Case Study

Bringing organisation training to the next level

Why VR for Training?

  • VR makes training more innovative and engaging.
  • VR enables experiences that are impossible through any other digital medium
  • VR teaches through doing, rather than theoretical concepts
  • VR offers a safe practice space that encourages users to learn from their mistakes
  • VR can transport you anywhere and even into the perspective of another human being
  • VR encourages employees to explore at their own pace and in their own style


  • VR content has 27% higher emotional engagement than standard 2D video
  • People watch VR content for 34% longer than standard 2D video
  • VR content provides 33% more knowledge retention than 2D video. (Source: YuMe/Nielsen)
  • VR training can lead to a 20% reduction in reaction times when faced with quick decision making and increases learning speeds by 15%.
  • Educational research shows that VR increases learner attention level by 100% and improves test scores by over 30%.
  • Research is finding that people trained with VR score 27.4% higher than those taught with traditional training methods (classroom & 2d video) and score 32.4% higher when tested again 2 weeks later.


Woodie's colleagues were scared of the plumbing aisle as they didn't know how to answer queries about products or plumbing related problems. Woodie's Head of Engagement, David Nally, contacted Virtual Reality Ireland in search of a way to cure this fear.


We created a Unity application with 8 training modules where trainees would virtually 'Install a Dishwasher', 'Fix a Toilet', 'Fit a Garden Tap', and more. The modules were based on top plumbing queries from Woodie's customers. Confidence was used the key indicator for the project. At the start of the training, once users login with their unique employee id number, they are asked how confident they felt dealing with plumbing queries in-store. At the end of each module, employees take a multiple choice quiz testing their knowledge to explore how confident they felt answering these questions in store.


The VR training application trained over 350 users in a one-month training period. To roll out the training, Woodies brought it on-tour on their double-decker training bus. 12 x Oculus Go headsets along with a Virtual Reality Ireland facilitator ensured the successful implementation of the project.

From the in-app data collection and reporting, we can see that for the 350+ users that have used the app to date, 81% reported improved confidence in answering plumbing queries in-store.

The project had Return on Investment within 6 weeks of use. There was a sales net uplift of 5% in plumbing sales versus the same 6 weeks last year. Woodies plumbing product sales margin also improved by 7% which they believe is a result of colleagues recommending the right products for the job. With product range, pricing, and availability, consistent year-on-year training is the only differentiator that we can attribute the sales uplift to.


In the case of FBD insurance, there was a specific problem identified regarding a gap between the training room experience and the reality of the sales floor environment. The assimilation required was previously handled with scheduled shadow sessions where the new trainee would shadow an experienced customer call centre agent on the sales floor. However this has an overhead of both time and personnel resources which was becoming less feasible during a leaner stage at the organisation.


Adaptas Training Ltd sought the expertise of Virtual Reality Ireland to create a Virtual Reality simulation of a sales call conversation that could be used to scale best-in-class behaviours and competencies and replace the need for the shadow sessions.

The concept and design for the training tool was inspired by the psychological theory of Embodiment - the power of experiencing a situation through another persons’ bodily perspective. In this case, the perspective we were looking to scale, was that of ‘the expert’ - a customer call centre agent who has absolute confidence in their ability to build customer rapport and achieve the sale.

To achieve an embodiment experience, we filmed a 360 degree video from a first-person perspective in the actual FBD call centre environment. The audio of the sales call was recorded first and used as play-back for the video stage. We captured audio from different points around the office which was used to build a spatial audio simulation of the environment including all the atmospheric distractions of a busy call centre. 


From the impact that this tool is making on performance, in addition to the anecdotal feedback from users, we believe that this tool is creating False Memories, where the participants feel that they have already made a successful sales call, followed scripts and compliance, built customer rapport and overcome objections, when they haven’t yet, in real reality.

One participant made a successful sale on his first day on the sales floor, a rare achievement. When asked how he did it, he replied “It was easy. Thanks to the VR tool I felt like I had done it before”

The staff who have used the VR tool, now have the confidence required to build rapport, deal with customer objections and hot all marks on compliance much quicker than they did before.

A Likert scale questionnaire was completed by the users of the training which shows:

  • 94% increase in Knowledge of features and benefits of hte products
  • 88% increase in confidence when dealing with price objectives
  • 78% increase in confidence when saying compliance scripting


The VR training tool was shortlisted for an IITD (Irish Institute for Training & Development) ‘Excellence in Digital Learning’ award in 2018 and again in 2019 when it WON the award. The judges commented that it was important that the tool was proven to be useful and sustainable for the organisation, which it had by year 2.

In addition Dr. Celine Mullins and Camille Donegan won ‘Most Investment Potential’ award at the DCU’s Female High Fliers programme pitch.

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