“Many of our field employees work in nuclear and natural gas power plants, as well as solar and wind farms. We have a lot of procedures in place to keep employees safe and reinforcing those procedures is really important to us — safety is ingrained in our culture.”
The XR Lab first developed a VR training simulation to better prepare natural gas technicians for hazardous environments. In this application, users don proper personal protective equipment (PPE), ensure there aren’t sources that could ignite the natural gas, and practice purging a gas line using compressed air as well as natural gas. Following the initial app’s success, the XR Lab developed both a wind power and gas technician application. The former allows practice shutting down a substation, while the latter features opportunities to inspect for leaks, encroachments, and other hazardous conditions around gas pipes.
“VR gives trainees a safe place to make mistakes, correct them, and learn,” McGuire says. “They can feel the effects of messing up without actually getting hurt.”