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EP 14 — Dauntless XR’s Lori-Lee Elliott on Enhancing Defense Training and Operational Efficiency with Extended Reality

On this week's episode of the DIB Innovators podcast, David speaks with Lori-Lee Elliott, Co-founder and CEO of Dauntless XR, to discuss the transformative power of extended reality (XR) in military applications. Lori-Lee dives into how XR technology is revolutionizing mission debriefing and operational efficiency for clients such as NASA and the Air Force, sharing insights into the challenges and solutions of integrating XR with government systems. 

Lori-Lee also highlights the importance of cybersecurity and accessibility in XR solutions. She shares how XR is cutting down rework by 90% and making training and maintenance tasks faster and more intuitive than ever before. 

Topics discussed:

  • The difficulties and solutions in integrating XR technology with the Air Force and other government systems.
  • How XR technology is enhancing mission debriefing processes for the Air Force by providing accurate, real-time data visualization.
  • The critical importance of cybersecurity and the specific vulnerabilities that XR applications face, along with strategies to mitigate these risks.
  • The need for no-code or low-code solutions to ensure widespread user adoption and effective rollout of XR technologies.
  • The original focus of Dauntless XR on industrial sectors and how those use cases transitioned to defense applications.
  • The journey through different phases of SBIR/STTR contracts and the challenges of crossing the “valley of death” to secure phase three funding.
  • How XR is being used to improve maintenance workflows, training, and operational efficiency, particularly in the context of agile combat employment and multi-capable airmen. 

Guest Quotes: 

“No one's like, ‘my dream is to grow up and enter data into a database manually.’ Like, no one wants to do that. They want to be doing cooler things. So that's where I saw the need for the company. The company that would become Dauntless was this need for being able to do things digitally native, hands free, dealing with lots of data, lots of complicated information.”

“I think both of our products are very much like these kinds of onboarding, like gateway drug applications to all the cool stuff on the other side. It's like you kind of have to eat your vegetables and work out and pay down that tech debt before you can unlock all these other things. And that's where we're a little bit different.” 

"Well, there's a lot of things in play, and then folks move around so much on the government side. And that's by design, I assume so. It is sort of like a hamster wheel. You're constantly trying, you're always looking to fill your solicitation pipeline and do demos and keep relationships warm, but, yeah, it's not a surefire thing."

“We really need entities like Autodesk or Kronos Group, the infrastructure providers, to come up with a secure, non proprietary file format that allows developers to incorporate end to end encryption in regards with content verification. And that might be one of the ways that DoD ends up impacting the industry, because it would just take one bad actor to mess things up.” 

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