Street Smarts VR awarded USD $1.5 million SBIR contract by US Air Force for Virtual Reality training

In Virtual Reality News

September 4, 2020 – In the latest of a number of US Air Force (USAF) awards announced this week, New York-based Street Smarts VR (SSVR), a provider of immersive virtual reality (VR) training for high-risk scenarios, de-escalation and conscious use of force, has today announced that it has been awarded a contract by the USAF Air Combat Command (ACC) for an amount of approximately USD $1.5 million to standardize and modernize training using VR-based performance measurement.

Under the AFWERX Air Force Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract, SSVR will adapt its VR platform to support the goals of the ACC Security Forces, which is pursuing a modernized, competency based, data-driven approach to training. SSVR’s training platform, which the company states is already used across US military and law enforcement organizations, provides an immersive, full-body VR experience in a 540° field of view environment, allowing for freedom of movement and use of highly realistic replica weapons, according to the company.

ACC is the primary provider of air combat forces to America’s warfighting commanders. Its Security Forces, which are responsible for protecting Air Force personnel, bases, and assets from terrorism, sabotage, and acts of war, must maintain high level proficiency in the use of small arms weapons and use of force principals. SSVR expects that the use of its VR-based training will help Security Forces improve proficiency and achieve readiness by increasing the realism and exposure to a wide variety of use of force scenarios that require complex decision-making. 

SSVR added that as new training technologies are brought into the fold, there exists a strong desire to gain more usable data and insight on training performance. For ACC, SSVR will integrate a data analytics framework that will collect, visualize, and track data focused on USAF training metrics, allowing Security Force instructors to better understand individual and unit performance. SSVR anticipates that over time, the increasing volume of this data may allow unit-level and upper echelon commanders to better understand the readiness of their personnel and compare the effectiveness of various training methods.

According to SSVR, its platform is in use by more than ten Security Force units domestically and overseas. The company’s software allows trainers to focus on the trainee by reducing the task load of managing scenarios that feature multiple branched outcomes. Through a live dashboard, trainers get real-time insights to intervene, instruct on demand, and play back after-action reviews. 

Commenting on the award, Oliver Noteware, co-founder and CEO at SSVR, said: “Street Smarts VR looks forward to collaborating with Air Combat Command, adapting our best of class commercial VR so that they can effectively track and manage the progress of their trainees, gain new levels of insight, and attain consistency across their Security Forces for the absolute highest level of training and readiness.”

The contract will be performed at Air Combat Command headquarters, located at Joint Base Langley Eustis, Virginia. Deployment locations of the training system are yet to be disclosed.

For more information on Street Smarts VR, please visit the company’s website.

Image credit: Street Smarts VR

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.