Business Science Corporation (BSC) is reinventing itself as the world moves into the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and is focusing on the use of virtual reality (VR) as a cost-effective method of training people.
Skills development and the inadequacies of traditional safety training remain problems in some industries, especially mining.
Making use of VR as a method of training, BSC notes that a mining company could potentially save between R4-million and R5-million a year, as VR provides an opportunity to take employees into a simulation of, for example, a rock fall, and teach employees how to appropriately deal with such situations.
The company believes that VR, which is predominantly known for its use in gaming and cinematography, has the potential to disrupt the way things are currently being done within the engineering and mining industries.
The 4IR enablement company on Wednesday explained that VR has a “profound impact on humans”, as simulation is not just very visceral but, at times, emotional as well.
As a result of this influence, BSC highlights that education and training simulations through VR therefore have a higher retention rate, which is equal to about 80%, compared with education and training provided in a lecture hall.
For mining applications, in particular, BSC’s Darren Cohen refers to the company’s Hazard Identification (HAZID) simulation, which assists a company in putting people in a dangerous situation, to enable and teach them to identify hazards and risks, as well as how to deal with those.
This, Cohen explains, has a massive contribution to process and redesign, and can assist in analysing how people operate, identify skills shortage areas and enable a better learning environment.
Dependent on the needs and requirements of the business, he notes that development can take anywhere from six to eight weeks.
With a focus on an “incredibly real experience”, BSC offers, besides others, several scenarios through simulations, which can be adapted to specific requirements.
The first of these focusses on safety training through underground mining safety induction. With this simulation, participants select and inspect personal protective equipment before entering an underground coal mine to learn about hazard identification and the potential consequences of missing hazards.
For artisans, BSC offers an engine assembly simulation. The engine repair simulation provides the opportunity for trainees to learn about engine components and how they fit together in assembling an engine.
For operator training, the high-fidelity three-dimensional (3D) simulation allows participants virtual walkthroughs of how to operate a “yellow metal” shovel. This training allows for the improvement of skills that are safety and operationally critical.
Relevant to the telecommunications space, is the remote collaboration simulation wherein participants are able to collaborate together from across the world in any location, with any 3D objects, without leaving their home base.
BSC’s VR simulations also span into the psychological and medicinal field, wherein patients who suffer from alcoholism, anorexia or cancer are able to learn how to deal with these issues or learn how they can relieve pain.