Rather than look back on last year, I invite you to look forward by sharing with you what 2015 promises in terms of new e-learning technologies. Innovation is the key to success for many companies. These days, research and development needs to be at the forefront of our annual planning. Here at Ellicom, we advocate continuous improvement and try to develop original solutions every year to create new learning environments.
Here are 3 innovative projects we are currently working on:
1- Augmented Reality
Augmented reality is central to our research and development activities with regard to performance enhancing tools. In augmented reality, virtual elements are superimposed on users’ real-world environments to help guide them through highly complex tasks. This technology is integrated into our environment through interactive devices such as Google Glass, Oculus Rift and tablets. Here is a short video demonstrating how Google Glass can be used in everyday life. We currently have a project in development using Google Glass that involves training users who receive information in real time through the device on how to properly prepare medications and control their quality. This automatically reduces errors and accelerates performance.
2- Reusable game engines and simulated 3D environments
I am continually impressed with how quickly my team develops the latest training tools. I’m referring in particular to work they’ve done programming reusable game engines in a serious games context. This technology is an added value in many of our training projects. For example, we used them for a project about best practices in health and safety at work by simulating a 3D environment in which users could safely practice the procedures. This technology requires a skilled workforce that has mastered the latest programming and development software.
3- Immersion and virtual reality
Immersion and virtual reality enhances the daily lives of our training strategies experts. We can now develop training strategies using virtual reality, which can be described as an interactive, immersive, audio-visual simulation for several types of environments. These strategies are created with the new 3D mobile device Structure Sensor, which allows us to rapidly recreate 3D environments and reuse them in simulations. For training purposes, we can produce 3D images of the various parts of the human body, machinery, different environments and then view them as if they were actually there. The Structure Sensor has allowed us to create a whole new world that is literally within our reach!
I am very excited to see the progress that is being made in the field of training. Thankfully, the online PowerPoints that I worked with at the start of my career as an instructional designer are well behind us. I am among those who firmly believe that innovation must play a major role in the field of training; however, I also think that technology has to be tested before being used. Above all, it is important that we do not inundate users with gadgets, but rather choose the devices that they will benefit from the most. In my opinion, the next innovation to introduce into mainstream society, with regard to training tools, will be the use of performance-enhancing wearable technology. These cutting-edge devices with sensors can be worn and transmit real time data to users. They are already being used in the sports industry to evaluate the performance of athletes, among other things.
As for their use in the field of training…I’ll get back to you on that next year!