Walmart leads the way with Virtual Reality Training

Training in VR

Walmart has just announced a massive rollout of Oculus Go Headsets, 17,000 in fact to all of its stores in the USA.

Up until recently, I understand that Walmart was using Virtual Reality (VR) in its Academies of which there are 200 dotted around the USA. The VR experiences in these Academies was with the PC Tethered Oculus Rift.

This latest push sees approximately 4 Stand Alone Oculus Go headsets going out to each store for training purposes and another 2 headsets going out to Walmart Neighborhood Market Stores.

It seems as though there have been 45 experiences created for Walmart and most of these have been created with 360 Video.

What does this mean for VR moving forward?

I think this is equivalent to a killer app, a solution that proves to be a tipping point for a technology. The original killer app was the spreadsheet, then we move to phones and Facebook could be described as an App that helped move mobile devices into the mainstream.

We have had gaming for a long time in VR but still, the uptake has been slow. We have associated technologies that have been taken up such as 360 Video, this has been used mainly in the Marketing space.

I think the fact that Walmart has invested in 17,000 Oculus Go headsets and an Enterprise solution by the way of the team at STRIVR this sends a clear shot across the bow of all businesses large and small that VR Training has arrived.

How many CEO’s are going to be scouring the news and seeing reports such as this telling of such a large commitment to VR training, they are going to be thinking that it is something they should look into.

And why not, it is a very powerful tool for the following reasons:

  • People retain more when training in VR
  • You can train staff, new and old in traditionally hard to do areas. Areas such as production lines, shutting them down and starting it up. You cannot do this generally as you have to keep the line moving. But, in VR, your staff can experience this and be ready for whatever circumstance appears with no risk to current production.
  • You can recreate the perfect scenario to train people correctly time after time. It is very consistent.
  • You can scale quality training to many people rather than relying on one to one or the less effective one to many training styles.
  • VR beats manuals.
  • People feel present and actually take note, there are no distractions in VR.
  • Quality training anywhere anytime.
  • Potentially fewer workplace injuries.

All these reasons do one thing, they help the bottom line of businesses that use VR in their training. There is a huge Return on Investment when training in VR.

All we have to do is create high-quality training scenarios once and then use that over and over again with little cost over the life of that training other than the initial production costs.

Is training suited to every training situation? Certainly not, there are times and places that 2D video, checklists, and manuals are better.

One thing is for sure, if Walmart has gone this deep with Training in VR then we think many will follow and why not with the added benefits.

If you are interested in using VR for your training needs please contact us on 1300 850 353 or sales@austech connect.com.au