Google Tests Virtual Reality Barista Training With Mixed Results

Photo Credit: Petteri Sulonen

Google’s Daydream Labs recently conducted experiments to see if people could be trained to complete tasks like pulling a shot of espresso using virtual reality headsets.

The premise of the idea builds on the fact that training takes up valuable time and resources, and, in the case of coffee shops, employees in training can leave customers dissatisfied with a less-than-perfect latte.

To see if new baristas could be trained using only virtual reality headsets, Daydream Labs set up a 3D model of an espresso machine that had all the same features and buttons as a real-life espresso maker.

Daydream Labs had one group of participants use their headsets to interact with the 3D espresso machine and another group watch Youtube tutorial videos, and they compared the results after they asked participants to use the machine in real life.

Participants seemed to think that the virtual reality gave them a better feel for what making real espresso would be like, but neither group performed spectacularly in their new barista positions. The virtual reality group made fewer mistakes, but still had a long way to go to pull a shot like a pro.

You can read more about the virtual reality testing at Daily Coffee News or here on the Daydream Labs blog post.


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