How would you react in an emergency? Virtual reality simulation could show your realistic response and help provide efficient scenario-based training for employees. For example, it can simulate the perception of sight, smell, and temperature to check how you and your employees would behave in case of fire, flood, or emergency evacuation. Before discussing what VR training solutions can be used for emergency training, let’s find out what VR is.
Shortly About VR Technologies
VR or Virtual Reality technologies have been around for a while. The technology idea dates back to the 1960s, but it only became available in the last five years with just a smartphone and a VR headset.
The term VR is part of a much broader notion called Extended Reality (or just XR). And VR denotes a three-dimensional computer-generated environment that people can interact with. In other words, a person becomes a part of this virtual world, and while immersed within this environment, one can manipulate objects or perform actions.
The combination of hardware, sensors, and software helps achieve a sense of presence where the subject (i.e., your employees) feels and acts like they are in that environment.
There are many types of VR systems, but they all have the same characteristics, such as the ability to show life-sized, three-dimensional images. The following images change as the person moves. It helps join the head and eye movements to create a virtual and realistic environment. And tricking the human brain isn’t that easy, is it?
How VR Apps Interact With Users?
To immerse people in virtual reality, VR needs several devices, including a headset, smartphone, or computer, and sometimes an additional device to track motion.
There are several ways VR interacts with users:
- Tracks your head
VR headsets come loaded with head motion trackers to follow the movements of your head and help recreate a more realistic environment. It takes advantage of a gyroscope, accelerometer, and motion controllers.
- Tracks your eyes
Headsets are equipped with a particular controller to track the movement of your eyes while you’re in the VR environment. Eye-tracking helps to get a more immense and realistic field of view since the picture changes according to the direction of your eyes.
- Tracks your motions
When implemented, motion tracking added some additional value to the VR experience and brought it to a totally new level. Most of the headsets are equipped with cameras and body sensors to follow your movements. That creates an unforgettable experience since you can look around and move around as if everything is real.
Where VR Technologies Are Used
VR has the potential to make new discoveries and play the devil with our everyday lives. VR has no rivals when it comes to doing something that is too expensive or dangerous in the real world.
- Education. VR training to get certain skills (pilots, firefighters, surgeons, etc.);
- Science. VR can visualize the research results or carry out any tests;
- Medicine. With VR technologies, doctors can easily monitor, diagnose, and train for emergency situations;
- Gaming. VR creates interactive experiences to drive more engagement;
- Architecture. Thanks to VR technologies, architects can visualize how the city will look in a few years, and designers can help redecorate your flat and show how it’ll be without spending a dime.
Why VR Is the Best Solution for Emergency Response Training
VR technologies allow for recreating risky and dangerous situations in a safe environment and facilitate the decision-making process under pressure. Nearly 60% of employees in the US didn’t practice what to do in a disaster by taking part in a disaster drill or preparedness exercise at work, according to FEMA. This is despite the fact that 80% of the US is prone to weather-related disasters.
5 reasons why VR is the best solution for emergency response training:
- Reproduce realistic emergencies;
- Train more employees at the same time;
- Safe way to get ready for risky situations;
- Increase employee engagement;
- No training is needed to use VR-powered solutions for scenario training.
In short, VR safety training helps practice the skills that people need when it comes to saving themselves in any type of emergency. It allows for getting ready for any emergency and learning well how to behave.
VR training programs come fully loaded with dozens of emergency scenarios that may happen during floods or fires. Moreover, 3D environments are created with 100% accuracy and depict specific objects, cities, areas, etc. And the primary reason for choosing VR for training is its cost-effectiveness since the VR training simulator solutions can be used more than once. Trainees can go through a particular scenario training as many times as they need without spending additional costs. You can use modules for VR training experience anytime and anywhere you need them.
VR Benefits for Scenario-Based Training
VR can be used to get ready for disasters in a vast number of ways. For example, people are immersed in a computer-generated environment to get advanced tactical training and learn how to save themselves long before the problem strikes.
VR helps show not only the safest ways to leave the building but also facilitates critical thinking that plays an important role in emergency situations.
Major Benefits of Virtual Reality in Training for Disaster
- It’s safe
VR allows for practicing real-life skills without dicing with death.
- It’s custom-tailored to your needs
VR agencies can create any environment you need – create geo-specific environments, depict your office, infrastructure, etc.
- It’s cost-effective
It’s much cheaper to use VR-based disaster training modules than recreate emergencies for your employees anytime you’re holding a fire drill.
- It’s scalable
Your VR training software is easily scalable. So you can easily train 10 or 100+ employees at the same cost.
Government Agencies Are Already Using VR Technologies:
- The US. Department of Homeland Security;
- Centers for Disease Сontrol and Prevention;
- National Institutes of Health;
- National Science Foundation.
Emergency Scenarios for VR Training
VR can easily reproduce any emergency scenario, from fires to plane crashes. The software can rebuild the emergency picture with 100% accuracy. Here’s a full list of emergencies where VR training can come in handy:
It’s the most widespread scenario for VR disaster training. VR can reproduce fire, smoke, and your feeling during the fire.
- Road crashes
VR can easily build any road accident depending on the number and types of vehicles (cars, bikes, vehicles transporting dangerous liquids, etc.)
- Public order
Police forces can also benefit from VR technologies. The software can reproduce the situations of public disorders and help train police officers to manage them.
- Chemical incidents
The following type of emergency imparts the highest hazard level. With the additional equipment like masks and detectors, your employees will get a more realistic environment.
- Other emergencies
You can also use VR technologies to train your employees to behave during floods, earthquakes, storms, tornadoes, etc.
VR creates additional opportunities to train and teach your employees what to do in case of an emergency. Take advantage of the VR world to save costs for fire drills and get your employees well-educated.
VR-powered apps for emergency training gamify the ever-boring emergency lectures and facilitate the learning process. Thus, your employees won’t miss any VR scenario-based training because it’s fun.