The defense sector has had a significant impact on the history of virtual reality. In the 1960s, one of the first VR projects was created for a US military combat system. Features of Virtual reality have long played an important role in the military, and it has been embraced by all three branches: army, navy, and air force. Although it is most commonly employed for army training, VR has a variety of other applications.
The following are features of virtual reality used in military and defense;
1. Simulator Technology
Virtual reality is finding a larger application in the military in the field of training. The military’s motivation for exploring and employing virtual reality technology in their training is primarily to limit exposure to risks and boost stealth (Herrero and de Antonio 2005). For the basic reason that there can be no “on-the-job training” in conflict, simulation of reality is crucial for the military and one of the amazing features of virtual reality. It can be tough to show the real-world mental and physical obstacles of military life to military personnel at times. In such cases, it becomes necessary to alter the reality in some way. Features of virtual reality where military-specific virtual reality apps might come in handy.
One of the most essential aspects of VR-based simulation is that it provides a safe environment in which to do a variety of dangerous and challenging actions that would be difficult to perform in real life on actual equipment. Virtual reality allows users to mimic equipment failure, adverse weather, or any other unforeseen circumstance. All of this is accomplished without inflicting any harm to individuals or equipment.
Features of virtual reality aid in the preparation of pilots for emergency situations. In the year 2003, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) published an important paper titled “Virtual Reality: State of Military Research and Applications in Member Countries.” The man-machine interface, also known as human-computer interaction, has been highlighted as the “key to the efficacy of virtual reality for military purposes.”
Military personnel must be able to use VR sensory display devices and reaction devices to carry out their responsibilities and objectives. These gadgets must present an environment that has the necessary cues and reactions for learning and performing military activities. Determine the perceptual capabilities and limitations of sensory display devices; design terrain databases and other displays to meet task performance needs; understand the human and task performance compromises required by current technologies; evaluate the transfer of training and knowledge from the virtual to the real world, and consider the causes and solutions to virtual reality simulator sickness.
2. Medical Applicability
In the world of medicine, virtual reality offers a lot of potentials, especially in the areas of picture-guided surgery. In today’s medical science, virtual reality approaches are growing more appealing. Computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are two of the most regularly utilized VR methods in medicine. An MRI scan is a technology that uses a magnetic field to produce pictures of a bodily structure.
This method is incredibly helpful when it comes to illness dictation. A CT/CAT scan, or computerized axial tomography, combines several X-ray pictures to construct a cross-sectional/three-dimensional depiction of a region of the body, which aids in an illness diagnosis. These are amazing features of virtual reality.
For many years, X-rays have been the most used method of medical imaging. In the realm of medical imaging, the introduction of the computer ushered in a revolution. Imaging methods have advanced greatly in complexity over the previous several years, and can now give clinicians high-quality three-dimensional pictures demonstrating not just normal anatomy and disease, but also vascularity and function. The capacity to not only register pictures produced from multiple imaging modalities amongst themselves, but also to register them to the patient, is a significant aspect of image-guided surgery (IGS) advancements.
The capacity to follow instruments in real time during the process and present them as part of a realistic picture of the operating volume is another critical feature of IGS. The employment of stereoscopic and virtual-reality methods can help with visualizing. These approaches are also very useful in spinal and orthopedic applications. Such procedures are highly effective in military services, where energy is largely important and different from regular mishaps (battlefield injuries and damages near the human body are different than typical occurrences).
3. Engineering Designing
Apart from simulator training, VR and its affiliated branches are useful in a variety of other sectors that are directly or indirectly related to the military. One such field is engineering design. VR might have a wide range of applications, from the defense sector to local workshops at various military establishments. VR might aid in the creation of prototypes for a variety of devices. VR/AR offers a broader range of applications in the manufacture, maintenance, and repair of military equipment. Instead of opening many maintenance manuals to solve difficulties with a new or unfamiliar piece of equipment, an augmented reality display might be useful.
Virtual reality technologies have shown to be useful in consumer design. 18 Virtual reality technology is gaining popularity within the military due to cost and safety concerns. Virtual reality technology may be used to evaluate conceptual ideas for combat systems or maintenance platforms at a low cost and with amazing features of virtual reality. The technique enables design testing without the need for a physical prototype. This saves time in terms of technological development. Another area where virtual reality might assist improve army systems is battlefield visualization.
Battlefield visualization is not only an important part of the training process, but it is also necessary for formulating real-time fighting plans. Military personnel may now examine a three-dimensional representation of a region by viewing it from any angle while devising tactics and checking for potential logistical challenges using VR devices.
4. Maritime Applications
Apart from aircraft, these features of virtual reality are also utilized to create simulators for land vehicles and aquatic vehicles. Simulators can into a variety of kinds, ranging from a single vehicle to a system that allows for complicated training missions with several players playing multiple roles. For the army, unique equipment is available that trains soldiers to operate specialized vehicles such as tanks or heavily armored vehicles. Training can also be done by simulating hazardous weather conditions or tough terrain, such as an urban battle setting. Furthermore, networked simulations have been created to allow users to take part in complicated war scenarios.
The Navy has somewhat differing technological requirements for simulators. Because there are no windows to the outside world in sub-marine simulators, the realistic requirements of ‘environment’ and ‘terrain’ are of little importance. What matters is that the crew receives accurate instrument readings as they move through the simulation. However, creating a sensation of immersion as much as possible by physically replicating a diving or surfacing technique is also vital.
These are amazing features of virtual reality used in military and defense.