|Virtual reality simulator. Photo via Getty Images|
Virtual Reality (VR) has been a concept for a relatively long while, and has been improving over the years to become more precise and usable within various industries. Tech companies invested in developing virtual platforms have been working to make virtual reality more available and accessible for use. The opportunities for application of VR has also been on the rise, gaining traction in fields such as business analytics, travel agencies, education and space exploration.
More advanced systems of VR are being developed for military use. VR was first implemented in armies since long ago, yet their true potential remained untapped until recently when the technology became more available and affordable for use. It is possible now for VR and AR (augmented reality) to be implemented on a much grander scale than before, providing virtual yet realistic environments for soldiers in the army, navy and air force to train adequately and in safer grounds. Here is how VR is expected to change military training over the coming years.
Accurate Training Simulation
Military departments are known for setting up training grounds in vast pieces of land which are usually hostile and dangerous for the soldiers in training. The environments are so hostile that a Telegraph report accredited one in twenty deaths in the military to training in their analysis report. Virtual reality offers an alternative training ground, where soldiers can wear gears which simulate these hostile environments rather than having to be deployed to the environments in the first place. Through accurate visual depiction of training grounds and military bases, soldiers will be able to familiarize themselves with the environments and gain adequate training before deployment to the actual zones.
There are two ways in which VR can achieve the simulation of training grounds according to ThinkMobiles. The first is immersive training, where trainees are guided through enclosed spaces such as barracks, fighter jets and planes, submarines and in-house environment while wearing sensors which make these experiences to feel real. Situational awareness is another way trainees can be guided through training. It will involve the simulation of hostile environments which require intuition and sharp senses of focus to navigate. These will include forests, deserts and icy environments. The simulation of these environments will be made possible by the use of high-grade technology which will evolve in time to become less bulky and more wearable. Armor which enables virtual combat can also be designed to have the same weight and feel as regular armor so that soldiers will have an easier time adapting to them.
The technological advancements that are underway will enable factors such as flight simulation to be made possible, where pilots will be placed in virtual planes and trained on how to navigate airfields, practice target shooting of enemy planes and learn how to coordinate with the support systems on ground to maneuver a battle ground. ThinkMobiles sites Future Combat Systems (FCS) as the main technology under use today, elaborating its use in simulating various kinds of vehicles used by the military.
Another way VR can be used to enhance military training is by enhancing collaboration and coordination, not just at an interpersonal level, but also between different technologies which have been designed with the same objectives. VR is looking to advance its interoperability so that devices manufactured from different tech companies can be merged together to provide trainees with training grounds that are as accurate as possible.
Operation Blended Warrior (OPW) is one means which scientists are looking to break down barriers in different simulations across different zones. The implications of such technology will be the provisions for militaries in different countries to coordinate with one another and merge training grounds to improve tactical skills. It can also be more internal where the army, air force, and navy all implement different simulations to distinguish one another while still maintaining collaboration among themselves.
|Futuristic soldier fighting. Photo via Getty Images Bank|
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) cases has been on the rise in ex-military persons and war veterans at an alarming rate. Scientists are looking to find ways which VR can be implemented to curb the rising cases of suicides and mental breakdowns witnessed in these individuals.
VR implementation is apparent in many advanced military systems worldwide. Looking ahead, scientists expect to reach major breakthrough by using virtual and augmented reality to create simulations which depict real life training grounds. The result will be less death tolls owing to training camps and more skilled personnel who will be able to navigate through war zones more effectively even when they are being initially deployed into the zones. Soldiers will also be allowed to make mistakes and learn from them without having to cause dire consequences like injuries and fatalities.