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Immersive tech that will change learning in 2020 and beyond

Happy New Year and Decade!

2019 was a breakout year for immersive learning as we saw the release of a new generation of mobile Virtual Reality (VR) headsets and an explosion of mobile games. Don’t expect the innovation to slow in 2020. 

In our webcast, we hold a wide-ranging discussion of how VR, mobile games and 3D learning might boost your organization’s training initiatives in the new year (and beyond). 

Click here to view the recorded webcast event.

During the webinar we cover the following transformative immersive learning trends:

Mobile learning games

2019 was the year of mobile gaming. Call of Duty Mobile had 100 million downloads in its first week last fall and, in the learning space, our Walmart Spark City game was downloaded 300,000 times. In the new Black Friday level Walmart managers practice getting their store ready for the customer crush straight on their phones and iPads, building skill mastery and retention with a game that’s engaging and fun. Want a challenge? Download it yourself and see how you handle Black Friday madness. (Just search for Spark City on Apple App Store or Google Play Store).

The webcast also explores how such “first-person thinker” games can provide a risk-free virtual rehearsal space for skill practice and building the cognitive equivalent of muscle memory.   

Virtual reality learning is coming (yes, really this time!)

It’s been almost four years since virtual reality hit retail shelves. Yet, VR learning never advanced beyond proof-of-concept at most companies. That changed in 2019 when Oculus Quest blew the doors open for mobile VR enterprise learning at scale. No cords or beefy gaming computers are needed anymore, not even hand controllers. Just slip on a headset and walk around. Reach out with your hands to manipulate objects. Perhaps even more importantly, Oculus Quest embeds data and device security and management features. xAPI progress can be tracked with LRS/LMS, setting the stage for enterprise deployment of VR learning.

The webcast demonstrates how this new gen mobile VR is poised to transform learning in 2020. Hyper-realistic performance environments with positional audio and haptic response speak to all three senses, creating a complete sense of presence. With unlimited do-overs, learners can maximize “reps and sets” to accelerate skill development. We discuss how to develop multi-player VR sims where students and instructors can interact with each other. 

3D sims designed for realism AND learning

Seasoned artists working with professional-grade game engines can create high physical fidelity that looks, sounds and even feels like the real work environment. Developers can also create accurate functional fidelity, where equipment and other objects in the performance environment act like the real thing. In our lab sim for pharma leader Novartis you can stretch the plastic tubes in such realistic ways that that your brain tricks you into feeling the resistance in your hands. However, designing for realism doesn’t guarantee learning. Simulations also need to be designed for cognitive fidelity, applying sound instructional principles to ensure that people actually learn the correct skills. 

In the webcast we discuss how to develop human-centered learning simulations with tutorials, feedback, guided practice, engagement and scenario design. We share examples of VR sims and mobile games where learners practice skills under a variety of stressful conditions.  

Augmented reality is coming next decade (not next year)

If the 2010s was about the smart phone, the ‘20s promise to be the decade of smart glasses. Augmented reality (AR) will give workers superpowers. Sadly, 2019 saw several prominent AR headset makers going belly-up (Daqri, Meta, ODG), and the AR winter will last through the coming year. Until we get mass market AR headsets, the AR learning business will have little more to show but smart phone marketing gimmicks and HoloLens tech demos. The AR revolution will happen – and it will be amazing – but not until later in the decade. 

Thank you participants who could join us for a lively conversation. If you were unable to attend, feel free view the webcast on this page or to contact me directly to discuss how the Gronstedt Group team can help boost performance at your organization with innovative digital learning programs.

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