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DOC launches joint FirstNet & NIST virtual reality emergency response training center

“The U.S. Department of Commerce launched a new center devoted to the research and development of technologies designed specifically to support public safety emergencies and responses.

Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, the Public Safety Immersive Test Center is part of a collaboration between Commerce’s First Responder Network Authority and the National Institute of Standards and Technology…”

“’When seconds count, situational awareness can be a matter of life or death for first responders,’ Jeff Bratcher, the FirstNet Authority chief network and technology officer. ‘We are proud to partner with NIST on this state-of-the-art facility and provide first responders with an immersive virtual experience to help them prepare for those critical moments. The FirstNet Authority is dedicated to advancing technologies and innovative ways to ensure first responders have the tools they need for their lifesaving mission.’…”

“’This facility enables us to take our research to the next level by allowing natural interactions,’ said NIST’s Scott Ledgerwood. ‘Traditional virtual reality simulations required controllers for interaction, which didn’t translate well to real-life scenarios. In this new facility, users can walk or crawl throughout the space, physically touch walls and furniture, and pick up props like fire nozzles or dummies. This approach will improve measures and build confidence in the test results for translations of technologies to the real world.’…” Read the full article here.

Source: NIST, Commerce Launch Emergency Response Training Center with Virtual Reality – By Alexandra Kelley, May 9, 2022. Nextgov.

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