SimBlocks.io enables simulation training system providers to utilize state-of-the-art visualization technologies to build high-fidelity simulators at a lower cost. At SimBlocks.io, we specialize in connecting commercial gaming technology with military simulation training systems by supporting industry standards for 3D models, geospatial terrain, and communication interoperability. Our customers are able to leverage the rapidly advancing technology investments in the commercial R&D world and use these capabilities to train warfighters in virtual environments that realistically replicate the real world.
Innovation cannot happen without motivated teams, a skilled workforce, and a culture of supporting disruptive small businesses. SimBlocks has benefited from the healthy startup community in Orlando by first graduating from Starter Studio, Orlando’s premier business accelerator for companies still in their ideation phase. Starter Studio trains innovative entrepreneurs on business model design, market validation, product-market fit through education programs and mentorship by seasoned business owners. The Starter Studio program culminated in Demo Day, where each of the entrepreneurs from Class 6 gave a public presentation of their business idea to the Orlando startup community at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.
Next, SimBlocks.io was accepted into the University of Central Florida Business Incubator in Central Florida Research Park. The UCF Business Incubator is located right off the main UCF campus and is surrounded by many established defense businesses as well as government offices for Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force simulation programs. Being accepted into the UCF Business Incubator has provided many partnering and mentoring opportunities to help SimBlocks.io grow as a business, acquire customers, and hire talented employees.
In 2017, SimBlocks.io exhibited at IITSEC, the world’s largest modeling, simulation, and training conference, which is held annually at the Orange County Convention Center. As a first-time exhibitor, SimBlocks.io wanted to go big and participated in Operation Blended Warrior, which was a distributed Live, Virtual, and Constructive (LVC) simulation involving over 40 organizations on the IITSEC show floor.
In 2018, SimBlocks.io partnered with another company from the UCF Incubator and was awarded a contract to build a prototype for the U.S. Army’s Synthetic Training Environment to enable defense forces to prepare for upcoming missions with accurate virtual content with drastically-reduced development timeframes. The main problem that SimBlocks.io focused on was how to consume large amounts of geospatial data in a variety of commercial and defense-specific formats. The Army’s goal was to converge this data into a single format known as One World Terrain. As part of the STE prototype, SimBlocks.io developed a whole-earth visualization application using the Unity game engine. The One World SDK for Unity could be described as Google Earth for military training, providing high-fidelity imagery, elevation, and feature data anywhere in the world. SimBlocks.io customers can now also reuse custom 3D content stored in niche formats in modern high-quality commercial game engines.
Going forward, there is a clear trend in the modeling, simulation, and training community away from black-box visualization solutions and a move towards technologies utilizing commercial game engines with their large development user bases and abundance of quality third-party software integrations. Novel applications utilizing virtual reality augmented reality, and mixed reality, as well as the hard work of creative individuals, will be the driving forces behind the innovative technologies used to save lives and train defense forces over the next decade.
After months of preparation, the SimBlocks.io team participated in Operation Blended Warrior at I/ITSEC 2017 by connecting the Unity game engine in a distributed simulation exercise.