Army Looks To Industry To Deliver Simulators That Won’t Make Soldiers Sick

Kevin McCaney has done a great job with a piece that represents a favorite topic of mine, Simulation training . I’ve written before on the merits of customizable, cost effective, frequent and safe training available via simulators, but it appears they may not agree with some of the soldiers especially in prolonged use. I think the problem lies with the display and the impact they have on depth perception as they attempt to create a spatial relationship. Our minds see and understand space in a way that is inconsistent with what a display creates, and soldiers may experience motion sickness and disorientation as their minds attempt to cope with a different view of space. I’ve experienced disorientation running through a CBRN simulation and although I did not become ill, I did loose my balance on one occasion.

Army wants simulations that don’t make soldiers sick

The military use of more sophisticated simulators as part of training is bringing to light an unfortunate side effect: Working in a virtual environment with a head-mounted display can make some soldiers feel sick.

The condition, called simulator sickness, isn’t new; it’s been known for as long as there have been immersive environments and simulators of any kind. Pentagon research on it dates back at least as far as the 1980s. But as simulators become a more common complement to live training, the effects are being felt.

“Unit training and readiness will be put at risk if these conditions continue,” according to the Army Research Institute for the Behavioral & Social Sciences, which has issued a solicitation for white papers on how to mitigate simulator sickness, particularly when using head-mounted displays….

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