via Tim Marler
The stresses of flying a military drone are often underestimated, but VR can help in more ways than one. The Air Force has recently started using Oculus Quest 2 headsets for training drone pilots and sensor operators, with content from Moth + Flame. This is perhaps yet another expected step towards using VR and AR across the Department of Defense. However, what makes this most recent deployment interesting is that it follows deployment of comparable hardware and software for additional, related applications. Moth + Flame also deployed capabilities to the Air Force for maintenance training, which saved time, and fuel and travel costs. In addition, the company developed VR content for suicide awareness and prevention training, which easily couples with pilot-training capabilities.
Just as it is important to consider a single emerging technology as it relates to other technologies, it is also important to consider a single application as it relates to other applications. VR provides a conduit for integrating multiple activities, especially in the training arena. The Air Force, for example, can leverage the same hardware and software for drone-maintenance training, drone pilot training, and drone pilot counseling. It can leverage VR to integrate training and performance assessment. However, although VR helps facilitate this kind of coordination, integration is not automatic. Policy is needed to iron out just how the technology is used.