Training simulations have existed for many years, as pilots can attest to. However, the advent of modern virtual reality (VR) allows for the creation of much more immediate and immersive training simulations, which have been shown to improve training outcomes. China is aiming to use that technology to improve the training given to its military forces.
The VR training system has been developed by the state-owned China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), and has been named the Intelligent Commando VR Training System.
The system allows trainees to carry out combat drills on virtual battlefields, alongside either real teammates or AI avatars, according to report by Sohu. By donning the VR headset, military trainees will be presented with a battlefield simulation that has been designed to ‘meet the command and tactical challenges facing armed forces of the future’.
The system comes equipped with something described as a ‘confrontation mode’ and a review feature, so the performance of the trainees can be analysed after the simulation to identify points of improvement.
“In order to make the system better simulate real battle environments and missions, we have integrated a number of key technologies including large space positioning technology, optical and inertial navigation sensor interaction space positioning technology, the technology to rapidly construct virtual scenes based on geographical information, as well as the technology to assess combat drills based on machine learning,” said Wu Zhenfeng, vice director of the 28th Research Institute of the CETC.
The US military have also been experimenting with immersive technology to train its armed forces, using AR technology as a cheaper and safer substitute for live-fire exercises. VR simulations have also seen use by military pilots. The British Army has even used the Oculus Rift for recruitment.