Testing FlockPod | Main | Virtual Reality Driving at I/ITSEC

November 28, 2007

I/ITSEC 2007 Thoughts

I am attending the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation & Education Conference (I/ITSEC) in Orlando this week. This is the first time I have attended I/ITSEC and it is quite an impressive show. I have captured some short videos and a number of pictures of the event to give those who have never been here a sense of what it is like.

Last year more than 16,000 people attended this conference. According to the latest update, it looks like that record will be broken this year. The scale is a bit overwhelming at first and I am glad I wore comfortable shoes.

Perhaps the most striking aspect of what I have seen is increasing levels of integrated simulation. The video below, shows sea, air, and ground units engaged in a single mission. Each sees a different view of the scene but their actions update what the others are seeing in real-time. On the show floor they are all located next to each other but in a real training scenario, they could all be in different physical locations. The soldier firing rounds in the "shoothouse" is in a very small version of what they would typically use. Notice that the simulated gunner in the helicopter has the least realistic "prop" but to him it is the most realistic view through his virtual reality goggles (he is on the platform behind the soldier). Finally, the guys on the patrol boat are seeing the same scene from a distance. While not captured in this video, the helicopter flew over the ship and we could see that the helicopter gunner was looking down on the boat and the helicopter flew by on the screens surrounding the patrol boat.

In a different booth, a demonstration showed how a motion tracking suit , combined with VR goggles allows a soldier to be inserted into any environment. The screen you can see at the end shows the audience what the soldier sees through the goggles.

The following simulator gave me the most visceral reaction in thinking about the dangers our troops constantly face. This particular simulator allows warfighters to practice a rapid egress from an overturned Humvee while under fire.

More updates to come.

Posted by Rovy at November 28, 2007 9:24 PM