Mobile training apps, serious gaming and virtual worlds will dominate the 2012 Defense GameTech Users’ Conference opening March 28 in Orlando, Fla.
GameTech brings together gaming experts, industry leaders and military personnel to share research on using games and simulations to “level up” warfighters, making them as well-prepared for battle as possible. At a time when most recruits are digital natives, providing an appropriate and accessible training method can make the difference between success and failure.
Keynote speakers for the conference include U.S. Air Force Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., commander of Air Education and Training Command, and Michael Jones, chief technology advocate for Google.
Sessions on mobile training apps will focus on tools for mobile development, handheld access to sensitive materials in the cloud, adaptive tutoring programs that teach to the level of the user and the place of mobile applications in the modern force. Serious gaming will focus on the best ways to teach through games, training soldiers in everything from giving medical aid to fighting in the field.
“The only limits are our own imaginations,” said retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Tom Baptiste, president of the National Center for Simulation, commenting on the potential for simulations and games.
Highlights from the virtual worlds discussions will include using technology to support troops after deployment and rendering realistic worlds in which to train. Officials will also announce the winners of the 2012 Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge, the annual U.S. Army Research Laboratory contest to create innovative virtual training or analysis programs.
For those who cannot attend in the flesh, a virtual version of the conference will take place in Second Life, allowing users to interact and experience online sessions using personal avatars.
There will also be exhibits from training and simulation industry leaders, including companies such as Lockheed Martin, Quantum3D, Havok and ECS. The conference runs until March 30.