Virtual Reality simulations aid police, military, business training

Published: Sep. 5, 2017 at 3:43 PM CDT
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Cedar Rapids based virtual reality company Govred Technologies creates training simulations for military and law enforcement agencies. It gives the trainee a realistic look into a dangerous situation.

C.E.O Chase Dittmer said before the company came it Iowa, its virtual reality arcade was approached by police officers and military personnel. That’s where the idea came from. It applied to the Iowa startup accelerator and is now working with Iowa City Police to build training simulations.

“They’ve been giving us pretty good feedback on what to build, what we should build,” Dittmer said.

The person training puts on a headset and headphones and is immersed in different scenarios. For the past two months, Govred created three simulations. A shooting range, outdoor situation, and a situation in a warehouse.

“People think it’s stand here, stiff, and look around, where in reality, you can walk around within the play space like you’re actually there,” C.T.O TJ Dishaw said. “It’s going to be on training in everything, you have that sense of being there so you’re able to replicate everything you do. You only retain so much information when you see and hear it, but when you see, hear, and do at the same time it makes that big of a difference.”

Dittmer said this type of technology isn’t only for military and police situations. It can be used in a variety of other fields. For example, car dealerships can use it to show off a fleet.

“You can bring a virtual reality driving simulator and the person can see what it looks like on the inside and outside of the car, giving them like 15 to 20 options and they can bring their whole portfolio of cars and it costs them much less,” he said.

Dittmer said real estate agencies can use it to show off multiple houses at once. Other businesses could use it to drawn in more customers.

“It brings more people into their business because there’s not a lot of competition, there’s not a lot other places that have virtual reality around here,” Dittmer said.

But it could be especially helpful for businesses that have expensive or dangerous equipment.

“They mess up one thing, and you have a catastrophe on your hands. If it’s easier and safer to train them in virtual reality, it seems like a no brainer,” Dittmer said. “I think 5 to 10 years from now there will be a lot of people that spend more time in virtual reality than they’ll actually spend in the real reality.”

He said virtual reality will be used widely in the future, so any business that looks into now is ahead of the curve.