The 4,000+ visitors to DaVita’s annual “Villagewide” meeting lined up to don the HTC Vive headset, grab the hand controllers, and “walk around” a 3D virtual dialysis clinic. The application’s first level used a “treasure hunt” game mechanic; users could freely explore the clinic to identify and resolve approximately 20 issues related to cleanliness and equipment dysfunction. In the simulation’s second level users played through a number of soft skills scenarios, interacting with virtual patients and co-workers through multiple choice decision menus. Employees lining up to try the VR experience were entertained by the awestruck reactions of colleagues in the VR environment, whose engagement was so complete that they reported losing all sense of time passage.
This reaction – “like getting lost in another world” – isn’t unique to the DaVita application, though. The sense of presence in a different place and embodiment in a virtual persona is unrivaled by any other interactive technology. The Gronstedt Group also developed a desktop version of the same simulation, to be deployed to DaVita’s 75,000 team members. Players will sit in front of a standard PC monitor, and use a keyboard and mouse to navigate the 3D DaVita clinic.