Whilst working at Oakley VR I was tasked with creating a prototype VR training simulator within Unity alongside the Technical Director, Andrew Sharples. We used the HTC Vive, a Vive Object Tracker and some custom hardware running Arduino assembled within OakleyVR to create a demonstration for the police forces. Using a replica Glock firearm we was able to hook up the firing trigger and reload mechanism to give users a more realistic experience, which is crucial in VR training.
From fighting threats to fighting fires, our emergency services rely on their training and experience as much as we rely on them. Therefore you might be alarmed to know that digital assessment and training analysis for the emergency services hasn’t extended much beyond projectors, joysticks, or a mouse and keyboard… until now.
Working in conjunction with KIM Software Solutions, OakleyVR has developed the AVERT Platform - an Adaptive Virtual Reality Training solution.
Utilising the latest cutting edge virtual reality technologies, the AVERT platform provides emergency services with the ability to train for situations that would otherwise be logistically challenging or cost prohibitive. These virtual scenarios meet current and future training requirements using three fundamental principles - Act, Assess and Adapt.
Improving decision making
The AVERT platform isn't intended to replace traditional firearms training or live scenario-based exercises. The virtues that digital technologies (such as VR) bring are fully embraced enabling better decisions to be made through advanced analysis and insights.
For example, the AVERT platform gives training staff the ability to see through the eyes of the trainee in order to better understand their decision making.
Freedom and flexibility
Whilst networking enables trainees and trainers to interact within the same virtual scene, the AVERT platform’s physical set up (consisting of room sensors and motion tracking hardware) provides the liberty of movement to approach targets, peer around doors and even inspect what firearms officers call ’dirty corners’.
In a recent interview, Andrew Sharples, OakleyVR’s Technical Director said “AVERT removes approximation from emergency services training”. He continued “To date, this level of advanced metrics, customisable environments, scenario scrutiny and trainee analysis has been impossible”. AVERT is the natural path for emergency services training to take.
With the addition of remote-link training and active props based on firearms from manufacturers like Heckler & Koch, Glock and TASER International, the solution is continuing to develop whilst advancing through funding stages.