BMW invests in VR-based professional training company

It would likely be used to enhance both internal and external experiences, like manufacturing and sales.

Isn't this how everyone wants to look while arranging the second largest purchase they'll ever make?

Sarah Tew/CNET

BMW i Ventures regularly invests in fledgling companies and technologies that can enhance its own offerings. That continues today with a strategic investment in Strivr Labs.

Strivr Labs built an enterprise-level performance training platform, which uses VR and augmented reality to help train workers, whether it's in customer service, safety or human resources. It uses data it collects to measure and assess an individual's performance.

It can be used with a variety of VR headsets, including Oculus and Samsung's GearVR. There's also a "lite" version that works with smartphones and tablets.

BMW seems interested in Strivr's system for a number of reasons. In its statement, the company mentions new ways of enhancing both employee training and the buying experience. It could bring about a whole new method of preparing folks for manufacturing jobs, or it could bring buyers into a BMW showroom without having to leave the couch.

BMW i Ventures is no stranger to moving beyond the comfort zone of just building cars. This year, the outfit has already invested in the fleet-logistics company RideCell, a carpooling app called Scoop, and Rever, which is a social network for motorcycle enthusiasts. It also partnered up with the Toyota Research Institute to license technology from big-data startup Nauto.

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