Creating an App That Saves Lives

CHALLENGE: The Gas Chromatography—Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) device is a portable mass spectrometer that identifies and quantifies chemical warfare agents and Toxic Industrial Chemicals (TICs). The Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO) at the Department of Defense (DoD) needed a cost-effective, standardized, portable, and easily accessible way for users to get operation and maintenance information at the time of need.

SOLUTION: The Vertex Solutions Group (VSG) team developed the GC-MS Mobile Performance Support System, an easy-to-use 3D app that enables users to rapidly practice operation and basic maintenance activities: 

  • The application uses a “Write Once, Publish Many” approach, resulting in consistent user experiences across multiple platforms (e.g., iOS and Android). 
  • The detailed, touch-sensitive 3D interface is powered by a highly efficient mobile game engine, creating a realistic immersive experience on mobile platforms.  
  • The resulting GC-MS application enables touch manipulation of the GC-MS system in a 3D environment, including assembly, calibration, operation, and maintenance.
  • The application successfully addresses the wide range of user expertise (from novice to master) by providing options for additional instructional scaffolding and guided practice.  

RESULT: The customer has repeatedly stated that the GC-MS Performance Support Application has exceeded their expectations, gaining praise from all users and stakeholders. The application earned the 2013 Federal Government Distance Learning Association’s Innovation Award and has been selected for a prominent promotion in TSWG’s FY14 annual report.