How VR is changing the training experience

How VR is changing the training experience
The UK police and fire service are currently using Reality in Virtual Reality’s (RiVR) systems to train recruits in situations that they previously could not experience.

The applications of virtual reality are becoming more and more prevalent in the world of work, with companies and governmental bodies making use of the technology to provide a new experience for employees and consumers.

The system, comprised of creating photorealistic scenes that are experienced through a VR headset show scenes of fire damage and crime scenes that allow recruits to experience real world situations that were previously impossible to simulate, from a variety of angles.

RiVR’s system is being used to allow fire service personnel to study blazes with photorealistic VR, gaining understanding of how a fire spreads in real time.   

Alex Harvey, creative director at RiVR said “The RiVR system is in two parts, there’s the physical side which you play in VR and the software side of it. Within that software, you can go first person, birds eye view or third person, spin round the character.”

“It records every single movement in the cloud when the person is being trained, but it doesn’t just record the view that’s being looked at, you can pull down the video and it’s like an interactive video that you can pause at any point and spin round the replay. It’s not just a replay that’s been recorded on a 2D screen.”

The system makes use of ‘off the shelf’ hardware such as standard VR headsets in combination with HP machines running i5 or i7 processors and a 1080i graphics card as well as RiVR’s own software.

“We’ve been closely working with HP and Intel. HP give us a line-up of their machines from the smallest compact to the fastest and biggest.”

“That allows us to say to the police force and fire brigade: ‘what’s more important to you? Size or power?’ They might want it to do other things, like stream to multiple headsets if they want multiplayer capabilities, but most of the fire service have been choosing to have small, compact units that sit in the corner of a room. “

RiVR have also found an interest for VR technology in the travel industry, with VR setups being used to ‘preview’ travel options. 

“We’ve already done a setup for TUI Holidays. We installed headsets in their shops around the UK and we’ve filmed 360 video on their cruise ships and aeroplanes as well as providing customers with a view of the cabin and premium class before they actually book in the shops.”

“It’s hard sometimes for consumers to get into VR, that’s going to take a lot longer, but industry, retail and commercial applications are definitely happening, there’s  a lot of people wanting it now.”

Read the full analysis here - Virtual Blazes: How VR can change firefighter training