Hollywood Meets Science at War Facility

Hollywood meets the battleground, in a facility that provides high tech training and therapy for soldiers. The Institute for Creative Technologies combines engineers with Hollywood talent. They're designing ways to better train soldiers and help them when they're back from the battlefield.

A virtual leadership course for young soldiers, a physical therapy videogame, and exposure therapy to treat post-traumatic stress disorder all of which are being developed at a university research facility funded by the army.

“I will say that young officers and young soldiers love this kind of technology,” says Kip Haynes, program analyst.

The Institute for Creative Technologies harnesses the power of Hollywood and combines it with skills from scientists and engineers. They are coming up with better ways to train and counsel soldiers.

Research Associate, Sebastian Koenig says, “We’re working on game based rehabilitation.”

One of the games works with Microsoft Kinect for physical therapy that can be done at home.

Koenig goes on to explain how the game works, “The application is a balance game for the upper extremities, for arms to reach out to touch jewels or to touch objects.”

Virtual reality goggles can recreate warfare situations to help soldiers who are experiencing post traumatic stress disorder.

Programmer, Josh Williams says, “so they can tell their story in the first person to their therapist while they’re interacting with this experience.”

This program can cut down therapy time by a third.

The Elite Project helps young soldiers practice their leadership skills.

“And what we’re doing here is putting a few key ideas or concepts in your mind to take with you in the field. So when you go in and talk to this guy you need to keep these things in mind,” says Program Analyst Kip Haynes.

The virtual trainer can be taken anywhere and in the long run is cheaper than a human subject.

What the institute does best is concentrate on human emotion because just like a good movie it’s the memories that stick.