Virtual Reality may help in detecting vertigo at Arcelor Mittal
You may not even be off the ground. But the VR test fear of heights experience can make you feel you are more than 600 feet high. There is no actual danger but the brain already feels the panic and sets off alarm bells. This makes the body respond by sending the heartbeats racing.
This Virtual Reality experience is a simulation at the Arcelor Mittal steel plant. It takes a person to the top of the blast furnace to check if a person suffers from a fear of heights. A person may have done all kinds of adventure sports without realizing that they suffer from a fear of heights. This VR test fear of heights simulation helps detect this fear in workers. Repairing and maintain the two blast furnaces is the task for these workers at the plant. This test is one of the first of this kind which may actually aide in saving people’s lives.
This experience is the Blast Furnace Experience. Although this game has its source in virtual reality games, it has a serious purpose which is saving lives. There were three deaths in the past year at the plant.
The game and animation developers are Sea Monster along with the LRMG Performance Agency who are trainers. They collaborated with Arcelor Mittal to provide captivating VR test fear of heights experience. It also has a moving platform instead of lifts and fans. This gives an actual feeling of wind speed at that height. Such simulation helps in actually testing the basic working at that elevation.
Earlier, the prospective workers were taken up to that height. Once there, people checked to see if they showed signs of fear. There is a specialist in learning experiences at Arcelor Mittal. He/she is always present at the test venue. In cases where the experience terrifies the applicants, the specialist soothes them.
One of the trainees was in tears after the experience. She always felt she could work at the blast furnace. But after the experience, she wishes to transfer to another area.
This experience started in January this year and has already tested 400 applicants. Out of these, 8 had intense fear. This experience costs the company $160,000. This investment is nothing in comparison to the loss the company faces in case of a fatality. So this program has in fact saved a lot for the company. Arcelor Mittal wishes to take this test to their other plants as well.
This is an example of what Virtual Reality can provide to the world. Tours and games are always there but they lose their novelty after a point.
The developers at Sea Monster used a fully animated environment to create the experience. This made the VR test fear of heights experience realistic and more effective. They have given very minute attention to every precise detail. Everything is in perspective. The user gets totally involved as there is acute attention to detail.
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