Virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) – collectively known as extended reality (XR) – can be used as breakthroughs in education and training applications, with the technology enabling professionals to experience dangerous situations that no coach would dare to expose trainees to. the real world.
Other benefits of XR for training applications include cost benefits, exercise repeatability and remote use of the technology. Unfortunately, many certification bodies and institutions still lag behind XR technology or are reluctant to accept virtual environments as valid learning and testing grounds.
Bee South by Southwest in March 2022 in Texas, USA, a podium discussion on topics related to the metaverse, From buzz to reality: metaverse now and tomorrowlooked at regulatory challenges and opportunities.
Geoff Bund, Head of Software Partnerships for Headset Manufacturer Varjo† Vesa Koivumaa, Head of Growth for Industrial Equipment Supplier Wärtsilä† Miikka Rosendahl, founder and CEO of the creator of the virtual world Zoan† and Leslie Shannon, head of ecosystem and trend scouting for Nokia all offered perspectives from interface manufacturers, industrial users, metaverse designers, and infrastructure providers. †Understanding the Metaverse – A Discussion at SXSW has more information about the companies of the participants.)
Nokia’s Shannon highlighted the benefits VR has for training. Training can be delivered remotely and beginners can handle and understand difficult to use, even dangerous equipment in challenging situations.
VR applications also allow coaches to measure a wide range of metrics of student performance, allowing for very detailed measurements, she said, adding: “You can tell if someone knows what they’re doing goods.”
labsterfor example, is a developer of virtual labs to help professionals train the next generation of scientists. The market for these types of VR applications has been growing rapidly for years†
However, there are regulatory issues. Once trainees complete the training, many cannot be certified, as VR is not yet considered a credible approach to learning real skills, Shannon said, adding, “We need to get regulators to catch up.”
Varjo’s Bund confirmed such challenges and said his company operates in a highly regulated environment for military, industrial and medical applications. He said it took Varjo two and a half years to get his hardware on certified helicopter training, noting that “we’re still catching up” in the regulatory world to adopt and rely on the use of VR. .
Wärtsilä has been in the cloud with its simulation system since 2014, using virtual applications at an early stage. But Vesa Koivumaa warns that institutions and certification bodies are adopting technologies very slowly. So while Wärtsilä – or industry players in general – may be an early adopter, both government and industry organizations must adopt these new technologies and approaches in order to realize the huge potential AR and VR offerings.
The institutional environment and lack of a widely accepted regulatory framework has clear implications for the adoption and dissemination of metaverse-related applications, to add to the many legal minefields†
Real-world applications of XR
Not surprisingly, the military has been looking at the use of AR and VR for quite some time and pushing its adoption. In March 2021, the US Army promised Microsoft with a $21 billion contract for AR headsets, systems and training to support soldiers with battlefield maps and easy access to intelligence by superimposing information on the field of view†
More recently, in May 2022, a few fighter pilots used their AR headsets to perform a refueling maneuver. The US Air Force also uses the technology so that: pilots can practice dogfights against virtual enemies†
In the meantime, the US Navy changed its flight training curriculum in 2021 for the first time in half a century. The pilot training will now use VR and AR. The aim is not only to provide better practices, but to Reduce the time it takes to train new pilots†
Civil aviation certification progress is also moving forward. In April 2022, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approved the use of a . good VR-based flight simulation training device† VRM Switzerland has developed a device that help helicopter pilots to practice risky maneuvers in the security of a virtual environment.
In May 2022, the US Navy signed a contract for 14 mixed reality systems from Aechelon Technology† The systems that integrate Varjo headsetswill find use in training program for the tilt rotor helicopters†
Challenges to come
Bund lists other considerations that affect adoption. This year the OpenXR standard is finally being widely accepted, but Bund warns that there are many challenges ahead and that Varjo’s partners still need substantial help creating content.
He discussed blockchain technologies, standards and open source as relevant concepts for the development of the metaverse, adding, “There is currently a window where we can lead XR in a very positive direction.”
Zoan’s Miikka Rosendahl also believes that blockchain applications and virtual object ownership matter, highlighting Nokia’s previous efforts in Second Life that allowed ownership of objects.
Ownership matters because individuals in the metaverse will use virtual land and objects to create services and applications. Without ownership, many applications will be difficult to establish – and blockchain technology allows users to establish and transfer ownership.
Zoan was the first company to launch a NFT (non-fungible token)/initial coin offering (ICO) out of Finland, and because of the regulations there, the offering had to consider many legal issues that other companies can ignore those from less regulated regions.
The issue of standards and compatibility are critical adoption considerations that require closer collaboration between industry players. For financial applications, such as cryptocurrencies and ownership considerations, legislative bodies will have to set frameworks. The process will take time and a quick resolution of the many problems should not be expected.
But progress is being made here too. Until recently, it was not even clear in the US which institution should adopt related regulations. It now appears that the The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is in charge instead of – as many players in the sector expected – the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)† The smaller size of the CFTC has raised concerns that: the task could overwhelm officials, leading to delays in legislative efforts†
For now, many regulatory issues and uncertainties will slow the adoption of XR and metaverse-related and enabling technologies. But in the long run, legal certainty will play an important role in driving these technologies across all sectors and deep into a wide variety of applications.