As soon as the term “virtual reality” (VR) became more than just a distant concept from a sci-fi book or movie, the military was first in the line for getting the VR technology into action. The potential of reducing the cost of combat training was just too huge to remain untouched.
Along with entertainment, the military was one of the first industries that invested an awful lot of money into the development of virtual reality applications, VR headsets, and VR platforms. That also played a significant role in the advancement of VR technologies worldwide.
Since virtual reality allows for more than just “theory” training in a risk-free environment, it can be used for almost any kind of training – from firing exercises to a full-scale combat mission simulation in Arctic’s.
When it comes to investing, as a rough estimate, the U.S. spends approximately 14 billion dollars on so-called “synthetic” training every year.That is a massive amount of money to be spent on something that was just a futuristic idea three decades ago.
So, why don’t we take a closer look at why virtual reality became so popular, how exactly VR is used for soldier training, and what benefits and drawbacks it has to date?
Three Major Examples of using VR in the military
Advanced ground vehicle simulators
Virtual reality technologies allow soldiers to experience any type of vehicle in a far more immersive and realistic way than using your good old mouse and keyboard or even a driving simulator wheel. Created by a team of scientists, military-type VR vehicle simulators constitute a complex platform that can recreate such things as the shape and feel of the vehicle, its maneuverability on various terrain types and behavior under different weather conditions. Besides that, a soldier can navigate environments native to any part of the world, including the reconstructed settlements of any sort.
VR boot camp experience
The gaming industry has greatly influenced military training. As it was becoming more and more popular, the military also started to adopt gaming practice as a way to train their soldiers, many of which grew up playing video games.
Although the first military games were played on regular consoles, they allowed future soldiers to learn lots of techniques and strategies that can be applied in real-life combat scenarios.
Unfortunately, many of the real-life military training types involve a certain degree of risk. Whether it’s parachute jumping or heavy artillery exercises, fatal accidents still occur from time to time.
However, with the help of virtual reality, soldiers can be placed into a risk-free environment, which will let them safely carry out any combat drills without any harm whatsoever.
Prof. Vijaykumar Naik Pawar