Army 360:
Immersive Cultural Simulation

The Immersive Cultural Simulation (ICS) training application is a fully immersive cultural experience powered by InVisM's award-winning RealityV™ technology. Winner of Best Technology for 2008 by Military Electronics, RealityV™ delivers a combination of 360° video and emotionally charged high-definition video to put trainees inside the scene of various cultural scenarios.

Challenge:

There is a growing need for the U.S. military to rapidly and effectively train soldiers by increasing their awareness and knowledge of foreign cultures — particularly in the Middle East. When Intelligence Gaming was selected to deliver a training solution to the U.S. military, it set out with the following goals:

  • Safely exposing soldiers to real-world cultural situations that involve stress, emotion, and require life or death decision-making.
  • Preparing personnel who may potentially face real world situations to become situationally aware of their surroundings.
  • Enabling military leadership with the ability to assess a soldiers' readiness prior to their tour of duty in a foreign culture.

At the beginning, it was immediately recognized that existing serious game technology and computer-generated avatars could not adequately convey the subtleties of human gesture and expression required on this project. As a result, ARMY360 a platform based on InVisM’s award winning RealityV™ technology, was chosen to deliver an experience second only to "being there." Using established, time-proven training methods, ARMY360 exposes trainees to an accurate recreation through immersive 360º video and high definition (HD) live-action that invokes stress and places trainees in the position to have to make spontaneous and difficult decisions. Additionally, trainees must be sensitive to recognizing signs of danger and take appropriate action, the result of which can have severe consequences to the continuation of the scenario.

Solution:

Fusing together a combination of 360º video with HD live-action supported by eight channels of dimensional binaural audio, users are placed inside the scene. When supported by a Head Mounted Display (HMD) and motion tracker, users maintain intuitive control of the environmental perspective as they turn their head providing various points of view of their surroundings. Additionally, the scenarios use character actors and is based on documented real-world scenarios. At the end of each scenario learning point, the video pauses and the user must make limited time-allotted decisions. Depending on their answers, ICS branches to a consequence-based outcome related to the decision made and maintains a score of the player's performance. Additionally, the culmination of decisions made throughout the training results in multiple endings

Benefits:

  • Unlike conventional serious game technology, the training methodology effectively reveals the micro expressions and subtle body language of the scenario's characters.
  • The application collects valuable psychometric data that is used to assess a soldier's preparedness for the challenges of serving in a hostile, foreign country. Just some of the important questions to answered are:

    • Do personnel understand the cultural sensitivities of the foreign country?
    • Do they react well under pressure?
    • Do they have the right disposition to operate in stressful situations?
  • This type of virtual reality simulation training is an immense contribution towards saving the lives of our military forces and civilians.
  • The solution can be deployed via the Internet or on a stand alone computer, enabling effective training in distributed or remote operational areas.
  • Overall, it serves as a highly effective training method. User immersion in an environment populated with real-to-life characters provides as close to living a real experience as one can get.
Army 360 logo
Best Electronic Design 2008
Immersive Cultural Simulation
Immersive Cultural Simulation Afghanistan training module
ICS screenshot
ICS screenshot