- Many believe that XR — or extended reality, in the form of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality — will soon be as common as smartphones; in fact, nearly 90% of respondents in a recent Perkins Coie survey offered that prediction. A majority of respondents (78%) also said they believe XR is highly applicable to workforce development. The law firm, along with the XR Association, polled more than 200 startup founders, tech company execs, investors and consultants. According to these stakeholders, the future of this technology is assured, but there are still concerns to address.
- In similar findings to past surveys, respondents reported user experience quality and content availability as top concerns for leaders considering the wider adoption of all types of XR tech. Mass adoption of VR could be hindered by bulky hardware and tech glitches, according to 27% of respondents. Around one-fifth of respondents said they are concerned that content offerings for AR and VR will be stumbling blocks.
- More than half of respondents predicted that the gaming sector will see the most investment for XR tech in the coming year. Healthcare and medical devices were cited as the next largest consumers of the tech at 43%, while another 20% each thought education, military, automotive and manufacturing were industries likely to apply XR to meet its needs.
AR and VR have moved into corporate learning and training through channels hardly considered before. The tech can be applied to safety training, helping insurance insurance adjusters learn their trade and food service workers learn to cook and use equipment. Walmart has implemented the use of VR headsets in its U.S. stores to train employees on a variety of topics — even using the tech to ready them for Black Friday.
As more industries adopt the technology, its reach expands, and now hard skills aren't the only training consideration employers have for AR and VR. Some use VR for unconscious bias training in the workplace or to help workers develop better soft skills with VR scenarios designed to hone their communication and leadership capabilities.
As HR continues to use L&D to address talent concerns, like upskilling employees to meet demands related to digital transformation or using consumer tech as a model to make learning more compelling and rewarding for digital natives, it might consider how AR and VR can make the job easier, too.