. 24/7 Space News .
This is not a game: NIST virtual reality aims to win for public safety
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) May 07, 2018

Jack Lewis demonstrates the use of a virtual reality headset and controllers with NIST's virtual office environment (shown on the screen behind him) in which first responders search for a body in a fire. The goal is to spur industry to come up with user interfaces -- visual indicators, sounds, voice commands -- that could be embedded in masks or smart glasses, and use the virtual environment to test their effectiveness.

Virtual reality produces entertaining video games. But it's also a serious training and testing tool. Pilots test their skill with flight simulators, and the military can practice by playing war games, for example.

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) now aim to make virtual reality simulations more of a reality for first responders, enabling firefighters, law enforcement officers and others to learn and practice how to best operate and communicate in emergencies.

NIST staff are developing virtual environments featuring scenarios such as firefighting in hotels. The goal is to spur industry to come up with user interfaces - visual indicators, sounds, voice commands - that are better, cheaper, proven effective and brought to market faster than otherwise would be possible.

Such interfaces could be embedded in firefighters' masks or smart glasses worn by emergency medical technicians, for example. A visual display might show the temperature or audio might warn that oxygen is low in a backpack tank. The idea is to present helpful data in an intuitive and nonintrusive manner.

"There is currently no method to test and measure user interfaces for first responders," NIST project leader Scott Ledgerwood said. "We want to enable development, testing and rapid prototyping of these interfaces in a safe, controlled and repeatable environment."

"Virtual reality is still in its infancy, and while there's been some fantastic advances in training simulation, no one that we know has really looked at it from the testing and development perspective," Ledgerwood added. "We're creating this test bed because we don't believe anyone else has the focus or capabilities to test user interfaces for first responders."

Developing any new product for first responders requires complex and resource-intensive testing. Testing interfaces in real emergencies could expose first responders to high risk. Virtual reality offers a safer venue and can help ensure that innovations have a positive impact.

The NIST project uses commercial headsets and controllers, but NIST staff develop the content. So far, the software programs feature firefighting scenarios in a hotel, a mountain home, and an office environment. Users can choose their locations within the scenario and operate a controller to simulate a fire hose.

NIST had to hire unusual expertise for this project: Jack Lewis, who recently got an academic degree in video game design and is now using his creative skills to write software programs for public service purposes.

"I thought it sounded like a cool job," Lewis said. "Not everyone gets a chance like this to make a difference."

NIST staff are currently showcasing the concept and basic technology at events such as the recent Consumer Electronics Show.

In the near future, NIST staff plan to develop methods and criteria for evaluating interfaces to ensure that the test bed provides valuable data to its customers. NIST staff also plan to create additional virtual scenarios for a broad range of first responders and a variety of headsets and graphic engines. The environment and scenarios may also be extended through NIST grants. Virtual reality is also a topic of some NIST prize challenges.

Soon, companies will be able to visit NIST to test their experimental interfaces or even replicate the entire test bed.

"The goal is to make this virtual environment in such a way that anyone who has access to a headset could download our scenarios and use them at their own locations," Ledgerwood said.

Related Links
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

New 'AR' Mobile App Features 3-D NASA Spacecraft
Pasadena CA (JPL) Mar 21, 2018
NASA spacecraft travel to far-off destinations in space, but a new mobile app produced by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, brings spacecraft to users. The new app, called Spacecraft AR, uses the latest augmented reality (AR) technology to put virtual 3-D models of NASA's robotic space explorers into any environment with a flat surface. JPL developed the Spacecraft AR app in collaboration with Google. The app uses Google's ARCore technology to bring 3-D spacecraft into users' ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

'Jedi' calls on Europe to find innovation force

Simulated Countdown Another Step Toward Exploration Mission-1

Aerospace explores next steps in space development

2020 Decadal Survey Missions: At a Glance

Return of SpaceX cargo ship delayed by rough seas

Meet the nuclear-powered spaceships of the future

Arianespace to launch BSAT-4b; marking the 10th satellite launch for B-SAT

Vostochny Cosmodrome preps for first tourist visit

Results of Mars 2020 heat shield testing

Bernese Mars camera CaSSIS sends first colour images from Mars

A Yellowstone guide to life on Mars

ESA and NASA to investigate bringing martian soil to Earth

Astronauts eye more cooperation on China's space station

China unveils underwater astronaut training suit

China's Chang'e-4 relay satellite named "Queqiao"

China outlines roadmap for deep space exploration

UK may set up satellite program separate from EU

ESA teams ready for space

Aerospace highlights lessons from Public-Private Partnerships in space

Airbus has shipped SES-12 highly innovative satellite to launch base

Research team engineers a better plastic-degrading enzyme

New research modernizes rammed earth construction

Atomically thin magnetic device could lead to new memory technologies

It all comes down to roughness

Researchers simulate conditions inside 'super-Earths'

Extreme Environment of Danakil Depression Sheds Light on Mars, Titan

Ultrahigh-pressure laser experiments shed light on super-Earth cores

Droids beat astronomers in predicting survivability of exoplanets

What do Uranus's cloud tops have in common with rotten eggs?

Pluto's Largest Moon, Charon, Gets Its First Official Feature Names

Pluto's largest moon, Charon, gets its first official feature names

Juno Provides Infrared Tour of Jupiter's North Pole

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.