Gleechi giving companies an upper hand with better virtual reality training

Gleechi CEO Jakob Way. Photo by Erick Payne.

Virtual reality is seeing a dramatic boom over the past few years, as tech giants like Meta invest massive amounts of resources into the space. Experts expect the global VR market size to grow from less than $5 billion in 2021 to more than $12 billion by 2024.

Analysts believe the healthcare, manufacturing and workforce development sectors will be disrupted the most from new virtual reality technology. In Sweden, Gleechi is working to make it easier and more immersive for people in those fields to train using VR.

The Stockholm-based startup launched in 2014, and the company’s VirtualGrasp technology gives users a more natural hand interaction within virtual reality. Gleechi’s platform lets anyone create their own VR environment, making it easier for company’s to adopt training strategies.

“It needs to be realistic for you to actually believe you’re in there,” Gleechi CEO Jakob Way said. “If you’re going to grasp an object, we’ve seen that you lose the sense of presence if the hand becomes invisible.”

The company’s technology makes it possible for people to use complex equipment and tools inside VR in a way that doesn’t break reality.

Virtual reality used for safer and more complex training

Gleechi wants to democratize any type of training to allow workers to practice in a safe environment from their home. Research shows that VR training gives people a safe environment with minimal exposure to dangerous situations like fires, explosions, and natural disasters.

“If we see areas where it’s been difficult to train people, for example with different healthcare or industrial tasks,” Way said. “You can’t just toss someone into a situation, they need to experience it.”

Way points out this can be a lengthy process, where the worker undergoes months of supervision so they don’t make any mistakes like destroying an expensive machine or hurting a patient. This is the case for companies like Saab and YrkesAkademin, which have both partnered with Gleechi to provide natural and immersive training scenarios for their labor-intensive roles.

“There’s a very clear business case, not only because of the pandemic,” Way said, mentioning companies are more interested in digital and remote solutions. “You simply can’t have people flying across the globe to learn how to use a specific device, and you can’t have 100 students coming into a hospital because there’s a bloody pandemic in the midst of everything.”

Experts estimate virtual reality will boost global gross domestic product by $450 billion by 2030. They say VR training programs will be a contributing factor to this increase.

Way says these global developments and improvements to virtual reality have pushed a lot of companies to be more open to VR training.

“The technological revolution that has happened, so it’s not necessarily a fundamentally different experience from five or six years ago,” Way said. “But you can get the experience without any hassle and at a low cost, and that’s really pushed it to a different extent.”

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