VirTra’s mission is to provide law enforcement and military with the most effective, realistic training possible for maximum skill transfer and increased safety. This is done by providing powerful firearms simulators, a majority of which have multiple screens to increase the immersion and teach trainees to put their head on a swivel.
Unfortunately, the recent hype surrounding virtual reality goggles has infatuated important decision-makers, who have become distracted with the new technology and disregard the disservice its teaching provides law enforcement.
Instead of falling victim to this exciting-but-lacking technology, VirTra is sticking with high-fidelity, scientifically-proven training simulators. Recently, VirTra’s CEO Bob Ferris and the Director of Training & Curriculum Lon Bartel wrote a whitepaper discussing how screen-based training beats VR-based training in nearly every category:
VirTra prioritizes training quality—from each scenario’s realistic branching options to marksmanship backed by independent third parties who verify ballistic calculation. Even the smallest nuances can break the training immersion, potentially causing training scars. Russ Read, a Washington Examiner reported, tried VR training and quickly noted its faults. “The red dot sight didn’t operate like the real thing—you had to line up the red dot with the front sight to shoot accurately. Additionally, reloading the magazine was an awkward, clunky experience.”
When shopping for technology, consumers are well aware of the variations that exist between companies. Considerations for clarity, size and features are given and analyzed, often weighed between the store brand and name brand. So why would agencies not provide the same research and consideration for their training departments?
Instead of a cheaper ‘store brand’ training solution—such as VR’s fake weapons and non-convincing reality—VirTra’s higher quality of training provides officers and warfighters the opportunity to use their personal firearms equipped with recoil kits inside a state-of-the-art environment. These simulators feature scenarios filmed in 4K and are compatible with a variety of accessories, allowing skills learned in training to transfer to the real world.
Refrain from following fleeting trends. Do your research and ensure the training budget is spent on the most effective use-of-force training system possible.