Microsoft’s Kinect is an amazing piece of technology with a huge potential to be used in many different areas that would benefit from motion tracking. And now the United States Navy has found another use for the technology.
The Navy plans to use Kinect to combat sexual assault and rape problems among its ranks. Sailors will basically be asked to take part in response training in which they will have to act out scripted scenarios with Kinect-generated holograms.
The program is called Avatar Based Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Training and is already in development by Organic Motion, Inc., a motion capture studio which already works with the U.S. military on simulation and training projects. The company will work on a six-month contract and receive $83,000 for the ABSAPRT program.
The program uses Kinect and special software developed by Organic Motion to transform an actor’s performance into a live character animation. The resulting avatar or hologram can then have its race or gender altered and can be set in a specific environment, all with the purpose of improving students’ engagement.
ABSAPRT will be primarily geared towards the training of recruit division commanders, who are in charge of overseeing Navy recruits and are often the first responders to sexual assault reports. The training program will be held at the Navy’s boot camp in Illinois.
The training scenarios will be scripted by Organic Motion and the Navy’s training command together, but it should be noted that these will not specifically map out the reactions of the avatars. The holograms will produce the appropriate response and will be able to convey emotion verbally and nonverbally in a realistic manner.
Basically, the trainees will have to interact with virtual people who will respond to their comments an gestures to let them know if they are doing the right thing or not and if their response is appropriate. After testing it on recruit division commanders, the Navy will decide if the program is effective and can be used to train its staff en masse.
What do you think of the Navy’s idea to use Kinect to combat sexual assault? Can this training program be an effective way of solving this problem?
[Image via clwp.navy.mil]