IMMERSIVE TRAINING AND SIMULATION EXPERIENCES COMBINING VR/AR WITH PRACTICAL SPECIAL EFFECTS FOR THE MILITARY AND FIRST RESPONDERS
Monty Lunde, the pioneer of the themed entertainment industry’s professional association (TEA) and co-founder and CEO/President of Technifex, Inc, a leading supplier of special effects for immersive entertainment, has launched a new entity, Technifex XR, providing immersive extended reality technology for training and simulations to military personnel and first responders.
Technifex, Inc. has been designing practical training and simulation experiences for over a decade. Commissioned by the Department of Defense, Technifex engineered and fabricated an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) training simulator that included a physical Humvee situated on a 6DOF motion base, 270 degree wrap around projection screen and a myriad of physical, lighting and audio special effects. Technifex has also designed and produced elements for the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Hazmat training area, in Santa Clarita, California. Real fire, explosions, steam and water were used to simulate a real-life gas tanker truck and trailer accident, thus advancing the fire department’s ability to train personnel on systems that closely and safely approximate reality.
“Technifex XR was formed to add value to society by enabling military personnel and first responders to become better prepared for the challenges they face on a daily basis. Developing training and simulation systems for government agencies is a natural off-shoot of the work Technifex’ brain trust of designers, engineers, and craftspeople do for the theme park and entertainment sectors,” commented Monty Lunde, Technifex XR Founder.
Technifex XR produces immersive virtual and practical training and simulation experiences that activate the senses – sight, sound, touch, smell, and motion. To this end, Technifex XR has designed and prototyped a Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) VR training environment. With the addition of an array of physical effects that complement the VR based training system, participants feel they are in an actual war zone. A motion base (floor) provides movement and replicates the shock waves of explosive blasts, vibration from heavy ground vehicles or overhead aircraft, thus completely immersing trainees in a battle scenario. Virtual reality headsets provide visual and auditory input, while wind, rain, mist, heat blasts and other atmospheric effects physically batter trainees, further enhancing the reality of the training environment. Designed by Technifex XR, in concert with expert military consultants, this virtual training system is portable, versatile and highly visceral. The entire 20’x30’ transportable training system can be set up quickly and operationally in almost any space. With monitors placed above, non-participant military personnel can watch and learn in real-time.
Other XR experiences are in development including a parachute freefall trainer and an ejection seat trainer. More info at www.technifexXR.com