SIMmersion Introduces Smart Technology at World’s Largest Simulation Conference

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SIMmersion’s Smart Avatar and Intelligent Tutor suggest countless ways SIMmersion’s customers can use the technology for training, gaming and assessments.

SIMmersion's smart avatar in the game environment

SIMmersion's smart avatar is ready to have a conversation

Future customers will enjoy a profound ability to design innovative training systems, simulations and games

This December, SIMmersion® introduced the audience at the world's largest modeling, simulation and training conference to new uses for PeopleSim® technology. Held annually in Orlando, Florida, the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) highlights the best solutions the modeling & simulation industry has to offer. This year, SIMmersion demonstrated two new ways to use its technology to meet the training needs of industry, government and military customers—a 3D Smart Avatar and an Intelligent Tutor.

While SIMmersion has been exploring alternative uses of its capabilities for several years, until now, their public offerings focused on user-driven simulations of people assembled from video clips of a professional actor and designed to train a variety of interpersonal skills. Their PeopleSim® virtual people have sophisticated brains, unique personalities, and moods affected by the user. Non-Branching Logic™ creates an almost infinite number of pathways to any one of the set of possible results, so no two conversations are exactly alike. The 3D Smart Avatar and Intelligent Tutor are proof that SIMmersion can now use these technologies to meet a wider range of training needs than ever.

In the 3D Smart Avatar application, the user enters an environment reminiscent of areas in the Middle East where American service members have been deployed during recent conflicts. A howling wind sweeps the area. The user can explore the 3D world, including several buildings, sparse vegetation and a vast horizon. The user must brief the commanding officer, LTC Jones, on recent events, practicing “managing up” skills and demonstrating knowledge of local culture.

Behind the scenes, the PeopleSim® Conversation Engine is hard at work, driving user interaction with the Smart Avatar. While considering the context of the user’s input, the Smart Avatar dives deep into complex databases. The Smart Avatar returns an appropriate, perhaps unexpected, response consistent with the Smart Avatar’s personality and a realistic emotional state affected by the user’s input, the database and other factors.

To prove how easy it is to integrate PeopleSim® into a 3D environment, a SIMmersion software engineer created a custom plugin to use PeopleSim® technology in the Unity game engine. The team developed an avatar and then then they integrated conversation data developed for one of SIMmersion’s existing products. The result is a Smart Avatar that users can talk with in the game. The company displayed the result in their booth at I/ITSEC 2015, less than one month after they started the project.

While impressive, the 3D Smart Avatar doesn’t showcase everything SIMmersion’s technology can do in a simulated 3D environment. “Our sole purpose for producing the Smart Avatar was to show that our technology can easily integrate into a 3D environment,” says Dale Olsen, SIMmersion’s CEO. “In a commercial product, we would incorporate additional complexities that fully leverage the capabilities of our technology.”

The Intelligent Tutor, available online at training.simmersion.com, proves SIMmersion’s authoring tools can do more than create realistic conversations. The Intelligent Tutor displays a sequence of letters, which are the part numbers of an animated assembly. One by one, the user must identify which part to use while building the assembly. Each time the user selects the correct part, the Intelligent Tutor’s graphics show the part fitting into the assembly. Hints and help are available if the user is uncertain which part comes next. If the user selects the parts in the correct sequence, the assembly runs and switches on a lightbulb. Otherwise, the Intelligent Tutor provides some coaching to help the user do better the next time or correct any mistakes. The Intelligent Tutor could just as easily teach the steps for disassembling a rifle, solving an algebraic equation, following a medical protocol or responding to a customer service issue.

These prototypes only demonstrate a few of SIMmersion’s capabilities. Because SIMmersion’s Intelligent Tutor and Smart Avatar prototypes help explain potential uses for PeopleSim® technology and Non-Branching Logic™, future customers will enjoy a profound ability to design innovative training systems, simulations and games.

SIMmersion sees diverse possibilities for using their technology. Olsen talks about war-games where the enemy varies its maneuvers and responds to the user’s battle decisions with unpredictable tactics. Developer Ben Allen-Kingsland describes how attitudes of non-player characters in games can change based upon how the user’s choices indirectly affect that character. Even Chip Trimmier, the company’s in-house attorney, discussed the possibility of creating a business management game where simulated performance data, user actions and conversations with non-player characters can affect a fictitious company’s trajectory.

“The potential new uses seem endless,” says Olsen.

About SIMmersion

SIMmersion’s mission is to train skills faster and more effectively by combining the world's most realistic simulated experiences with highly interactive training content and extensive user feedback. To learn about the research proving the technology improves real-world results, please visit SIMmersion’s website at http://simmersion.com/Publications.aspx#research. For more information, contact SIMmersion online or at 443-283-2555.

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Dale Olsen
@SIMmersion_PR
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