In the course of the project fund "Arbeit 4.0" of the Styrian Chamber of Labour, a research grant for the project DigiCompGlass was successfully obtained. In the DigiCompGlass project, the aim is to investigate how new technologies - specifically virtual reality - can be used to increase the digitalization skills of employees.
For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), digitization offers countless advantages, such as higher productivity.
However, SMEs still have problems using the full potential – also due to a lack of competencies regarding digitization. In addition, the use of digital technologies and automation leads to employment effects in the sense that routine work in particular, as well as many activities that are often defined as unskilled labor, are subject to an automation risk. It is therefore crucial to further qualify the affected employees. SMEs usually have few resources in terms of time and costs for employee training (on digitization). For this reason, it is crucial that the trainings have low access barriers and are as efficient as possible. One possible solution to this is the use of virtual reality (VR).
VR is a computer-generated environment with scenes and objects that appear to be real, giving users the feeling of being immersed in their surroundings.
Training in VR is an interactive experience that automatically provides a high level of concentration for the user, as it completely blanks out the environment.
Virtual training can be expected to be more efficient than traditional training methods, as well as having a fast learning curve, which helps new users catch up to experienced users more quickly. In addition to so-called "Cave Automatic Virtual Environments" (CAVE), whole rooms for the presentation of virtual reality, data glasses placed on the head have also become more of a focus in recent years. Technical innovations enable increasingly powerful, lighter data glasses with increased ease of use and operation.
In the DigiCompGlass project, the possibilities offered by virtual reality are to be used to develop accessible, individual and interactive training courses for employees and thus increase their (digitalization) skills.
In order to adapt the training courses to the specific needs of the SMEs and to make optimal use of the technological possibilities of data glasses for training, a needs analysis will first be conducted. In addition to a literature analysis, interviews will be conducted with employees of manufacturing SMEs in Styria. Further sub-goals include the derivation and summary of the competence needs, an analysis of the thematic suitability for implementation using VR data glasses and the analysis of available data glasses with regard to various factors and possible applications in the training sector. The needs analysis is to be completed by the end of May and will serve as the basis for the subsequent development of training modules.