The biggest additional feature that IVAS brings is its augmented reality function. This means that other data can be projected onto the sun visor, such as map information and waypoints, the location of potential enemies or innocent bystanders, etc. The design of IVAS can be presented in a way that more directly covers related objects (such as buildings or other topographical features), rather than simply being displayed on a flat screen.
The Army pointed out in a press release: “The system also uses augmented reality and machine learning technology to provide a realistic mixed reality training environment, so CCF can rehearse before engaging with any opponent.” The service is talking about development capabilities , So that simulated opponents and other objects (including vehicles or buildings) can be virtually inserted into actual on-site training exercises. This is a function for air combat training that a company called Red 6 is also developing. You can learn more in these past stories.
The hope of augmented reality training is that it can conduct large-scale exercises involving more enemy capabilities without having to physically simulate every aspect of the exercise. In turn, this saves potential costs and opens up the possibility of more complex training using less powerful equipment.
This can also help simplify more complex training exercises involving ground and air personnel. Dan Robinson of Red 6 explained the potential use of this distributed augmented reality to help with training and in operating environments War zone Said in an interview last year:
Let me give you an example. If a special forces personnel attack on the ground, such as a tank, a farmhouse, etc., it is a training scene, isn̵7;t it? If the tank is artificially synthesized, and the guy on the ground is in our AR system and is talking to the person on his plane, that person will drop a smart bomb or something similar on the tank, then Would it be great? Wouldn’t it be great if they could see the same picture in the augmented world? We call it the Joint Enhanced Battlefield, because you are absolutely correct. We are solving perhaps the most complex challenge, because the plane is flying at a speed of several hundred miles per hour in three dimensions, so if we solve this problem, then we must have solved the problem of tanks, ships, whatever it is on the ground. The ability to connect these people together represents a truly exciting and huge market opportunity. And it doesn’t stop there. I talked about it earlier because I think that although there are a lot of training applications for this, there are also a lot of operational applications through this technology.
Let me give you an example. Boys and girls on the ground are fighting for close air support for their lives. For the cockpit personnel who are about to press the button, this is a huge pressure, especially when they are in a dangerous situation and they happen to be in contact with the troops. You want to make sure you get it right. Therefore, all of us just use the traditional “nine lines” for close air support, and so on. Well, what if we are connected in an enhanced world? Moreover, we can draw the target on the ground, no matter what visual effect you want to use, bad and good people can clearly draw the target. This will eliminate ambiguity, will greatly shorten the kill chain, and definitely save lives. We can consider and discuss many applications, but I think the technology also has huge operational aspects.
It is not clear when the Army and the US Marine Corps and US Special Operations Command will expect to achieve initial combat capabilities through the IVAS system. The service agency said that even after signing this new contract, further testing and evaluation are still needed. Future budgets may also have an impact on the project. Congress specifically cut $230 million from research on IVAS’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which was passed and signed into law earlier this year.
It is worth noting that Microsoft has faced some controversies in this work in the past. In 2019, employees sent a letter to company executives requesting to stop working on the project because the company criticized the war as a “video game” and helped the US military “increase lethality.”
Nevertheless, the Army has about two years of space to upgrade from the CS1 version of the system to the latest and more powerful model (which has been in use in the past few months), which shows that considerable progress has been made in realizing this potential. Great progress. Revolutionary ability becomes a reality.
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