Business / Tech

Cafes offer students 'virtual' workday experiences

JIJI

Some cafes are offering college students simulated experiences of everyday life at work in a company, using virtual reality technology.

The simulation takes the user through a day in the life of a company employee, moving beyond the explanations given at company information sessions.

The content ranges from the workplace atmosphere to the room layout of company dormitories and what the cafeteria is like.

The experience is expected to help students understand the gap between ideals and reality.

The tool also offer a forum where local firms can market themselves to students in metropolitan areas.

The virtual reality system is available at Shiru Cafe outlets — which offer services specifically for students — near famous universities in Japan, including the University of Tokyo, Kobe University, Waseda University and Keio University.

The cafes allow companies to promote themselves to students in return for the firms becoming cafe sponsors.

The operator of Shiru Cafe partnered up with major online game maker Gree Inc. and Toyoda High System Inc., an information technology systems developer owned by Toyota Industries Corp., in March.

Through the partnership, the Shiru Cafe operator installed headsets that can be used to watch the virtual reality videos at 14 of the 16 outlets in the nation.

Video clips include content such as introducing the flow of a day at work in a few minutes.

Students are currently able to watch clips from five companies, including SoftBank Corp. and Toyoda High System.

The Shiru Cafe operator plans to increase the number of firms to around 30 by the end of fiscal 2018.

After trying the virtual reality experience, a 22-year-old female student attending Keio University, who is looking for a job, said that it will save time for students compared with going to multiple company briefings.

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