Virtual reality (VR) technology might seem like a pretty obvious candidate when it comes to video games and entertainment purposes, but could it be used for more than that? That’s what Google thinks, and at the company’s Daydream Labs, they are testing out the possibility that VR could be used as a training platform to teach skills.

To test this out, Google tried to teach participants how to make coffee using an espresso machine. One group was taught how to pull a shot virtually using a 3D model of an espresso machine that reacts similarly to one in real-life, along with a detailed tutorial on how to use it. The other group were simply told to watch YouTube videos in order to learn how to make coffee.

Both groups were also given as much time as they needed to learn and familiarize themselves with the process before actually making coffee. According to Google’s findings, it seems that the group that trained in VR took less time than the group watching the YouTube tutorials. According to Google, “People assigned to watch the YouTube tutorial normally did so three times, and people who took the VR training normally went through it twice.”

When it came to the actual test, Google also found that those trained in VR made less mistakes and took less time to pull a shot of espresso. Based on this it seems like training in VR has the potential, but Google is quick to note that it’s impossible to tell from just one experiment, but it seems like the potential is there.

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