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Australia // Market

Immersive video for training is really, really powerful. – Shannon Baldock, TAFE South Australia

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Following his ATMOsphere Australia presentation, Baldock said he has received a significant amount of interest in contributing to the initiative from the natural refrigerant community. “Several people were very keen to open up their doors, collaborate, and share their content with us,” he said. Discussions are already underway for major natural refrigerant end users, contractors and system manufacturers to begin delivering immersive video content to TAFE SA's virtual reality program.

A NATURAL FIT Students in TAFE SA's Certificate III Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration program are using Lenovo Mirage Solo virtual reality headsets in elective classes teaching the safe use of CO 2 , ammonia and hydrocarbons in refrigeration. An Adelaide-based startup, Lateral Vision, delivers immersivevideo walk-through tours of natural refrigerant system plant rooms by TAFE SA lecturers. Baldock attributes the improved retention rates partly to the use of immersive video. "Immersive video for training is really, really powerful," he said. He also credits VR technology's inherent advantage in being able to provide each student with a "one-on-one" training experience. "The delivery that the lecturer gives in the immersive video is not to a group of 16 students – it’s to one bloke, the person in the headset," he said. "That's a totally different interaction." This can be particularly effective if the instructor “knows and is passionate about what they are talking about." The advanced nature of VR, Baldock added, makes it a "natural fit" with the natural refrigerant sector’s innovation, leadership and excitement about the future. Moreover, industry stakeholders can do the instructing via VR. Rather than speaking about what is happening in the natural refrigerant sector in front of a classroom, Baldock said, "wouldn't it be better if that was on site with a camera talking about your own plant?" VR offers the opportunity to “infect people with your enthusiasm about it,” he said. “You want to be standing in front of your plant going, 'How fantastic is this stuff!’” Baldock reminded the audience at ATMOsphere Australia that VR is no longer a fad and will have a huge impact on training and the industry. "It is projected that by 2022 [VR] will be a 200 billion dollar industry," Baldock said. "We can start thinking now about what we are going to do for training,” he added. “How can we use this in the industry? "This is something we are looking to collaborate with the industry on,” he continued. “I'd like to see involvement from as many of you as we can in our project." DY

June 2019 // Accelerate Magazine

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