Thursday, July 7, 2016

Oculus - VR Tech for Inspector Training

The terms ‘VR’ and ‘Virtual Reality’ have been around for a while, usually in
association with futuristic movies, gaming or amusement park rides. But since the release of the Oculus, a headset that immerses you into a different “reality”, people are beginning to think of VR as more than just science fiction.

Long Beach, California native, Palmer Luckey, invented the Oculus headset when he was just 17. A few years later, he sold it to Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg. When Zuckerberg announced the purchase, he stated, “Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face – just by putting on goggles in your home.”

NTA took him at his word. They are working on the first virtual reality inspector training

simulation. The simulation is a walk-though of a house in varying stages of completion. The inspector has to locate and “mark” code violations as they walk through the rooms.  Virtual reality has the ability to give inspectors-in-training real world experience before they ever see their first plant.

NTA is not the first to start down the path of virtual training, according to Mike Sorrenti, NASA, the Military (British), and some skilled trades are already using VR for training purposes (read the article here). According to recent studies, immersive learning has a retention rate of 90% compared to traditional training which only provides between 10 to 20%. NTA expects to develop several training scenarios which would be difficult to provide any other way.

The bottom line benefit of VR Training? Real-world training on a faster timeline. NTA President, David A. Tompos said, “The immersive environments we are developing will give our auditors experience that takes years to acquire in the real world.”

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