VSTEP launched their latest maritime simulator NAUTIS Home for maritime professionals, students, or enthusiasts. Making ship simulation available on a large scale brings them closer to their goal; to ensure that simulation-based learning becomes a vital part in maritime education and training.
Simulation-based learning has been applied to a great extent in a variety of fields such as aviation and healthcare. In the maritime industry, simulation training has not yet obtained that equal role compared to other industries, whilst learning by simulation holds great value when it comes to the development and training of skills for maritime professionals.
“Simulation-based training is essential when it comes to improving the safety, efficiency and sustainability of the maritime industry,” says Fabian van den Berg, Chief Executive Officer of VSTEP. The maritime industry is evolving constantly, powering innovation but simultaneously bringing new challenges to the surface. Van den Berg continues, “Technological advances are pushing maritime professionals and future seafarers to learn and train new skills and competences. Simulation–based learning can assist to prepare the maritime professionals, especially in the current market with a shortage of qualified personnel.”
On-premises maritime simulators already play a crucial role in providing the right training value in maritime education. However, until now, ship simulation was mostly accessible at larger simulator set–ups at schools, organizations or training centers for maritime students or professionals.
“We want to enable learning by simulation in the maritime industry,” states Van den Berg, “Which is why we aim to expand the accessibility of professional ship simulation towards a scalable, non-location bound product.”
VSTEP just launched their new maritime simulation solution NAUTIS Home in Early Access, aiming for a feature complete product by the end of 2023. NAUTIS Home offers an immersive simulation experience with realistic hydrodynamics to mimic true to nature vessel behavior. The software is based on their professional maritime software NAUTIS, which is used for large simulator set-ups for schools and training centers. NAUTIS Home contains standardized content for individual sailing, training, and assessment.
“As we see in many other industries, digitalization of education is crucial, of which the importance grew only more since the pandemic when looking for instance at the extreme shortage of qualified personnel in the market,” says Tije Vos, Commercial Director of VSTEP.
Therefore, together with NAUTIS Home, VSTEP launched their new Learning Experience Platform (LXP). LXP is a new web-based platform which acts as a learning passport for the user. A user can create a learning profile to access the courseware complementary to the training scenarios in NAUTIS Home.
According to Vos, the response of the professional community so far has been overwhelming. “NAUTIS Home is an accessible, low-cost training solution that can be used complementary to on-premises simulators.” Vos continues, “NAUTIS Home licenses start from €5.95 per month, making this maritime simulator ideal for maritime schools, training centers or shipping companies to scale their current training program and foster a continuous learning cycle.” Only needing a PC with 3D graphics card makes NAUTIS Home suitable for the individual maritime professional, student and even enthusiastic hobbyist as well, providing them with an opportunity to invest in their own maritime development.
What is next? “Continuous development,” states Van den Berg. This Early Access version of the software is the basis on which VSTEP will continue to develop and improve. “To release in Early Access allows us the opportunity to get valuable input and feedback from the users directly, giving us the chance to adjust the development course to make sure the software meets the market needs for the long term,” adds Van den Berg. The NAUTIS Home Community Platform plays a crucial role in this process. It is the central place where users can interact with each other and with VSTEP to leave their feedback and ideas on how to improve the product.
The first product update is already planned before the end of this year, followed by many larger updates in 2023. A variety of courseware will be added, such as Anchoring and Mooring. The inland domain will be represented with more courseware, vessels, and environments. “The goal is to create an enthusiastic community with dedicated users, which motivates the decision to develop and roll out Multiplayer and Communication for next year,” explains Van den Berg.
Tailoring the product to market needs, enriching the software with educational courseware, and maintaining accessibility; those are some of the objectives VSTEP has for NAUTIS Home. All with the overall mission to enable learning by simulation in the maritime industry.