5 Pioneering Virtual and Mixed Reality Training Solutions
Simulators have been used for training different kinds of pilots and vehicle operators for decades. They offer great visuals and an immersive training experience, which enables trainees to effectively hone their skills. However, traditional simulators are expensive, their portability is nonexistent, and have limited scalability as a solution.
Simulators using virtual and mixed reality headsets are rapidly changing this, offering the same kind of immersive training experience with added portability, a lower price tag, and thus better scalability.
In this blog post, we look at 5 examples of immersive training solutions using Varjo headsets, and how they are changing the way simulator training is conducted.
1. Lufthansa Aviation Training Accelerates Commercial Pilot Training with XR
Lufthansa Aviation Training is the flight academy subsidiary of Lufthansa and a leading full-service provider of commercial pilot training. Every year, they train more than 700 pilots across six different training centers.
Training in a real aircraft is still the best method of training commercial pilots, but as the number of aircraft and instructors is limited, the number of pilots that can be trained and the frequency of instruction are relatively low. This makes new technologies that can complement training extremely useful.
The search for new technologies led Lufthansa to explore mixed reality simulator solutions with BRUNNER and Varjo. The result was a better simulator experience that will help pilot trainees reach their targets quicker, become more professional, and do it at a lower cost, in a more environmentally friendly way.
2. Finnish Air Force Explores the Future of Pilot Training with LVC and Mixed Reality
The Finnish Air Force continuously seeks to deploy the most effective technologies to provide the best possible fighter pilot training. As technologies improve, the competence requirements for pilots are also changing. Cognitive skills are becoming more important as pilot trainees must manage different systems simultaneously, detect and analyze essential elements, and make decisions at a fast pace. But how does one effectively and realistically simulate this cognitive load as pilots train for complex air operations?
The need to answer this question led the Finnish Air Force, Varjo, Patria and Bohemia Interactive Simulations to collaborate on a pioneering Live-Virtual-Constructive (LVC) training solution. The innovative project shows how virtual simulation can augment live exercises and unlock new training possibilities.
3. FlightSafety International Provides Mixed Reality Pilot Training for the Highest Security Environments
FlightSafety International (FSI) is the leading provider of pilot training services to the general aviation, corporate, military, and commercial airline markets. They work with high-profile customers, including the US Military, and manufacture some of the most advanced flight simulation solutions on the market. To meet the demands of these demanding clients, they’ve adopted the Varjo Focal Edition mixed reality headset to enhance their flight simulation.
Consumer-oriented headsets struggle to meet the security requirements of these security-conscious clients, making it hard to employ them in certain kinds of simulators. However, thanks to the security-conscious approach of Varjo headsets and the ability to produce them with full TAA compliance – and even disable radio signals entirely – FSI’s simulation solution can be deployed even in locations that have the strictest of security requirements.
4. MVRsimulation Uses Eye Tracking to Create More Accurate Pilot Performance Reviews
In live pilot training exercises, the instructor can only assess the training mission based on its outcome. A lot of the subtle actions and reactions of the trainee can remain in the dark. For example – is the pilot’s attention where needed during critical nanoseconds?
VR and XR simulator training with integrated eye tracking allows the instructor to review the trainee’s real-time performance in a highly accurate way. To expand on that capability, MVRsimulation integrated a real-time eye tracking visualization capability for their simulators. The real-time visualization gives instructors the ability to review the pilot’s eye-gaze and head movement throughout air-to-air and air-to-ground simulated training exercises.
5. FORCE Technology Achieves a Thousandfold Cost Reduction in Maritime Training with VR and XR
FORCE Technology is a global leader in the maritime simulation space that provides training to employees of the biggest naval companies in the world. They offer cutting-edge ship bridge simulators and are always looking to advance the training technology further. As maritime training shares many of the same challenges as pilot training, it led them to partner with Varjo to explore how the next generation of naval simulation could be built.
Simulators have many benefits over training with actual vessels: you can practice maneuvers that are hard or impossible to train with real vessels, the operating expense is much lower due, and you can easily implement different weather conditions. They are not without drawbacks, though. They typically cost around 1-10 million dollars per unit, they need large facilities, and the portability is practically nonexistent, so training volumes and cost savings are limited.
Now, FORCE Technology is bringing about a second generational shift in maritime training with the help of Varjo’s virtual and mixed reality. The new simulator solution leverages Varjo headsets to achieve major portability benefits and a thousandfold cost reduction.