Analytics from Cognitive3D’s platform can be fed back into a VR training programme and, in turn, inform and improve the process it’s designed to recreate
➨ Cognitive3D recently released a new feature for its spatial analytics platform
➨ The new Objectives System feature is a human performance evaluation tool that managers can use to measure results from VR
➨ Cognitive3D spotted the need for the Objectives System feature after going on-site to observe the training process at a traditional industrial facility
The design of VR training programmes is an iterative process that highlights which types of behaviour are conducive to success, says Tony Bevilacqua, founder and chief executive officer of Canadian startup Cognitive3D.
Bevilacqua explained to VRWorldTech how analytics derived from Cognitive3D’s platform can be fed back into a VR training programme and, in turn, inform and improve the process it’s designed to recreate.
He said: “For example, during training, managers may find that employees who take extra time to do certain tasks perform the operation more safely. Even though it could take longer to complete, it would reduce costs by preventing dangerous outcomes.”
Similarly, “unfavorable behaviours can also be determined by understanding which actions lead to negative results”, Bevilacqua said.
“When moving employees through a learning management system, managers can certify and re-certify employees more accurately for advanced tasks or when they’re ready to operate heavy machinery.”Tony Bevilacqua, Cognitive3D
“VR also makes it possible to quantify behaviour and provide benchmarks. When moving employees through a learning management system, managers can certify and re-certify employees more accurately for advanced tasks or when they’re ready to operate heavy machinery.”
The new Objectives System feature is a human performance evaluation tool that managers can use to measure these kinds of results from VR. With a few clicks, they can define the steps required for users to be successful in the experience. Users can also be failed automatically if they miss a crucial step. For example, if they forget to wear the hard hat or take too long to finish a task.
Bevilacqua said: “Trainers can systematically determine user success based on the actions they take within the simulation. This is especially beneficial for complex or dangerous procedures where identifying hazards and enforcing compliance are critical.”
Cognitive3D spotted the need for the Objectives System feature after going on-site to observe the training process at a traditional industrial facility. Trainees were sent up to work beside live electrical wires in a bucket truck. They performed a load break switch, which is a 30 step procedure to safely switch load currents. From the ground, the instructor gave verbal instructions to the trainee without any materials or checklists.
But Cognitive3D raised a number of concerns with the situation, including trainees’ exposure to dangerous situations and subjective evaluation based on procedures that had drifted over time.
With VR and the Objectives System, instructors have the ability to provide more effective training, while employees can prepare for a job without the inherent danger.
Measurements done in VR are also more in-depth compared to other training methods, according to Cognitive3D. The reinforced feedback loop results in continual improvements, and user progress can be tracked.
The evolution of Cognitive3D’s platform, which also offers an analytics dashboard for a live view of results and an exit poll feature that serves user questionnaires to source feedback, comes as VR training is taking off in some of the world’s biggest businesses. Earlier this month, Ericsson revealed that workers operating its new US smart factory in Lewisville, Texas, where the telecoms company is producing 5G base stations, were trained in VR by their colleagues in Estonia—some 8,000km away.
Bevilacqua said: “From our experience, most of the traction we’ve seen for VR training is focused on complex or dangerous scenarios. Immersive technologies make it safer to run employees through training scenarios repeatedly with little to no additional costs. This is especially beneficial for situations that are difficult to set up in the real world.”
“For example, it’s hard to do hazard training on oil rigs. VR simulations provide employees with a safe environment to work through proper procedures in the case of a fire or disaster.”
“On the AR side,” he continues, “we see assistive guidance for complex scenarios. Rather than constantly referring to a manual, instructions can be delivered in real time as they work.”
Soft skills training could be a potential area of expansion for VR in the future, Bevilacqua added.
“VR has been used extensively for soft skills training for some time now. Since 2018, VR has played an important role in delivering training to Walmart employees nationwide. They use it to teach empathy and customer service skills.”
“We believe it will continue being a very important category of expansion in the coming years as well.”
Cognitive3D’s platform is also being put to use in retail. A VR merchandising solution developed by the Accenture XR practice for Kellogg Company uses embedded eye-tracking and MR software with eye-tracking data analytics capabilities from Cognitive3D to immerse consumers in a full-scale, simulated store, enabling them to move through the space, shop, pick up products and place them in baskets—all while monitoring what consumers are looking at, for how long and why.