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Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

Virtually A Bombing Experience

One can achieve anything at one's computer-from honing baseball skills to operating on brain tumours

Virtually A Bombing Experience
Virtually A Bombing Experience
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Strapped in a Head Mounted Device (HMD)-running Prosolvia Clarus software designed for simulated tank warfare, it's easy to go virtual. The terrain is hilly and the turret of your Leopard series tank is taking on an enemy helicopter. As gunner of the tank you have loaded air defence ammunition in the barrel and you press release on your joystick the moment your tank commander aligns the periscope with the moving target. Your depth perception has been off on your first shot. You miss. You map your coordinates again, synchronise the flight path of your shell. This time you don't miss. The helicopter bursts into flames and you can spot the debris falling on the snow-covered slopes. Your current exercise has been a high-altitude manouevre.

The instructor sets a new battlefield scenario for your next exercise. A desert strike force moving to zap entrenched enemy positions. At the end of your exercises, you get your computerised marksheet for the day. What's more, it details where you went wrong and by how much. What you also get is a bit of virtual jet lag, a time gap before you adjust to the real world.

At $100,000 for the virtual reality (VR) simulator, the gizmo is 50 times cheaper than what it would have cost five years ago; and it is a possible buy for the Army Training Command at Shimla for the simple reason that real life training leads to hardware attrition that puts tremendous budget strain on a Third World army. In another five years Prosolvia, a Sweden-based company, hopes to totally eliminate hydraulics out of the virtual simulators. The new genre machines would have electrodes taped on your skull sending electrical impulses simulating the vestibular system.

Prosolvia Clarus was just one of the dozen-odd companies at the virtual reality exhibition organised by Silicon Graphics in Delhi in end-December. There was Division exhibiting...

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