AR/VR trends: military and defense training

Based on the number of VR projects taking center stage for the armed forces, and as projected by Goldman Sachs, the industry is expected to generate $1.4 bn revenues solely from the military, by 2025.

Virtual reality has been adopted by the military, including all three services (army, navy and air force), where it is used for training purposes. This is particularly useful for training soldiers for combat situations or other dangerous settings where they have to learn how to react in an appropriate manner. A VR simulator enables them to do so but without the risk of death or a serious injury. They can re-enact a particular scenario, for example engagement with an enemy in an environment in which they experience this but without the real world risks. This has proven to be safer and less costly than traditional training methods.

For instance, US army has launched Future Holistic Training Environment Live Synthetic (STE — Synthetic Training Environments) project designed to embrace all existing technologies and create an ultimately new training platform. VR simulators allow mastering a vast array of operations, train staff without geographical boundaries, which help to reduce costs on training areas in natural conditions substantially. All objects and equipment are read-made models, and training managers can combine items for any specific purpose. Tactical Augmented Reality (TAR) display, which has been under development for years now, also demonstrates improvements. TAR is designed for soldiers and officers acting in some area: in real-time mode it superimposes information on the physical objects and the environment (descriptions of objects and areas, disposition of friendly forces, etc.).

Use case

A military recruiting unit comes up with an idea to select newcomers according to their abilities demonstrated during a VR training session. A developer makes a call for tender on the Cappasity marketplace and chooses several 360-degree videos for different natural environments for tank driving virtual test. A developer rents the content, tests it in a Sandbox area and chooses what best suits the purpose. Then he buys required videos and, probably, signs a contract with the content creator for further cooperation.