News / Science & Technology

Army Aims to Alter Perception by Fooling Senses

Army Aims to Alter Perception by Fooling Sensesi
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 08, 2014 8:39 PM
The military uses virtual reality to enhance its training. But there is one hurdle to overcome before the experience can be truly immersive: how to fool the senses in a virtual world. The Mixed Reality Lab - a part of the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies - is exploring this problem for the Army in a project called “Redirected Walking.”
Elizabeth Lee

The military uses virtual reality to enhance its training.  But there is one hurdle to overcome before the experience can be truly immersive: how to fool the senses in a virtual world. The Mixed Reality Lab - a part of the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies - is exploring this problem for the Army in a project called “Redirected Walking.”   

Virtual reality is no longer science fiction, but a real tool for the military.  

“Virtual reality is very commonly used for training soldiers and giving them the level of knowledge and preparedness that they need before they are deployed," said Evan Suma.

Evan Suma at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies says there is one fundamental limitation to this technology.

“How do we walk around if we are standing in a room that is limited," he asked.

Suma says current virtual reality experiences limit the movements of the user.  He is working on a project called “Redirected Walking” to change that.  The aim is to trick the users' senses into thinking that they are walking in an infinite virtual world, when in reality they are just walking within a limited space.

Suma says developing this software means replicating experiments done in the field of psychology.  One of those is how a person’s sense of vision dominates over many other senses.

“If I rotate the world slowly around your head while you are in virtual reality, as long as it’s small enough, you will actually believe what you are seeing more than what you are feeling, and I can use that to actually get you to curve and walk in a circle while perceiving that you are walking straight.  So that is something that came straight out of psychology," he said.

In addition to training soldiers for combat, virtual reality with a redirected walking component can also help those in the military who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

“When you can move around and really walk around a virtual environment, your sense of presence - that is your feeling of being a part of the virtual world - the power of the experience is greater," said Suma.

This experience can also be translated to consumers and be applied to different types of video games says Vlad Bahur.

“Something like this would be amazing," said Bahur.

Wearing a head-mounted display that allows him to see and explore a virtual world of doors and rooms and hallways, Bahur experienced redirected walking during a Mixed Reality Lab open house.  He says this can bring gaming to a new level.

“All kinds of games - exploration games, first person games, action games, even sport games," he said.

Companies and universities are working on technology in which mobile devices, such as smartphones, can eventually track a person’s movements to replace a complicated motion-capture system of mounted cameras currently used to make redirected walking work.

Evan Suma says once advanced hardware becomes available, redirected walking software can be integrated for a more realistic, portable and inexpensive experience for both the consumer and those who are training for combat.
 

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid