The Reality Wire features Varjo, VRM Switzerland, BUNDLAR, the University of Central Florida, Inpixon and Visualix
Varjo and VRM Switzerland VR simulator receives EASA approval
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has for the first time officially qualified a virtual reality-based training solution for aviation training. Developed and built by VRM Switzerland, the helicopter pilot simulator features the latest virtual reality headset from Varjo, VR-3, as well as unique technology developed by the Swiss flight training solution provider.
What does this mean for trainee pilots?
With the first EASA-approved virtual reality simulator, pilots can now have the virtual training time credited to their flight training as well as benefit from the high training value and flexibility of the immersive solution.
Since the qualification is done directly by the aviation authority, any customers of VRM Switzerland can start using the virtual reality training solution without further national certification, according to EASA regulations.
This enables flight schools and helicopter companies to use the latest technology to increase flight safety, to offer more cost-effective training solutions, and to train in a more environmentally friendly way, at any time.
What did Varjo, VRM Switzerland and EASA say?
Seppo Aaltonen, chief commercial officer at Varjo: “This is a truly pivotal moment for the entire VR/XR industry, proving that immersive simulations can bring very tangible benefits for pilot training. Together with VRM Switzerland, we look forward to providing and scaling cost-effective, photorealistic virtual simulation training to pilots worldwide.”
Fabi Riesen, chief executive officer at VRM Switzerland: “Pilots should receive realistic training on simulators. This allows helicopter operators and flight schools to fly more efficiently and safely. Thanks to our cooperation with the authority, we can offer directly creditable training.”
David Solar, head of general aviation and the vertical takeoff and landing department at EASA: “Virtual reality simulation has been identified as a real enabler and potential game-changer for helicopter training. I’d like to congratulate VRM Switzerland Team for the outstanding work as well as the EASA teams for their commitment to support this qualification, which so far as I’m aware is a first in the world. Well done to all!”
BUNDLAR wins AFWERX SBIR Phase I contract
BUNDLAR’s no-code solution to create, edit, and access augmented reality content, has won an US Air Force AFWERX Small Business Innovation Research Phase I contract.
How will BUNDLAR’s solution be used?
BUNDLAR is working on proposed plans to utilise its augmented reality solution to enhance existing training for service personnel to improve time to proficiency for equipment maintenance procedures and pilot education programmes.
What did BUNDLAR say?
Matthew Wren, co-founder and chief technology officer at BUNDLAR: “The goal here is simple, to improve warfighter safety and effectiveness. Our platform can modernise training materials and allow them to be delivered in a cost effective way, at the scale and speed required by the DoD (US Department of Defense).”
University of Central Florida launches VR tool for PTSD treatment
UCF RESTORES, a not-for-profit trauma research centre and treatment clinic at the University of Central Florida, has developed a virtual reality treatment tool that can be customised to each patient’s traumatic experience, immersing them in the sights, smells and sounds of the original trauma.
The centre is launching a clinical trial to study the effectiveness of this new tool in treatment of adults with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of a traumatic event that occurred in adulthood.
How does UCF RESTORES treat PTSD?
Individuals 18 years of age or older in the US who meet the diagnostic criteria for PTSD are eligible for the study. The treatment programme, including a pre-treatment evaluation, two weeks of treatment, and post-treatment assessments, is available at no cost and hotel accommodations will be provided during the two-week treatment, as needed.
Since 2011, UCF RESTORES has worked to change the way PTSD is understood, diagnosed and treated. The clinic’s approach to treatment—combining exposure therapy, emerging technology, one-on-one and group therapy sessions—has resulted in 66% of participants with combat-related trauma and 76% of first responders no longer meeting the diagnostic criteria for PTSD following three weeks of intensive treatment.
Why did the clinic develop this new virtual reality tool?
The US Department of Defense recognised the high success rate of UCF RESTORES’s treatment and in 2018 awarded the clinic $3 million to develop this enhanced virtual reality tool to address a wider range of traumatic events that could result in PTSD.
Until now, the clinic’s use of virtual reality in treatment has relied on a third-party system with limited customisation of its visual elements for non-combat-related PTSD. The new tool will be used to test the efficacy of UCF RESTORES’s exposure therapy treatment in a further condensed, two-week intensive format.
What did UCF RESTORES say?
Dr Deborah Beidel, executive director at UCF RESTORES: “With this tool in hand, we will be able to dynamically recreate scenarios that are customised to each patient’s unique experience, ultimately helping them process traumatic memories, put them in their place and regain control of their daily lives.”
Inpixon boosts mobile AR capabilities with acquisition of Visualix tech
What do Visualix’s solutions achieve for users?
The solutions leverage patent-pending technologies and a smartphone’s camera and on-board sensors to create 3D models of indoor spaces; position the user on a map with centimeter-level accuracy; provide turn-by-turn, visually-guided navigation; overlay virtual artifacts onto the live map displaying key information, such as room name, amenities, photos or reviews; and make the navigated experience sharable with others.
Why has Inpixon acquired these technologies from Visualix?
Inpixon specialises in capturing, interpreting and giving context to indoor data so it can be translated into actionable intelligence. Its own solutions will be augmented by Visualix’s technologies.
What did Inpixon say?
Soumya Das, chief operating officer at Inpixon: “The Visualix solution’s simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM) algorithms and related technologies can enable map creation and localisation without requiring beacons or external sensors, which can simplify development and deployment.”
“We intend to integrate and leverage these spatial computing and visual positioning technologies to pursue new verticals as well as enhance existing offerings. We believe the technology and talent brought into Inpixon with this transaction will be a game changer that unlocks significant new opportunities in the commercial, industrial and consumer markets.”
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Images: Varjo, VRM Switzerland, BUNDLAR, the University of Central Florida and Inpixon