VR and AR Leap Forward at I/ITSEC 2017

By Keith Downes

I missed IITSEC last year. Observationally, this year seemed bigger than 2015 both in size and attendance. There seemed a much more upbeat feel about the whole event, possibly as people start to better understand the effects of defence budget cuts.

I have two overriding impressions from the event. Firstly, that the whole simulation market has gained significant momentum since 2015 and secondly, that VR and AR have leapt forward in the intervening period.

The author “flying” a helicopter

In the context of Peak Pacific’s business this is exciting and in lock step with the technology platform delivery work we continue to explore and implement in our training solutions and programme output for our clients in the airline, aerospace, defence, medical, and transport sectors.

The author immersed in a virtual reality scenario showcasing Augmented Reality and Joint Fires Air Support


Hardware has developed as you’d expect — there are many more AR and VR applications running and the user experience is greatly improved. Additionally, research points strongly to the increase in both simulations in general but specifically, VR, which seems set to take off over the next 2 years.

The author experiencing immersive VR environments at I/ITSEC 2017
(defence of a nation probably in the wrong hands but this is where training is heading)

Thankfully, research programmes, two at least that I am aware of and experienced (the US Air Force and British company Close Air Solutions) are helping development of such technology, which, outside of the large primes seems a good thing.

A good show overall, some informative sessions and as ever the place and time in the world where you meet and spend time with people you know and have tried to meet, don’t know and do meet, and how ideas and future concepts are hatched.

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