Nearly half the soldiers returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan are diagnosed with some kind of psychological condition, like post-traumatic stress disorder, brought on by specific battlefield experiences or traumatic brain injuries sustained during combat. To treat these mental battle scars, the new National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) will introduce state-of-the-art virtual reality technology that will help gently reintroduce soldiers to their experiences.
The $500,000 CAREN -- the Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment -- consists of a treadmill, a massive curved screen, and various projectors and cameras that allow the subject six degrees of freedom in moving about his virtual environment. For those learning to use an artificial limb or recovering from a brain injury, that means the ability to relearn how to drive, walk, or navigate an environment from the safety of the hospital.Although this new tech is only available for our recovering troops, one has to be a bit curious to try the system out for purely entertainment purposes only. I imagine one large virtual reality HALO game.... WOOT!