Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Future Forward: How Virtual & Mixed Reality Are Changing the Face of Training for the Trades, Healthcare, & Sports


While it’s still early days for the metaverse, technologies like virtual and mixed reality are already unlocking new possibilities to improve skills acquisition and training. From people looking to master a new trade to surgeons striving to reach the top of their game to injured athletes maintaining their skills and confidence on the road to recovery, immersive technologies have been helping people reach new heights and push the limits for years. Today, we’re spotlighting various ways people are tapping into the potential of VR and MR in their everyday lives.

For Shanna Ford, who grew up in a blue-collar household, the promise of a steady income offered by a career in the trades was ever present. And with her own artistic bent, she leaned toward welding.

“With welding, you can do anything,” she says. “I liked that it didn’t feel like it locked me in anywhere—if I wanted to go and do iron work and build huge structures, I could do that. And if I wanted to go to an auto shop, I could do that. Even Disneyland has their own welders. I could do art on the side or make furniture work for myself, make gates, these beautiful structures and creative sculptures. I could do anything.”

Of course, as with any trade, hours upon hours of practice are required to achieve a state of mastery—and it’s in that development of muscle memory where VR truly shines. 

“Everything used to be hands-on—everything was in the classroom,” 

Explains Alex Declair, who works for RSI—a StrataTech Education Group school, which tapped ForgeFX Simulations to develop a VR application based on their training and curriculum. 

“It was very traditional. And as soon as COVID hit, we were in a scramble, doing our best to take care of our students and get them to learn what they needed. But you can’t just send a welding machine home with a student to weld, you know. You have to have a lot of electricity, a lot of materials, consumables, and it just wasn't feasible. So our CEO Mary Kelly jumped on VR right away. We can give a Meta Quest headset to every one of our students, and they can take it home and learn how to weld.”
ForgeFX Simulations Develops OcuWeld for RSI and StrataTech Showcased by Meta


Read More: Meta Quest Blog: Future Forward: How Virtual & Mixed Reality Are Changing the Face of Training for the Trades, Healthcare, & Sports

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