VR Lifeboat Simulator

The vessel I’m on just received a Virtual Reality lifeboat simulator / hardware peripheral with all the doo-dads; VR headset, brake cable, steering console, even a sprinkler valve!

The understanding is that this is to replace lifeboat launch / recovery training due to how often incidents and injuries occur during drills.

Couldn’t resist starting a conversation / stirring the shit.

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Oh I wouldn’t call this stirring the shit. This would be amazing to have instead of quarterly launching requirements. Though, part of those launching drills are for the additional crew who aren’t conning the lifeboat.

Pretty cool tech though.

Cool stuff! While it’s very true that boat handling is a minor component of a lifeboat drill, they can be tricky beasts, so getting lots of simulator time must be very valuable. How are the environmental parameters (location, wind, sea state, ship’s course and drift, etc) controlled? From a technical standpoint, it would be a trivial matter to pull this information from the onboard network, so you can conduct the drill with the bridge team involved.

Do you have any idea how the physical interface is indexed in VR? Can it be done with touch controllers, or is it a static installation that has been calibrated by the manufacturer? It’s been a while since I maintained currency in VR tech, so I don’t recognize the headset. Do you know what kind it is?

I did a bunch of development work for Ninja Whale Studios, and always wanted us to do a ship sim. It is a genre that lends itself uniquely to the use of tracked motion controllers, and deals very well with the play space constraints of VR. Sadly, my partners don’t think that’s a fun kind of game (and I can’t really blame them), so we focused on projects with more universal appeal.

After my pet project Rascals became a colossal commercial flop that sent the company into a deep state of hibernation whence I severely doubt it will awaken, I don’t see us pursuing another one of my crazy ideas, least of all as a fully developed app. I may yet scrounge up the help I need for some limited application, like adding VR support to one of the open source sims out there, but it appears that bigger players are already hard at scratching that itch for me.

If you wonder what might happen if you handed an AHTS over to a total moron with no prior knowledge, or you just want to die a bit inside, you can watch this (I didn’t make it all the way through):

Shit… I didn’t make it through two minutes. If I could strangle someone through my computer screen in VR, this would be the chap I would choose to exercise that ability with.

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