Tips for Creating a VR Safety Training App
Last week, we had three separate conversations with clients about creating safety training apps using InstaVR.
Because safety training requires experiential learning. It’s one thing to read about safety precautions and procedures.
But it doesn’t really stick the way an immersive, interactive training application can. Particularly because avoiding mistakes and hazards requires almost instinctual actions, VR provides a great way to train your brain for when you’re in those situations for real.
The other nice thing about VR is that simulating hazardous conditions in real life on a regular basis for training purposes is difficult. (and potentially dangerous!)
So to have it recorded for viewing on-demand, on a headset like an Oculus Go, has a lot of value. Or on a mobile device for access any time, anywhere.
Below, we’ll discuss three tips for better creating VR safety training applications.
1. Use a POV camera angle
A lot of clients film using a 360 camera mounted stationary on a tripod or monopod. That makes a lot of sense, as you can easily capture a room or outdoor location without having to move the camera.
But for safety training, it’s best to also include a 1st person POV. That way the user can feel the immediacy of the situation, as if they were there themselves. The simulation will most approximate the actual employee experience.
So if you’re planning to buy an Insta360 Pro camera, for example, we also suggest investing a few hundred extra dollars in an Insta360 One X and a head mounting strap. That way you can capture additional POV footage which provides the eye-level, first-person experience.
2. Make it interactive
Passively viewing a 360 safety training video is good. Interacting with it is even better.
Studies have shown that making VR interactive leads to better information retention. If the brain actively engages with the 360 environment, the user will be more invested in learning.
What does interactivity mean in the context of InstaVR? You can add Navigation Links that allow a user to choose between potential decisions in the safety training simulation. So if they’re say driving a ferry boat in VR and the brakes fail, they can decide whether to turn the wheel or throw the shifter into reverse.
You can also add Hotspot overlays to the scene, which initiate a pop up 2D image or video. One of the more popular use cases lately has been to add transparent Hotspot icons, so the user has to identify in the scene potential hazards.
In the context of the safety training, this allows you to either test the user or gamify the scenario, so users can be evaluated in how quickly they identify potential dangers. Like with the Navigation Links, the Hotspots make the user more engaged and less passive in this learning environment.
3. Update and re-distribute your safety training on a periodic basis
VR applications are not meant for one-time use. Even though information retention is higher than with standard video (generally at least 10 – 15%), you still want to set a schedule for when VR will be re-watched and re-learned.
More importantly, you want to update the material. Workplaces change and evolve, so you don’t want to make your VR training program stagnant. You want the virtual environment to as closely replicate the current environment as possible.
InstaVR makes pushing these updates out to your users simple. For iOS/Android, you can use a feature called Dynamic Contents, that pushes out your newly updated content to users. The next time they open the app on a mobile device, they’ll be asked to download the new content, like they would with any app update.
For Oculus Go, you can also use the Release Channels feature, in addition to Dynamic Contents. So rather than updating a single app, you can easily push out entirely new apps to the Oculus Go headsets, regardless of location of the headset itself.
The Release Channels feature is particularly nice if you don’t have the headsets in close proximity. Rather than having to physically connect the headset to a laptop to download the new .apk file, Release Channels make the new app available for download automatically the next time the headset connects to WiFi.
VR Safety training is one the most obvious and talked about use cases for enterprise VR. The technology leads to better retention and better instinctual reaction than traditional video.
When creating your VR safety training materials, consider
A.) making use of 1st person POV B.) making the app interactive via Navigation Links and Hotspots and C.) Creating a fixed schedule for pushing out new training materials or updating existing ones.
Creating VR safety training materials is easy with InstaVR’s drag-and-drop tool.
If you have any questions on InstaVR Pro, or would like to see how easy it is, we encourage you to attend one of our Thursday live trainings at 10am EST — https://join.me/instavrandrew
Thanks for reading and best of luck with your modernization and improvement of your safety training with InstaVR!