The image below might remind you of a particular science fiction movie or game in the back of your head. It’s not the first time you would have seen or imagined something like this; imagination, however, is no longer required.
The Royal Australian Air Force is exploring the intricacies of augmented reality – specifically, of HoloLens.
Enterprise Acceleration Program
The solution demonstrated to fifty key Air Force and Defence personnel was developed by Saab Australia and the Defence Science Technology Group – part of Australia’s Department of Defence.
Saab is one of the very few companies that Microsoft selected for its Enterprise Acceleration Program announced in February last year; since then, the company has been researching various applications for HoloLens – military, health, resources, infrastructure, and other sectors.
In his visit to Sydney last year, Satya Nadella described the work Saab Defence had been doing as “amazing.” Essentially describing augmented reality, he said that “when you take what is your computer vision or your own field of view and convert it into an infinite display, you completely change what computing looks like. It’s the ultimate computer.” That’s another ultimate device.
Saab isn’t the only one exploring the possibilities of augmented reality with HoloLens; Boeing demonstrated a similar concept for emergency responders just a few weeks ago. Microsoft’s acceleration program is certainly working.
The Royal Australian Air Force have been experimenting with augmented reality and other ideas as part of its technological transformation project, known as Plan Jericho.
Augmented Reality might not be quite ready to be used in combat just yet, but it still has plenty of other use cases. Writing in a blog post last year, Captain Robert Morris of the Royal Corps of Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers mentions how augmented reality could help a technician work on a wider variety of military hardware.
Augmented Reality, for example, could guide technicians through an unfamiliar process, or through an unfamiliar warehouse to find the exact parts needed for a repair.
AR is still in its infancy; the military’s involvement in technology that holds so much potential was inevitable, to say the least. Group Captain Pete Mitchell, Plan Jericho’s director, says “the future could be stated as either limitless, or limited by your imagination.” It couldn’t have been said any better.