‘Stress inoculation’: Problem Solutions of Johnstown wins Marines contract for virtual reality training | Local News

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – Johnstown technology company Problem Solutions is working to provide the next wave of hyper-realistic virtual reality training for the US Marine Corps.

Problem Solutions won a $325,000 “immersive training environment” contract March 15 from the US Army Contracting Command, in Orlando, Fla., the company said in a press release.

Follow-on phases would build the project up to a $3 million ceiling.

Problem Solutions’ work involves engineering virtual reality experiences that simulate real-world tactical and ethical scenarios to better prepare war fighters.

The technology would be used within Marine Corps’ Infantry Immersive Training environments, which includes facilities designed to increase the tempo during which an individual observes a situation, understands it and develops courses of action, said Problem Solutions’ government studio lead, Nathan Jones.

“Stress inoculation is conducted at the facility where a rifleman is put into multiple situations that, in turn, replicate the stressors and physiological responses faced in combat, thus building the individuals stress-immune system,” Jones said in an email.

Problem Solutions is leading the project with support from InvizArts and PLEXSYS.

For more than 20 years, Problem Solutions has been developing technology products for commercial and government customers.

In addition to designing virtual reality experiences for the Marines, Problem Solutions is also building virtual reality training programs for other industries — including health care and manufacturing, Problem Solutions President and CEO Mike Hruska said.

In 2019, the company was acquired by Allen Interactions, which builds custom learning and performance technologies.

“Because of our relationship with Allen Interactions, we can bring engineering capabilities we have here to Fortune 500 companies,” Hruska said.

In January, Problem Solutions moved its headquarters from Richland Township to 227 Franklin St., Suite 310, in downtown Johnstown.

“We are excited about what’s happening downtown with food, amenities and entertainment,” Hruska said. “We are super excited to be in that environment. There is a ton of stuff to do within a block of our offices. It’s amazing to be in our city and connect with other people.”

Russ O’Reilly is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @RussellOReilly.

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