The Navy recently selected Bohemia Interactive Simulations to develop new air crew technology that leverages virtual and augmented reality to provide shorter and more cost-effective pilot training, said one company official.
The Orlando, Florida-based global software firm, also known as BISim, will be developing both augmented reality head-mounted displays and virtual reality part-task trainers, or VR-PTTs, said John Burwell, vice president of business development. Part-task trainers allow students to focus on specific tasks or skills.
The systems aim to train pilots to fly the service's fleet of McDonnell Douglas T-45 trainer aircraft. McDonnell Douglas merged with Boeing in the 1990s. The contract is worth $500,000, Burwell said.
While using the systems, an operator will reach to push a switch or press a computer-simulated button. BISim is developing software to "trick" the user into believing they have completed a physical action while in augmented reality, Burwell said.
"When you reach out in the proper way and your fingers get to the proper positions to where they should be to touch these virtual surfaces, we make them change color and we play an audible click," he said. "It kind of fools your head into thinking...