Augmented reality (AR) is defined as a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view. A person’s perceived real world is married with the augmented reality by bringing out the components of the digital world over the real one. Users of AR get a hands-free heads up display.
For the military AR can show the user locations of enemies and allies, grid lines, mapping and far more. Imagine Google Glasses but used by troops for targeting bad guys. Commanders will be able to send battlefield information to the user via the AR. Weapons control systems and helmets are two areas the military is working on. The technology could one day be made to simply clip onto the user’s goggles or weapon.
The US Military’s DARPA unit is just one of many groups working to develop future weapons systems for our military. While AR can be used for doctors working on patients or construction workers looking to guide building objects, most of the focus of AR is placed on building troop equipment.
Forward observers, joint terminal attack controllers and scout observers are just some members that would use AR.
Take a look at the video below of the geographic information system (GIS) map.
Soldiers will be able to see 2D virtual icons such as waypoints overlain on their real-world via the AR. Close coordination with a soldier’s team mates is just one great benefit.
Recently the U.S. Army has deployed a new augmented reality heads-up display technology called Tactical Augmented Reality (TAR). TAR will allow users to locate good guys and bad guys during a military operation. The Osterhout Design Group has been building gadgets like augmented reality glasses for the United States military since 1999 and actually raised $58 Million to grow its augmented reality business.
AR should help soldiers with their mission planning. Members of the Cognitive Science Team at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, or NSRDEC, are helping soldiers stay organized. This team is investigating how augmented reality, or AR, may help soldiers improve their mission-planning skills
We will have to see where this technology takes our troops.
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