January 30, 2014
The Army Contracting Command is looking into new technology for effective training methods. Northrop Grumman believes it has a solution with its Virtual Immersive Portable Environment (VIPE) Holodeck technology. The VIPE Holodeck is a 360-degree virtual training system that allows users to participate in simulations, mission rehearsal and data visualization. The technology works by using a Kinect integration navigation sensor, which allows users to feel immersed in the environment.
The VIPE Holodeck uses off-the-shelf, commercial hardware to help keep costs down and simplify future maintenance and upgrades. It can support numerous team training exercises such as support for ground, air, and remote platform training, cultural and language training, and team training.
“Where the VIPE Holodeck moves ahead of other virtual simulators, according to Northrop, is advanced situational training where service members can walk through an area of operation in the replicated virtual environment to prepare themselves for what they may encounter in that exact environment in reality,” reports Wired. “To enhance that training, operators can drop threats into the environment, including IEDs and enemy shooters, as well as signals that should tip them off to potential threats and see how they respond before they actually find themselves in that situation.”
“The great thing about virtual reality and gaming technology [is that] it’s moving so rapidly that really it has endless possibilities that we can do,” said Ryan Frost, program manager for the VIPE Holodeck. “If you can think it, we can create it, eventually.”
Northrop says it is also looking into using the technology for live-training in other fields including medical and law enforcement.
The article includes a 3-minute video.