Virtual reality reaches the warehouse
Startup develops VR-enhanced training module for forklift drivers.
Fans of the fast and violent videogame "Grand Theft Auto" know there are many ways to do a job dangerously, but only the most skilled can run the gauntlet both swiftly and safely. Now, one of the founders of that popular game series is looking to apply what he learned developing videogames to a very different arena: the world of warehousing and material handling.
In January, New York-based startup NextWave Safety Solutions Inc. launched its first virtual reality (VR)-based training modules. The firm, whose chief technology officer is Gary J. Foreman, co-founder of Grand Theft Auto creator Rockstar Games, says it developed the modules with an eye toward training workers for potentially hazardous jobs without putting them in actual danger. Among other advantages, VR-based training lets users learn through doing, which increases retention rates, leading to safer practices and fewer incidents, the company says.
The initial release consists of two modules: "Hazard ID," which teaches workers how to safely navigate a construction site, and "Forklift," which trains operators on how to drive lift trucks through crowded DCs. (You can watch a demonstration video below.)
In addition to the initial two modules, the firm plans to release eight more training products in 2018. They will target fields like mining, oil rigs, and law enforcement.
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