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The US Department of Homeland Security is looking for technology to support the development of officers’ skills in the use of force and de-escalation techniques. A virtual reality solution is sought for this mission, according to the request for information.

The Department’s Federal Protective Service (FPS) aims to equip law enforcement personnel with body-tracking devices, imitation weapons and head-mounted displays that immerse them into virtual worlds — to ultimately improve how they respond to chaotic situations in the real world.  

FPS is responsible for helping with the prevention of and recovery from detrimental attacks to the U.S., from criminals to terrorism or otherwise.

Often associated with augmented reality, which merges reality with virtual objects, virtual reality places a physical presence in virtual worlds. The government and military have been increasingly turning to both to support education and training, and experiment with 5G. 

Among the elements expected in the VR system is a platform that includes a high-end gaming backpack and non-proprietary head-mounted display, paired with a kit that includes a “patrol rifle with sling, duty pistol, and taser replica,” among other components. 

The system must produce life-like avatars and include a tracking capability. FPS also wants it to capture bioanalytical data—like heart rate, stress level, and eye-tracking—which the agency could in turn leverage to analyze stress impacts on decision making, according to nextgov.com.

“The user must have the ability to choose between their already owned simunition or blank firing weapons as well as virtually designed weapons. Physical feedback (blowback) when the weapon is fired must be noticed by the participant,” the RFI reads. “Transitioning between lethal and non-lethal options during a scenario must be available.”