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Simulator training is incredibly useful. It helps a variety of professions to get better at what they do. And no one has to worry about the consequences of messing up. Failing to defuse a bomb or making a fatal cut is much less serious inside a virtual world. However, the learning experience can be just as good as the real thing.
Simulations are essentially games where it is possible to carry out a task in a virtual world. In recent years, they have become increasingly more useful. Technological advancements allow us to ditch the stationary computer screens in favor of an immersive virtual world. Pop on a virtual reality (VR) headset, a pair of controllers and get cracking! Or whatever your job is.
Occupations that already use simulator training
Simulator training is already widely adopted in many occupations. Most noteworthy the effect of simulations is in hazardous or life-threatening situations. Simulations also bring considerable savings and allow workers to train without the risks.
We can probably all agree that no one wants to be the first attempt of a surgeon in training. And
thankfully no one needs to. There are really great simulators out there, and the skills gained through them have been proven to transfer to the operating room.
The different tissues inside the human body have varying compositions and textures. That is why these simulations are in many cases enhanced by physical objects like mannequins. This helps the trainees to, for example, get accustomed to applying the right amount of pressure when making a cut.
A VR game, aptly named “Surgeon Simulator“, offers a more laid-back take on simulated surgeries. The game developers recently released an add-on that allows you to operate on Trump.
2. Airline pilots
Another occupation that uses simulations is airline pilots. Simulated flights not only are more cost-effective and better for the environment. Even though most of the time modern planes are on autopilot, there is still some manual work left. And of course, in case of a malfunction, the pilot needs to know what to do. These simulations also correspond to the real deal pretty closely, so they will help the pilots prepare. Just watch this one example from 2018 below.
In the video above we only see the digital component of the simulator. However, in professional flight simulators, there is also the physical component with all the buttons and switches. Like in the surgeon example, this gives the physical feeling of the actual job. After all, the pilot won’t be flying with a pair of controllers.
Can you imagine astronaut training without simulator training? We would have to launch a rocket to the orbit each time we would want to train a newbie astronaut. If you weren’t aware, launching rockets is extremely expensive, and there are always risks. For example, NASA uses simulations extensively. For every minute the astronauts spend on their space missions, they have done hours of simulator training. This allows them to prepare for different scenarios that might go down during a mission and respond appropriately and quickly.
Astronaut training simulators involve a lot of physical equipment as well. They use replicas of the actual capsules and space shuttle cockpits to demonstrate the environment. Even if the rockets will be mostly autonomous, it is best to be prepared for action.
More occupations could benefit from simulator training
After a few examples of jobs that use simulator training, I started to ponder which jobs could benefit from it. The problem with many jobs is that they already require experience before you can start at them. By creating simulations that correspond to the real job as closely as possible, we would be able to eliminate that problem. Anyone would be able to get experience and companies would not need to worry about the competence of a new employee.
Imagine knowledge workers like lawyers and architects being able to get training before they join a company. This would already be possible with the help of artificial intelligence and virtual reality. If companies would come together to develop an industry-standard training platform everyone would benefit for more competent entry-level employees.
What’s the best simulator experience you’ve had? Leave a comment below! It would be great to discuss with you.