Virtual Combat Training comes closer to Reality {22}

by Miguel M
The article that I chose to talk about in this blog is about the new virtual training aid called “VirTra”. VirTra stands for Virtual Training which is used through military and commercial training. Now I used this article for this blog because it reminds me of the emphasis of project initiation because when this system was built it identified the markets that the system wanted to be used in. According to PC magazine “VirTra Systems markets combat, marksmanship, and situational awareness/judgmental firearms training systems to military agencies such as the U.S. Air Force, and to national and international law enforcement agencies” (PR Newswire 2004). The beauty of this program is that it can use all five senses to create a near-realistic experience whether it is a shooting experience or a flying experience. The goal of this is being able to make a very costly and dangerous experience cheap and safe. Now the beauty of these systems is that they cover a range of plans from economical to a fully immersed and high-tech plan; they have an electronic style range where you shoot at a projection from afar with electronic weapons and there is also the full 300 degrees virtual realm.
Now, the amazing thing about this technology is that it is all done without any headsets. This capability is provided to them with their acquisition of the Immersa-Dome technology, which keep in mind that it only works with the 300 degree option. According to PR Newswire, “VirTra Systems’ Immersa-Dome is the world’s first-ever individual, multi-sensory, projection-based virtual reality system. The Immerse-Dome utilizes a domed-shaped screen, which comfortably surrounds the viewer and delivers a high-resolution virtual reality experience without a headset. Through the unique design, the Immersa-Dome offers an amazing view of a photorealistic environment with resolution and field-of-view nearly equaling human vision itself” (PR Newswire 2004). Now this kind of technology is a big leap to what we currently have because the way this system works is quite phenomenal because in a matter of a few years the technology has blown up into a real amazing level. According to Bob Ferris, VirTra System’s President says, “Furthermore, real-time tracking of the trainee allows more natural interaction within the environment. Essentially, this technology enables trainees to look around corners or over cover, and brings us one step closer to holographic or “holo-deck” type simulation conceptualized by the popular Star Trek television series.” (PR Newswire 2007)
The floor of the V-300 model functions as the center of the arena so as the character moves through the scenario and the beauty of this training aid is it can be used in multiple ways as you can use the inner screens and the outside screens so there can be five lines of fires being used at one time. Now with the smelling aspect of the training, in an emergency scenario with burning rubble, the scent can be replicated and produced in the building so it creates a real virtual reality to any trainee using the simulator. With the feeling sense the weapons being used during the simulator create a recoil feel to it and you also get magazines to use to reload. The visual aspect of this training aid is that with the Immersa-Dome I creates a realistic world as close to the real thing and with the editing aid it provides the instructor can create a variety of scenarios ranging from an Iraqi showdown to a standoff in an airport, the program allows you to choose a scenario that is already programmed or a random scenario that they want to create.
This is also one of the best tools to use for training because when it comes to combat training they always emphasize to train as you fight and what better way to create a virtual world that is the same as their real world. Also what this creates for the trainees is confidence in their abilities to react on any scenario they may encounter because it may be a possibility that they encounter it in the real world, it also creates a sense of enjoyment of their time spent in training because when people enjoy their training they remember their training more vividly and without hesitation. Now even though this may seem to people like a game it is that but it is more than just a game it is a good practice tool and one of the cheapest and safest way to train our police forces and combat arms forces. read more...

Project Management in Virtual Teams {10}

by Kevin F

In the scope of most corporate IT departments, one will find a plethora of projects that are being proposed, currently in progress, and being monitored for their ROI.  This is due to the fact that IT system design and implementation is unique to the needs and priorities of each situation.  As a result, PM, or project management, is an essential skill for anyone who is considering a career in IT.  The emergence of an increasing number of virtual team environments challenges the traditional PM approach, which has initiated an array of new research projects aimed at addressing this issue. read more...

Should we be learning NoSQL? {3}

by Shigom H
Last week, Hitachi visited Cal Poly Pomona and asked during the MISSA meeting if anyone could define a “cloud”.  A ” cloud” which relates to NoSQL, may benefit businesses because it offers an efficient and costly route to storing data on virtual servers.   NoSQL is a non-relational database approach to storing large amounts of data. An example of  database management systems that utilize this approach are MongoDB, Cassandra, HyperTable, CouchDB and Hadoop. In “10 things you should know about NoSQL databases” Guy Harrison does a quick analysis of  the advantages and disadvantages associated with a NoSQL database. read more...