While the adoption amongst gamers has been slow for VR headsets, the biggest brick and mortar retailer out there, Walmart, is now adopting VR to help it to train new workers.
Virtual reality headsets are changing the way people play games and, as we have found out over the years, companies are using them to train their employees and augment their workflow. Supercenters will get four each, Neighborhood Market and discount stores will get two each.More news: ‘No Truth to Rumour’: Emirates, Etihad Deny Merger Reports
All told, more than 17,000 Oculus Go headsets will be in stores by the end of this year, and every employee will have access to the training programs. With the technology training, Walmart is aiming to prepare employees for the wave of in-store technology it's rolling out as part of its overall digital strategy.
The headsets will be used to train about one million Walmart employees across the company's more than 4,700 U.S. stores.More news: Joaquin Phoenix in his Joker makeup is plenty creepy
"The great thing about VR is its ability to make learning experiential", Andy Trainor, senior director for Walmart's US Academies, said in a press release. "We've also seen that VR training boosts confidence and retention while improving test scores 10% to 15%t - even those associates who simply watched others experience the training saw the same retention boosts". The headsets will give employees access to 45 activity-based modules created by VR software company STRIVR. STRIVR's platform delivers realistic, repeatable and scalable training content, which helps associates learn information more quickly and retain it better. As Walmart explains, the training being provided in-store covers new technology, soft skills (empathy and customer service), and compliance. "In a pilot test this summer, 10 stores used VR for training on new Pickup Tower units in their stores".
While Walmart may view this as a win for training, Facebook and Oculus must also be very happy both with the size of the order and the fact Oculus Go is being viewed as more than just a device for entertainment.More news: New Robotic Skin Turns Everyday Objects into Moving Robots
We have a lot of people who are cross-trained to use the tower now and they can help customers, which is fantastic.