Hitachi’s Innovative Metaverse Transforms VR Training for Skilled Workers
Hitachi’s new metaverse technology is redefining training paradigms, offering real-time, remote training solutions through virtual reality, addressing the urgent need for knowledge transfer in the face of Japan’s aging population.
Hitachi, the renowned multinational electronics company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is pioneering the use of metaverse technology to facilitate skilled workers in conducting demonstrations on real-world equipment. This innovative approach is not just a technological breakthrough but a timely response to the demographic challenges Japan is facing.
Training with Metaverse Technology
In the metaverse training ground developed by Hitachi, veteran workers can impart knowledge and skills to other workers in real-time from remote locations, utilizing virtual reality (VR) technology and readily available cameras. This technology employs a ceiling camera and sensor data to meticulously recreate Hitachi factories in a virtual realm. Here, instructors can demonstrate various skills and tasks to the workers on the floor, allowing them to gain hands-on experience and knowledge in a virtual setting. The 3D data is processed using proprietary data analysis, ensuring the metaverse operates seamlessly without any lag.
The workers, equipped with VR headsets, can see the virtual counterparts of the instructors move as the instructors move their hands in real life (IRL), enabling them to replicate the motions and understand the feeling of completing the tasks. Instructors can also view the physical worksite from their headsets and navigate freely around the metaverse factory, which is an exact replica of the actual factory.
Addressing Demographic Challenges
Traditionally, training at Hitachi required employees to be on-site, often necessitating visits to several facilities to acquire new skills. However, with the advent of this metaverse technology, high-quality training can be achieved remotely. This is particularly significant considering the rapid aging of Japan’s population. It is estimated that by 2030, up to 30% of the Japanese population will be over 65. This demographic shift underscores the importance of enabling veteran workers to pass on their knowledge and skills to the younger generations, especially in sectors like infrastructure and manufacturing.
The implementation of metaverse technology comes as a strategic move to ensure the sustainability of the workforce in the future. The company plans to test this new technology at power plants and construction sites shortly and is contemplating extending its product beyond the Hitachi ecosystem.
A New Frontier in Education and Training
Hitachi’s venture into employing nascent technologies for workforce trainingis a significant development, especially considering its market cap of over $61 billion. However, Hitachi is not alone in exploring the potential of the metaverse for education and training. Several other companies, including Bank of America and Renault, have integrated AI, digital simulations, and the metaverse into their employee training programs, allowing new hires to engage in various work-related scenarios.
The metaverse is proving to be more than just a digital social space or a new frontier for companies to sell products. Its utility as a place of learning is becoming increasingly evident. If the efficiency and effectiveness of Hitachi’s metaverse in training new workers surpass traditional methods, it is likely that more similar projects will emerge in the future, reshaping learning and knowledge transfer across various industries.