Virtual and Augmented Reality

FWD News: Defence and Emergency Training with Simulation Games

Demonstration of Virtual Tiny TownSimulation games are a popular tool in defence and other related sector, as demonstrated recently by NATO’s Allied Command Transformation. This innovation branch of NATO has developed Boarders Ahoy!, a virtual world game used to improve ship boarding skills for military operations.

As part of the game, users practice such drills as isolating the crew of the virtual ship, checking identification and searching some of the 250 searchable objects. “It’s based on requirements from the field that will help the people do the job they do every day, which is training sailors and airmen,” said Wayne Buck, modeling and simulation analyst with the Command and project manager for Boarders Ahoy! Read More...

FWD News: Virtual Reality a Key Asset in Psychology and Rehabilitation

Virtual Relaity Stroke RehabilitationVirtual reality is a field where researchers are only beginning to explore the full possibilities. A world where anything is possible could theoretically be a tool in an unlimited number of situations. Several active studies in virtual reality are making some significant findings, showing that immersive computer simulations have the potential to help in the treatment of certain psychological problems, assist patients in physical and neurological rehabilitation and even serve as a pain reliever.

Experts at the Cyberpsychology Lab of the University of Quebec in Outaouais, in Gatineau, Canada, have been studying various psychology applications to virtual reality since 2000. Led by Dr. Stéphane Bouchard, the Lab is currently working on a series of projects evaluating the power of immersive technology in such areas as gambling prevention, anxiety and panic disorders. Read More...

IBM Introduces Innov8 2.0 as Significant Business Tool

A View from Inside Innov8 2.0On May 5, 2009, IBM announced the release of the second generation of its serious game Innov8. The online 3D simulation game offers a new global "collaboration feature", letting players work within a virtual team to progress through the game. Thanks to this new teaming capability, Innov8 is finding uses outside university classrooms to become an educational tool for businesses.

Innov8 2.0 features three additional scenarios that reflect significant needs in today’s businesses. To learn about environmental considerations, players will evaluate a traditional supply chain model to reduce their company's carbon footprint. Another scenario will have players evaluating existing traffic patterns, re-routing traffic based on sensor alerts of disruptions such as accidents and roadway congestion. And the last will have players using a call centre environment to develop more efficient ways to respond to customers. Read More...

University to Offer Course Within Second Life

Manchester Metropolitan University LogoManchester Metropolitan University will begin offering a virtual course through the platform of Second Life in September of 2009. Online classes are frequently utilized by universities to assist distance learners using webcams and chatrooms, but the Film and Media course at MMU will be offered almost entirely in the virtual environment developed by Linden Labs.

The content of the course lends itself to Second Life, says Paul Booth, a lecturer at MMU. "The Media Collaboration syllabus is designed to be contained within the virtual world; all exercises use a combination of real world skills and in-world production and distribution." However, the class will meet twice in "real life." Read More...