Despite being around for some time, Virtual Reality (VR) has never really gained traction within the high hazard sectors as a tool to help reduce risk. Perhaps this is because it’s seen as a gimmick – a solution without a problem? So what is VR and can it indeed be used to reduce risk?
A black swan is characterised by Nassim Nicholas Taleb [Ref. 1] as an event which:
1. Is a surprise (to the observer), an 'extreme outlier'
2. Has a major impact
3. Is rationalised by hindsight, as if it could have been expected
In NASA's heyday, the safety of the space shuttle was assured by a strict adherence to 'Flight Rules'. These were black and white rules that identified precisely what action should be taken under specific circumstances.