Engineering & Computer Simulations (ECS) is developing a new portfolio of Virtual Empathy Soft Skills Training (VESST) that supports the development of a variety of soft skills that frontline personnel must employ during challenging situations involving sensitive subject matter. These immersive and realistic scenarios portray interactions dealing with current social challenges including racism, extremism, discrimination, harassment, and more and could potentially include training regarding sexual assault prevention and suicide awareness prevention.
“ECS is leveraging over 25 years of expertise delivering training for the Department of Defense and government clients and the last six years developing immersive empathy training to create VESST,” explains Waymon Armstrong, ECS founder/CEO. “This innovative, immersive technology is not typically available or used to its full potential when providing county-level frontline workers training, mental health resources, and scenarios such as those in VESST.”
Set in realistic, immersive environments, learners interact with high-fidelity avatars that portray nuanced and evocative responses within engaging lessons and intensive conversations. The avatars deliver immediate reactions to a learner’s choices, showing the consequences of bad decisions, and the benefits of utilizing empathy, emotional intelligence, and interpersonal skills. VESST provides front-line personnel with a safe space in both clinical and non-clinical settings to navigate the challenges of identifying empathetic interactions, learn from their mistakes, and develop strategies for managing outcomes.
The latest in the VESST product line uses Unreal Engine 5-based MetaHumans technology, combined with motion capture and artificial intelligence, enabling rapid development and ultra-high realism. Supported delivery platforms include desktop, mobile, and virtual reality.
A working prototype of VESST and related projects from the product line will be available to see in ECS’ Booth #1113 at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC), the world’s largest modeling, simulation, and training event, from 27 November to 1 December in Orlando, Florida.