Author of this blog is the research scientist on virtual environments:Liu, Huaiyu
With the advent of cloud technologies we now have the capability to stay connected from anywhere, anytime. With the recent changes in my family I want to stay connected, attend conferences, have meetings that are as effective as meeting face to face. I don’t want to miss a piece in the action just because I am not on campus or collaborating from a remote location. I know I am not asking for something impossible. With the current tools my workplace provides I can achieve what I want and still remain remote.
BUT what happens to those organizations that need to plan large and costly training camps or disaster drills, or just fund employee travel and training hours to prepare them for critical situations in the real world?
Think U.S. Army, or first responder teams dealing with natural disasters. I cannot imagine the consequences if a soldier or a first responder are unable to react and make right decisions when it really counts due to lack of training. So now the question arises in my mind if I can use the existing technologies such as virtual worlds for tactical and procedure training, for fast prototyping of training scenarios, and for large scale mission rehearsals/drills. Unfortunately, the answer I found was that it is not possible because of scalability and realism restrictions. For example, the U.S. Army Research Lab was constrained in their use of virtual worlds only for scenarios with a small unit of personnel (typically less than 20 people).
So, Intel Labs decided to team up with U.S. Army Research Lab, to prove more complicated missions and a broader set of training applications could be exercised if virtual worlds provide adequate scalability and simulation realism. See the announcement by clicking here.
Intel Labs has developed technologies to support hundreds of participants to interact in a realistic virtual environment so that Army Research Lab can execute on their goal to provide realistic, immersive mission rehearsal exercises.
Actually, I have a chance to participate in this exercise on March 22nd, 2013 from 3PM to 5PM PST. This exercise is the first step to prove and demonstrate more than 100 users can operate in the same space at the same time to achieve a realistic mission. I am excited to jump into the virtual environment and interact with other players. See here for details about how to join.
So now when this improvement hits the virtual environment platforms it can be applied to numerous workloads ranging from business to fun play. So now I can stay at home to address my family needs and attend to business.
See here for sample of the virtual environment