Serious Labs will provide a sneak peek of its latest emerging technology product, Serious:XR, at bauma in Munich, Germany, from April 8-14. Serious Labs will offer demos of the Extended Reality (XR) platform, as well as its Mobile Elevated Work Platform (MEWP) VR training simulator and Overhead Crane VR training simulator on stand 7 C2:226 in bauma’s Canadian Pavilion.

The new XR collaborative worksite platform is designed to train and assess remote workers for plant, industrial and other types of worksite operations. The Serious:XR platform allows trainees to conduct practical and emergency operations in a safe environment, while building and assessing employee safety, efficiency and proficiency.

“Safety and competency are crucial for any worksite, but logistics, time and resources often make training a challenge,” said Wade Carson, director of Business Development, Serious Labs. “Collaborative VR training overcomes the obstacles of assessing practical, hands-on experience for today’s global workforce.”

The platform allows multiple users to collaborate remotely from anywhere in the world with other team members, trainers and subject matter experts in a simulated virtual environment. By using a VR kit, which includes a corded headset, gaming laptop and internet connection, the user is immersed in a virtual world.

“Serious:XR removes physical boundaries,” said Carson. “It doesn’t matter if you are in Milan or Minsk, you can be in the same digital environment and collaborate in a shared virtual workspace.”

Serious Labs’ team of VR designers have created customizable “modelled environments” in training modules for job sites in a variety of industries including construction, energy, plant facilities and utilities. Trainees and instructors can communicate, interact and certify in the collaborative VR environment. Experiential learning has been shown to lead to greater comprehension and retention, and the safe training environment allows the user to learn from mistakes without risk of injury or damage.

“The environment is so real looking that you forget it isn’t real,” said Carson. “Because you can immerse yourself that way, the virtual platform offers directly transferrable practical experience. In essence, you learn by doing.”

Serious Labs has already created customized XR training modules for Michigan-based Dow Chemical Company.

“We worked with Serious Labs to develop training so operators can go into a VR environment and isolate valves, MCCs, open bleeds and tag out pieces of equipment. They also offer VR simulators which we plan to use in our base training and competency checks,” said Ingrid Montpetit, AB Ops Learning leader, Dow.

“Our XR platform has tremendous potential. It can theoretically be applied to any industry,” said Carson. “We are developing more than VR simulators; we have a unique approach to training content development, working with industries, building what is relevant to workers, and addressing the global workforce with technology that connects them in a virtual space. VR is not only an exciting emerging technology, it provides genuine business value.”

The Serious: XR platform will be available globally in fourth quarter of 2019.