Accenture buys 60,000 Oculus headsets for VR training

05 November 2021 3 min. read
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As the firm looks to safely welcome thousands of new recruits amid the ongoing pandemic, Accenture has purchased 60,000 virtual reality headsets. According to global boss Julie Sweet, the technology will enable new joiner training “with people you don’t get to be in a room with.”

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have long been spoken of as the future of visual technology, with a number of increasingly optimistic forecasts anticipating a boom in sales and use over the last decade. For the most part, this boom was slow, and the VR market only surpassed the $1 billion mark in 2017 – thanks largely to a $300 million spike relating to video game sales in the innovative technology domain.

However, corporate interest in VR and AR also started to pick up over that period – and appears to have exploded during the pandemic. As a result, Fortune Business Insights recently anticipated that the global VR market size would reach a size of $84.09 billion by 2028, exhibiting a CAGR of 44.8% during that period.

Accenture buys 60,000 Oculus headsets for VR training

With employees unable to return to offices for the best part of 18 months, and working from home expected to remain a permanent fixture even after the Covid-19 outbreak recedes, companies have looked to the technology as an innovative way of on-boarding trainees. Even before the pandemic, consulting giant Accenture was already exploring VR in such a capacity.

Having delivered consumer and enterprise experiences for clients such as BMW and Jeep in recent years, as well as having launched an Extended Reality (XR) practice, in 2018, the firm also completed the acquisition of VR expert firm Mackevision, helping to create and operate XR solutions at scale for its clients and help drive the future of the XR market. The global consultancy started introducing AR and VR technologies to its own internal affairs soon after. For example, at Accenture’s graduate assessment days in 2019, candidates were set a range of tasks using immersive AR and VR technologies.

Now, Accenture has stepped up its deployment of VR, with the purchase of 60,000 Oculus headsets. The Oculus Quest 2 headsets will be the largest number any company has ever deployed – according to one Accenture executive. Nick Rosa, Accenture’s XR lead in Europe and its immersive learning lead, took to Twitter to note the number is, "higher than any other company in the world has ever deployed," before adding, “P.S. This is just Phase One…”

Julie Sweet, Chief Executive Officer of Accenture, meanwhile told Fortune that the purchase of the headsets would help training new hires, as the company looks to maintain its sizable workforce. It is looking to fill more than 125,000 new roles, while maintaining remote working in some capacity.

Sweet added, “Why are we doing that [supplying VR headsets for training new recruits]? Because the way you build connections is also through experiences, and it’s super cool… It’s a great way to learn about Accenture in a more engaging fashion but have an experience with people you don’t get to be in a room with going through your new joiner training.”