By Erin Hicks
In corrections, you never know what routine activity could turn into a life-threatening scenario. Therefore, it’s crucial to be able to train for any incident.
IES Interactive Training has taken advantage of the new technology advancements to develop a new way to train. The MILO Range now uses Microsoft Kinect technology to allow the software to use voice commands and body tracking as a part of the training.
Almost like the Wii but without a controller, Microsoft Kinect allows you to interact with a video on a projection screen using your voice and movements. The trainee can dictate the outcome of a scenario based solely on what they say and do. For example, If the trainee says, “put your hands up” to the screen, the person in the scenario will react to that command and put their hands up.
The software can not only detect speech and verbal commands, but it can also respond to a variety of physical movements like baton swings, punches, strikes and kicks, and defensive and offensive movements and positions.
“For the first time in simulation history, you can hit back. You can use the defensive tactics training that you have learned and apply them to a video simulation scenario,” said Michael Hogan, Producer with IES Interactive Training.
In addition to tracking your body’s movements, the MILO Range also tracks where you are in your physical surrounding in relation to the screen due to the system’s multiple camera angles, said Hogan.
“It’s important in a tactical situation where you’re standing in relation to the subject you’re dealing with. If you’re standing in front of them without any physical barriers, the inmate could have a better chance of attacking you successfully,” said Hogan. “Sometimes it’s important to create space between you and the subject. The body tracking allows the system to track your movement and change camera angles and potential outcomes.”
Some scenarios are tactical--but there are also non-violent sequences that test your word choice and ability to talk your way out of the situation.
“The only real limit with this combined technology of Milo and Kinect, is our imaginations. We currently have three beta testing sites being set up at different police departments around the country. We want their feedback, their experience to determine how far we can take this,” Hogan said.
Gary Klugiewicz said the new IES software allows for a smoother transition from spoken command to movement on the screen. “In the past, this was limited by the program operator's reaction time in changing the scenario outcomes,” he said. Now, the right verbal command will immediately switch the outcome.
He said this new product could greatly help corrections officers learn how to deal with difficult situations in a safe space. “This will assist creating more realistic scenarios that can deal with verbal and physical confrontations with an inmate or inmates in a cell, the dayroom, or during prisoner escort / transportation,” he said.
About IES Interactive Training:
IES Interactive Training has manufactured interactive firearms training systems and HD multimedia use-of-force simulators since 1994. IES’s simulation training systems include the MILO Range Pro HD Laser and Live-Fire Simulators, MILO Range Advanced and Classic mobile simulation training suites, and the patented IES Firearms Diagnostic Unit (FDU). For more info, visit their website: http://www.ies-usa.com/