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Thinking forward – Virtual reality and the metaverse


Komatsu Australia, the local arm of the global manufacturer and distributor of earthmoving equipment, has taken a step into the future by embracing virtual reality (VR) technology to help train and upskill its staff.

  • The company has called upon Brisbane-based virtual reality scale-up, Next World Enterprises, to train and upskill its RTOs in line with the global movement towards more effective technology, as it drives towards its goal of zero-harm.

    The company’s history stretches back to 1921 in Komatsu city, Japan, where it has spent the last  100 years dedicated to its founding principles of “quality first, technology and manufacturing innovation, global reach and people development.

    Next World Enterprises offer intelligently designed and engineered off the shelf virtual reality learning experiences that not only materially improves outcomes, but also opens a rich data gateway to the individual and organisation. Next World’s current learning experiences include:

    • Manual Handling
    • Hazard ID
    • Excavator Safety
    • Fire Hazards
    • Fire Extinguisher Skills
    • Working at Heights
    • Confined Space Entry
    • Chainsaw Safety
    • Working around Forklifts

    The company has commissioned Next World to deliver virtual reality training platforms and headsets to help induct new apprentices. Komatsu has turned to the Queensland scale-up, which is making waves in the industry for its VR technology – improving outdated styles of learning, such as ineffective old-school quizzes and PowerPoints with low knowledge retention rates.

    With the ability to superimpose dangerous work instances, crisis situations and health and safety training into the headsets, Next World provides the opportunity for high-risk industry workers to experience a situation and learn about the potential dangers, then return home safely to their family.

    Immersive technologies give a clear advantage to manufacturers and distributors of supply chains as they enable more efficient and effective product testing, training, data handling and risk management, all in one simulation, via immersive technology. These new technologies also help develop new products and procedures using VR simulation while at the same time reducing risk, and product development time.

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