At the Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, the golf course turned into a virtual warzone with mortar fire, tanks and smoke, thanks to augmented reality glasses. The Augmented Immersive Team Trainer from Office of Naval Research made the battle visible only to users who had donned these AR glasses. Winning battles is not easy even if the best weapons or maximum troops are used or the biggest budget is set. What is required is continuous training until the necessary skills are gained. However, the training of armed forces is quite expensive. So, the US military is looking for ways through which the same results can be obtained without using real equipment. This is where AITT comes into play.
The First Demonstration of AITT
On 21st May at Quantico, representatives of the US Army, Navy and Marine Corps saw the first demonstration of AITT where augmented reality training is enhanced with special glasses.
A regular golfer on the 8th hole would see a sunny, calm day as he gets ready to make his shot. However, a Marine who is wearing a pair of AITT glasses will see enemy soldiers in pickup trucks charging towards them with the route being marked by explosions and fire and accompanied by sound effects.
This effect is provided by the glasses or “optical see-through components,” as named by ONR. The AR glasses were developed using a Small Business Technology Transfer program. ONR said that AITT system is quite advanced than Google Glass and has a larger field of view.
Reproducing the Complex Warzone
AITT system is in its fifth year of research and development. Marine Major Le Nolan describes these glasses as “a portable high definition [personal computer] screen in front of your eyes that can integrate and render complex information in a manner that does not exist for the typical heads-up displays Marines use today.”
The aim of the Marine Corps Vision & Strategy 2025 is to create a training system which can realistically replicate the complex warzone that Marines have to deal with. ONR hopes that this aim will be achieved soon. Once a final large-scale demonstration is given at Quantico later this year, the current stage of the project will come to an end. The project will then be taken up for further testing and development by the Marine Corps Program Manager for Training Systems.
Nolan said “For Marines, this system increases their situational awareness, whether for training or operations, giving them a wider aperture for information to help make better decisions. And, in the end, that’s what we’re trying to do here in [ONR’S Human Performance Training and Education program]; give war fighters enough information to make the best decision possible, but not overwhelm them with so much information that they can’t make sense of it.”
So, we can expect that in the coming future, more AR glasses will be used to improve training for the military, navy and more.
What do you think?
Can these AR glasses improve training of the army or navy? What other applications of augmented reality would you like to see? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Image & Article Source – gizmag.com