The HoloLens is still miles away from knocking off VR in people’s living rooms, but at least Microsoft can say they’ve got a big supporter in the military.
A Ukrainian company showed off an augmented reality headset for tank commanders in Kiev. The idea is pretty simple: visibility isn’t great for those buried in a tank cockpit. But if you give those inside a better view of their surroundings thanks to Microsoft’s HoloLens, then the tank and those inside will become exponentially more effective.
Tanks are typically equipped with a series of sensors, radars and cameras to provide vision to the crew inside. But the AR helmet (called the Circular Review System, according to Engadget) offers a 360-degree mixed reality view with infrared and visible cameras. It also allows, Battlefield-style, the wearer to tag targets, friendlies and enemies, and other critical data.
Given that it was shown off at a trade show in Kiev, it’s understandable that the Ukranian military has shown some interest in the technology. I wouldn’t be surprised if the US and other major nations weren’t working on some form of VR or AR technology for their commanders.
The Israeli military has already trialled HoloLens for battlefield planning, and HoloLens works well with tanks. It works far better in a closed environment than it does in the outdoors, after all.