The Israel Defense Forces have acquired two Hololens augmented reality (AR) headsets from Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) for use in battlefield training.
The Israeli army believes that AR could be a good tool for battlefield training. Major Rotem Bashi, commander of programming at the company’s C2 systems department stated that AR has various practical applications. The commander said that Israel’s military plans to improve the technology so that AR can be used to train field personnel and enhance strategy in the battlefield. The move comes in the wake of the recently increased popularity of AR and VR, or virtual reality. Pokemon Go is one of the latest examples of the success that can be derived from augmented reality.
Bashi stated that the Israeli army has seen the success that AR technology has brought to Pokemon Go. It, therefore, wants to adopt the technology so that it can exploit the technology for military purposes, and instead of hunting pokemon, hunt virtual enemies in the battlefield. In one of his statements, Bashi said that the military is working on integrating various types of technologies as well as innovative concepts that have been adopted from the civilian sector. The idea is to adopt them rapidly so that they can be deployed for military use.
Most VR and AR concepts target the entertainment and gaming industry. The technology can be also used by architectural firms to view 3D models. The Israeli army has a team of developers led by Bashi who have been working on software that allows military commanders to manipulate intelligence data and terrain models.
Such a system can be used to monitor the position of troops from an enemy’s point of view. The technology superimposes the battlefield maps on top of the actual terrain. It is streamed through satellite so that it is integrated in real time through voice, sight and hand gestures. The Hololens sets are available to firms and developers at $3,000 per unit.