HTX Labs awarded SBIR Phase III contract to expand US Air Force immersive learning platforms

In General XR News

May 24, 2023 – HTX Labs, developer of the EMPACT Immersive Learning Platform, has recently announced that it has been awarded a new Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase III contract with the US Air Force (USAF) to deliver the first Tech Training Transformation Cloud (T3Cloud), further expanding the reach and impact of immersive learning across the USAF.

HTX Labs stated that the new contract is a continuation of the company’s success on the Maintenance Training Next (MXN) initiative at Sheppard Air Force Base, where EMPACT provided the immersive learning foundation for the next-generation Crew Chief Fundamentals (CCF) course.

The CCF program was delivered to students in 2020 as a self-paced, multi-modal immersive curriculum and culminated in a 46.1% reduction in total training time (compared to the standard course), with slightly higher student proficiency, high student engagement, and instructor adoption, according to HTX Labs.

T3Cloud aims to further expand the EMPACT footprint, and will see HTX Labs continue to work in collaboration with the US Air Force’s Air Education and Training Command, with a focus on training transformation, bringing EMPACT’s suite of XR training capabilities to the entirety of the Second Air Force (2AF) – the arm of USAF responsible for conducting basic military and technical training – as well as progressing towards a repeatable methodology for centralizing AF owned digital assets to facilitate reuse and pairing with a broad range of immersive learning capabilities.

HTX Labs noted that it will leverage the contract to enhance EMPACT to address the demand for a centralized platform to consolidate and streamline processes enabling Airmen to upload, store, classify, and manage rich digital assets (e.g., airframes, vehicles, equipment, and tools), immersive environments (e.g., Aircraft Maintenance Units, runways, and flight lines), and related multimedia files in a secure repository within the EMPACT platform.

T3Cloud provides a scalable, open architecture that enables existing XR capabilities within 2AF to integrate with T3Cloud. T3Cloud will also serve as 2AF’s foundation for immersive learning, providing Airmen with the necessary infrastructure and tools to access, create, share, and deliver Gov-owned digital assets, models, simulations, and training content in support of technical training delivery and creation.

“2AF identified the lack of a centralized, secure capability to access, distribute, utilize, and develop digital assets and content, which has inhibited broader adoption of immersive learning, and often resulted in duplication of effort due to a lack of knowledge about what already exists,” said Chris Verret, SVP of Engineering, HTX Labs. “T3Cloud delivers the software foundation that enables simplified discovery of digital assets, streamlines training content consumption, and empowers airmen with capabilities to create, publish and sustain new immersive learning lessons and courses.”

Verret added, “This is an exciting evolution of EMPACT that will further democratize and standardize access to meaningful immersive learning content as well as the tools and capabilities necessary for scalable access, distribution, and creation.”

For more information on HTX Labs and its EMPACT immersive learning platform, please visit the company’s website.

Image credit: HTX Labs

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.