Virtual reality is an emerging technology that has the potential to revolutionise how we learn and how organisations train their employees. But how much does it cost? This blog post will explore the costs of building a virtual reality training application, as well as how these costs differ from those associated with traditional learning and development programs.
How much does it cost? It all depends!
Virtual reality training programs can be costly, and how much it costs will depend on what is the required customisations then this may add additional time and cost onto the project.
However, these costs shouldn’t scare organisations away from exploring how they could use VR in their learning programmes! Virtual reality has so much value when used as part of a comprehensive training strategy because it allows learners to practice skills in realistic situations while guided by subject matter experts. The cost of a virtual reality application is going to vary depending on a number of features;
- Complexity of the simulation
- What functionality do you want from the training experience?
- What types of measurement will the experience include?
- How many people will be using the experience at once?
Solving Today’s L&D Challenges
In a world where remote training is now becoming a common occurrence, virtual reality training can be a cost effective solution compared to traditional approaches.
When working with distributed workforces, virtual reality training provides a path to provide standardised and repeatable training in a way that engages learners and leads to higher knowledge retention.
Virtual reality training programs are often more cost effective because they allow organisations to train employees without having the need for them to travel or take substantial time out of their day. Virtual reality allows learners to practice skills in realistic, but safe situations allowing them to gain confidence and repeat complex tasks without the reset time often required in a traditional setting.
In the past 2 years, there has been a significant rise in the number of enterprise level businesses adopting virtual reality training. This includes Accenture acquiring 60,000 Oculus Quest 2 headsets for training and Bank of America deploying “VR training to their 4,300 financial centers” across the USA.
The benefits of VR Training
Immersive learning is a revolution in education. It changes lives by effectively and efficiently equipping learners with the skills they need for success in the workplace.
Improved learning through doing
Immersive learning builds on decades of neuroscience research that demonstrates that digital content fools our brains, so we respond to immersive experiences in the same way we would in the real world. This makes immersive learning a gamechanger for practice-based learning, since it reveals how we would react in real life situations.
It provides a distraction free environment
Modern life is increasingly full of distractions that we can’t help but succumb to. This has the potential to have a detrimental influence on learning experiences and learners’ ability to learn and retain information.
Virtual reality is a particularly valuable tool in this regard since it eliminates the real world as a distraction, allowing learners to focus entirely on the content.
Practice makes perfect
Repetition improves retention of information. Immersive technologies allow users to repeat activities and explore various outcomes based on their different actions and reactions, which is particularly useful for hands-on training since it aids in the development of muscle memory and the perfection of particular methods where mistakes in the real world may be deadly.
It is truly user centred learning that can be personalised
In a typical class setting, learners are often engaged in activities or at a pace or level that is unsuitable for them. Some will find it too slow and lose interest, while others may struggle to keep up. Immersive learning can be completely individualized to fit the requirements of each student, allowing for truly tailored experiences to meet the needs of each individual.
Any workplace training programme needs to be measurable to ensure the level of comprehension and proficiency on the part of the learner. The learner’s experiences can be monitored in real time by their teachers, trainers or peers, giving them the chance to get immediate feedback. Additionally, performance data can be recorded for analysis after the experience has taken place – and also repeated at a later date to test retention of knowledge and skills.
Take a look at our VISIONxR(™) platform to see how immersive learning can be built with evaluation at the heart of any experience.
A safe space to learn
Immersive learning allows students to engage in real-life scenarios in a digital setting, allowing them to explore and learn from mistakes they may make. Whether you’re wanting your pupils to visit difficult-to-reach or hazardous locations or learn new skills and procedures, immersive learning provides a secure and risk-free environment for them to experiment with and learn from mistakes made.
So, how much does VR training cost?
Exact costs will depend on the complexity of your project and learning goals, however there are a number of areas that can relative price ranges which can help to forecast costs.
This will depend on the complexity of your project, and the levels of interactivity or data collection that you need.
Small scale VR scenarios, for pilot programmes, will usually range from £15,000 – £30,000
For larger, interactive and measurable VR training programmes, the cost will usually start at £100,000, with costs going higher depending on the complexity and number of scenarios in the training programme.
If your VR project needs to have interactive elements, developers will need to build those interactions for the user, including consideration of elements like realism and the user experience.
If your VR projects needs to include data collection, then the development team will need to devise ways to measure the desired data and build in ways to access the data – for example, integration into Learning Management Systems (LMS) or building a secondary dashboard application that be accessed from the web.
The build strategy for any development team will be led by your distribution plans. If you intend to deploy your VR training solution to a fleet of Enterprise Oculus Quest devices, then there will be considerations around building for the specific platform and the optimal way to package applications in order to make the technical set up as smooth as possible.
Depending on your needs, you may want to work with a VR developer that provides a platform in addition to just developing content. While each company is different, for VISIONxR, we charge £1,500 annual License per user or £140 per month per user.
Updating content and support
Over time, training changes, get’s updated or new rules are put in place. That means that if you are using VR for your training, it’s possible that updates need to be put into the content that is already curated. Some development companies will offer a Service Level Agreement (SLA) where you pay a set fee each year in exchange for an agreed amount of development time. These agreements usually start at around £25,000 ($34000).
VR training programs are becoming more common in the workplace, but they can be costly. To avoid this cost you may need to have a custom program developed for your company’s needs. This will add additional time and costs onto the project before it even begins because of customisation time required by experts who understand what is needed.
However, as companies explore new ways to train their employees on safety procedures or anything else that requires hands-on practice, investing in virtual reality has proven effective for many businesses.
Get in touch with us today if you want help getting started implementing VR training into your business, our team can work with you to understand your exact learning goals, plans for roll-out and the associated costs.