How One Local Startup is Using Virtual Reality To Revolutionize Critical Response Training

HTX Labs is developing a VR platform to train civilians for emergengy situations

 

THE milestone

HTX Labs has grown their team (and outgrown Station), launched their beta and officially signed their first strategic customer/partner.

 

THE STORY

If a threatening emergency situation unfolded in front of you, would you be prepared to take action and do what it takes to survive? HTX Labs, a Station member company, has developed a room scale, fully immersive Virtual Reality (VR) platform, EMPACT™, to train everyday people in emergency response based on best practices developed with the law enforcement and first responder communities.

The HTX team has consulted with subject matter experts to develop a more efficient and effective way to deliver safety training. Through the development of custom virtual environments, HTX recreates corporate offices and public spaces (they’ve even created a VR Station Houston) to provide organizations the opportunity to train their people in their own virtual space. Through the use of a tiered, interval training curriculum, the use of regular 10- to 15-minute VR training sessions can provide a higher level of retention than what would typically be achieved by a full day of PowerPoint sessions using traditional training methods.

“Our first training module, Civilian Critical Response (CCR), is focused on training civilians to act quickly and correctly when faced with various crisis situations – such as active assailant, medical emergencies or natural disasters. We realize that things like active assailant and workplace violence are hypersensitive topics, but they have unfortunately become a part of our new reality. Our goal is to create a heightened sense of awareness so that people are regularly and consistently focused on their surroundings. We want people to think about ingress and egress, locations of AEDs and fire extinguishers, and specifically whether they would run, hide or fight when confronted with an active assailant,” said Scott Schneider, HTX Labs’ Co-founder & CEO.

The HTX Labs team has grown rapidly over the last 6 months - Scott attributes many of his latest hires to connections made through Station Houston.

“There is some serious tech talent here in Houston coming out of Rice University, the University of Houston and others - and it’s heading west and east - and we want to keep it here. At Station, we’ve been able to make some great connections and pick up some fantastic local development talent,” said Scott.

With their growing team and large VR setup, HTX realized they needed more room than Station could provide. They didn’t have to look too far -- their new office is directly adjacent to Station Houston making it very convenient to remain involved with Station activities.

“This is the perfect setup for us - we’ve got enough space right now and we have access to Station. We can still easily connect with the community and participate in events, programs and the Houston tech conversation,” Scott added.

What’s next for HTX Labs? They launched their beta on July 1st, officially signed their first strategic customer/partner and are currently looking for additional early adopter customers. Learn more by visiting their website, htxlabs.com.

 

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