More than 500 public and private law enforcement and border security officials in the Dallas-Fort Worth area will be on hand to see how virtual reality technology from Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) and Motion Reality Inc. improves training methods with a variety of lifelike scenarios.
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 It is being offered to the law enforcement community as an affordable, 21st century alternative to outdated training practices that do little to replicate real-life situations, says Raytheon.
Personnel from federal, state and county agencies, including the Texas Rangers and the U.S. Marshals Service, will attend daylong demonstrations of VIRTSIM June 4-22 at a Raytheon facility in Plano, Texas.
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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 same efficiencies that soldiers gain from training with VIRTSIM are readily applied to law enforcement,” said Glynn Raymer, vice president of Combat and Sensing Systems for Raytheon’s Network Centric Systems business. “We don’t have people training with joysticks in their hands, but with realistic weapons in a full, tactical movement environment. They come out sweating and with their hearts pounding.”
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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.
Raytheon is a technology company specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world.