The NetImmerse 3D game engine, currently in use by a number of leading games developers worldwide, has been licensed by Applied Research Associates (ARA) to develop a computer animated training environment for emergency response specialists. ARA is currently developing the simulated environment for a chemical manufacturer, but HazMat teams might eventually use the CD-Rom program worldwide to practice for and respond efficiently to hazardous materials accidents. Phil Egly, ARA's project manager, explained that, "Our environment will allow HazMat response teams to visualize, communicate and rehearse. They will be able to discern instantly the source of danger, where evacuation should occur, and if there is a possibility for casualties. They can then react quickly to manage the situation." Numerical Design Ltd., the producer of the NetImmerse 3D game engine, believes it could revolutionize computer-simulated training and response applications. Previously, these types of simulations required the use of virtual reality equipment and computers costing in excess of $100,000. Using a games system, simulations can be developed on PC's and used on standard games consoles. "Emergency response preparedness is just the beginning," commented John Austin, Numerical Design Ltd.'s president. "There are scores of potential applications for NetImmerse in such areas as military, aviation, automotive and new-product simulations; visualization of large-scale properties and buildings; interactive 3D environments on the Web; and many others."