British Army Uses Oculus Rift to Recruit New Potential Soldiers
While virtual reality is still in the early stages of making its way into the consumer market, the technology has been widely adopted by the military for decades to simulate various training applications.
As part of a new campaign to increase recruitment, the British Army is utilizing the Oculus Rift technology to give potential recruits a chance to feel what it’s like to be part of military life. British Army recruiters began demonstrating the VR “experience” in London’s Waterloo Station and Manchester on Friday, where members of the public could try on the virtual reality headset, and immerse themselves into a live-fire military exercise with the Army Reserve on Salisbury Plain.
Before putting on the Oculus Rift headset, the user is placed into a real-life Range Rover to enhance the sense of presence and realism. The experience transports the user into the sit of a Challenger 2 tank as a crew member, while engaging and firing upon enemy positions using laser sights, and communicating with nearby soldiers in other friendly armored vehicles.
“Introducing virtual reality technology is just one of the ways that the Army is transforming the way it recruits,” says Major General Chris Tickell, director-general of the British Army recruiting and training division.
The campaign was developed with the help of London-based virtual reality studio Visualise, and advertising agency JWT. The British Army plans to add more experiences in the future.