ANDREAS STIHL AG & Co. KG received two eLearning awards at the didacta exhibition on February 20, 2018. The company won the awards for its digital training projects "AR 2 GO" in the category Augmented Reality (AR) and "STIHL Chainsaw Simulator" in the category Virtual Reality (VR). The digital concepts are used for training and information purposes for sales staff, dealers and product managers. Marbod Lemke, department manager international training services and product training at STIHL, said: "Paperless and virtual training materials are a milestone for STIHL. With STIHL's digital training concept the user can learn more intensely and is closer to our products than ever before. The training success is more sustainable." The award was presented by the eLearning Journal citing the following reasons: "STIHL Training stands for modern and innovative learning that is fit for the future. The consistent, language-independent and modern design combined with the intuitive user interface constitutes a true experience for the learner." Both projects were developed in collaboration with the Stuttgart 3D-Agency ALDINGER+WOLF.
Cutaway model in a pocket
The winning project "AR 2 GO" is based on AR technology: Graphics are shown in the real world through a smartphone or tablet and then seen as augmented reality. The camera searches for optical trackers in its environment, whereupon a true-to-life STIHL power tool, the STIHL MS 500i for example, the world's first chainsaw with electronic fuel injection, appears on the mobile device. Marbod Lemke explained: "This means that training materials are available for training all over the world before our products are actually launched on the market. We offer an interactive product experience independent of time or location, which digitalizes service and product training."
Interactive experiences for sustainable learning
The STIHL "Chainsaw Simulator" enables tree felling to be trained virtually with a real chainsaw. This is a further development of last year's award-winning "STIHL VR 2 GO" project. When the user puts on the VR headset he finds himself in a virtual forest, in which a wide variety of forest work and associated techniques can be learned and practiced. Marbod Lemke explained: "The projected environment allows an interactive cutting experience. Safe and correct working techniques are trained in addition to physical work procedures. Therefore, the Chainsaw Simulator ideally complements ‘real' training in the woods." The eLearning Journal also commends the fact that the focus is on working independently: "We learn best when we actively occupy ourselves with the subject matter and perform the steps independently."
Digitally into the future
The program "STIHL Training goes digital", under which the three eLearning award winning projects are listed, is only one example of the digital products and services with which STIHL wants to offer customers tangible added value. Another example is the MemoMeister software solution of the startup Freiraum, in which the company has a stake. MemoMeister is a communication and organization platform which helps craftsmen's businesses handle their daily flood of information.