Virtual reality training is expensive and cost prohibitive for most organizations. It involves complex and time-consuming digital animation to develop, coupled with expensive hardware requirements to control and enable. But Pathways Training and eLearning Inc. (Pathways) just changed all of that with the creation of a new and scalable VR solution that is a game changer for any organization’s learning ambitions.
A casual conversation at a technology conference became the catalyst to St. John Ambulance (SJA) and Pathways partnering to develop Canada’s first 360°, virtual reality eLearning module – a simulated mass casualty event, filmed at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC.
As Kurt Tiltack (Pathways Managing Partner) explains, “Even in the rare event that an organization can afford the development investment, VR simply isn’t practical for our clients, because typically only one user can go through a program at a time.”
To remove this obstacle, Pathways created custom code that facilitates 360° video’s shift from live action into virtual reality. This code also allows the Pathways team to embed clickable learning ‘hotspots’ directly within the video. Once the module is downloaded, an endless number of users in any location can then experience VR on their smartphone with only the need for Google’s very economical Cardboard Goggles.
SJA was interested in immersive learning that could replicate a ‘real-world’ experience for their thousands of Medical First Responders. “We were looking for a way to remove some of the psychological barriers around first aid by creating a simulation that was as real as possible,” said Stevan Anas, Interaction Designer and Provincial Training Officer from SJA. “We also needed that solution to be cost effective, repeatable, consistent, and easy to distribute over a large geographical area.”
Both SJA and Pathways are excited with the result. SJA is launching the VR module on their Learning Management System, so their volunteers will have access to this incredible learning experience. “We couldn’t be happier with the final product,” says Stevan. “Virtual reality and it can be viewed over my smartphone; what more could you ask for?”
As Kurt Tiltack, acknowledges, “I’m rarely awestruck, but what our team has created is simply amazing, and we see so many applications for this technology across every industry and job function.”