have to spend a fortune. The equipment, components, and systems necessary for these industries are costly, including considerable risk. This risk comes in terms of financial and resource wastage risk and terms of human lives.
Industries like these have a significant risk of losing human lives. When every new component, machine, or vehicle goes through testing and verification, human life may be at risk. Not only for testing but also during the whole developmental process with design, evaluation, and prototyping phases, real-world equipment and components are in use if AR and VR systems are not at service. Even a simple failure of these expensive and valuable components or systems may hamper the project’s future or even companies.
Add in the mix of risk of losing human lives during the developmental phase, either for testing of the equipment, vehicle, or machine or even for training purposes of their operators, and the risk becomes very substantial. Since not putting human lives at stake is a significant factor in these industries, one should try as much as possible to avoid putting humans at risk in the first place.
It’s where AR and VR come in. With AR and VR technologies in the fray, humans or even machines can go through the developmental phase and the testing or training phase without the actual need to put anything from the real world at risk, which means a much safer, faster, and efficient cycle of the project.
Similarly, soldiers can train in AR and VR in industries like the military with a complete immersion in a real battlefield without risking their lives. It can prove to be a real game-changer when training soldiers for their better performance and keeping them safe.
Furthermore, training pilots and astronauts in AR and VR simulations can eliminate the risks while also giving out real-like immersive training experiences for astronauts. Moreover, these types of training in AR and VR are also much more efficient, faster, and cost-effective compared to the substitution methods in use.
Hence, AR and VR training is evolving faster than ever due to these advantages and benefits, with various industries adopting these technologies swiftly. But this adoption of AR and VR faces several problems, including misconceptions and false myths. Therefore, we are going to bust the top 5 myths about AR and VR.
Myth 1) AR and VR Training is Not Effective
It is probably the most prevalent misconception among people. Even people familiar with AR and VR tech can fall into these myths about VR and AR training due to the lack of availability of these applications in the consumer market. But every other new technology gets labeled as a “gimmick.” So often, new technologies get over-hyped and quickly disappoint end users due to the lack of fulfillment of those promises. But these also rely on the actual development of the technology and the effectiveness of research and end product.
However, AR and VR are genuine and effective innovative technology. Consequently, industries are already adopting and integrating these technologies in their training processes. For example, various aviation industry giants already use AR and VR to train to keep their pilots and even take their tests. Likewise, the Militaries of different countries are already using VR and AR for teaching their soldiers in different scenarios and environments. Furthermore, many organizations/companies/industries are swiftly moving or are in the process of adopting these technologies.
For example, Kellogg's used VR for market research and saw brand sales jump up 18%.
Myth 2) AR and VR Training is Costly
The myths about VR and AR training might have been true in the past, but today, even the most realistic and high-quality VR and AR sets are available for a few hundred dollars. Although this also may seem a lot for some but in comparison, this is very much cheaper. Moreover, the technology is also getting more reasonable and efficient; meaning, it will become more affordable and efficient in the future.
The use of AR and VR tech makes the product development and training processes more cost-effective and efficient. It is also data rich and can give you supercharged KPI's and can have a financial impact on an organization by cutting costs in the time it takes to train employees.
Some XR companies have found:
Myth 3) AR and VR Training are Too Complex
AR and VR technology have been progressing at such a high rate that today, it's possible to get these rolling with even a smartphone or a simple computer device. All you need is an AR VR headset or AR VR device, and you are good to go. The VR and AR contents are also widely available and easily accessible, making it easier to try them out.
Myth 4) It Reduces Physical Activity/ It is only helpful in Gaming/It is only helpful for Physical Training
XR (AR and VR) has a wide range of applicability. Although it's very famous today in the gaming industry due to XR technologies finding their way towards the gaming consumer market, it certainly is not only for gaming.
As discussed earlier, it can use its product development, enable new innovative R&D technology, and train. The training is also not limited to physical activity. VR and AR help you simulate various environments and conditions; it allows you to train people in virtually every setting, scenario, and condition.