With today’s global market, companies more than ever are facing an ever-growing skills gap.
Soft skills are in demand and are often hard to educate, implement, and even harder to monitor. Things like conflict resolution, teamwork building, and leadership are more important than ever. The challenge however is implementing training programs at scale, especially without access to in-person educational facilities. This is where we can see Virtual Reality coming into play, ever-valuable now with COVID19 wreaking havoc on global markets. While VR soft skill training is hardly a new concept, the usefulness of the medium is now more relevant than ever.
Unlike traditional e-learning solutions, VR offers a completely immersive experience free from the distractions of everyday life. Things like text messages, emails, and social media notifications are all far from reach when a user is immersed in a virtual reality simulation. While traditional educational tools are oftentimes boring, immersive VR training can create highly memorable and impactful experiences. These experiences eliminate all forms of risk and offer unlimited replayability and consistency, both extremely cost-effective in the long run.
While VR is not only cost-effective and impactful — it can also negate logistical hurdles that are often cumbersome when it comes to in-person training. A 2020 PwC study found that at scale, VR can be significantly more cost-effective than traditional soft skills training methods. They also found that training was completed up to 4 times faster in VR versus real-world training — mainly because of the immersive nature of VR which allowed for learnings to stay focused on the learning objectives rather than checking their latest IG notification.
The study concluded that employees who completed their training in VR felt even more emotionally connected to the content than in-person training dojo’s provided, thereby showcasing the real impactfulness of VR training. They also found that learning through VR was up to 4 times faster than the classroom setting and nearly twice as fast as traditional e-learning methodologies.
Main Benefits of VR Training for Enterprise
We have seen countless case studies of VR training in the workplace that are being used to help build on the soft skills resources of employees. Some of the main benefits of using the medium of VR include:
- Reduced cost of incidents (safety procedures practice, emergency preparedness, reduction of real-world incident rates)
- Actionable insights garnered from data analytics and increased employee retention rates
- Lack of distraction from immersion leads to a higher impact on learning
- Unlimited replayability allows training programs to be repeated as many times as needed
- Risky scenarios can be mitigated and scaled easily
- Access to subject matter experts who are not readily available
Using virtual reality as a training medium is otherwise known as immersive learning and the benefits of using it for soft skill training have tremendous merit verse the traditional methods of video learning, case studies or even re-enacting scenarios through roleplay. The result is an impactful way to upskill employees uniquely and memorably that often leads to a highly engaged and retained employee base.
As many firms look to bring back their workforce from the year-long work from home pandemic setting, virtual reality reskilling should be something that groups entertain as an effective tool for teaching not only hard skills for on the job simulations — but also soft skills like leadership, empathy and things like customer service. Virtual reality training will likely continue to be adopted as a future-proofed medium of soft skill education and we can expect a new age of enterprise training to emerge as VR is cost-effective, impactful, immersive and efficient for training employees at scale.
While I don’t think VR training is going to replace existing training methods any time soon, it still has its considerable merits for many applications and use cases. VR is a new modality that should be considered when looking at internal soft skills training regimens. When used in combination with e-learning, classroom learning and video learning, VR can help provide your employees with an industry-leading approach. This new age of learning is here to stay, and companies that adopt early will reap the educational benefits for their enterprise.
How Hotels and Resorts are Adopting Virtual and Augmented Reality
Once upon a time, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) were only used for video games or seen in movies (think Tony Stark and all of his cool gadgets in Iron Man).
But today, thanks to all of the advances in technology, the use of AR and VR is no longer something you see only in sci-fi thrillers or something that you use for entertainment. No today, AR and VR are becoming much more commonplace, and this technology is being used in a variety of useful applications across a variety of industries. The hotel and hospitality industry is just one field that is making use of augmented and virtual reality, and its popularity is really exploding!
In fact, AR and VR have become powerful marketing tools for hotels and resorts around the globe. These technologies are really changing the way people are travelling, and it’s definitely for the better.
How are hotels and resorts utilizing augmented and virtual reality and how are these technologies helping both entrepreneurs and travellers alike? Read on to discover the exciting technologically advanced future or travel!
What is Augmented and Virtual Reality?
Before we jump in and explore how hotels and resorts are using augmented and virtual reality, it’s first important to understand exactly what these technologies are.
Both AR and VR create experiences that fully immerse users into different environments or allow them to experience things in a whole new way, but these two technologies do differ. Loosely defined, virtual reality means near-reality (virtual meaning near and reality meaning the here and now; what you are actually experiencing.). Virtual reality immerses users into an interactive computer-generated environment. It incorporates a variety of senses, primarily sight and sound, to create a life-like experience. In other words, you feel as if you have been transported to another location even though you never physically left your current location.
Augmented reality, on the other hand, involves adding to the reality that you already see; it doesn’t replace your reality, but rather enhances it. AR has the ability to bring elements of the digital world into the real world (again, think Tony Stark in Iron Man).
So, now that you have a basic understanding of virtual and augmented reality, let’s examine how hotels and resorts are utilizing these technologies.
Providing an Experience Before Booking
How many times have you reserved a hotel, only to find, much to your dismay, that it was not at all what you were expecting. Sure, pictures can help you get a vague idea of what to expect, but they really can’t give you a clear idea.
With virtual reality, you can get a real idea of where you’re going to be travelling before you make a reservation. You can slip on a headset and be transported to a resort or hotel and actually walk through the lobby, see the guest rooms, and check out all of the amenities.
VR is not only beneficial for travellers’, it is also beneficial to hotels and resorts; particularly lesser-known properties or those that are located in remote areas, as it allows them to give people the opportunity to see what they have to offer.
Establishing a Competitive Edge
The hotel and hospitality industry is extremely competitive. Travellers’ have so many options when it comes to where they can stay. And with hotel and resort database sites, like Booking.com and Travelicity.com, the competition has become even steeper.
With so much competition, it can be hard for hotels and resorts to set themselves apart from the crowd. Photos and marketing content can only do so much. But augmented and virtual reality can really help hotels and resorts establish a competitive edge. It allows them to distinguish themselves and showcase their unique selling points. In other words, it gives them the chance to show prospective travellers the chance to explore the gardens, visit the restaurants, and lounge by the pool that resort A has to offer, thus allowing the resort to stand out in the crowd and attract more people.
Making Booking Easier
Another way that hotels and resorts are adopting advanced technologies to simplify the booking process for their guests. For example, most hotels and resorts offer different types of accommodations; standard rooms, suites, handicap accessible rooms, and so forth. By using augmented and virtual reality, guests can actually see what different accommodations offer to determine what will best meet their needs.
When potential visitors have the opportunity to really experience different accommodations, the process of making reservations becomes a lot easier for them.
Ensuring Guest Satisfaction
Hotels and resorts are also using AR and VR as a way to improve guest satisfaction. When people have the chance to see what they are going to get before they arrive, it’s much more likely that they are going to have a more pleasant experience, and when they have a more pleasant experience, guests are much more satisfied. When guest satisfaction improves, so does the reputation of a hotel or resort, which translates to much greater success.
A lot of properties are using AR as a way to make the environment of their hotel or resort more enjoyable for their guests. For instance, some hotels are using AR to allow guests to use their smartphones to see them alongside images of their favourite celebrities or cartoon characters. Other hotels are using AR as a means for showcasing products or entertainment options the hotel/resort features.
Summing It Up
Augmented reality and virtual reality are already proving to be invaluable tools for hotels and resorts around the globe. These technologies are a truly effective way to develop a competitive edge, allow guests to see what properties have to offer, improve the booking process, and ensure guest satisfaction.
Given the incredibly positive effects that augmented reality and virtual reality have had for hotels and resorts, it is exciting to think of how these technologies will further be adopted by hotels and resorts, and how AR and VR will enhance marketing for establishments and experiences for travellers in the future.
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