Augmented reality systems as small as a contact lens could revolutionize complex emergency response and military battlefield operations in the future, by drastically improving the situational awareness, decision-making and asset management of operators.
British engineers from BAE Systems are working in collaboration with academics at the University of Birmingham to develop applications for Augmented and Virtual Reality. BAE plan to bring augmented reality to the battlefield, as it develops a
new system that would overlay virtual information on
the real world. BAE even believes that within 20 years
we could see the system shrunk down into a contact lens. With the advances needed to achieve that I find that a little hopeful.
Today however BAE are developing two type of AR & VR systems for the battlefield using Oculus Rift style headsets.
PORTABLE COMMAND CENTER
The Portable Command Center concept uses commercial technology to create a semi-virtual environment that can be transported in a briefcase and set up anywhere from within a tent to an office to tackle emergency scenarios such as an outbreak of fire or an act of terrorism.
Users put on a virtual reality headset and interactive gloves – and a mixed reality control station appears around them. Users can monitor situations anywhere in the world, zooming in and manipulating environments, directing troops and pulling in virtual video screens that allow them to monitor news channels and feeds from UAVs.
As well as this, users can bring in artificially intelligent avatars that monitor the entire environment, provide real-time voice updates and even offer advice when asked.
The Virtual Cockpit is created by a headset that provides infinitely re-configurable virtual displays and controls, allowing pilots to customize their interface with the aircraft based on their own preferences, mission objectives and the task immediately at hand.
The technology is designed to be easily upgraded and customized to meet the demands of a rapidly changing future environment, saving valuable time and significantly reducing costs.