Augmented reality is a real time technology that allows virtual objects to appear as though they are in the real world. So how does something that most famously starred on the Pokémon app, now lend itself to the defence industry?
Virtual and Augmented reality provide rich opportunities for the defence space. Whether you are training for the Navy, Military or even Homeland Security, they all have one thing in common, cost, and with a mere 1% of total budgets being allocated towards training, it is crucial that these costs are kept to a minimum. Live-fire training is very expensive, even more so recently with the cost of artillery ammunition climbing from $200 to $1,300 in the past decade. There is also a high level of risk involved using the standard training method, with certain scenarios and events being impossible to rehearse, meaning many trainees are left unpracticed and inexperienced in some crucial areas of combat.
The Augmented Immersive Team Trainer (AITT) is attempting to solve one pretty big problem within military training. Preparing troops for airstrikes and artillery barrages is a costly challenge to conduct live. Real aircraft and artillery are expensive and often unavailable. Real bombs, missiles, shells and targets can only be used once. The AITT aims to replace all these costly variables while keeping the most crucial component, the human.
This is why Augmented Reality is expected to snowball into a cumulative value of $168.1 over the next decade. Apart from the initial start up costs, AR is extremely cost efficient, whilst also providing our troops with a more rounded training program. AR makes it possible for even the most obscure of scenarios to be rehearsed, in a safe and controlled environment. Personally, I love that soldiers are being fed live, visual information into their headsets, enabling them to make quick, informed decisions that maybe could save a life one day.
There is still a long way to go until AR becomes a part of daily military life, though the shift has definitely begun and shows no signs of stopping.