Derald Wise, Creative Director at Booz Allen Hamilton, is helping put on a virtual reality hackathonin Raleigh this weekend. And he brings first-hand experience to the world of VR as well as AR from his days in the US Army. He talks about the potential of these technologies.

“I am currently leading a development team tasked with marketing and finding innovative ways to incorporate simulations to address the training needs of our clients,” Wise explains at his LinkedIn profile.

“One of these is looking at video game technology as the medium to deliver training within a virtual environment.

“Leading a team that utilizes the Unreal and Unity engines along with popular VR peripherals such as HTC Vive and Oculus Rift; we provide content that increases immersion for tactical level and classroom training. Interactive multimedia efforts include blackboard applications, mobile apps and videos to allow clients a broader range of resources for on the job training. Looking ahead to integrate the customer with top of the line commercial off the shelf technology to allow them to apply their skillsets in the most efficient manner.”

The Skinny talked virtual reality and augmented reality with Wise in an Q&A ahead of the hackathon.

  • Why are you so interested in AR/VR? What in your background led you in that direction?

AR/VR is interesting as it can literally be an extension of your reality and thus everyday life. These technologies can enhance the human experience and immerse you in environments that are usually denied to you based on physical obstacles and even financial constraints.

These are the formative years of AR/VR, so we have as developers and enthusiasts the ability to influence the direction and markets that these technologies can interact with.

I am an Army veteran and started working in simulations as my first job out of the Army. As a training facilitator, I used simulations to help train staff for planning considerations and even basic soldier tasks.

After working in simulations for several years, I received my B.A. in Game Design Development and now focus on immersive technologies, such as AR/VR.

  • Why are AR and VR emerging as such hot areas for development, applications and solutions?

AR and VR provide a unique convergence of technology, creativity and directly solving real issues. It allows you to draw on something familiar in design and imagine a new way to engage with it.

Take for example educational design. We now can take learning out of the classroom, out of a video, and enable students to have hands-on learning without risk and at minimal cost. It’s the difference between an active and passive connection with the information, which can be applied in every walk of life.

[VIDEO: Watch a Booz Allen Hamilton video about simulation technology at ]