3D virtual worlds creator Icarus Studios and American Research Institute, an education and training services provider, have collaborated to form PowerU, a new venture offering an integrated learning infrastructure that incorporates 3DI (three-dimensional immersive) learning environments. The new platform aims to improve the effectiveness of workforce development.
Based in Morrisville, North Carolina, ARI supports several major organizations, including eBay, Microsoft, and the Air Force, with custom training solutions. The group specializes in designing its solutions with the latest instructional design technology and delivery infrastructure.
PowerU will use Icarus's Real Time development engine and nScale network architecture to add networked 3D environments with simulation systems to the ARI learning management environment. The resulting platform will enable users to create and deliver serious games and training courses with 3D approximations of real world scenarios.
With PowerU, users will not only have tools for creating and delivering 3DI learning scenarios, but services supporting instructional designers to develop 3DI content and interfaces to incorporate 3DI modules into existing learning infrastructures.
One of PowerU's first releases, a training course on sexual harassment avoidance techniques, allowed trainers to alter their content in different ways, such as switching the male aggressor to a female aggressor, to account for different real-world possibilities.
Said PowerU CEO and president Richard Kristof: “PowerU combines world-class instructional techniques and tools with a sophisticated game engine to serve the quickly growing immersive worlds/serious games market. This represents the most significant step forward in learning technology since training was first delivered over the Internet.”