June 3, 2017

Most of us at some point in our lives have had the pleasure of sitting through long training videos that teach you about customer service or various procedural instructions. It looks like Walmart are trying to make the induction process more immersive with the help of virtual reality in a partnership with STRIVR.

STRIVR, a VR start-up company that has previously worked with colleges and professional athletes, is working with Walmart to create a number of 360-degree videos. The videos will make up a new training plan aimed at inducting employees and familiarizing them with various scenarios such as customer service, management responsibilities, or the Black Friday rush.

A pilot scheme began in January where the STRIVR system was rolled out to 30 Walmart training centres where the experience was refined and tuned to meet the Walmart specific requirements.

STRIVR CEO Derek Belch told TechCrunch: “We don’t do anything that is not a good use case for VR,” he said. “We have experiences for the lowest-level bagger all the way up to the store management. When you have literally the biggest company in the world as your first enterprise customer, that’s kind of a big deal.”

The VR training program lasts from 30 seconds to five minutes and compliment existing training methods. No doubt if the response is positive, the company will move to expand the material to eventually replace traditional training. Walmart are continuing the rollout to remaining training centres across the country that estimates over 150,000 employees will see the new training across the 200 centres.

The idea of having virtual reality scenarios is great given the immersive nature. It provides an added level of engagement and real-life scenarios. It feels like only a matter of time before other companies begin to follow Walmart.

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