Second Language Training

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch:
Navy
Amount:
$95,920.00
Award Year:
2009
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
N00014-09-M-0216
Agency Tracking Number:
O081-CR2-4131
Solicitation Year:
2008
Solicitation Topic Code:
OSD08-CR2
Solicitation Number:
2008.1
Small Business Information
KUMA LLC
245 Park Avenue, New York, NY, 10167
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
170999812
Principal Investigator
 Amir Hekmati
 Project Manager
 (248) 562-7370
 amir@kumagames.com
Business Contact
 Keith Halper
Title: Chief Executive Officer
Phone: (323) 806-2010
Email: keith@kumagames.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Language retention is a significant and growing issue for the US military (and US businesses) as Soldiers face increasing overseas deployments and heightened level of interactions with local populations. The success of these one-on-one interactions set the stage for the success of the overall mission. However, languages knowledge (particularly for languages learned after childhood) deteriorates quickly with non-use and, unfortunately, the first skills lost are usually the more important ones -- the mission-specific language knowledge learned last. KUMA GAMES is a world-renowned consumer video game developer, with tens of millions of downloads around the world of our unique “episodic game” experience. Additionally, we are an experienced simulation developer with multiple training projects for USA CASCOM-TD. Our unique capabilities include world-class game development, linguistic training expertise, TV-quality video production, proprietary internet-based scenario delivery, and access to key 3rd party technologies including voice recognition and advanced graphics tools. Utilizing our tools, experience, and huge library of existing 3D assets we can provide an effective, cost-efficient, rapidly-deployable and easily updatable language retention toolset for trainers and Soldiers deployed around the world. It is our intention to refresh languages skills in an intense and immersive 3D environment, which would be made available as part of an online/offline language exercise portal utilizing the follow five key capabilities. Soldiers would: - participate in machine-guided evaluative exercises - work with expert language trainers via network-based video game “multiplay”, repurposed here for remote learning - participate in iterative exercises conducted by culture-specific virtual characters and a world-class voice recognition technology to refresh and tune vocabulary and pronunciation - exercise their knowledge in intense, voice-enabled first-person scenarios customized for their language skill level and mission-specific communication needs - participate in a global "social" network of Soldiers and trainers -- utilizing KUMA's advanced communications tools -- for ongoing language and cultural guidance.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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