The Expanding Use of Virtual Reality in the Military

Virtual Reality (VR) has strong roots in the military. Long used for training and simulations, the military has helped develop VR technology and continues to innovate in how it can be used. VR continues to be invaluable to tactical, mission training but is also being used in other training areas. For example, the Virtual Welder Trainer program simulates multiple welding processes, blending real world and computer-generated images into a VR environment to allow welders to train without having to use real world resources. Just as flight simulators save money in terms of aircraft use, other virtual reality in military training applications provide similar cost savings in terms of equipment and travel.

Designing and Maintaining Military Equipment

VR is being utilized in all aspects of equipment management. In the design phase, VR can help engineers test designs in combat environments. It can also help determine if a piece of equipment designed for one scenario might work in another and what changes would have to be made to ensure products can operate in a desert environment as well as in cold and rainy climates. Continue reading

Virtual Reality Making a Real Impact Across Government

Training has been an early application of virtual reality (VR) in government. In fact, in a recent survey, 50% of public safety professionals report using virtual reality as a training mode in their organizations. Today, the use of the technology is extending far beyond training and into operations. VR is increasing in use across the federal government as a new way to conduct medical treatment and even warfighting. Continue reading

Virtual is a Reality…but is it Virtual Reality?

The past year has seen us living with the reality of virtual. Video calls, online meetings, streamed events - the majority of our connections have happened through a screen. While this is our current reality it is not virtual reality in the truest sense. By definition, virtual reality (VR) is being completely immersed in a world that is simulated. Augmented reality (AR) allows a user to move around in the real world while interacting with virtual elements (think Pokemon Go). What we've called "virtual" during the pandemic does not fit these exact criteria but our comfort interacting with a screen and the related technologies does pave the way for virtual and augmented reality solutions to become part of daily work and life.

Continue reading

Mixing Virtual and Real-World Experiences at Events

We've talked about the impact Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are having in government work, but the technologies also stand to make a huge difference in the events world. This opens up new possibilities for learning and interaction. Currently, VR is being introduced into events as entertainment -- an add-on experience to networking and gala dinners. AI is being used behind the scenes to expedite event logistics. Soon, both technologies will make their way further into events and change how attendees interact with the event and each other.

  • International Collaboration - Google is testing a new speech-to-speech translation technology, Translatotron, which would enable real-time translation at events. Through headsets, attendees would hear a close approximation of the speaker's voice in their selected language in near real-time. The AI translation can run as long as people are willing to talk and listen. Events could use this two-way communication technology for general session Q&A as well as one-on-one networking.
  • Accessibility - AI and VR are reimagining sign language interpretation. HoloHear uses Microsoft HoloLens goggles to show a signing virtual reality figure. This augmented reality helps the deaf maintain focus on the speaker, on-stage visuals, and the translator.
  • Training - While face-to-face interaction will continue to be a huge part of events and training, VR-led training is being introduced to tackle a number of more "challenging interpersonal scenarios" where in-person training might be uncomfortable.
  • More realistic experience - An event is a great place to get hands-on with a product, but it may not be the best place to truly experience a product. This article illustrates how using VR can put people in the ideal atmosphere. For example, the reaction someone may have to drinking an expensive champagne may be different if they are looking around a noisy tradeshow floor versus being immersed in a VR experience at a five-star restaurant. Building the right atmosphere for the initial product experience may lead to a better reception and reaction.

We'd love to hear from you! What are some applications of VR and AI you've seen at events? Share your thoughts in the comments. Visit GovEvents for more government events worldwide.

Putting the F-U-N back in Learning Fundamentals

We all know we should seek out training and growth opportunities and most of us truly want to grow and learn. However, the process of finding and participating in professional development can feel onerous and boring. Fortunately, this does not need to be the case. A simple shift in thinking can "spark joy" in the professional development process.

Find the Easy Button - Of course we're biased, but we like to think GovEvents is an easy button for finding training. We created this site to be a central hub for finding events applicable to growing careers and organizations in the government market. Use our search engine to narrow down your search by topic, location, continuing education credits, and more. Beyond us, reach out to your HR department. Those teams put in a lot of work developing in-house training and career development opportunities. Bottom line - tap into the research others have already done to find your perfect training match. Continue reading