Miller-McCune went inside the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) and came out armed with information on new trainers and simulators helping U.S. troops.
The center is hard at work on fleshing out (get it?) virtual human technology, which the piece’s author states “will most certainly be used in many training and educational roles” in the future. The technology will also inevitably make its way to consumer-based videogames, at least according to ICT’s Bill Swartout, who thinks we will all be talking to our games and “interacting with people who’re talking back” eventually.
One of the ICT’s latest creations is the Mobile Counter-IED Interactive Trainer (MCIT). As shown in the embedded video, the trainer, housed in trailers (hence, mobile) lets users train on both sides of the “game,” both as soldier’s looking to spot IEDs and insurgent’s trying to figure out the best place to plant them.
MCIT has only been in use since last summer, so there’s no measure of its effectiveness as of yet, but it was reported that soldiers returning from Iraq, upon seeing the trainer, expressed a wish that they had been able to partake in that kind of training before being deployed.
ICT’s Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Assessment and Treatment (PTSD) “recycles” graphics from the tactical training game Full Spectrum Warrior in order to relive combat scenarios that may have scarred them with a hope that the immersion will allow them to “therapeutically process emotions and decondition the effects of the disorder.” Reportedly 75 percent of those undergoing PTDS therapy, in clinical trials anyway, benefitted from the experience
A handful of other training and therapeutic techs are detailed on the Miller McCune website.