Realistic Assessment of Performance In Devices (RAPID) Lab


The purpose of the Realistic Assessment of Performance in Devices (RAPID) Lab is to assess commercial and government off-the-shelf Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies. For assessment various methodologies, such as in-house technology evaluations, Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs), and capability readiness, will be used to make empirically-driven decisions. The need for informed technological assessment, verification, and validation is aligned with the U.S. Army’s modernization priorities for Soldiers by 2025. These priorities include tools for rapid development of training applications; and hardware and software capabilities that are mobile, robust, and affordable. Evaluations of VR/AR technologies focus on current capabilities, deficiencies, specifications, costs, maturity and risks. From these assessments, the project seeks to develop a technology selection database grounded in technical and usability criteria. This information will inform the military community of the technology readiness of devices, which in turn may influence highly immersive training environments using virtual or live simulations. The following paragraphs will highlight past accomplishments, current research efforts, and future goals of the RAPID Lab.

Current Research Efforts

The RAPID Lab is researching technology directions, pursuing lab experimentation, and publishing scholarly articles. 

Technology Directions

The RAPID Lab continually reviews past, present, and future uses of VR/AR to aid in defining directions. These trends derive from military, academic, and industry sources; and seek to explicate how training is presently used or potentially will be used in the future. Table 1 shows a select, rather than an exhaustive, breakdown of researched literature.

Table 1. Select Emerging Trends








·         Untethered

·         Non-required outside markers

·         Used collaboratively

·         AirTap control is arduous

·         Limited battery life

·         Indoor device

·         Collaborative in-door training

Razer OSVR HDK 2


Not acquired: $400

·         Open source alterations

·         Eye and face tracking


·         Difficult software setup

·         Lack of native hand controller

·         Testbed for altering Vive or Rift

·         Interactive visual analytics

Samsung Gear VR (V1 & V2)

Acquired (V1 & V2)

·         Eye tracking option

·         Face tracking potential

·         Not smartphone agnostic

·         Games

·         Military recruit experiences

Oculus Rift


·         May be modified as AR

·         Wide range of applications

·         Eye tracking potential

·         Face tracking

·         Tethered device

·         Military tasks “in the wild”

·         Procedural psychomotor tasks

HTC Vive


·         Eye and face tracking

·         Tethered device

·         Interactive learning

·         Chatrooms