Increasing digitization is changing the way we live, work and study today and in the future. Without the use of digital media, lifelong and true-to-life education is hardly conceivable. When it comes to professional learning, in particular, digital media offer new opportunities. They convey content quickly, effectively and on-demand.
Learning on paper
Let’s have a look at a simple example from the pharmaceutical industry: digital transformation of manufacturing processes is a top priority for many companies today. On the way to a digital company, you have to think about manufacturing software, networking of components and systems in a highly integrated IT architecture. The current learning standard is still based on the analogue learning method “on paper”. Although innovation progresses rapidly around them, the employees have to laboriously work through inanimate information to understand equipment, processes or infrastructure systems. Many of these themes are so extensively profound and highly complex that they fill entire bookshelves.
Learning using LMS
On the way to the digitization of the pharmaceutical industry, the introduction of learning management systems (LMS in short) appeared as an initial solution. Originally established to deliver compliance training to the right people and ultimately to document the completion of training, today’s focus is more on the learning experience and sharing of knowledge. As a “benefit”, it allowed employees to access any learning content at any time – not just during a training course. Even though they didn’t bring about a great innovative change for the individual employee (digital learning methods), the LMS is at present the cornerstone for future learning.
Learning by Authoring Program
The introduction of special “e-learning” programs and software for authors, which supported the learning management systems, brought about a change in the learning methods for employees: apart from the pure paper / text method, training became now enriched with simple language, animations and interactions. This enables the learner to experience a heightened sense of being involved in the training.
Learning by Virtual & Interaction Training
The next step is now to allow the learning staff to immerse themselves in the training interactively or virtually. “Experience learning” with digital learning methods, such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) solutions, can actively engage learners for rapid learning, customer loyalty, and decision making. These technologies allow employees to experience learning content rather than merely read it.
Ultimately, all industries face the same problem: they need to bring professional knowledge to life more efficiently and cost-effectively. Training is costly to businesses because it reduces working time and resources while trying to improve or maintain quality. It is crucial, however, that – on the way to Pharma 4.0 – not only do systems and equipment get modernized but also staff gets better training.
A cost-effective way to create AR / VR applications is Amazon Web Services with the Amazon Sumerian solution. Scenes can be created which involve new employees more actively during onboarding. It is possible to model a training environment for teaching or to simulate real-life scenarios. Similarly, an application for troubleshooting and repairing common problems could be created or in “digital-healthcare” an animated visualization of the brain, spine, or heart, which is explained by a host and explored by the learner. The applications are many and varied.
Ultimately, you can let your imagination run wild to create not only a comprehensive but also a very appealing, virtual coaching experience. Additional equipment or complex virtual reality platform management is not required. It is also possible to create realistic virtual environments and scenes without having to purchase special tools for 3D modeling, animation, lighting, audio editing, or programming.
In this context, professional-quality, realistic scenes can be created quickly and easily using an integrated AWS Sumerian Web-based editor.
You can easily generate high-quality Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and 3D applications with a range of tools. There is no need for deeper programming or 3D graphics knowledge.
The finished creation is provided cross-platform. There is no need to write custom code or deal with specialized delivery systems and processes. The scenes are published as a static website that you can load directly into any compatible browser or embed in your website.
You are supported by a visual script tool. This intuitively supports defining a flow logic to allow objects and characters (so-called Sumerian hosts) to react to user actions and thus control Amazon Sumerian behavior.
In so-called “state machines”, each object is assigned an action and these are then managed in an overarching collection of states. The current state of the application may then switch between the predefined states based on user interactions, timing, or other events.
Each state in an object consists of one or more actions, each containing a logic defined by Amazon Sumerian. For example, an active state action may cause a user to click an object that executes a script. Another action may be to record a voice sequence that is sent to an Amazon Lex chat bot or interacts with other AWS services.
To create realistic and unique learning experiences, Amazon Sumerian also offers a catalog of ready-made objects. Users can access this detailed library to create VR environments. You can then view them with any hardware that supports the WebVR and WebGL platforms. They are also not restricted to the platform’s catalog because they can also use third-party material libraries. In addition, objects created on the platform can be imported.
On top of that, the platform also uses the Amazon Polly and Amazon Lex technologies, as well as other services from Amazon. Polly allows you to convert text to speech. It is essentially an AI that uses deep learning to replicate human speech patterns. The end result is a lifelike voice. Lex has similar text-to-speech capabilities. However, conversation interfaces can also be created here. In the Amazon Sumerian context, Lex lets you create voice-activated commands for a learning module.