VR is starting to become a mainstream technology, with the PlayStation VR headset starting to shift units, with over 2 million sold to date. The technology has been used for training purposes for a number of years now and is likely to be rolled out across more industries as trainers adopt the technology. In this blog, we’re going to look at some of the applications of it.
Using VR for military training
DARPA, the USA’s military defence research laboratory has been devoted to delivering new technologies since it started in the 1940s. You are using at least one of their technologies now by reading this because the internet as we know it started as DARPA net. DARPA’s gaming as training has shown real-world results. According to Sharon Weinberger in the book The Imagineers of War, the USA were performing poorly in NATO tank battle exercises called The Canada Army Trophy. Even though the technology was in its infancy when it was first used in the 1980s, the USA utilised it for training, and after that, they won. This led to billions of dollars being thrown at the project and the tech advancing.
Using VR for Olympic training
With the success of VR in military operations, the tech has started being used for more other purposes. One example of this is the USA skiing team preparing for the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. The team’s coach will record a 360° video of the course they will race on during the games. This is recorded at very low speed and then sped up to race speed for the athletes. This gives the skier the best way to see what the courses are like before skiing on it. Headsets running STRIVR software simulate the experience of racing down the mountain at top speed. The skier is on top of ski-shaped balance boards to provide feedback to the skier. The USA skiing team will not reveal too many details as to what exactly they do because they feel it may give other teams insight into what they are doing. Given how widespread VR is now becoming I would guess that other teams are using similar technology.