Virtual Reality: Central to Maritime Training

What is often seen as a novelty has been used for decades. Virtual reality (VR), is increasingly making the headlines, due mainly to the gaming community, however, it actually started finding its way in a wide range of domains a long time ago. VR has been around for decades, with one of its earlier applications being the training of aircraft pilots. Advanced electrical and electronic simulators are now widely used in the aviation and maritime sectors to form crews and other operatives. Many of the systems set up in the very complex simulators in use today rely on International Standards for their operations.


The perception of three-dimensional depth of space to create a form of VR has been familiar for a long time. It was used widely between the two World Wars and later on in toys and devices such as projectors and stereoscopes to give viewers looking at two photos taken from different angles the impression of seeing a scene or a landscape in three dimensions.  Beyond the visual dimension, the first ‘serious’ VR application was developed in the form of flight simulators to train airmen. Following trials with purely mechanical and very basic contraptions introduced in the 1910s, what can be described as the first real flight simulator, the Link Trainer, was developed in the late 1920s…

Morand Fachot, Technical Writer, International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
Edition: The Bulk Issue

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