On 14-15 September 2022, Frontex Research and Innovation
attended the SHOTPROS final conference in Ranst, Belgium. SHOTPROS is a
research and innovation project carried out in the framework of the EU
Research and Innovation Programme (Horizon 2020). It focuses mainly on
developing a Virtual Reality (VR) solution to improve the overall
performance under stress of police officers and to minimise the use of
force while maximising their safety.
During the conference, the consortium presented the results of three years of collaboration between 13 European partners. The SHOTPROS consortium offered the participants the possibility to try out the equipment in a simulated environment. The presented solution integrated the VR gear with HR sensors, wireless scalp electrodes, mobile multi-sensory platforms for an advanced monitoring and increased immersion in VR to induce stressful conditions.
VR is an emerging technology designed for deeper human-digital interactions. It is still quite new but fast-growing technology, with the potential to have a strong impact on different domains. Until a few years ago, due to the lack of eligible hardware and digital content, this technology could not be given serious considerations for operational implementation. But this has changed, as statistics indicated in 2019 VR became one of the fastest growing media segments.
VR technology offers significant potential but there is still not enough research about the possible consequences of mass consumption and for specific domains, such as border management. For that reason, Frontex is closely monitoring VR developments, as well as the progress of EU projects such as SHOTPROS and AI-ARC.