Fire safety training uses virtual reality

October 25, 2005

The 12-year-olds have heard it many times -- "Don't play with matches." -- so now firefighters are getting their attention using virtual reality fires.

Iowa State University researcher Shana Smith, an assistant professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, is developing the computer-generated fires to help teach children about fire safety.

Smith says the virtual reality blazes will be realistic, life-size and 3-D. But it will be safe.

Smith said she intends to create computer simulations of fires in an apartment building, home and classroom that will be used to teach children how to react to fires in the different settings.

"I think this is a very good application for virtual reality," Smith said. "It's impossible to offer training so kids know how to respond in a fire event by putting them in a fire. But we can put them in virtual reality."

Will a virtual reality fire scare the children? Paul Sandoval, the deputy chief of the Ames Fire Department, doesn't believe that will occur. He says the program will be all about teaching fire safety, not about frightening anyone.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: New process makes hydrogels useful for more applications

Related Stories

New process makes hydrogels useful for more applications

November 30, 2016

Hydrogels are gelatinous amalgams of cross-linked polymers that can absorb and hold large quantities of water. Their uses vary widely. Certain hydrogels form the absorbent layer in disposable diapers, while others form the ...

How a Trump administration could shape the internet

December 2, 2016

Under a President Donald Trump, cable and phone companies could gain new power to influence what you do and what you watch online—not to mention how much privacy you have while you're at it.

Six virtual reality experiences that don't cost too much

November 18, 2016

Virtual reality, what's up with that? If you are curious about this highly buzzed high-tech form of entertainment but don't feel like plunking down $1,000 or more on sophisticated hardware, just visit one of a slew of amusement-park-type ...

Recommended for you

Smart plants learn new habits

December 6, 2016

A new study led by The University of Western Australia has demonstrated for the first time that plants can learn about their environment by making links between events, an ability thought to be exclusive to animals.

Cassini makes first ring-grazing plunge

December 6, 2016

NASA's Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft has made its first close dive past the outer edges of Saturn's rings since beginning its penultimate mission phase on Nov. 30.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.