U.S. Intelligence Community invests in Forterra to accelerate virtual military training

Engineers at Forterra Systems in San Mateo, Calif., are advancing virtual environments with collaborative, Web, communications, and 3D technologies, to the benefit of warfighters.

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By Courtney E. Howard

SAN MATEO, Calif.—Engineers at Forterra Systems in San Mateo, Calif., are advancing virtual environments with collaborative, Web, communications, and 3D technologies, to the benefit of warfighters.

Forterra, maker of private virtual worlds, has partnered with In-Q-Tel Inc., a strategic investment firm in Arlington, Va., that identifies innovative technology to support the mission of the U.S. intelligence community. An investment and technology advancement agreement calls for Forterra engineers to extend the capabilities of On-Line Interactive Virtual Environment (OLIVE) software to enhance its utility for collaboration and training applications. OLIVE’s additional functionality will enable users to use collaborative, 3D Internet solutions to accelerate training, or “time to insight.”

Forterra’s OLIVE software will be upgraded with 3D conferencing and document sharing, a network proxy that will enable applications to run through a range of firewall configurations, the ability to import Google SketchUp models, and additional 3D content, including scenery, avatars, buildings, and other objects.

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Forterra’s virtual environment platform facilitates training, information sharing, and after-action reviews among geographically disbursed military teams.
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Forterra will also integrate third-party instant-messaging tools with OLIVE, enabling a common conferencing and document-sharing facility for virtual world users. Instant messaging adds the capability to schedule and attend brain-storming sessions and meetings, as well as to view and annotate documents.

White-boarding functionality further aids in the real-time exchange of ideas, with geographically distributed participants viewing, collaborating on, and annotating simultaneously and securely.

OLIVE’s distributed simulation technology further enables personnel to rapidly transfer lessons, instructions, new tactics, communications, and mission-critical information between geographically dispersed units, even as operational conditions change. The system also can help facilitate the development of joint, interagency, and multinational teams.

Government solutions built on Forterra’s OLIVE Platform will enable military and first-response personnel to construct realistic scenarios, modify or augment environments, conduct training and mission-rehearsal exercises, and study outcomes in an after-action review.

Requirements include Forterra’s OLIVE software platform and industry-standard PC hardware. For more, visit Forterra online at www.forterra.com.

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