VIRTSIM(TM), the virtual reality technology by Raytheon Company and Motion Reality Inc., provides a variety of realistic environments that improve training for law enforcement. (PRNewsFoto/Raytheon Company, Motion Reality Inc.)
Photo credit: PRNewsFoto/Raytheon Company, Motion Reality Inc.
VIRTSIM employs licensed motion-capture technology similar to that used in movies such as "Lord of the Rings," "Avatar" and, most recently, "The Avengers." It is being offered to the law enforcement community as an affordable, 21st century alternative to outdated training practices that do little to replicate real-life situations.
The system works with reflective markers placed on users' bodies that track their movements along a basketball court-sized "field." Wearing lightweight goggles, participants are completely immersed in a highly realistic virtual scenario, such as a hostage rescue or a variety of other incidents. The goal is to re-create on-the-job, realistic challenges so that officers can be better prepared and equipped to deal with them.
The VIRTSIM system applies Motion Reality's patented motion capture technology to allow a tactical team of up to 13 individuals to interactively train with complete freedom of motion. Unencumbered by wires or cables in a 360-degree virtual environment, trainees experience realistic sensory feedback as they interact with live people or avatars. The fully immersive technology can also be networked to allow for larger, simultaneous interactions.
Personnel from federal, state and county agencies, including the Texas Rangers and the U.S. Marshals Service, attended a daylong demonstration of VIRTSIM June 2012 at a Raytheon facility in Plano, Texas in an invitation-only event.