Immersive Learning in the Era of Digital Disruption
Human perception is a powerful ability that allows individuals to build their own understanding of concepts by gathering cues from their environment. Traditional channels of communication including spoken and written techniques, have their own limitation while communicating business ideas to stakeholders.
Over the last few decades, we have moved from physical experiences to digital experiences in a steady manner. With advancements in mixed reality technologies, we can now provide enhanced experiences for simulating, learning, training, modelling and visualizing abstract business concept, regardless of geographical and spatial setup.
While today’s enterprises are transforming their business and operating models by leveraging digital technologies, it is important for them to adopt new learning methods to facilitate employees to upgrade their skills and help consumers adopt new products or services.
New Learning Paradigms
Enterprise ecosystems today have progressed from technologies that helped participants to see & hear to those that enable them to sense. Digital engagement, a convergence of sensory, cognitive computing and immersive experience technologies provides a plethora of opportunities to enable adaptive learning. This is being realized today by Augmented Reality (AR) & Virtual Reality (VR) along with various sensing technologies that enable accurate information gathering allowing enterprises to reimagine communications by designing, creating and delivering rich immersive experiences.
Through such experiences we can understand real world scenarios and situations through the lenses of the virtual world. These can then be personalized for participants which was not possible earlier through traditional communication channels. Immersive technologies are powering new possibilities where the amalgamation of underlying technologies such as Internet of Things, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are enabling the design and development of NextGen experiences. It is also important to enable continuous learning in order to arrive at the best knowledge imparting strategies.
Advancements in Learning Ecosystems through Virtual & Augmented Technologies
Enterprises face a dual challenge of training employees and customers on an on-going basis. To add to this, enterprises are observing the ‘Uberization’ of staffing and services which makes it challenging to provide continuous training for an ever changing workforce.
It is often stated that training is one of the biggest budget line items of an organization. This encompasses employee, staff and client training. According to the Brandon Hall Group’s 2016 Training Benchmarking Study, e-learning is the most expensive learning experience to develop, and video learning is the least expensive. This necessitates a relook into traditional training approaches employed by enterprises.
Traditional induction training is carried out in classrooms and is usually instructor led or delivered through a digital tutor program. This is an area that can become more experiential by providing contextualized learning to the participants of the training program. Digital engagements help enterprises to cope with changes in their learning ecosystems.
For instance, Japan Airlines is experimenting with training co-pilots in a virtual cockpit. Walmart had deployed VR technology to train its staff in 187 training centers for different types of learning, including how to service customers, preparing for situations like Black Friday or emergencies where you can’t set up a simulation in a store, etc. Fast food chain KFC has implemented VR-based employee training where workers are taken through the process of cooking chicken in just 10 minutes, as opposed to the 25 minutes it takes through Interactive Responsive Learning (IRL).
At Infosys we are developing a new learning platform using VR for enabling employees to experience scenarios like ‘VR based Interactive Safety Training Programs’ for enabling parking skills and guidelines for vehicle parking during field repairs. We are also developing a mixed reality based solution for effective store planning.
Expert Assistance: Real-Time Remote Assistance
Working along with experts is one of the most preferred options to learn on the job, but it is not a scalable solution. Many organizations grapple with the problem of expert knowledge, as it is hard to capture tacit knowledge in an explicit format. Integrating AR technology with enterprise collaboration solutions helps one to reach out to remote experts on a need basis. This not only saves costs but is far more efficient than traditional training done over documents or video tutorials.
A useful innovation here is by Atheer - the company has developed an Augmented Interactive Reality (AiR) smart glasses platform which enables users to collaborate with remote experts via video calls and receive guidance through real-time image annotations to increase efficiency.
At Infosys, we are working towards building offerings to transform current 2D based trainings into an immersive VR based training experience for scenarios such as compliance training and equipment repair training. We are also working on providing on the job training/learning aid to field engineers for identifying, fixing & maintaining underground field equipment. We are developing solutions to provide need based expert assistance by integrating enterprise collaboration platforms with AR technology.
Contextual and Personalized Training Experiences
Training is usually need driven but does not capture the specific needs of individual learners. In a digitally enhanced ecosystem, such specific needs can be captured to provide personalized training which can be more efficient and effective.
For example, in the context of an employee’s relocation, or change of roles, sensing technologies can help with employee location identification and current work profile. By leveraging Augmented Reality technologies and Conversational User Interfaces like chatbots, enterprises can provide context specific experiences.
At Infosys, we have pioneered a world- first virtual reality tennis experience delivered on PlayStation® VR, that transports fans into a live stadium environment from wherever they are. In addition to creating 360 degree views of matches from different viewing angles, we also integrate tennis statistics into the screens, so fans can truly understand the science behind all the action.
We have also developed AR-VR solutions powered by data analytics for ATP Tennis Tournaments, which utilizes historical / real-time tournament data including statistical data on players’ movements. Infosys has created an augmented reality HoloLens experience showcasing a tennis retail store of the future. This interactive 3D space provides virtual dashboards with holographic displays. Users can try different products without really trying them on – like picking a tennis shoe, changing its colors, increasing its size, and even getting access to the entire store inventory – all with just voice and gestures.
These solutions help provide a contextualized and personalized experience of the tennis game and also helps players to get deeper insights into their game.
At Infosys we strongly believe that immersive learning in an era of digital disruption, will enhance the overall learning experience. With advancements in immersive technologies, we are today better equipped to provide experiential learning that can improve the overall effectiveness of an enterprise. Infosys is committed to incubating and scaling technologies that can help future-proof our business ecosystems and help enterprises to scale their transformation journey using Adaptive Learning methods. Our constant exploration of technologies and our contextual experimentation with client partners is helping us navigate through such digital disruptions.