Imagine practicing for a new job using make-believe within a specifically designed environment. In a recently published patent, US20230306348A1, Saudi Arabian Oil Company, Aramco, seems to be taking on this bold and ambitious task. It proposes a method and system for assessing employee performance through the use of virtual reality.
On the face of it, the issue being tackled here is the inefficiency of traditional employee assessments. For a variety of industries, especially those that require specific skills and knowledge of complex systems, an experienced instructor is typically required to oversee assessments. This task not only becomes inefficient but also creates a bottleneck in the process. Furthermore, traditional assessments may not accurately gauge an employee's skills to carry out operations in intricate and potentially dangerous environments.
Aramco's proposed solution to this overarching problem is a virtual reality setting where employees can complete tasks in simulated environments. The virtual reality program records and assesses the task completion, making it possible for future review and grading. The aim is to provide accurate, consistent, and efficient job preparation and assessment, all within the confines of a safe, controlled environment.
Implementing such a system would potentially revolutionize job training and assessments. Industries associated with complex operational systems, such as automotive plants, chemical plants, electric power plants, and oil refineries, stand to benefit immensely. Employees would be able to take assessments at their convenience, without the need for a physical instructor or travel to an assessment center. This could increase access to upskilling and certification opportunities, leading to a highly skilled workforce across these industries.
Imagine a world where a chemical plant worker in Detroit could put on a headset and enter a safe training environment that would grade his performance on a complex task. This technology could enhance his learning process, without the risk of causing any harm or damage.
In the current rapidly evolving job market, this patent holds significant potential. That is not to say it will manifest immediately. As with all patents, it represents a direction of thought and innovation but does not guarantee a product for market consumption. However, the implications are exciting; keep an eye on this space for further developments.