by David Crane
A company called VirtuSphere, Inc. (Sammamish, WA) has a product called, appropriately enough, VirtuSphere, which can apparently provide a rather unique Mil/LE tactical training and simulation experience. Due to its design, the VirtuSphere provides "infinite space" and claims to also provide "the most immersive [virtual reality a.k.a. "VR"] experience for simulated training, exercise and gaming." The VirtuSphere platform consists of a large hollow sphere that can rotate 360 degrees as the user walks, runs, somersaults, etc. inside it while wearing a wireless, head-mounted VR (virtual reality) display a.k.a. wireless VR headset.
Co-invented by Nurakhmed “Ray” Latypov and Nurulla Latypov (both corporate officers at VirtuSphere, Inc.), the VirtuSphere has been developed with…
the assistance of a team of research scientists and developers at the HIT Lab (Human Interface Technology Lab) at the University of Washington, including Dr. Suzanne Weghorst, a senior research scientist and assistant director of research at the UW HIT Lab. The joint project between VirtuSphere and the HIT Lab was reportedly made possible through a Research and Technology Development (RTD) grant from the Washington Technology Center (WTC).
VirtuSphere was selected by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) for their Virtual Technologies and Environments (VIRTE) program (Phone: 703-696-0360, Email: [email protected]) in October, 2005. Training & Simulation Journal (TSJ) reported on that event when it happened.
DefenseReview is going to try to get interviews with Dr. Weghorst, VirtuSphere’s CEO, Alexey Palladin, and VirtuSphere co-inventors Nurakhmed “Ray” Latypov (CTO) and Nurulla Latypov (COO) ASAP in order to learn more about the Virtusphere’s tactical training/simulation capabilities for military Special Operations and general infantry, law enforcement (LE) SWAT and 1st Responders, PMC/PSC PSD/Security Operators, and civilians (competitive shooters, CCWs, etc.).
Defense Review is especially interested to know whether or not Dynamic Animation Systems, Inc.’s (DAS) Virtual Interactive Combat Environment (V.I.C.E.) VR simulation tech can be integrated into the VirtuSphere platform.
DefRev briefly discussed the V.I.C.E. tech in an article we published back in February (2006), titled DefRev Quick Hits 3 from SHOT Show 2006: And the Hits Keep Comin’. Whatever the case, the VirtuSphere VR sim tech looks like it may just prove to be a revolutionary (excuse the pun) tactical training/simulation technology. Time and operator feedback will tell.
Click here to go to visit the VirtuSphere videos page and see the system in action.
Strangely, VirtuSphere, Inc. only provides a contact email address on their website (no phone or fax numbers). So, if you want to contact them, you’ll have to do it via email at [email protected].
Dr. Suzanne Wehorst can be contacted by phone at the University of Washington’s Human Interface Technology Lab (HIT Lab) at 206-616-1487. You can also contact her by fax at 206-543-5380, or directly via email at [email protected].
You can contact the Washington Technology Center (WTC) by phone at 206-685-1920, by fax at 206-543-3059, and by email at [email protected] . POC at WTC: Laura Dorsey, Technical Services Manager.
Additional Virtusphere Information Resources:
Click here to read the VirtuSphere FAQ.
Click here to read a Defense Tech piece on the VirtuSphere, titled Battle Ball for Sailor Training.
Click on this link to read Gizmag’s article on VirtuSphere, titled The VirtuSphere: full body immersion Virtual reality at last.
Click here to read Technovelgy’s blurb on the technology.