Engineering & Computer Simulations (ECS), in the USA, has finished work on a tablet that helps to train soldiers in delivering aid to their wounded comrades. The Medical Training Command and Control (MTC2) tablet will be used in the US Army’s Medical Simulation Training Centres (MSTC). It operates a network of devices that simulate a battlefield, such as triggering explosions, smoke and flashes of light. Brent Smith, ECS VP, said, “A single tap or swipe sets off a grenade or a life-threatening reaction in the medical mannequin that serves as a training simulation for today’s warfighters”. Each soldier’s responses are analysed and a report delivered.
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This application helps to create an extreme learning environment that helps to train under very realistic conditions without risking lives. The tablet is used as a device that helps to create the environment and records the response to optimise future learning experiences. So far, so good, and in the case of the first aid provided by soldiers the best such a system can provide. However, if this idea is expanded to civil ‘first-responders’ in the medical, police or fire fields there is no reason for such a tablet to not only provide training to these groups, but also improve the decision-making process in case of a real emergency.
In a cognitive learning environment the personal and environmental factors influence the outcome. What works for one person may trigger a different response in another person. If we can connect an electronic device such as a tablet or augmented reality headset with an AI knowledge base – or even another person – the overall outcome may be improved. Such systems are typically the topic of science fiction movies and exist today only in the minds of special effect creators. This is one of the first systems that goes in this direction in real life. Together with the recent report of the video transmission of surgery via Google Glass (Display Monitor Vol 21 No 33), we seem to be entering a new era for learning and co-operating via electronic devices. (NH)