The focus of the VECTOR project is to
provide a new technology for training in cultural familiarization through the
application of highly experiential, scenario-based training in virtual
environments that can be used to develop specific skills for interacting with
members of a culture of interest.
VECTOR is a product of the Small Business
Innovative Research program for the Army Research Institute (ARI). In
Phase I we identified a candidate culture and specific Military Occupational
Specialties, which have served as design targets in Phase II. The Kurdish
sub-culture of West Asian Arabs was selected as the specific culture. The
specific Military Occupational Specialties (MOSs) include both Military
Police and Military Intelligence. In
Phase III, we developed content development tools to facilitate the rapid
authoring and modification of VECTOR scenario content.
We are presently involved in full-scale
implementation of the VECTOR system. We are leveraging the commercially
available Jupiter game engine to develop the virtual environment. Since
cultural behaviors are most easily demonstrated in conversational skills,
VECTOR includes voice recognition technology as an optional input
mechanism. We have been supported on this effort by Sytex Inc. who has provided
retired Army personnel with backgrounds in both special operations and the Arab
culture to serve as subject matter experts.
We are currently marketing VECTOR to
commercial organizations, as well as other government agencies, that routinely
require their employees to spend time abroad.