How Augmented and Virtual Reality is Innovating the Public and Private Sectors

In our latest episode of Innovation Insights, we sat down with John Blackwell, President and CEO of Diamond Age Technology, an R&D laboratory in Houston, Texas. Diamond Age Technology’s work is a glimpse into the future of the practical applications of augmented and virtual reality in government, industrial and corporate sectors. 

The VALOR Platform

John specifically talks about his work on the VALOR (Virtual and Augmented Laboratory for Objective Realities) platform. He describes it as a “high fidelity, mixed reality simulation environment, designed for testing and training with detailed metrics being captured.” This core platform allows for a wide range of applications including airlines, trucking, medical, chemical and more.

For industries such as public safety, the ability to use such an immersive experience as part of training procedures is invaluable. First responders are able to control and track the virtual environment and simulate some of the most difficult and technical aspects of fire training without the cost and dangers of real-world situations. 

“Virtual and augmented reality are going to save lives,” John says. 

Spatial Computing

While VR immerses the user in a different digital location entirely, AR overlays digital content onto the visible natural world. Spatial computing (SC) is what ties VR/AR technology together.

SC allows for significantly less hardware and increased immersion and integration of digital components into the space around us - either real (AR) or digital (VR). It could include eye-controlled interactions, motion-tracked hand gestures, voice control and more; there are endless possibilities for situational applications. 

The Intersection of the Private and Public Sectors

More and more, the government is moving towards public-private partnerships, making this an especially fruitful time for these technologies. Such partnerships help technical applications have a much larger and more sustainable impact, as they will be integrated into a wider range of industries. Platforms like VALOR are designed as a “blank canvas,” so to speak, that can adapt to any industry.

Learn more

You can learn more about AR/VR technology and hear about John Blackwell’s work at Diamond Age Technology on our Innovation Insights podcast discussion:

You can download the episode on our website, or subscribe and/or download via Apple Podcasts. 

 Innovation Insights, a bi-weekly podcast from Corner Alliance, brings you the latest on innovation and technology impacting the federal government


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