Sacramento Bloggers were invited to the US Navy’s debut of their Virtual Reality Experience Tour at Mather Field.
This immersive, virtual reality mobile display, built into an 18-wheeler truck, kicks off its tour here in Sacramento at the California Capital Air Show before continuing its trip around the United States (next stop: Fleet Week in San Francisco).
SacBloggers were the very first “media types” to try the Oculus Rift-driven experience and it was awesome. Here is SacBloggers’ fearless leader (Margaret Andrews) all strapped in behind the wheel of a high-speed assault craft, extracting Navy SEALs from enemy territory:
“We are excited to introduce today’s Navy experience to Sacramento,” says Navy Recruiting Command Deputy Commander Rear Admiral Doug “Woody” Beal. “We’ve spent significant time and resources developing this state-of-the-art virtual reality experience to transform and elevate the way people think about the Navy.”
So what actually happens inside this display? Participants go through a video “briefing” before strapping on a VR headset and going on a mission. Once finished, they move to the debriefing station, where they get feedback and are graded on their performance.
Parents will be pleased to know that the scenes on the mission are not graphic. Also, most people who get motion-sick (and Margaret is one of them) have no trouble going through the experience. If you’re super sensitive, pop a Dramamine beforehand.
The display, along with the accompanying Launch Pad site, is part of the US Navy’s recruitment effort to change the perception people may have about the military. They want the public to know that the US Navy isn’t all about war and guns–it can be an on-the-job, science and technical learning experience, a source of funding a college education, and a good way to get practical and life skills, all while serving your country.
A large group of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) students attended an afternoon session to learn about the STEM-related opportunities available in the US Navy, presented, of course, by a few Blue Angels.
Located at Mather Field’s Launchpad Pavilion, the display opens to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, October 1 and Sunday, October 2. Navy staff will be on hand as well to answer questions and help visitors navigate the site.
Sacramento Navy Week coincides with the California Capital Air Show and will encompass a variety of events and engagements, including a show from the world famous U.S. Navy Blue Angels, who are celebrating their 70th anniversary this year.
The Navy’s display travels next to San Francisco for the U.S. Navy’s Fleet Week, where it will be open to the public again from Oct. 7-9.
Here’s a video so you can get your own “sneak peek” of the virtual reality experience:
(Video courtesy of Navy Partnership)