ORLANDO, Fla. (March 29, 2013) -- The U.S. Army and Intel Corporation entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement to collaborate and optimize research in virtual training environments.

Intel researchers have been developing technologies to scale user interaction, and they intend to focus on technologies to scale realism and immersion. As platform technology providers, they partner with application developers to ensure technologies address the right problem.

Collaboration with the Simulation and Training Technology Center, or STTC, offers an opportunity to work directly with users of the technology.

The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command's virtual reality experts are part of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's Human Research Engineering Directorate STTC, here.

The unique partnership will provide both organizations a leap ahead in scalable simulation capabilities, officials said. Jointly developed technology will allow for at least five times the concurrent human participants supported in virtual-training environments.

The expected increase of participants, areas of operation and complexity of agents will bring the military closer to achieving the goals outlined in the U.S. Army Learning Concept for 2015.

The simulation center identified a need for scalability and flexibility for next-generation training applications. The majority of current simulation-based, virtual-environment training applications are only used at the small unit level, which is 40 Soldiers or fewer.

"Properly representing the operational environment for Army training needs will require a massive increase in simulation scalability and flexibility," said Doug Maxwell, STTC science and technology manager. "It is our belief that virtual world technology may be used to achieve the goal of full-spectrum operations during mission rehearsal exercises. This partnership is the first step to show that more than 1,000 users can operate in the same space and at the same time to achieve a realistic mission."

Human Research Engineering Directorate leads two ARL major laboratory programs: human sciences and simulation and training technology.

The goal of the Army is to research, develop, mature and transition innovative training technologies that increase warfighter battlefield readiness and performance. The center's research focus is technology for the future -- what are the requirements in five to 10 years?

The center is actively pursuing analysis and development in the areas of intelligent tutors, immersive learning environments, human agent teaming, dismounted Soldier training, virtual world technologies, mobile applications -- like apps -- and medical simulators and simulations.