Immersive Technology as a Training Method for Young Professionals
- Paul Helm (Hewlett-Packard) | Ravigopal Vennelakanti (Hewlett-Packard)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- September 2009
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 44 - 45
- 2009. Copyright is retained by the author. This document is distributed by SPE with the permission of the author. Contact the author for permission to use material from this document.
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Talent & Technology
Virtual 3D oilfields, seminar rooms in cyberspace led by realistic avatars, and other visually lifelike tools are emerging as a highly effective means to train incoming engineering and geoscience professionals.
These training methods use advanced virtual collaboration (AVC) to provide the real-time computational power and lifelike 3D-visualization capabilities needed to drive oilfield simulations that are virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. AVC builds upon the same technology that was originally developed for the burgeoning gaming industry and is making considerable inroads in business applications.
A relatively new development for E&P operations, AVC essentially allows hydrocarbon engineers and geoscientists working from different regions, countries, or continents to plan and troubleshoot projects as if they were in the same room. Individual “players” from anywhere in the world can interact in real time to see, discuss, assess, and even dynamically manipulate complex data in maps, technical diagrams, reports, charts, and tables.
While the most well-known use of AVC is for collaborative meetings, the same technology also can be applied for training in a manner that immerses the users with the sensation of being there. It is essentially the same method that has been used to train pilots in flight simulations and in military war-gaming for decades.
In one E&P application, AVC technology can be used to provide specialist training courses that rely upon avatar-led sessions that simulate a practical learning exercise. This enables remote participation with access to live or recorded data and audio and visual feeds that support any engineering or geologic and geophysical tools. The same technology can be expanded into open-space models that carry the visual effect beyond the confines of a virtual meeting room to include large-scale models—from rigs to refineries—providing personnel with learning and familiarization of planned operations before deployment.
AVC enables teams of “players” from the world over to interact in cyberspace using 3D images, as if they were in the same room, or depending on the setup, providing the sensation of being at an actual oil site. AVC combines advanced digital audiovisual teleconferencing capabilities with the rapid integration of E&P technical and other software. This allows engineering and geoscience teams the ability to conduct secure, collaborative training sessions from distant geographic locations.
Participants can revise dynamically the graphical rotations and calculations that affect the outcome of a given E&P scenario. This allows all participants to see, interpret, and rework as necessary by relevant data, regardless of the technical complexity of the information being assessed. In addition, AVC recognizes and rapidly integrates both the structured data of technical software and unstructured data from word processing, spreadsheet, email, and PowerPoint applications, allowing the full range of available information on a given scenario to be considered. Importantly, this also expands the capture of senior professionals’ knowledge to share with younger professionals.
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