January 21st, 2017

Virtual reality in defence

Simulation in the defence sector has taken a giant leap and further thinned the line between real and the virtual world. For example, training soldiers for real life situations like how to respond to an ambush or an improvised explosive device (IED) attack, is now done through a virtual reality experience. A virtual reality simulation allows the soldiers to re-enact a particular scenario, without the risk of death or a serious injury.

Virtual reality, Defence, VR

That’s not all. It is not only safer but less costly than traditional training methods. So, when BAE Systems employed 3-D virtual reality to build warships for the Navy, it was so realistic that engineers found themselves grabbing for virtual handrails to steady themselves as they move around a ship. The company employs 3-D virtual reality, allowing engineers and sailors to walk through life-size computer-generated versions of the ships they are working on. The system lets engineers explore every nook and cranny of a warship to deal with potential issues long before construction begins. This is as real as it can get!

VR to combat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

It’s common for the soldiers to experience post-traumatic stress especially for those who are deployed at war fronts. VR has a solution for that as well! Several researches have shown that therapy using virtual reality technology can help combat veterans overcome post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, by re-exposing them to traumatic events in a simulated, controlled cyber- environment.

PTSD is triggered by a traumatic event and is followed by a number of symptoms including emotional numbing or avoidance of thoughts, feelings, conversations, or places associated with the trauma; exaggerated and startled responses; or difficulty concentrating. Researchers have found that exposure therapies, like the virtual reality-based technique studied in the new report, can help sufferers directly confront those fears and the issue of avoidance.

Today, there is no shortage of competing technologies being developed by many different companies in this space. This makes the future of VR in defence sector quite ambitious and interesting!

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