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VR learning just got more immersive with hand tracking

Mark Zuckerberg’s recent surprise announcement is going to make VR even more immersive: Hand controllers will be replaced by… your hands. Just slip on the VR headset, look down and you’ll find all ten fingers moving in the virtual world.

How. Cool.

The cord-free Oculus Quest VR headset is about to be hand controller-free as well, making VR even more frictionless.

This innovation promises to fuel the breakout moment for enterprise virtual reality learning. Mapping a learner’s real-world hand movements to the simulated world … that amounts to giving your employees performance and skill learning superpowers.

Our leadership team just returned from the Oculus Connect developer conference. The Facebook CEO made a big splash, but was hardly the only interesting thing on the program. For instance, we were proud to see our friend Hugo Avila of Novartis featured on one of the enterprise panels. He explained how the pharma giant’s employees can now practice crucial life-saving skills and build muscle memory in our safe, realistic virtual reality environment (since virtual rehearsals allow unlimited do-overs, they can make sure they know how to get it right in a risk-free environment).

If you missed our webinar about the powerful learning applications enabled by the Oculus Quest and the training benefits of this new generation of mobile virtual reality, you can watch a recording here.

Another jaw-dropping moment – in some respects this one was even more profound than Zuckerberg’s bombshell – came when Imperial College London reported the results of a study showing no fewer than 83% of surgeons who completed training in virtual reality were later successful in a physical lab, while 0% of those trained via traditional methods were successful. 83% vs. 0%. We’ve been proponents of VR learning for years and that’s almost more than we can believe.

Zuckerberg also announced that users will soon be able to connect the mobile Oculus Quest to a PC, eliminating the need for the PC-powered Oculus Rift. One headset can now act as both a mobile and PC-tethered headset. Oculus also launched a cloud-based management tool for safe and secure enterprise deployment.

Gronstedt Group is an early development partner with Oculus, so you can imagine how excited we are by these developments. Feel free to contact us and we’ll discuss how these remarkable innovations can be put into play with your training challenges. For instance, our multi-player VR simulations can now allow instructors to demonstrate tasks and observe students remotely. And the digital footprint of the student’s every move can be captured and reported into your LMS and LRS through xAPI.

In other news, we’ve been hard at work with Walmart adding new levels of game play to “Spark City.” You can now be the manager of the Grocery Department, Lawn & Garden, Electronics, Apparel and Bakery & Deli departments. The game, which has been downloaded over 300,000 times, affords players a glimpse into the ways innovative games are revolutionizing learning. Download the Sims-style management game from the mobile app stores and play it for yourself (search for “Spark City” on the Apple App Store or Google Play and when you’re done, rate it so we can see how we’re stacking up).

We’ll be demoing the Oculus Quest at DevLearn in Las Vegas later this month, where we’ll be speaking about gamification and VR learning. We’ll also be presenting at I/TSEC in Orlando, ATD TechKnowledge 2020 in San Jose, and Training 2020 in Orlando this winter. Let’s meet up if you’re going to any of these conferences.

Ping us to discuss how we can partner to accelerate the digital transformation of your learning mission.

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