Europe's booming virtual reality market accounts for about a fifth of the market which is expected to reach €150 billion in 2020. In 2018, the virtual reality market is estimated to reach a value of 12.1 billion U.S. dollars. According to estimate by Goldman Sachs, AR and VR are expected to grow into a $95 billion market by 2025.

The strongest demand for AR and VR technology comes from creative industries. The impact of virtual reality is increasing exponentially in many business fields, including engineering, medicine, education, design, and training, because it can offer major improvement.

Cost-effective software and hardware solutions for Virtual Reality have already helped maritime industry to adapt its options and bring them to beneficial use. Specifically, in May 2017, Winterthur Gas & Diesel installed its W-Xpert Full Mission Simulator for training complete engine room crews, at the Marine Power Academy Training Centre of HHM, in Shanghai, China while DNV GL held its traditional press conference at the Nor-Shipping trade fair showcasing the company’s innovative vision, with attendees taking part in a virtual reality (VR) presentation.

Video, online communications and virtual learning are growing rapidly as training tools. There is currently a significant investment in VR learning by many companies which have acknowledged the many advantages that this technology has, especially for jobs in complex and dangerous environments.

VR provides a level of gamification that engages employees’ brains and makes the learning interactive and easier. On the other side, organization can increase productivity and lower cost by making operations safer and more efficient.  In addition to training, VR can be used to test equipment and products in a virtual environment before they are made, increasing quality and flexibility.

Advantages of VR training

  • Training becomes visual: the learning process becomes more appealing than in the traditional way. Real-life experiences taken in to the digital world.
  • Learning is safer: Workers can gain familiarization with complex situations and risky environmentas and they can practice in real life scenarios until they are near perfect.
  • Learning becomes more affordable: The value to a business using VR technology is immense. Since VR headsets are becoming cheaper, they can be easily bought for training purposes and implemented remotely
  • Remote training: Trainees don’t need to travel to attend training programs and can take up courses at the point of need.

  • Lloyd's Register’s showcased its Virtual Reality Safety Simulator and gaming technology, with a view to raise awareness in critical areas of safety and risk in the oil and gas industry, during the last SPE Offshore Europe.
  • Korean Register has expressed interest for the development of a VR training simulator, with the aim to provide surveyor training software to train a ship surveyor on the classification rules and inspection procedures, using a realistic ship environment.
  • Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) has announced the development of a mariner safety education tool goggle, which uses VR technology created by Tsumiki Seisaku Co. Ltd.
  • London startup Immerse is one of the leaders of the VR learning movement. The company has developed a platform to create bespoke live learning experiences for every industry and educational establishment to teach everything from aircraft repairs to science classes.
  • Kongsberg Digital is providing Virtual Reality (VR) solutions for enhanced training experiences with the use of mixed reality (MR), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and augmented virtual reality
  • MacGregor has opened a new facility in Arendal, Norway, which houses a training academy including a purpose-built virtual reality (VR) showroom for simulation training
  • During the last SAFETY4SEA Conference, Mr. Yuzuro Goto, Managing Director, K Line LNG Shipping (UK) Ltd, talked about a 3D simulation tool, developed by Propel that his company uses for training crew onboard.
  • Propel has developed a 3D-simulation model, entitled SAYFR, in an effort to allow people onboard and ashore to interact in different scenarios.
  • Carnival has opened a for Simulator and Maritime Training, called CSMART,  in Almere, Netherlands to provide maritime training through technology solutions from Transas