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Virtual Reality both hot & Chile
A CFA delegation was hosted by the Chilean Consulate yesterday to view an incredible Virtual Reality demonstration, with numerous possibilities for the CFA.
Todd Mason, Manager of Simulation Strategy, Chris Barber and Erin Bulmer from Communities and Communication, and Josh Davis from OT&V were taken on a dreamlike adventure in a 3D world by National Gallery of Victoria's (NGV) Chilean-born Oscar Raby. Oscar works for the NGV in the Multimedia Department and completed a Masters at RMIT in Animation and Interactive Media.
The user wears a headset with an embedded gyroscope that allows the user to control movement and what they see, and earphones which block out external noises. The feeling was so lifelike we needed to hold a chair to place our real standing position as we were flying around rooms, walking around a art studio and then a Chilean desert, all while feeling real vertigo from virtual heights, turning 360 degrees etc. Everyone's first reaction after the virtual journey was 'WOW!'
OT&V was invited to facilitate a CFA visit because of clear applications in relation to community education (eg. showing the public real or 3D bushfire and housefire footage as if they were there), firefighter training and many more. Discussions were centred around how brigades, members and the public could use such technology to train and educate in lifelike and controlled environments.
Technology such as this will change the way simulation will be used in the future and the CFA simulation strategy aims to position CFA to make the most effective use of technology as it becomes available.