VIRTUAL REALITY- THE HERE AND NOW
by Caron Ward, Marketing Executive
The World of Learning
Whilst I wasn’t really expecting to see the future of learning at the recent World of Learning conference it was interesting to see some real world application for Virtual Reality on the National Autistic Society (NAS) stand. And what looks like an affordable solution that has real potential for use in training and learning environments.
They showed me what it felt like to be in the shoes of an autistic person visiting a shopping centre who is overwhelmed by the entire experience. I watched it on a Sony headset but equally they showed me the more affordable version which was a cardboard headset that you slot a mobile phone into. Not too different to the Google Cardboard viewer out there.
VR in training
As mentioned by Tim Drewitt from Kallidus at the show, VR is about feeling the presence of where you are – something that’s potentially hard to create online or as a role play in the classroom. The NAS VR immersed you in the person’s shoes so you could experience exactly what they’re going through, as well as how quickly a situation can become out of control. Great for showing people how it feels to be autistic and it’s easy to see the potential for using it in autistic training programmes. And their next project is set to take this further into the world of business with recruitment at the heart of the campaign.
Their latest video in the Too Much Information series follows an autistic individual who is constantly being rejected for work. According to the NAS gaining employment is a huge issue for those on the autistic spectrum.
This video is aimed at recruiters and employers so you see the world through the applicant’s eyes and start to understand how difficult the job interview situation is for them. I can see how this could be a VR app with real impact to really make you feel the reality of what the person is going through.
VR is reality
It’s just one of many applications that we’re seeing being developed and whilst VR might still be far off for some and very much a reality for others, indications are there are affordable, relevant and engaging reasons for using it within the training and learning environments. Not just for high end medical procedures and sophisticated engineering but for everyday business scenarios too.