If we look at how businesses all over the world have conducted safety training, there has not been a lot of variety. For centuries, companies have relied on manuals, instructions, lectures, and in-person training, which contribute to employee education, but perhaps not as well as companies would like. This is why many modern enterprises are yearning for upgrades and looking for the best virtual reality safety training company to partner with.
30% of businesses have identified VR as a priority instrument for employee education in the coming years.
Safety training through VR grants a range of benefits, both in terms of efficiency and economy. For example, a study conducted in the manufacturing firm found that using VR can lead to an improvement of identification and prevention skills of up to 80%. If you want to see similar improvements in the way your employees learn safety procedures, you have come to the right place.
We can help you find the right development partner and build the training solution of your dreams.
Tips for Finding a VR Training Development Company
The market of VR developers is thriving nowadays, so finding a company for such a project should not be an issue. However, finding a company with the right qualifications is a much bigger challenge. With luck, the tips below will help you find the best provider for your business needs.
1. Pay attention to professional portfolios
A portfolio of projects is one of the very first things to check once you establish contact with a company. Looking at past VR projects, you can not only examine the level of quality but also get a read on the scale of projects that a company is equipped to handle. Of course, a portfolio can’t tell you everything about professional experience, so be sure to inquire which tech stack the company relies on, which languages and frameworks it has mastered, which software/hardware it uses, etc.
2. Request a proposal
Some companies may be aggressive in convincing you to officially partner on a project, but you should hold your horses before you receive a proposal you like. This is a plan crafted by the provider, outlining how the company plans to tackle the project, including timeframes, people involved, cost estimates, communication and development flows, and a description of how your business needs will be met with this form of virtual reality for safety training.
3. Look for a second opinion
It is only natural for companies to show off their strengths and downplay/omit their weaknesses, so we recommend looking for a second and fair opinion about a company on third-party websites. Most IT companies have profiles on trusted platforms like Clutch and GoodFirms featuring honest reviews from real customers that have worked with the provider.
4. You can be picky about personnel
As the project initiator, you have the full right to choose who works on your project. Thus, you do not need to take a passive approach and just go along when a provider says “we have X specialists ready to help”. Before you begin any meaningful cooperation, you can sift through available specialists, examining their CVs and sometimes even picking favorites. Flexibility will depend on the provider.
5. Ask about different cooperation models
Most of the time, developers will offer you multiple cooperation models before you form an agreement. If they suit your needs, great, but if you feel any hesitancy over how well the model will serve you in the short/long term, you shouldn’t be afraid to think outside the box. Usually, if you ask a provider for a more flexible or tailored cooperation model, they will oblige. For example, you might ask for a fixed cost model for the MVP stages of the project, and then switch to a fixed-rate model after that.
6. Consider regional pricing
The rates offered to you by providers will be influenced by multiple factors (company expertise, project demands, etc.) but perhaps the biggest factor will be the country that the provider is operating from. It is well-known that developers in the U.S. and Central Europe have the highest rates in the world, while eastern and southern regions tend to have lower ones. Many businesses prefer cooperating with firms in Ukraine, as this country has a high number of experienced specialists and relatively low rates.
How Industries Have Used VR in Safety Training
If you have any doubts about the feasibility of implementing a training experience in VR, one of the best things you can do is look at real-world examples of these solutions in your industry. They can serve as a reference and occasional inspiration for your project. Below are some prominent examples of companies that have transformed employee education through VR:
CG Schmidt Inc., a construction company based in Wisconsin used a VR program to teach employees about safety hazards. Their virtual reality construction safety training was built to accommodate multiple users simultaneously, and placed workers in a construction site where they were asked to identify potential hazards. This allowed them to identify gaps in knowledge and demonstrate hazards through visualization.
Program-Ace built an aircraft engine simulator that lets users assemble and disassemble a lifelike aircraft engine in VR. Normally, the process would be very straining and time-consuming, but the virtual experience makes it much clearer and easier to manage.
Fortum, a Finnish company that manages a nuclear power plant has created an elaborate training application simulating the plant’s control room. While learning the controls by operating them physically is quite dangerous, VR removes all risk and delivers the same practical knowledge.
In July 2019, the New Zealand farming insurance company introduced a safe driving simulator for young farmers. The software lets users operate a tractor safely as they tour a farm and count sheep. They also made the experience accessible to young people who are considering a career in farming.
Walmart, one of the largest retail chains in the world has rolled out a VR experience to select employees in preparation for Black Friday. This is a hectic day when many incidents and tense interactions tend to occur, so the simulation helps prepare employees for the difficult situations they might face. This virtual reality health and safety training became so successful and popular that the company started rolling out similar programs in thousands of other locations.
6) and many more…
These are just a few examples among hundreds. Even if you didn’t see an example similar to the project you are planning, this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. With the right search criteria, you might be able to find a relevant example, and even if none exists, a qualified VR developer should be able to provide a professional opinion on the matter.
How to Get Started with VR Safety Training Software
When you find the right company to partner with, it will be a big burden off your back, but the next steps and overall requirements will still need input and effort from your side. To elaborate:
Estimations and discussions
Most software development projects go through a standard flow. At the start, a company discusses a project with a development partner, receives a favorable proposal, and finalizes a cooperation agreement (paperwork). It is quite difficult to pin down ballpark figures for cost and duration due to the unique requirements of each project. However, most projects take up to 6 months to complete and cost upwards of $100K.
Preparing materials and designs
Every training experience is based on some knowledge and skills that should be imparted to users, so it will be up to you to specify and share the needed knowledge/procedures. Similarly, the environment of the VR simulation will need to be taken into account, so if you want the setting to be a realistic depiction of a real site/building, you will also need to provide some visuals of this location.
Development and review
Next, the design and development work begins. Most developers prefer to work with an engine like Unity or UE4, along with SDKs best suited to the VR experience they are targeting. Traditionally, much of the development time goes into the creation of 3D models and interactions for them, as well as a tracking system that handles movement and interactions. To ensure that everything works smoothly, the software undergoes multiple rounds of review by QA specialists.
Release and Maintenance
When the project is complete, the client receives the full package of software and associated data. They are instructed on maintaining hardware needs like hosting and server-side operations, though some providers continue supporting and conducting maintenance for an application long after release.
Program-Ace can help you move forward
Our company has decades of experience in building VR experiences for enterprises, and our portfolio features plenty of training solutions. We love empowering businesses to better educate their workers and boost engagement all across the board.
It would be a thrill for us to hear about your project and discuss how it can be brought to life! Just send us a message, and we can get the ball rolling today.
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