Have you thought of using virtual reality to practice your firearm skills? Neither have I...until now. I met with Nathaneal Anderson, founder and CEO, of TacticalAR.net. Anderson took me though several of his training platforms to include; 2-gun, CQB (Close Quarters Battle), and Rifle Range.
I have to admit, I was very skeptical. How was I going to get proper sight picture with huge goggles on my head, not to mention a good cheek weld? Were the sights going to be pixelated to the point of obscurity? Were the targets going to be realistic? Is this thing gonna mess with my equilibrium and make me puke?
Anderson answered all of my questions without hesitation. He explained the hardware, software, and the gear needed to make the whole thing work. Then he gave me a tutorial of how important it was to get a proper sight picture and sight alignment. That's why he uses a real AR and I couldn't agree more! I was still a bit skeptical but I kept an open mind and trashcan close by.
We started out with the Rifle Range. It was surprisingly easy to get a good cheek weld, obtain a good sight picture, and the sights looked great. So far so good. Now to find out if it's gonna make me sick.
As I moved to the run-and-gun portion, it felt natural. The motion detectors, or "crowns" as I called them, were attached to a Molle thigh rig on each leg. The duty belt holding the thigh rigs also had a "crown" placed in the center of my lower back. One was mounted directly on top of the AR. The "crowns" kept track of my forward, vertical/horizontal movement, and gun position. It all felt very comfortable and put me back to a familiar feel that I experienced in the military. Anderson, also a Veteran, has created something that I think could replace the military's FATS (FireArm Training Simulator) program. But let's keep on track. After being fully immersed in the VR system for 2+ hours, I can confidently say that it works and it has HUGE potential for the consumer and commercial market. Another bonus...it never made me sick.
For more information on the system, check out the video below of Anderson completing the demo. You can also follow his tech journey via YouTube (WirelessDreamer) and Instagram.