Kratos brings realistic mixed reality to aircrew training 1

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Kratos brings realistic mixed reality training to aircrews, Realize Medical adds remote collaboration to Elucis medical virtual reality platform, Near-Life secures grant to develop immersive learning software for police training, and Resonai launches augmented reality app for digital concierge services

Kratos brings realistic mixed reality to aircrew training

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions is rolling out its Aircrew Combat Mission Training (ACMT) system that utilises advanced immersive training technology to allow teams to train together in highly realistic, mixed reality combat scenarios.

Offered as a turnkey solution, the system includes a mixed reality Multi-Position – Aircrew Virtual Environment Trainer (MP-AVET) integrated with a mixed reality Ground Party Simulator (GPS).

The system is based on the Kratos Immersive Technology Platform that unites best-in-class commercial products with the latest immersive technologies.

The Kratos Immersive Technology Platform enables Kratos to create highly realistic training environments that seamlessly combine real and virtual components in immersive environment scenarios that go beyond augmented or virtual reality experiences in actual mission fidelity.

Based on industry standards and using pre-integrated technologies, solutions built on the Kratos platform are highly realistic, cost-effective and built to be easily transported to the customer’s point of need.

For example, in the MP-AVET, an actual rotorcraft fuselage is surrounded by a Kratos immersive holodeck. The aircrew performs their assigned duties in the physical aircraft outfitted with seat-shaker technology, weapon recoil and windloading to mimic vibration and forces of aerial weapons employment during flight.

The entire aircrew performs highly realistic virtual air interdiction, air assault and close air support mission scenarios. Simultaneously, the helicopter flight engineers work physical weapons while firing at virtual air and ground targets.

The MP-AVET works in tandem with Kratos’s GPS, allowing ground personnel to collectively train with their aircrew as they would engage with them in live fire situations.

In this mixed reality environment, the aircrew and ground party train together, experiencing the sights, sounds and haptics of simulated combat missions, while saving the cost of flight time, fuel and ammunition.

Currently offered as a turnkey service, Kratos’s ACMT can accommodate different aircraft platforms, including the H-1 and the H-60 helicopters.

When configured for the H-1, ACMT can simultaneously train up to two pilots and two flight engineers at their crew positions in the same immersive environment.

When coupled with the physical aircraft and weapons, the system increases combat mission training effectiveness and enhances the aircrew’s ability to anticipate, recognise and react to threats in a fully immersive, simulated tactical environment.

In discussing the capability, Wade Koch, vice president of business development at Kratos Training Solutions, said: “For the first time, helicopter aircrews can train together in a completely immersive, collective, training environment.”

“The immersive environment supports initial, continuation and mission rehearsal training using a real aircraft fuselage, flight deck, flight controls, cabin and simulated weapons. Depending on customer requirements, the turnkey service includes logistics support, courseware development support and ground-based academics/mission instruction.”

Realize Medical adds remote collaboration to Elucis medical VR platform

Realize Medical is now offering fully integrated remote networked collaboration in its medical virtual reality platform, Elucis.

Users of the platform can now safely ‘meet’ with their peers in a secure, collaborative virtual reality environment—the perfect solution for communicating 3D content in healthcare and education, especially while options for physical gatherings are limited.

Internal remote collaborations are facilitated with a single click by storing a project database on a network drive or institutionally approved cloud storage drive of one’s choice. If users want to collaborate externally, they can export an Elucis project and share it with their collaborators through secure means of their choosing.

To maximise security of information, the telemetry facilitating the remote interactions never contains image or 3D structure data, and voice communication is always encrypted. Personal health information and image data are maintained entirely within the custody of users at all times.

Justin Sutherland, chief executive officer and co-founder of Realize Medical, said: “It’s widely recognised that exceptional healthcare is facilitated by a collaborative approach and the pandemic has forced us to get creative about how we communicate and share content with one another.”

“Creating 3D models of patient anatomy in Elucis has the potential to enhance patient care but only if that high-quality content can be safely and easily shared with the entire surgical planning team in a meaningful way. With VR collaborative environments, the possibilities are vast. The medium really is the message.”

One example of this collaborative approach is at the Ottawa Hospital where physician users of Elucis connect with each other to create and collaborate in a shared virtual environment, or create a session with Realize Medical experts to be taught its powerful features in a live learning session.

The Covid-19 pandemic has also created the largest disruption of education systems in history. During this time, many educators are turning to tools like virtual reality to help them adapt and keep students engaged.

Sonya Deveau, director of sales and business development at Realize Medical, said: “Research shows we retain more information and can better apply what we have learned after participating in virtual reality exercises.”

“We’re excited to see how remote collaboration in Elucis will further enhance education and student engagement.”

Near-Life secures grant to develop immersive learning software for police training

Near-Life is the recipient of a £240,000 cash boost from Innovate UK to supercharge its immersive police training software with the help of Greater Manchester Police.

The company will use the Innovate UK cash to bring its products to market early next year and eventually target police forces globally.

Based at the University of Bolton in the UK, Near-Life employs 12 members of staff and specialises in delivering immersive technology solutions to support realistic, online learning.

Its technology allows users to experience immersive, role-play style training, which enhances engagement and knowledge retention at a fraction of the cost of traditional scenario-based learning.

The company, founded by Mike Todd and Geseth Garcia in 2015, uses cutting-edge technology to support everyone from international aid workers to ambulance service personnel and business professionals.

The new funding will allow Near-Life to develop enhanced police training to better prepare officers for the complexity of modern policing against a backdrop of continued budget cuts.

The new project will focus on creating more complex, gamified simulation technology to support complex investigations, an area of police training identified as of greatest need.

This will be developed in close partnership with Greater Manchester Police. The initial focus will be on designing a new pilot course in the fight against child sexual exploitation.

Todd said: “With the ongoing pandemic, it’s more critical than ever that organisations are able to access immersive technology that can help deliver realistic, remote training.”

“We have been working closely with Greater Manchester Police to develop this project that will enable officers to better test potential decision-based outcomes around complex investigations, improving problem solving and decision making in a safe learning environment.”

“The technology has the ability to better track performance and learning based outcomes, supporting an improved knowledge base and sharing of best practice.”

With Innovate UK support, the development will be accelerated with the product launch aimed for 2021, two years ahead of schedule.

This will enable Near-Life to offer its software to police forces across the UK as well as those overseas. The technology can also be rolled out to other areas, such as the fire service and the insurance sector.

Garcia added: “Following on from our successful fundraise last year, this is a positive time for the company and it’s an exciting sector to be in.”

“We’re pleased to get the funding which will allow us to scale at a rapid pace and proceed with our ambitions to become a lead provider in interactive immersive learning.”

Superintendent Gareth Parkin from Greater Manchester Police said: “Within Greater Manchester Police, we have a commitment to constantly improving our learning and are always looking to explore the potential of innovative solutions that can help keep our communities safe.”

“The funding from Innovate UK will enable us to work with Near-Life on this pilot project as we look to different ways of how digital simulations can support our work in tackling child sexual exploitation.”

Resonai launches augmented reality app for digital concierge services

Resonai is rolling out Vera Concierge, a groundbreaking mobile app that uses augmented reality and artificial intelligence (AI) to provide digital concierge services to visitors of retail outlets and commercial buildings.

Built on Vera, Resonai’s enterprise platform that transforms any physical space into an intelligent digital environment, Vera Concierge provides personalised assistance, indoor navigation, and context-aware information through a friendly, easy-to-use augmented reality interface.

Emil Alon, chief executive officer and founder of Resonai, said: “Vera enables us to merge the digital and physical worlds so that devices and people operate seamlessly and we can create exciting new experiences for consumers and business.”

“Vera Concierge is a perfect example of the type of application that not only engages end users but also delivers real value to building owners and facilities managers. Once we transform physical spaces into intelligent digital environments, the number of applications we can create is practically limitless.”

Vera Concierge is part of the Vera suite of apps for use within any commercial building. 

Other apps include Vera Universal Controller, which offers a way to manage and control all of a building’s devices from a single, intelligent place, and Vera Maintenance Manager, which uses augmented reality and building intelligence to automate a facility’s maintenance processes and improve the efficiency of its maintenance team.

The apps draw on Vera’s highly accurate 3D semantic understanding of the environment and highly precise positional tracking of users within it.

Building tenants and visitors can use Vera Concierge to check in or register upon their arrival and get personalised, contactless information. The app provides turn-by-turn navigation guiding users to their destinations and offers helpful, context-aware augmented reality content along the way at just the right time and location.

In a retail environment, for example, the app can provide consumers with important product information, deliver engaging, augmented reality-based brand experiences, or simply point out where the restrooms and other facilities are located.

The app provides real-time analytics on traffic flows, user behaviours, product interactions, and other valuable data as consumers move through a store or shopping mall, enabling managers to integrate brick and mortar data with ecommerce data to map the complete buyer journey.

Vera also delivers new monetisation opportunities for building owners by creating new digital real estate that can be monetised through promotions, sponsorships and branding opportunities.