I tried next-gen XR Training for Defense Forces

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This is the next-gen XR combat-training simulator!

Combatica allows Defense Forces, Warfighters and Law Enforcement officers to train together in a fully realistic virtual environment. Huge thanks to Combatica’s founders for inviting me to their offices and trying it.

Me, shooting some VR enemies with a Glock in my hands

I’m a huge believer in VR simulators for education and training, especially when it comes to Schools, Academia, Medical and Military training simulators. As I’ve mentioned in my previous articles (in English, in Hebrew) about VR/AR Use-Cases for Western defense forces (US Army, UK, NATO, etc.) it’s highly important for safety reasons, cutting ammo costs, and better training outcomes – because immersive trainings in VR are practical just like in real life, and without the risk of injuries or death. Also, you can measure and track analytics about everything and everyone, so they can improve and get better and better.

Israeli Defense Tech is innovative

As a Veteran myself, who tried to push hard and convince senior officers to adopt new and emerging technologies back in my days at the IDF, I’m so proud to see such a cutting-edge technology developed by an Israeli Start-up company, founded by young and talented veterans who have identified the issues with traditional trainings, came up with new solutions, ways and key features to dramatically change and revolutionize combat training and save lives.

Trying the TAR21 to shoot some virtual enemies

Why I like Training Simulators

To me, Combat Mil-Sims are not new, some of you who follow my personal YouTube channel (not StartUX) probably know that I’m on Competitive OnwardVR Mil-Sim, we have a group (soon to be league) of real-life Veterans from Israel, US Army, UK, Canada, Norway, Finland and other ally countries. So, we often train together and compete each other, mainly on weekends, but sometimes on daily basis (for us it’s a fitness activity like Beatsaber, only better – with a Tactical Chess-like strategy for the brain to keep us sharp), we tried all VR Shooters (Breachers, Contractors, PavlovVR etc) but Onward is the most realistic among them, but it’s still not realistic as Combatica..

So, how come I was so impressed by Combatica? Well, while I was in their Training Simulator, they could change my environment, time of day and even the weather. I was surprised by the variety of scenarios are available, with AI based enemies that reacted intelligently to my actions. And everything I did was tracked with an advanced after-action tools to produce meaningful insights on the training session. And analytics is something I’ve never seen on commercial “Gaming” Mil-Sims, so as a believer in BigData and data, I think this is the right way to do realistic VR Training Simulators, to help people get better.

Btw. I even surprised myself that I could use the Israeli made Tavor Tar-21, reload it, and shoot! Because back in my days at the IDF, our service weapon was the M16, but I could use the real-life TAR21 just because I’ve learned how to use it in other VR Mil-Sims (Onward)! So, it was so natural to me like riding a bicycle! But as a UX guy myself, I know that Gamification in training works, so no wonder I’ve learned how to use a real weapon in VR, before holding it in real life. Btw, I made a Civilian Firearms training simulator concept when the war started, and created even more prototypes in the past.

Defense Tech is cool again!

As BigTech stocks are going down, looks like more and more VCs and investors are investing in Defense Ttech, and even the “Anti-War” Silicon Valley we are now seeing a return to Silicon Valley’s original culture of pioneering defense tech to protect the USA and its allies. So, more and more Tech eomplyees want to work exclusively in defense tech in USA, and also in Israel (and other ally countries), this is now a truly bipartisan position even between polorized political camps, which is great to see. No wonder Ocululs VR founder (before he sold it to Facebook / Meta and now known as Meta Quest) Palmer Lucky’s new company Anduril raises $1.5B in funding.

Check out their website to learn more about Combatica: https://combatica.com/
And also in the press: https://www.jpost.com/israeli-news/article-712097

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