Serious Simulations designs and manufactures professional-grade virtual-reality training equipment that prepares professional military, law enforcement, sports, emergency, commercial, and industrial personnel for successfully executing the complex—and sometimes dangerous—tasks they are likely to face in their fields.
The phrase “serious gaming” may sound like an oxymoron—or perhaps like hours spent in a video game—but in reality, serious gaming has little to do with play. Gaming entertains, but serious gaming saves lives. Serious Simulations takes its name from this descriptor, differentiating itself from games and virtual reality used for entertainment.
The company was founded in 2014 by military and simulation-software veterans—some of them, like CEO Christopher Chambers, are veterans of both industries. The founders’ unique and combined experience finds its expression in the custom-made hardware and software components used in the training suites that Serious Simulations provides. If wireless-communication devices, display technologies, motion-tracking systems, and commercial game engines form the skeleton of what Serious Simulations can offer, then the muscles and ligaments are the company’s weapon skins—sensor-laden cases that snap to the outside of real or simulated weapons used in training in order to capture data about their use—and its comprehensive training programs, like the ready2train™ simulators for both groups and individuals. Whether for software or hardware, Serious Simulations’ guiding principle is “If it’s real, it’s right.”
Serious Simulations’ long list of industry “firsts-and-only’s” shows just how disruptive and innovative the company has been. For example, it builds the world’s only wireless VR display with both high resolution and a wide enough field of vision to account for peripheral vision
“What you can’t see in training could kill you in combat,”
“What you can’t see in training could kill you in combat,” the company reasons. Serious Simulations was also first to create a real-time inverse kinematic plug-in for Virtual Battlespace 3 (VBS3), the software used by military organizations around the world for VR training. (Inverse kinematics is the process of recreating an object’s movements on a computer avatar from tracking the object as it performs those movements. Think of the animation process for the movie Avatar, for example, except done in real-time.) Other firsts-and-only’s for Serious Simulations include creating the world’s first Oculus DK2 VR display, enabling the first successful use of wireless VR in a major theme park, and offering the world’s only individual training simulator using 100% real-duty equipment, including real weapons, in full-motion VR simulators. Even the simulator itself is the only one of its kind in the way it allows for unhindered human movement, which is key in the “suspension of disbelief” required for a VR scenario to seem real and thus be effective.
Christopher Chambers, Co-Founder & CEO
Nicolas Eaton Crocker Barham, Co-Founder, Board Member
If the future is bright for Serious Simulations, it’s because the company is doing its part to create its own sunshine. In addition to competing in the rapidly growing markets of professional training and military and law-enforcement hardware, Serious Simulations’ pioneering extends to professional sports and location-based entertainment (LBE) as well. This form of VR utilizes a large space, allowing participants to move freely, and can incorporate physical props to create a tactile element within the VR experience. LBE is part of Serious Simulations’ ready2train™ programs, and it is also the future of VR entertainment. Even those with no gaming experience can enjoy LBE; and some simulators require no unnatural or gaming-specific movement (like manipulating a joystick, for example).
An up and coming company, Serious Simulations has been awarded two internationally recognized “Good Design” awards in electronics by the Chicago Athenaeum (2017 and 2018), and was named a Top 10 Technology Innovation Company by the Orlando Business Journal for 2018.
Serious Simulations’ programs and technology put the “reality” in “virtual reality” and offers its trainees the ultimate value: knowing what to expect and the experience needed to handle it safely and effectively.