US supermarket chain Walmart is betting big on VR to help improve its employee training techniques, and it’s turned to a new company to help.
TechCrunch is reporting that Walmart plans to install VR training platforms at each of its 200 Academy training centers across the US by the end of the year. Each will have an Oculus Rift and a VR ready PC to run it on.
Using 360 degree video, an estimated 150,000 employees will enter VR and encounter situations that they’ll have to respond to using on-screen prompts. Videos ranging from 30 seconds to fives minutes will include scenarios for customer service, management, and specific encounters for different seasons like dealing with the madness of Black Friday.
Walmart partnered with STRIVR Labs to create these experiences after one of the company’s executives saw the University of Arkansas football team training using VR too. Eventually, the company hopes to be rolling out the platform to its 5,000 retail locations too.
STRIVR raised some $5 million late last year to develop these exact type of services. The company offers and end-to-end platform that captures and reports performance inside the training offering analytics to allow organizations to make data-driven decisions. It’s football training simulations are also used by Dallas Cowboys, Arizona Cardinals, Minnesota Vikings, Clemson University, Stanford University, the Washington Wizards, Detroit Pistons, and Washington Capitals. It’s also done a PGA Tour 360 video fan experience.
“Once the lightbulb comes on or someone is willing to take a chance and go all-in, we’ll see an uptick in customers,” CEO Derek Belch once told UploadVR. Looks like he was right.