When disaster strikes, whether in the form of an earthquake or a production plant going up in flames, the actions and decisions of first responders can affect directly the number of lives saved. But how well can anyone prepare for a situation without actually experiencing it?
The answer is quite well, thanks to state-of-the-art VR training programmes, which immerse users into a seemingly real disaster scenario. Background noise, visual and auditory cues create unique settings and incidents which require users to respond to the specific situation. This hands-on approach is far more effective than learning check lists for a number of possible disasters.
VR training is becoming used increasingly because there are many advantages including:
•Safe – trainees can practise real-life skills in a safe environment
•Efficient – individuals and large groups can train alone or together
•Comprehensive – predesigned modules cover all types of situations
•Cost effective – VR training doesn’t require special environments to be built or people to be transported, can be used multiple times and may be offered for free to emergency services
•Tailored – response agencies will be able to tailor open source platforms to suit their requirements, infrastructure and available resources
•Scalable – agencies can train alone or together for a coordinated response with other emergency services
Behind the VR scenes, software drives components such as displays, sensors, images, maps and tracking technology, which link to the hardware (headsets or helmets). A number of IEC technical committees (TCs) and their subcommittees (SCs) produce International Standards and have testing systems which help ensure the reliability, safety, efficiency, interoperability and quality of the components within this technology.
Find out more in our e-tech article: Virtual training for real situations