The possible applications of augmented reality are growing, extending day after day to new, important fields, and it’s not really difficult to believe the previsions of an exponential advancement of this new technology (together with virtual reality) during the next years. Today we enter the military field and we talk about Marines, who started to test augmented reality live during their training.
The first tests related to AR started in August for the Infantry Officer Course: the Marines who took part to this course were able to try the augmented reality headsets developed by ONR, the Office of Naval Research, during a live-fire training. This system is called AITT, Augmented Immersive Team Trainer, and, as easily understood by the name, uses augmented reality to immerse the soldier inside a battle environment.
The AITT system works thanks to a laptop, a software and a battery pack, and of course a display mounted on the helmet of the soldier, who will see images and objects superimposed to reality to virtually recreate any kind of environment and scenario.
Brig. Gen. Julian Alford, vice chief of naval research and commanding general of the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, said: “This affordable lightweight system can be taken anywhere—turning any environment into a training ground—and could be used to prepare Marines for real-world situations and environments they will face.”
Some benefits of this system are practicality, lightness and live training assistance, but, as Brig. Gen. Julian Alford highlighted, a big advantage is also convenience, both economical and time related: soldiers’ training is generally pretty expensive since it uses munitions, virtual ground vehicles and aircrafts, and also it is often interrupted by bad weather conditions; thanks to augmented reality this won’t happen anymore: “The system makes the training easier and eliminates the maintenance issues or weather-related restrictions that can pare down or cancel training,” confirmed Maj. George Flynn, director of the Infantry Officer Course.