Training has been a major use case for VR since its earliest days and the military has been there since day one. However, demand for VR training has only increased in the last few years, and innovation and collaboration among solution providers have increased along with it. VIVE Enterprise, with Street Smarts VR, highlighted one such use case in a recent case study.
The two companies work together to provide “best-in-class” training solution for the military and law enforcement personnel.
VIVE and Street Smarts VR
HTC VIVE is one of the leading consumer VR headset manufacturers. However, their cutting-edge computing has also made them a leader in enterprise VR. Innovations like eye-tracking, “inside-out tracking” for baseless full-body tracking, and wireless headset connectivity put their products in high demand.
Street Smarts VR is a VR simulations company specializing in military and law enforcement training. Standing contracts include the New York Police Department and the United States Airforce.
“When all put together, you get an advanced platform that teaches everything from de-escalation techniques to the appropriate use of force for small and large units,” explains the case study shared with ARPost.
What We Know About the Experience
Street Smarts VR creates immersive training scenarios that can be implemented by a single technician. This replaces training scenarios that would be expensive, dangerous, inefficient or impossible to carry out in physical environments. It also replaces 2D scenarios that are safer, more convenient, and more cost-effective than physical training, but are not as impactful.
According to the case study, the Department of Defense claims that VR training with Street Smarts VR saves an average of “40 hours per use, per year.” The system is currently being used to train 3,000 Airforce security forces across 12 units and 10 military bases.
Implementing Street Smarts VR on VIVE hardware brings with it VIVE’s wireless PC-quality experiences, as well as their hand-tracking and eye-tracking for realistic training experiences and detailed analytics. Training scenarios even utilize “real-world weapons with an ever-expanding library of training scenarios” with automatic quarterly updates.
“In our field, simulators seem to come and go, but Street Smarts VR will be with us for a long time,” said an unnamed Air Force contact quoted in the case study.
The Military and VR
The case study by VIVE Enterprise and Street Smarts VR is illuminating but less than ground-breaking. As was mentioned at the top of the article, the military has been using XR in training and even in recruitment for a long time.
For example, the U.S. Navy is known to have partnered with DAQRI and Helios. There are even multi-day summits dedicated to military virtual training and simulation. Private contractor Lockheed Martin employs virtual training with Varjo, an Enterprise XR headset manufacturer based in Finland.
However, the VIVE Enterprise and Street Smarts VR case study does give more precise insights on things like implementation and hours-in-program that tell us a great deal more about how these training programs function at scale.