Muscat: Training in virtual reality may save lives as medical students can train with virtual bodies and educate themselves with the different components of the human anatomy.
Virtual reality (VR) will become the future of education, training and experimentation in the Sultanate as the SAS Virtual Reality Centre at the Information Technology Authority (ITA) aims to promote technology within the community.
The centre plans to provide training opportunities for as many as 120 trainees a year, where batches of 40 students will be trained for three months at a time, and qualify Omani youth to establish their own establishments specialised in producing simulation programmes.
“We want to create, in the market, a VR concept in the Sultanate because this technology is not widespread (in the Sultanate) so we are informing people, companies and government establishment,” said Ahmad Al Wahaibi, project specialist at ITA.
Besides training in VR technology as well as 2D and 3D animation, it can also be implemented for educational purposes. Medical students can use the technology to dissect parts of the human body to the tiniest component as well as being able to perform a mock surgery for training purposes.
A special device at the centre called the “Cave” is a room with four screens, three on the wall and one on the floor, gives the chance for the trainee to immerse him or herself in virtual reality and visit areas programmed in the system. An oil field, for instance, will allow the trainee to get familiar with the surroundings and understand the dangers of the industry before facing it in reality.
Muna Al Shidani, senior project specialist said it could also be used for entertainment and educational purposes.
“There are things that people could not experience in reality. At Nizwa Fort, for example, some areas are restricted. By using the ‘cave,’ people can get to experience what happens in the pits when hot oil is poured on enemies,” said Al Shidani.
While technology is becoming more advanced by the day, it is also the main mover of the Sultanate’s economy, said Al Wahaibi.
“It (technology) is the main mover today. Our role is to bring in new technology and implement it in the market and at the same time improve Omani cadres to be able to use this technology,” he added.
The SAS Virtual Reality Centre has set a target of training 600 students in five years since its inception in 2014.