Virtual reality training for ‘safety-critical’ jobs
Dr Sam Vine uses simulation technology and immersive media to examine the visual, attentional and physiological processes that underpin learning and expertise. As a psychologist, he is particularly interested in the ‘quiet-eye phenomenon’ – where and for how long we focus our gaze when performing precision-critical tasks, especially in high-stress situations, and why we do this. His research came to the attention of Toby de Burgh and Kate Sprake, nuclear industry experts with a particular interest in developing more effective training programmes for high-risk industries.
The resulting collaboration created Cineon Training, an Exeter-based firm that specialises in creating immersive 360-degree media and virtual reality scenarios designed to put workers through their paces. Using architects’ drawings, plans or blueprints, the team recreate situations that replicate trainees’ real-world working environments. Information gathered on trainees’ situational judgements, gaze and heart rate while within the immersive environments helps designers and industry specialists to understand how people learn from and react to danger, and why they make errors, particularly when exposed to high-stress environments.