DTE Energy and Vectorform have announced a partnership to leverage virtual reality to advance high-consequence training. The technology allows DTE technicians to train on a number of simulated work environments -- including how to operate at great heights, repair down wires and perform gas line shut-offs -- all from the safety of their offices.
"Vectorform is committed to delivering innovative digital products and experiences, and this application is leading the way for energy companies nationwide to focus on performance and safety," said Jason Vazzano, CEO of Vectorform. "We are excited to once again partner with DTE Energy to drive an industry first and integrate the HTC Vive platform into the energy company's workforce training programs."
Over the next year, Vectorform and DTE Energy will begin implementing VR training using the innovative HTC Vive platform, currently used in many gaming applications. By wearing the Vive headset, technicians will be able to:
- Experience visual immersion with a 110-degree field of view, complemented by 360-degree motion tracking
- Retain real-world awareness, as the experience blends both virtual and real elements
- Adapt next-generation training simulations that includes full-room sensing – allowing technicans to be able to walk around and train in a life-like virtual space, without exposure to the real-world dangers they'd typically encounter
"DTE Energy is focused on next generation technology to advance how we approach every aspect of our business – including ways to improve safety for our customers and, of course, for our employees," said Shawn Patterson, vice president and chief learning officer for DTE Energy. "Through this partnership, we are able to advance our goal of offering the most effective, value-added training available in the workplace. Technicians will practice in simulated hazardous situations, all while improving task performance, enabling DTE to continue to deliver the best customer service across Michigan."
Vectorform and DTE Energy began their partnership in 2015 and launched Powerley – a mobile app and hardware solution that allows consumers to instantly measure energy consumption in their homes with real-time insights, tips and coaching on how to reduce their energy consumption. It was a first for the energy industry, and cemented a partnership of invention, and innovation, for both companies.