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Training system uses virtual reality to prepare people for mass shooting scenarios
NEW YORK Aug. 30, 2016 Peter E. Raymond, chief executive officer of Human Condition Safety, today announced the release of SurviVR, a training tool that uses virtual reality (VR) to train civilians on how to protect themselves in the event of a mass shooting or hostage situation.
SurviVR is the only product on the market that creates an immersive environment to teach survival skills in an active-shooter event, using the same technology that's in the latest video games. It delivers the closest approximation to a real-life situation, in which multiple, highly realistic VR scenarios trigger the emotions needed to create behavioral change. The human instinct to freeze or follow—exactly the wrong instinct in an active shooter situation—is replaced with a response-ready reaction.
With more than 300 active shooter incidents this year in the U.S. alone—as well as the panic-inducing false alarms recently both at LAX and JFK airports--the need for preparedness training has never been greater. And as state governments and insurance companies begin to mandate active shooter preparedness training as a part of HASP (health and safety planning) plans, demand for effective training is increasing.
"Traditional training was developed in the 1970s, for drive-by shootings," says Raymond. "Those response methods—to lock the door and hide-- simply don't work in the shooting, hostage, and terrorist situations we have today; in fact, they can get you killed. It's important to understand how to respond in a way that maximizes your chance of staying safe."
VR is the only training tool that makes that type of split-second, decisive action second nature. By creating an immersive training environment, participants' heightened emotional responses create new neural pathways in their brains, ensuring that they will revert to their training in a high-pressure situation.
"The goal of this product, simply put, is to save lives," says Brian A. Higgins, a law enforcement and security consultant to public safety agencies and international corporations, and former SWAT Commander. "It's impressive and effective."
About Human Condition Safety Human Condition Safety (HCS) is a spin-out of Human Condition Labs, a research and development lab that uses technology to create solutions with substantial, positive social impact. HCS's technology--including wearable devices, artificial intelligence, building information modeling and cloud computing--creates an ecosystem that keeps workers safer in the industries in which they face the most physical risk.